I got an iTunes gift card for Christmas from my aunt and uncle. It was a much-needed drink after a long musical drought. Here's what I've been listening to lately.
Cat Power - Dark End of the Street [EP]
I started to appreciate Cat Power after her cover of Sea of Love for the Juno soundtrack. Her latest EP is 6 more covers, all of which just make me want to put on a black feather boa, turn the lights down, and lipsynch into my round hairbrush. The only bad thing about this album is that it's only 6 tracks.
Mates of State - Rearrange Us
You'll find that I usually discover music after listening to it overhead in a store, or on an episode of Grey's Anatomy, or in a Target commercial. This discovery was slightly more highbrow - my major discovery of Mates of State was during a fantastic episode of This American Life (they were the musical accompaniment to the episode What I Learned from Television; their cover of the theme to the television show The OC was amazing). I've found that I can listen to this whole album happily while on a walk; most of the tracks keep my step up so that my heart rate stays at an acceptable aerobic level. The voices are really raw and crisp, they remind me a lot of Tegan and Sara.
Joshua Radin - Simple Times
I've loved Joshua Radin for a few years now, I don't know how I discovered him. Probably a TV show. This is his latest album, and it's a little more upbeat than some of his other stuff (like Vegetable Car - such a happy, different song; any guy who thinks "Lisa Loeb glasses" are sexy is alright in my book). If you like Joshua Radin, give Joe Purdy a try.
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
I'm obsessed with this one. I just clicked on it on iTunes one day a couple of weeks ago, and I haven't stopped listening since. This is pretty haunting music that at first listen might sound very melancholy from start to finish, but my very picky and sophisticated music categorizing system has Tracks 2 and 3 (Lump Sum and Skinny Love) in a different category from the rest of the album. They're slightly more upbeat. Apparently, the artist holed himself up in a cabin in Wisconsin for a few months to write this album. I would love to know where his mind went during that time, because these tracks seem so personal.