In light of my recent bit of music criticism, I thought it would be worth pointing to some of my favorite contemporary acts, lest you think that I only exist in the 1960’s and 70’s. As much as I idolize and idealize that time period, there are in fact recent artists who are just as capable. Here is a wide range:
Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming has an inexhaustible amount of imagination. I don’t need to add to what has already been said about this magnificent double-disc album. Certainly a fan favorite is “Raconte – Moi Une Histoire,” the life of a frog. If that doesn’t make you happy, you have no soul.
The Joy Formidable
Their Atlantic debut, The Big Roar, is about the most addicting album in recent memory, with its unique brew of shoegaze and 90’s alt-rock. They have an extensive YouTube presence; check-out “The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade” and “I Don’t Want to See You Like This.”
I don’t know what to make of his most recent album, Tomorrowland. I suppose every artist needs a departure, to test the waters; and after three albums of near perfection, we can cut him some slack. Mescalito and Roadhouse Sun should be in everyone’s car. Listen/watch his first single, “Southside of Heaven,” to get an introduction.
Justin Townes Earle
Here is another fine example of folk-country Americana. I would pick his 2010 album, Harlem River Blues, as a good place to start. I will close this post with his performance of the title track on Letterman: