Posts Tagged Lana Del Rey

STEELE PICKS: Best Albums of 2015

Although I’ve ostensibly been a music critic for several decades I’m not on the press lists I used to be so I rely on spotify to find much of my new music. So there are some favorite artists and bands here as well as new discoveries. Music that appeals to me must speak to my heart, soul, mind. The melodies are mostly dark, swirling, moody with unusual arrangements and instrumentation. Sometimes it’s folk or electro-pop. Mostly dark alternative. I favor female vocalists with varied range, strength and style.

chelsea wolfe abyss

Chelsea Wolfe, Abyss [Sargent House]
–I love Chelsea Wolfe. always and forever. dark, swirling, atmospheric and emotive.

beach house_depression cherry

Beach House, Depression Cherry [Sub Pop]
–a rich, beautiful album that I can [and do] play again and again.

chvrches_every open eye

Chvrches, Every Open Eye [Glassnote]
–electropop. energetic and powerful. one of my favorite bands.

lana del rey_honeymoon

Lana Del Rey, Honeymoon [Interscope]
–moody gorgeousness

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Sasha Siem, Most of the Boys
–a bit of Bjork, a bit of Florence and the Machine. quite beautiful, swirling and beguiling.

The_Decemberists_-_What_A_Terrible_World,_What_A_Beautiful_World

The Decemberists, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World [Capitol]
–another favorite band that I find both comforting and subversive. extremely talented and inherently beautiful songwriting.

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Lauren Peacock, Euphonia
–what I said in my August review: “combines piano with lush arrangements for memorable, moving melodies. The vocals shimmy and simmer.”

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Torres, Sprinter [PTKF]
–Singer/songwriter Mackenzie Scott possesses maturity and presence beyond her years. beautiful, raw, haunting. echos of PJ Harvey and Amanda Palmer.

science and the beat

Science and the Beat, Future Blue
–skilled duo of multi-instrumentalists Tasha Katrine and Rob Zilla that create the cool sounds and eclectic arrangements. moody, strong, electro-pop. read the review.

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Sleater-Kinney, No Cities to Love
–powerful, outspoken and rocking

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Waxahatchee, Ivy Tripp [Merge Records]

Bjork-Vulnicura

Bjork, Vulnicura [One Little Indian Us]
–orchestral arrangements with Bjork’s cool weirdness. a bit slower than other albums and it’s fantastic.

wolf alice_my love is cool

Wolf Alice, My Love is Cool [RCA]
–heard the single on a British radio station and was hooked.

grimes_art angels

Grimes, Art Angels [4AD]
–unusually arranged songs about being weird, being an outcast. angelic vocals. what’s not to appreciate?

ellie goulding_delirium

Ellie Goulding, Delirium [Interscope]
–beautiful pop songs

courtney-barnett

Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit [MOM & POP MUSIC]
–past, present and future infused with her witty lyrics and alt-pop melodies.

sufjan stevens_ carrie & lowell

Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell [Asthmatic Kitty]
–cool soothing folk. open and lovely.

furniture girls

Furniture Girls, Chaos
–kick ass garage rock. review here.

A History of Now - Album Cover HIGH RES

Callaghan, A History of Now
–happy, optimistic Americana/ folk/ alt-country mix. when it came out I wrote: “A History of Now will definitely make you feel 10% happier after listening to it.”

julie holter_ have you in my wilderness

Julia Holter, Have You in my Wilderness
–combines retro with current arrangements. gorgeous vocals.

wind burial

Wind Burial, We Used to Be Hunters
–immediately caught my attention as it manages to convey intensity, danger and beauty. review.

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STEELE PICKS: 20 Best Albums of 2014

In 2013 I had a list of 30 best albums. I’ve managed to take it down to 20 this year. There are a lot of women on my list. 17/20 female-fronted bands or female artists. Female vox, darkness and swirling rhythms appeal to me. That’s why I adore Field Mouse so much. Lana Del Rey, Zola Jesus and Lykke Li are dark and dramatic. While I never liked The Pretenders all that much, I appreciate Chrissie Hynde and listened to her powerful solo album over and over. Megafauna is heavier rock than what I generally listen to but with a female singer– a feminist and lawyer– it’s kick-ass. Some are more electronic dance music [EDM] like Banks, Yaarrohs, Phantogram and FKA Twigs. Paloma Faith and Lilla incorporate world music, vibrant beats.

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1. Field Mouse, Hold Still Life [Topshelf Records]

my review

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2. Dum Dum Girls, Too True [Sub Pop]

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3. Lykke Li, I Never Learn [Atlantic]

LanaDelRey

4. Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence [Interscope Records]

banks

5. Banks, Goddess [Harvest]

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6. Zola Jesus, Taiga [Mute]

my review

phantogram voices

7. Phantogram, Voices [Republic]

morrissey.worldpeace

8. Morrissey, World Peace is None of Your Business [Harvest]

paloma faith

9. Paloma Faith, A Perfect Contradiction [Epic]

4PAN1T

10. Bee vs. Moth, Shelter in Place [Aggraveire Music]

my review

jenny lewis

11. Jenny Lewis, The Voyager [Warner Bros.]

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12. Chrissie Hynde, Stockholm [Caroline]

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13. Lilla, The Awakening [Lucky Records/karisma music]

STEELE interviews Lilla

maximalist

14. Megafauna, Maximalist [Danimal Kingdom]

my review

karen o crush songs

15. Karen O, Crush Songs [Kobalt]

yaarrohs

16. Yaarrohs, Flesh and Blood EP [Glass Air Records]

the kooks

17. The Kooks, Listen [Astralwerks]

fka twigs

18. FKA Twigs, LP1 [XL Recordings]

JEN_COVER_WILDERNESS

19. Jen Wood, Wilderness [Radar Light, New Granada]

my review

o'death

20. o’death, Out of Hands We Go [Northern Spy Records]

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IN THE REALM: BEST MUSIC of 2014 [so far]

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Field Mouse, Hold Still Life
–dreamy pop that I play over and over.

morrissey.worldpeace

Morrissey, World Peace is None of Your Business
–every word. every note. every sentiment. all in.

lykke-li-i-never-learn-album-

Lykke Li, I Never Learn
–beautiful, thoughtful.

Beck-Morning-Phase

Beck, Morning Phase
–I’m into mellow Beck.

Damon-albarn-everyday-robots

Damon Albarn, Everyday Robots
–I’ve adored every Damon Albarn project since I discovered Blur. this one’s personal and quite lovely.

LanaDelRey

Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence
–didn’t expect to like this. what a talent. soulful, bluesy folk.

jack-white-lazaretto

Jack White, Lazaretto
–intriguing, sexy. amazing arrangements.

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Chrissie Hynde, Stockholm
–not even a Pretenders fan and this is aces. potent vocals. kicky beat.

dum_dum_girls_too_true-500x500

Dum Dum Girls, Too True
–dark gorgeousness.

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Shonen Knife, Overdrive
–energetic fun.

maximalist

Megafauna, Maximalist
–unique, edgy garage-rock.

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Snowbird, Moon
–swirly, magical.

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