Feb 10 2012

Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmin’s Top 10

jazmin Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

1. The Decemberists- The King is Dead

The Decemberists The King Is Dead 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here

2. Beirut- The Rip Tide

beiruttheriptide 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here

3. Death Cab for Cutie- Codes and Keys

death cab codes keys 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

I have been a Death Cab super fan since about 2001. ‘We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes’ is one of those albums that stopped me in my tracks, and ‘The Photo Album’ will always be one of my favourite albums of all time. However, whilst Death Cab’s quirky under the radar indie sensibilities may have been what won me over in the first place, I am unashamed in saying that indie rock pop songs (such as 2005’s ‘Plans’) are often when they’re at their strongest. Which is exactly why ‘Codes and Keys’ is so fantastic- tracks such as ‘Stay young, go dancing’ and ‘Portable Television’ are perfect indie pop for the Portland generation.‘Codes and Keys’ basically solidified it for me: Death Cab For Cutie are most definitely the band that I will never fall out of love with.

4. Bon Iver- Bon Iver

bon iver bon iver 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here

5. Braid- Closer to Closed

closer to closed 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

Okay, so it was only an EP, but if 2011 can be remembered for only one thing, it has to be the welcome return of Braid and their melodic pop accompanied by Bob Nanna’s distinctive vocals. This 4 track EP is hopefully the shape of what’s to come from a full length in 2012- Kinsella-core style tunes with heartbreaking lyrics. Roll on that 2001-era emo comeback..

6. Surfer Blood- Tarot Classics

surfer blood tarot classics 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

Another EP, but one that is too good not to mention. Surfer Blood’s follow up to their 2010 debut ‘Astro Coast’, is all kinds of wonderful. ‘Tarot Classics’ is 4 brilliantly upbeat Beach Boys-esque tracks- the kind of songs that make you want to do spontaneous handclaps as you listen along. Main single ‘Miranda’ is Surfer Blood showing they can take the sound they encapsulated on their debut to the next level- polished hyperactivity if you will. With their second full length due next year, Surfer Blood well and truly remain ones to watch.

6. The Horrible Crowes- Elsie

thc cover 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

Filling this year’s Hold Steady/Gaslight Anthem void in my life, The Horrible Crowes debut album oozes Jersey and Springsteen sensibilities. This is the kind of record that is made for dive bar jukeboxes, soundtracking ill advised all night whiskey drinking (the above may or may not have been based on personal experience). Brian Fallon’s vocals sound just as affecting as they do on Gaslight Anthem records, but yet benefit from the stripped down simplicity of The Horrible Crowes’ recording style. It’s a rare thing when side projects contain enough good songs to stand along, but ‘Elsie’ most definitely slots into that elusive category

7. Fleet Foxes- Helplessness Blues

fleetfoxeshelplessnessblues 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here

8. Bright Eyes- The People’s Key

brighteyespeopleskey 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here

9. Mister Heavenly- Out of Love

mister heavenly out of love 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

An indie-rock supergroup comprising of members of Modest Mouse, Unicorns, Man Man with Michael Cera on touring bass, Mister Heavenly had pretty good odds in producing one of the albums of 2011. Bursting full of upbeat style indie-pop, accompanied by 1950s influences, ‘Out of Love’ is a must listen for anyone who has a remote leaning towards catchy indie rock that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And if that’s not enough, their biography states that Mister Heavenly are ‘very excited by the prospect of their music being used in a big-screen, teen romantic comedy’, which is pretty much all I could ever want from a band’s press release. Instant scene points? Yeah, I think so.

10. Alex Turner – Submarine (Original Movie Soundtrack)
submarine300 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

Movie soundtracks aren’t often strong contenders for albums of the year, but Alex Turner’s self composed soundtrack to Richard Ayoade’s ‘Submarine’ is more than worthy of a place in the list. As a huge fan of the book, the songs that Turner produced for the film managed to perfectly encapsulate the melancholy and quirkiness of the story, whilst also showing that there is more to his musical repertoire than just the Arctic Monkeys. All haunting vocals, slow beats and acoustic guitars,especially on stand out track ‘Stuck On The Puzzle’, this a mini album that is most definitely one of the best things to emerge in 2011.

