Despite being a contemporary artist, I struggle to keep up with contemporary music. Most years, my pals start passing around “best of” lists that utterly baffle me. “What is a Fleet Fox?”, I’m left to wonder. For 2011, I made a concerted effort to keep up with my contemporaries, and was pleasantly surprised. Did you know music has consistently been produced after 1975?Click to Stream:
“The Afterlife” – from So Beautiful or So What by Paul Simon
A rare reminder that classic artists can still crank out quality material long after their period of relevance is over. As an avid listener of 60s and 70s pop, I shudder to think of most material recorded by the greats since John Lennon’s death in 1980. Post S&G Paul Simon has consistently produced beautiful music. This is just the latest example. Where is G-Funk I wonder?
“Unrequited Love” – from Wounded Rhymes by Lykke Li
Aside from having a voice that can vacillate between pure velvet and Psycho screeching violins, Lykke Li seems to be comfortable being both earnest and sexually playful (a la I’m Your Prostitute). This song is just damn gorgeous. I’ve got mad songwriter envy for this one. She makes doowops seem contemporary and grave.
“Green Aisles” – from Days by Real Estate
Real Estate is easily one of my favorite new bands. Their carefree jangle jams seem to carry some existential weight to them. The tone, timbre, and mood set by their recordings is utterly in synch and capitivating, plus they make guitar phasers cool again. They’re a rare group that are able to sound homogenous and focused without sounding samey from song to song.