Coming off their Grammy for Album of the Year in 2011, Arcade Fire was on top. There is no outdoing the band’s near perfect, third studio album, The Suburbs.
The band members were aware of this, so for their latest album they looked for new inspiration. They went soul searching in Haiti, and the result from the journey came the vast and ambitious Reflektor.
Arcade Fire’s fourth album expands on their already opaque sound and brings a new life to Arcade Fire.
The Neighbourhood’s debut album “I Love You” begins boldly. “How could you question God's existence when you question God himself?” That’s the first lyric in the opening track “How.” From there, the Californian quintet starts a record filled with heavy existentialist themes about love and hate told in a light indie pop fashion.
The Neighbourhood may spell their band name with a ‘u’, but they are an American group from California. Their Los Angeles origins seem fitting for them. L.A. is the city of angels and seems to gleams with gold, but that is merely the surface. Underneath the shine is a gritty underbelly. Los Angeles is filled with movie stars and pollution; glamour and corruption. The Neighbourhood’s message may seem to ooze with disgust and melodrama; however, there is an incredibly polished surface.
Roadkill Ghost Choir may seem like a strange name for a band, but for them it’s fitting. Their music is raw, like fresh roadkill, while simultaneously being hauntingly lovely. They have similar sensibilities to the indie folk bands that are currently at the peak of popular music today, such as Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers, but they have a sound entirely all their own.
The Flaming Lips have been known to stray away from the norm. The band has been known for their psychedelic tunes, the vivid imagery in their lyrics, and their extravagant live performances , which includes lead singer Wayne Coyne traveling on top of the crowd inside a large plastic bubble.
Icelandic-language rock has never been on the forefront of popularity, but Sigur Rós seems to be the exception. With their ethereal sound and light spectacle live performances, knowing what the lyrics mean is secondary or perhaps not even relevant at all.
Sigur Rós’ seventh full-length, Kveikur, begins with a quiet bang. There is this soft static in the distance, and then there is a huge crescendo into fortississimo using industrial, distorted bass. The first 20 seconds of Kveikur is unnerving and menacing, but it sets the tone well for the album. The opening track “Brennisteinn” is a muddled, abrasive, and at nearly eight minutes long, it’s one of the boldest and mystifying tracks Sigur Rós has ever put on a record.