With Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend have created a cohesive record that someone feels more polished and mature and serious than anything they've done, while at the same time loose, raw, and more fun than Contra or their debut.
Being the best in a resurgent genre is a difficult position for any artist. Should they continue to make music in the same vein because that's what people want? Or do they try to change everything up and risk alienating the audience they've spent the past few years developing?
When last we checked in on Iron and Wine, Sam Beam was demonstrating just how far he'd come from his early lo-fi days with 'Kiss Each Other Clean,' a record that I described at the time as Beam's grown-up answer to Brian Wilson's desire to sculpt "teenage symphonies to God." Beam's follow-up brings that process full circle and turn the tricks back around in the service of "the song" -- and I'm pretty much ready to proclaim 'Ghost On Ghost' one of the best records of the year
Over four albums prior and nearly fifteen years together, Phoenix have locked into what seems to be their signature sound: a fusing of synthpop and arena rock into one highly caffeinated hit after another, geared for maximum catchiness.
I said this when I reviewed the last Yeah Yeah Yeahs record, It's Blitz: Karen O is one of the best frontwomen in today's music. Karen O and her equally important bandmates Brian Chase and Nick Zinner are back with a new record, Mosquito.
As we've seen from earlier songs like "A Little Bit Of Everything," Dawes are not afraid to lay it on thick to find the emotions that resonate, and with "Stories Don't End" seem to have made a conscious decision to put Goldsmith's words front and center.
Cold War Kids are one of the most underrated American indie rock bands of the past five years. They write and record songs that are quintessentially modern rock. It's not a cool thing to do when you've been a band for close to a decade, but it's also why their new album, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts is a refreshing return to normal in 2013.
As recently as three years ago, fans were concerned whether we would ever see a new record from The Strokes, but the band rewarded our long wait with Angles. Fast-forward almost two years to the date and The Strokes have released their fifth studio record, Comedown Machine.