Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now
This weeks curator: Keagan Ilvonen of AbsolutePunk.net.
Every two weeks, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: This week: Keagan Ilvonen of AbsolutePunk.net.
I'm not too sure who decided I was an authority on what makes quality music, but basically I go through tons of bands that submit their work to AbsolutePunk and try to figure out what's top notch and what's dime-a-dozen. Don't let the name of the site fool you; my tastes vary widely from "punk" music. These are five albums that have had me brainwashed over the past few weeks.
1. Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops and Hooligans
Top 40 artists usually don't have any appeal to me. It's not my pseudo-hipster need to reject all things "cool." There just isn't any substance to what is played on the radio these days. Minus Bruno Mars of course. The Hawaiian native is bringing something fresh, and it's not going unnoticed. His debut album, Doo-Wops and Hooligans, covers more sounds and vibes than you can shake a stick at. From love songs like his monster hit, "Just The Way You Are," to the soulful jam, "Talking To The Moon," there's something for everyone. In a time of one-hit wonders, Bruno's exhilarating voice and hooks have an ageless quality that's rare these days.
Listen: "Talking To The Moon"
Talking To The Moon
2. Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz
It's been five years since Sufjan released his classic Illinois. In those five years, fans have been foaming at the mouth for new material. Then out of the blue, the All Delighted People EP fell from the heavens. Shortly thereafter, he announced that a full length would arrive in a couple of months. The Age of Adz is the end result that we've all been waiting for, adding an electronic twist to the old-school Sufjan sound and taking his influences to new levels.
Listen: "Too Much"
3. Man Overboard, Real Talk
Let's face it, pop-punk has gone by the wayside over the past few years. The heavyweights have grown up, and the torch holders have faded into obscurity. But history repeats itself, and recently there's been a resurgence in the genre that most didn't see coming. Man Overboard are picking up the pieces. Their first full length, Real Talk, comes complete with pop hooks and just enough grit to make you want to get dirty. The band stands by the motto "Defend Pop Punk," and they're doing just fine at that.
Listen: "Al Sharpton"
4. The Gay Blades, Savages
Insert band-name joke here, then feel like a fool when you actually give the music a shot. The Gay Blades are a two-piece, trash-pop band out of New York, bringing back rock-star swagger and attitude. Their second album, Savages, dropped on the fifth of this month, and it's a doozy of a record, finding Clark Westfield's vocals stronger than ever. With an expansion of their sound over the past couple years, The Gay Blades are a band you'll want to keep your thumb on.
Listen: "Why Winter In Detroit?"
Why Winter In Detroit?
5. Copeland, Beneath Medicine Tree
Sometimes in life, something just clicks. Whether it be a moment in time, a relationship, or something out of the ordinary, it just hits you harder then you could ever explain. Copeland was and will always be that for me. As soon as I heard Beneath The Medicine Tree, I was in love. I didn't know what love was at the time, but I knew what I felt was real. This was compassionate, honest, and raw music that wasn't extravagant or overproduced. Aaron Marsh's soaring falsetto belted out the most heartfelt and real lyrics that to this day still give me goosebumps. Ever since it graced my ears, this has been my favorite album, and I don't see that changing any time soon.