Jay-Z & Linkin Park – Collision Course (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
You either have never heard this or you’re laughing about its inclusion here. I definitely was super into this when it came out, mostly because, in a way, it legitimized mashups, which were seriously a thing in 2004. Linkin Park and Jay-Z were both really at the height of their popularity then (sorry Mr. Carter) and this was SUCH A BIG DEAL. I don’t know if it’s the nostalgia talking, but this is still so much fun to listen to. Seriously if you haven’t heard it in a while, get into it. And if you didn’t experience this when it first appeared 12 years ago, 2004 cannot be summed up better than by these six songs.
The Tragically Hip – Fully Completely (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
On Saturday night, all of Canada (literally like 1/3 of Canada, which is still a lot of people) and all of Canadian twitterlost their minds over the farewell show from a very 90s, very Canadian band. The Tragically Hip played a CBC-broadcasted farewell show because the lead singer/songwriter Gord Downie (most Canadian name ever) has terminal brain cancer. Since an entire country was freaking out, I decided to listen to them. There’s definitely a heavy REM vibe going on here but with enough of their own variation that suddenly the quirks in a lot of different Canadian bands are explained. I’ll be listening to more of their extensive back catalog in the future.
Nicolas Godin – Counterpoint (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
Air have always been a band heavily influenced in equal parts by the music experimentation of the 60s and 70s as well the exuberant musicianship of classical music. So it stands to reason that half of Air would hit both of those points on his solo album, but also make some music that’s smooth as hell. And, yup.
Saturday Looks Good to Me – Fill Up the Room (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
I love twee music, particularly the mid-2000s Pacific Northwest revival of that 1980s British sound. The music just sounds so much like summer to me, fun and bright and still romantic and laid back. SLGTM is adventurous bunch and they add a ton of neat textures to their songs, mixing them with a good balance of classic songwriting and clever lyrics. Make A Plan is a good track to start with.
Mesarthim – Isolate (Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify)
Prepare to be launched into space. Somewhere between black metal and the kind of ambient music played frequently on Hearts of Space, this 6-song, 45-minute album is equal parts doom and bliss. It’s kind of a revelation, actually. I’m super into this in ways that I can’t really put down in words; it taps into something way deep inside me. So, uh, I don’t really know what to say here. I’m emotionally compromised by this. I’m not crying right now, you’re crying.