Matt Reilly’s Top 10 Picks for 2011
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
1. The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar
The big roar indeed. This Welsh trio comes screaming from across the Atlantic with face melting rock (check out the song Whirring) that is also melodic. Double bass drums rule!
2.TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
TVOTR has been one of my favorites for the better part of a decade, and with each album their sophistication increases. This latest is their most accessible to date, with funk and prog rock underpinnings that is infinitely listenable.
3. Girl In A Coma – Exits and All The Rest
The ladies from San Antonio continue to step up their game. We all know they’re Smiths fans, but this album has shown that they have grown into one of Texas’ finest exports by crafting their own thundering rock sound.
4. Tinariwen – Tassili
This Tuareg group plays indigenous music that is closely linked to what we in the States call The Blues. Members of TV on the Radio, Wilco and Dirty Dozen Brass Band appear to lend some Western accessibility. Hypnotic and dense, this album makes you want to cast off all modern constraints and go for a long walk in the desert.
5. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
Remember the first time you heard an artist and they seemed kinda dangerous? That’s Anna Calvi. With her massive pipes and a dark as night rock aesthetic, you get the idea that a date with her might involve some sort of strange forest ritual that ends up with an animal sacrifice. That animal might be you.
6. Robert Ellis – Photograph
Willie Nelson and George Jones had a baby and they named him Robert Ellis. This Houston native, who is only in his early 20’s, has basically crafted a two sided album: the first half is introspective singer songwriter fare with a twang, and the second is full blown honky-tonk that reminds us that real country ain’t dead.
7. Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean
Sam Beam continues to evolve sonically by adding production elements that most artists who are labeled folkies eschew. Modern and retro all at the same time.
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – It’s A Corporate World
Detroit the city may be in trouble, but these 2 Motor City boys give us hope with their melodic and straightforward songs. Covering Gil Scott Heron doesn’t hurt either.
9. tUnE-yArDs – Whokill
This one took me a little while to wrap my head around. Once that happened, I realized this was one of the most dynamic, interesting and fun records I had heard in years.
10. Not In The Face – Bikini
This Austin duo crafts high energy, rough around the edges rock that features great, relateable songwriting with a Replacements feel.