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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now

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Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now

This week's curator: Jeremy Sole of L.A. public-radio station KCRW.

Every two weeks, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Jeremy Sole, KCRW DJ, producer and remixer. Check out his recent remix of David Bowie’s “Golden Years” here.

KCRW is a motley crew of obsessive packrat freaks (a.k.a. devoted collector geniuses) that harass (record labels), pillage (vinyl shops), and expose themselves in public (musically). My kind of people. Given that level of obsessiveness, I could make a list for you solely of albums that are not yet available, songs that feature the word "succinct," or bands that utilize pets in their live performances. Instead I chose the straightforward theme of "amazing music of 2010." For brevity, I had to omit thousands of amazing titles, but here are a few heavy efforts that deserve some shine.

Blundetto, Bad Bad Things

Blundetto, Bad Bad Things

France's Blundetto finally releases a full length album on Heavenly Sweetness records. A well-rounded sonic landscape of Afro rhythms, dub, a touch of Latin flavor, and a brilliant reggae version of Bob James' classic "Nautilus." Guests include Chico Mann (Antibalas), Lateef The Truthspeaker (Blackalicious), pro-skater-turned-groove-maker Tommy Guerrero, Shawn Lee, Budos Band's horn section, and more.

The Stepkids, The Stepkids

The Stepkids, The Stepkids

The Stepkids are the early, psych-rockier Sly & The Family Stone, the '60s folk-pop harmonies of The Free Design, and contemporary weirdos Chin Chin, all blended together in a lo-fi tube-driven vintage molecular super-collider. Stones Throw Records recently signed the Bridgeport, Connecticut trio, and the ripple is quickly becoming a wave. Sonic surfers, get your wetsuits out.

Listen: "Legend In My Own Mind"

Legend In My Own Mind

The Woima Collective, Tezeta

The Woima Collective, Tezeta

German funk revivalist outfit Poets Of Rhythm are back with a project that investigates Ethiopian funk and other African rhythms — recorded with a clean, organic, analog warmth that is timeless. Steady grooves, heavy 6/8 rhythms, and skewed chord structures give depth and soul to this brilliant undertaking. Not for the faint of heart (or shallow of soul).

Listen: "Puño"

Puño

The Black Keys, Brothers

The Black Keys, Brothers

There is nothing I don't like about this record. Sure, it's been out for a spell and is getting its due attention, but let us not forget that Dan and Patrick have been carving a bluesy swath through modern rock with a rusty fork for ten years. Do the obsessive-fan thing and search out every record and seven-inch exclusive. Relish the raw and unapologetic consistency of their sound — a heavy, steady freight train that has gained momentum and never fallen off track.

Listen: "Too Afraid To Love You"

Too Afraid To Love You

John Legend & The Roots, Wake Up (track: "Hang On In There")

John Legend & The Roots, Wake Up

This record was burning a hole in my crate for damn near a month before I officially got the okay to share it on the air. It took a lot of willpower to keep it hush. John's voice pays homage to classic and rare soul tunes, all laced with a glow of hope and conscience. The band takes on some adventurous tracks, including "Hard Times" from Chicago's Baby Huey, Ernie Hines' "Our Generation," and the rare reggae tune "Humanity (Love The Way It Should Be)" by Prince Lincoln & The Royal Rasses. Revival!