Austra

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Andy Mulkerin of Pittsburgh's City Paper.

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy:

Austra, "Home" - Unlike the scads of other popular songs about "home" lately, this one does not involve a banjo. Toronto-based Austra has a new album of goth-y, Pagan-ish dance pop coming out this summer, and this jam is the first single from it. Enjoy!

Generationals, "Spinoza" - This band has a way of changing form all the time -- they do electronic pop, they do doo-wop-sounding stuff, but this one's just a straightforward rocker. They're coming to town later this month, too!

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New Music Personal Picks

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Andy Mulkerin Austra Generationals Morning Mix The 9:13 Buzz

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Andy Mulkerin of Pittsburgh's City Paper

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy - Best of 2011 version!!

I chose to bring songs from my five favorite albums of 2011, disregarding tracks that I thought were great songs from otherwise weak records. Fortunately, it so happens that my no. 1 favorite song of the year made it onto this list anyway!

The Joy Formidable, "Austere" - This Welsh-via-London three-piece had a huge year, releasing The Big Roar and headlining a U.S. tour early then returning to open a leg of the Foo Fighters tour. (Dave Grohl said early on in the year that "Whirring" was his favorite song of 2011, or might be.) Great rock band.

Wye Oak, "Civilian" - Wye Oak's Civilian is probably my second-favorite album of the year, and the title track is my favorite song of 2011, I'd say. I liked it when I first heard it; when I put it on a mix in spring and listened to it in the car a lot, I feel head-over-heels for it. It's not structurally interesting -- it just builds, musically and thematically. Jenn Wasner's vocals are mumblingly achey, and the band's sold-out Club Cafe show this summer was one of the best of the year.

Austra, "Lose It" - I'll go ahead and call Austra's Feel It Break my favorite album of 2011. Katie Stelmanis' vocal calisthenics are astounding; the vibe of the record is dark but not hokey. It's been fascinating to see Stelmanis' transformation from slightly awkward-but-talented frontwoman a couple of years ago to the glammed-up consummate performer she is today. I missed them at VIA, so I hope they come back soon.

Rounding out my top five albums:

Tristen, Charlatans at the Garden Gate - It's rare that I say an album is too short -- I'm of the "Get in, get out, leave 'em wanting more" camp -- but I wanted more than 35 minutes from Tristen! Fortunately, I understand she's got a new album on the way. In the meantime, if you don't have this one yet, pick it up. Masterfully crafted country-inflected pop tunes from a ridiculously talented member of the Nashville underground.

Pujol, Nasty, Brutish and Short - Another Nashville-ian on my top list -- Daniel Pujol released two new EPs as Pujol this year, this one (his debut for Saddle Creek) and "X-File on Main Street" (a more abrasive set of songs, from InfinityCat, which grew on me after a few spins). This one's poppy, but raw and daring; Pujol is one of the great young lyricists.

Honorable mentions:
The Poison Control Center -- Stranger Ballet
Nikki Lane -- Walk of Shame
Future Islands -- On the Water
Emperor X -- Western Teleport
Real Estate -- Days

Categories:

New Music Personal Picks

Tags:

Andy Mulkerin Austra The 9:13 Buzz The Joy Formidable Wye Oak

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh's finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Andy Mulkerin of Pittsburgh's City Paper

In case you missed it here's what he played with commentary by Andy (plus a  bonus song):

Austra, "Lose It" - Austra is the synthpop project of Toronto's Katie Stelmanis. This coldwave-ish album combines the baroque beauty of Kate Bush with the sensual weirdness of Bjork, and is one of my favorite records of the year; the band plays Saturday night as part of the VIA Festival lineup.

Emperor X, "Canada Day" - Emperor X is the band/project of Chad Matheny, who is a great pop songwriter and a swell human. His lyrics often have a weird futurist bent to them, even as they deal with the most mundane topics; he plays Garfield Artworks next Wednesday, the 12th.

Pujol, "Mayday" - This is the lead single from Pujol's forthcoming EP, Nasty, Brutish and Short, on Saddle Creek. Favorite new-to-me songwriter, hands down; nearly everything Daniel Pujol has produced as yet has been golden. Think of him as an intellectual Jay Reatard.

Categories:

New Music Personal Picks

Tags:

Andy Mulkerin Austra Emperor X Pujol The 9:13 Buzz
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