Having read Brian Ford's recent post, I felt inspired to write my own article highlighting a few not-so-famous albums I own that I can thoroughly recommend. Though I have grown up in a very different age from many Newsviners, I'm fairly certain that music is still being made today that is relevant to previous generations too.
I can't really define my taste in music to one or two genres - I often get into artists with no relevance to my other music, but that just widens my horizons. So, in no particular order, here are five albums that you ought to give a listen to.
[apologies in advance to anyone expecting fancy images or links - I'm no Internet fiend]
1 Amon Tobin: Bricolage It's not that I'm some LSD-induced ambient electronica lover, but this Brazilian drum and bass artist is probably the best example of mixing a love for jazz with the twisted beats of a sampler.
2 The Secret Machines: Now Here is Nowhere Krautrock with Flaming-Lips style choruses for the modern age. Thoroughly recommended listening for any fan of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Tangerine Dream, Faust, Neu! etc. Not to say that they are a cheap knock-off covers band!
3 The Futureheads: The Futureheads I'm never sure how famous certain new British bands are in the States, and I certainly hope that any lover of Gang of Four and Bloc Party takes a look at these guys from Sunderland (I'll add that Sunderland is most commonly known as a dreary industrial town over here in the UK - not famous for musical exports). Their interesting blend of four-part harmonies, broad Sunderland accents, and angular art rock is a real winner, with a real sense of enthusiasm and fun that their sophomore effort, sadly lacks. It's even produced by Paul Epworth, who cast his magic over Bloc Party's debut, which I'm sure many of you will have heard.
4 M83: Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts Unlikely as it seems, this standout album from a now-split French duo is the electronic equivalent of My Bloody Valentine's noise-rock epic "Loveless". The pair used some of the most hedonistic and cheesy of synths and drum machines to create some of the most heartfelt, emotional and heart-soaring music I have ever heard. Though the vocals and few and far between, the careful use of sampled noises creates a sense of shoegazing in a field in Antibes while the universe unfolds in front of you. Unsurprisingly, the group are named after a distant galaxy, as opposed to a motorway in the UK.
5 Belle & Sebastian: If You're Feeling Sinister Brian Ford mentioned The Gentle Waves in his article, and, though I've yet to truly sample some of their members' solo efforts, I can safely say that their breakthrough album is nothing but brilliant. Though fairly hastily and unprofessionally recorded (give them credit, they didn't have the backing of fancy record labels and producers), the end result is as sweet and smiling as it is ironic and sarcastic. A bit of a grower, perhaps, and also a bit older than my other suggestions, but it's a timeless album that perfectly captures the feelings of the band, with beautiful music to boot. None of their later albums matched the spontaneous enjoyment of this.
If you're lucky, and I have time, I may post some more articles in this vein. If anyone's reading this, of course.