Five Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now: The Burning Ear
Oddball R&B, frantic garage rock, and more on this week’s Five Albums.
Every now and again, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: Brandon from The Burning Ear, “a music blog for people who have no time for music blogs.” Brandon started The Burning Ear from his couch in Warsaw, Poland, in 2009 and currently runs it out of Los Angeles.
1. Wildlife, Strike Hard, Young Diamond (2010)
It doesn't take more than a minute of Strike Hard, Young Diamond’s opening track, "Stand In The Water," to know you’re in for a ride — it fairly twitches with kinetic energy. The rest of Strike Hard, Young Diamond is packed with big guitar sounds and even bigger wordless choruses. It’s perfect music for picturesque summer days like the one on the album cover, but it works just as well to scatter the chill of winter.
Listen: "Stand In The Water"
2. Walk The Moon, i want! i want! (2010)
Walk The Moon's 2011 summer jam "Anna Sun" had me thinking of these guys as just another one-hit flash in the pan. But I got around to picking up their full album I instantly regretted the months it took me to get on board. Every track on i want! i want! is a solidly-crafted pop gem with big hooks, melodies, and harmonies. Just try not singing along to "I Can Lift A Car." Walk the Moon’s live show is about as good as it gets — these guys bring it! Catch them soon, because they’re on a major label now, and destined for big venues and long ticket lines.
Listen: "I Can Lift A Car"
3. Jhameel, The Human Condition (2011)
Jhameel has one of those backstories that makes for great press releases, but he won’t have to rely on it for long. He’s a total oddball, but packed with charisma and talent — hopefully, it’s only a matter of time before that spills over into success. The songs on The Human Condition run the gamut of subjects from religion to jealous lovers to smoking tons of weed. It’s an album I never get tired of — each spin results in a different favorite, and the whole thing's available to download for free at his website.
Listen: "Bernal Heights"
4. The Fantasies, The Fantasies (2011)
Nine songs in twenty-three minutes. Viva brevity! One-third of The Fantasies’ tracks on their debut LP clocking in at under two minutes: this dirty little rock band doesn't mince words. Those words are mostly variations on "fun," "party," "girls," and "bubblegum," which make the album perfect summer listening. There's an instrumental song about Christmas, but I can still see some serious sunset BBQ action soundtracked by that jam, so we’ll let it slide.
Listen: "Gimme Bubblegum!!!"
5. Motopony, Motopony (2011)
Motopony came to my attention on two sublimely tender songs that still stop me in my tracks every time I hear them. Both "King of Diamonds" and "Wait For Me" topped my "Best Of" list last year, and it was only out of fairness to other bands that "God Damn Girl" didn't make the cut. The fact that they didn't play any of those tracks at their SXSW showcase and still delivered one of the best shows of the forty-six I saw that week is a testament to their massive talent. Live, they turned an album of sad-sack heartbreak into a rollicking rock show.
Listen: "God Damn Girl"
Want a dirty little rocker of your very own? Try Nerve Dating.