Since nearly everyone at MTV News is currently in LA tanning on the rooftop of whatever Santa Monica hotel in preparation for the MTV Movie Awards (live! this coming Sunday!), the remaining souls in the department are going to just do whatever the hell we want. All week long. (This is also a test to see what our bosses mean when they say they read Newsroom “regularly.”) And if that means posting a completely random list of the spring releases we like but have yet to give proper amounts of MTV-official love, well so be it.
Our props to the albums we’re feeling truly, madly, deeply right now, after the proverbial jump.
· Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Lie Down in the Light
Will Oldham (a.k.a. Bonnie, or previously Palace) is one of the finest songwriters we’ve got – I mean, he was good enough for Johnny Cash. Also, one of the only indie artists we can think of dropping Appalachian references. The moodiest of moody Americana.
· Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles
Artsy, pretty electro-rock with lots of synth and stuff. And they’re named after She-Ra’s home, so what’s not to like?
· Santogold, Santogold
You don’t already have this joint? For shame. Santi White’s sound is what you’d get if M.I.A. produced 80s pop tracks.
· The Sword, Gods of the Earth
Retro-metal straight outta Austin. Really heavy — and given the stamp of approval by none other than Lars Ulrich.
· The Dodos, The Visiter
If you can get into Animal Collective, you can definitely get into this San Fran crew. And yes, the title of the album’s really spelled that way (get it?).
· The Constantines, Kensington Heights
James Montgomery: Sweat on blue collars, cigarette stains on old carpets, and empty bottles of Labatt’s on the floorboards. This album sounds like all of that, plus there’s a song about having shitty credit. (Un)easy listening at its best.
· Islands, Arms Way
James Montgomery: A creepy concept record about a mythical and magical appendage, played by a bunch of guys who look like extras in a Benetton commercial. They used to play jokey Casio pop (as the late, lamented Unicorns), then moved on to sorta-calypso prog-pop (on 2005’s Return to the Sea,) and now just play pretty much everything.
· Matmos, Supreme Balloon
Jim Cantiello: Awesome awesome awesome. It’s the first record they’ve ever produced without using any microphones! Yay, synthesizers! [Ed: We love Jim Cantiello because he writes things like “Yay, synthesizers!”] I had it playing at my parents-in-law’s yard sale over the weekend, and all the suburban kids were like, “Yo! That’s sick! What is that???”
· The Ting Tings, We Started Nothing
Matt Elias: It’s been on repeat in my car for an entire week. Great, no filler. A lot of bands in this genre can easily hide their limited vocals behind the electronics of the dance rock tracks, but Katie White can sing!
· Panic at the Disco, Pretty. Odd.
Jim Cantiello: This is the best Beatles tribute album ever. If loving it is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. (P.S. Tell them to send me a fancy limited-edition vinyl box set. Unlike everyone else in the department who received one, I’ll actually listen to mine!)
· Hymns, Travel in Herds
John Norris: Country/pop/rock -– North Carolina via Brooklyn. And live they do a mean version of “Band on the Run.”
What other recent albums should we give a shout-out…?