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Ten New Albums Worth Your Dime (SXSW 2006 Edition)

Ten New Albums Worth Your Dime (SXSW 2006 Edition)

A few SXSW 2006 artists with new albums you must check out (now):

1. The Subways, Young For Eternity
(Better than the Arctic Monkeys record with only half the buzz. This young Brit trio shouldn’t have a sound as accomplished and crisp as it does. However, this power-punch debut is a sterling blend of garage rock and psych-pop.)

2. Tapes ‘N Tapes, The Loon
(A Midwest band that harkens back to the rough edges of early Matador Records. Catchy pop that pays homage to Pavement and Spoon, with plenty of its own rootsy gusto.)

3. Hard-Fi, Stars of CCTV
(Tortured new-wave with delicious rhythms. The Jam or Happy Mondays did it first, but these Brits make a new spin, and take it in to the digital age.)

4. His Name Is Alive, Detrola
(The most complete and precise album yet from this undergound sensation. Moody soul grooves mingle with lush vocals, minimalist instruments, and spooky arrangements.)

5. Jason Collett, Idols of Exile
(This guitarist for Broken Social Scene takes it back to the country, the alt.country, for his captivating new solo work. It’s clearly Canadian, but only in that Neil Young/Stars/Arcade Fire kind of way that transcends the borders of the Great White North.)

6. Dengue Fever, Escape from Dragon House
(The one not-entirely-new record on the list, this late-2005 release deserves a million mentions for surprisingly re-defining what “world music” can be and become. Starting with influences in Cambodia, and then turning it up a notch into the clouds of American indie-pop, this is a party record for a pitch-black party.)

7. Wolfmother, Wolfmother
(They were discovered at SXSW 2005, so it’s only fitting that these Aussie rockers came back with their U.S. major label debut. Due in about a month, this is punishing riffs and assault-happy vocals that will take the piss out of your – former – favorite bar brawl band. Guitar rock can keep living, if it lives this well.)

8. Editors, The Back Room
(I wrote up this record when it was released in Europe… now, it’s finally out in the States. U.K. answer to Interpol. Remember when Interpol’s debut sounded awesome despite the Joy Division rip-off? Well, the Editors are much more a joy and much less division.)

9. Kelley Stoltz, Below the Branches
(What you wish more singer-songwriter indie-rockers would sound like. Stoltz follows in the somber chamber pop tradition of masters like Sufjan Stevens and Iron & Wine. Classic.)

10. The M’s, Future Women
(Crushworthy arrangement of 60s pop and 70s noise-punk. Sounds like TV on the Radio, but with a heavier – and I mean heavier – emphasis on the rock. This is a band with a very bright future.)

And here’s some SXSW 2006 artists you’ll be hearing much more about in this blog, and everywhere else, in the near future:

Ariel Pink
The Arm
Art Brut
Band of Horses
The Noisettes

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