The transition from 2012 into 2013 is old news by now, so the fact that I’m just getting started with a New Years Resolution now is a little embarrassing. Most people have probably already made and broken more than one and then given up on the concept entirely, but that’s better than my total lack of attempt. But better late than never, right?
In light of the recent Grammy awards, I realized that I missed a lot of the big albums of 2012. I listened to Mumford & Sons’ Babel last fall, but Facebook was teeming with posts disputing its Album of the Year title. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean and Jack White’s solo record Blunderbuss were among the albums whose fans were decrying Mumford’s victory. I had heard nothing but good things about both releases, but out of either lack of interest or laziness, I never actually got around to listening to them. So I made the decision that I would be sure to stay up to date with the new musical developments of 2013 to the best of my ability.
It’s been a task easier said than done. My tardiness in coming up with the resolution has set me back a month, so there’s already a huge stack of albums piled up on my Wikipedia-dictated to-do list. What’s more, my primary means of checking all this music out is by sifting through Spotify’s collection, which is missing a few key items (plus its pleasantly catchy acoustic advertisement song is slowly driving me insane, which is another big roadblock). But for the most part Spotify has done a damn good job, and I’ve been getting through it all with relative ease.
So far, I’ve been most impressed by two albums with obnoxiously long names: Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter by Adam Ant and We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic by Foxygen, neither of which I had heard of before. The former has been getting a little bit of heat for being all over the place, with electronic, lo-fi, punk and slow acoustic elements taking turns sporadically throughout the record. For me, it was just this versatility that made me enjoy it so much. It was delightfully weird and tastefully disconcerting. The latter recalled several different brands of 60’s-70’s rock, from King Crimson to The Rolling Stones to The Clash, and blended them together in a distinctly unique, psychedelic indie-rock sound. Of the small number of new albums I’ve heard so far, that one is my favorite.
As I’m writing this, I’m in the middle of Toro y Moi’s Anything In Return. It’s reminding me of a less experimental Flying Lotus, and for the most part I’m really enjoying its infectious rhythms and synth-mediated jazz chords.
I still have a lot of work to do, but so far this has been a great personal project of sorts that should be a much easier resolution to stick with than eating less junk food and going to the gym more.
Later in the year, I’m really excited to hear the new Atoms for Peace and Portugal. The Man albums. What new music are you all most looking forward to?