Topalbums2011 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10

TRACKS:

The Decemberists – This Is Why We Fight

Beirut – Santa Fe

Death Cab for Cutie – You Are A Tourist

Calgary by boniver

Braid – “Universe or Worse”

Surfer Blood – Miranda

The Horrible Crowes – Behold the Hurricane

Fleet Foxes – Bedouin Dress

Bright Eyes- Shell Games (k-noble booty folk remix)

Mister Heavenly “Hold My Hand” Live at KDHX 11/12/11

Alex Turner – Stuck on a Puzzle 

doublecougar Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Jazmins Top 10


Feb 1 2012

Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

Emily Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

Gotyemakingmirrors 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

1) Gotye – Making Mirrors

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here

adele21 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

2. Adele – 21

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here

The Decemberists The King Is Dead 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

3. The Decemberists – The King is Dead

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here

rufus house 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

4. Rufus Wainwright – House of Rufus

A massive 19-disc box set of all the magic of Rufus—live performances, albums, singles and b-sides. Even though I could never afford this, it makes the list for best releases. And my Christmas wish list.

bon iver bon iver 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

5. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here.

paulsimonsowhat 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

6. Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What

I have always surrendered to anything written by Paul Simon, but this album has charm and wit in spades. He even managed to hold back on that penchant for African drumming.

florence+themachineCeremonials 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

7. Florence and the Machine – Ceremonials

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here.

cityandcolour 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

8. City & Colour – Little Hell

Although I’m the first to admit this album doesn’t top City & Colour’s previous efforts, it says a lot that it still crushes most other releases of the year.

cakeShowroomofCompassion 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

9. Cake – Showroom of Compassion

Made the Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011 list here.

J Mascis Several shades of why 300x300 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

10. J Mascis – Several Shades of Why

I’m not usually brave enough to name a favourite album, but this year it was easy. Mascis brings the power of Dinosaur Jr, the simplicity of bare and honest lyrics, and then his godlike guitar virtuosity, to bear in this true 2011 masterpiece.

Topalbums2011 Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10

TRACKS:

Eyes Wide Open by Gotye

Adele – Rolling In The Deep

The Decemberists – This Is Why We Fight

Calgary by boniver

The Afterlife by Paul Simon

Florence & The Machine – What the Water Gave Me (DhARMA Edit)

City and Colour – We Found Each Other In The Dark

J Mascis – Not Enough

doublecougar Cougar Microbes Writer Picks 2011: Emily’s Top 10


Jan 26 2012

Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011: The Decemberists – The King Is Dead

The Decemberists The King Is Dead Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011: The Decemberists   The King Is Dead It feels like it was only yesterday that we started hearing about The Decemberists. It amazes me to think that the band has released six official studio albums earning a spot amongst indie rocks biggest success stories. Cougar writer Emily added them to her list describing ‘The King Is Dead‘ as “A folky album with well-crafted song after well-crafted song; it is the quiet and beautiful dark horse in my collection this year“.

Jazmin mused that ” Something that makes The Decemberists one of my favourite bands is their ability to make each of their albums so very different but yet distinctively Decemberists-esque. The folk undertones of ‘The King is Dead’ are absolutely no exception.

Perhaps their best album since ‘Your Majesty’, ‘The King is Dead’ is the perfect mix of beautifully crafted acoustic melodies such as ‘June Hymn’ and singalong anthems such as ‘This Is Why We Fight’. If the best bands are those that keep evolving, The Decemberists’ 2011 outing is a case study in why they’re already a step ahead of the rest“.

Topalbums2011 Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011: The Decemberists   The King Is Dead
TRACKS:

The Decemberists – This Is Why We Fight

doublecougar Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2011: The Decemberists   The King Is Dead