Previously, you’ve read snippets about the latest albums of the English New Wave band B-Movie, the Britpop group Kula Shaker, and the U.S.-based Greek composer Yanni. I hope you took the time to check out the albums and even backtrack on the entire catalogs of these artists. With the Internet, all you need is patience, resourcefulness, the passion for music, and a little help from a music-obsessed friend like me.
Now, here’s yet another batch of new albums released this year that you may add on your “List of 2016 Albums to Listen To.”
The Jezabels – Synthia
Tired of music coming from the United States or from the United Kingdom or Canada? Not that music from these countries are no longer interesting; in fact, there will always be great music to be had from every country. Maybe you have just been long overdosing yourself with music—whether good or bad—from these places. Just start to diversify and look for new sources of your music pleasure from countries other than these big three. Say, Australia! And one timely example would be The Jezabels. If you love the smooth Synthpop style of music in the caliber of Metric, Tegan and Sara, and Lights, then The Jezabels is a good pick. The Australian band has just released their third studio album, entitled Synthia. Recommended songs are the U2-esque seven-and-a-half-minute epic ballad “Stand and Deliver,” the fine synthesizer-oriented “Unnatural,” the heart-rendingly beautiful “A Message for My Mothers Passed,” and the dancefloor-ready “If Ya Want Me.”
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
As the dagger-tongued celebrity, Kanye West is what many critics and bashers easily considers a bully or a self-effacing, egotistic, self-proclaimed Rockstar (or should that be Hip-hop star?). However, personality aside, the guy is undoubtedly a musical genius, at least in the genre his music has been swimming in. West was catapulted to mass popularity by his Grammy-winning infectious single “Diamonds from Sierra Leone.” Since then, he has been prolific in releasing albums. In a matter of 12 years, he has released seven full-length albums the latest of which is this year’s The Life of Pablo, another set of orchestrated Hip-hop teeming with scathing lyrics either directed to West himself or to some of his perceived adversaries in the showbusiness. Recommended songs are the Taylor Swift–taunting “Famous,” the sexy swagger of “FML,” the two-part Gospel-flavored “Father, Stretch My Hands,” and the haunting “Wolves.”
The Strumbellas – Hope
Cue. Click. Play…”I got guns in my head, and they won’t go / Spirits in my head, and they won’t go….” If you’re a regular listener of commercial radio, then you have most likely heard those lines for so many times already. Actually, that’s the song “Spirits,” by The Strumbellas, included in the Canadian Indie Folk band’s newly released third album, entitled Hope. Basing on the catchiness of “Spirits,” you can expect more melodically infectious songs in the band’s new album. Recommended songs are The Killers-sounding “Young & Wild,” the ’70s-era pub-jukebox throwback sound of the Country Rock ballad “The Hired Band,” and the waltzy “David.” If you love the upbeatness of similar bands like Mumford & Sons, (“I Will Wait”), Fleet Foxes (“White Winter Hymnal”), Walk Off the Earth (“Red Hands”), Bastille (“Pompeii”), Imagine Dragons (“Radioactive”), Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (“Home”), Of Monsters and Men (“Little Talks”), and The Lumineers (“Ho Hey”), then you will certainly enjoy adding The Strumbellas to the mix.
The year is not even half done but 2016 has already given music lovers so many albums to be ecstatic about. And, we can still look forward to for so many more new releases for the rest of the year. Just always keep a pair of open ears. And always grab your copy of Filipino Journal for your regular dose of all-genre-loving-and-respecting articles.