So I'd like to claim that I've left you guys hanging with no posts because the weather has been awesome and I've been outside experiencing life away from music, but it's really just because I'm lazy. In any event, it's too hot to go outside now, so have your friends over or put on your headphones and geek out to these six gems that I've enjoyed over the last four months:
1. Local Natives' Gorilla Manor wins my favorite album of the year so far, featuring vocals that sound like jazz instruments, wild percussion, and great tracks like "Airplanes," "Who Knows, Who Cares," "World News" and the sublime "Cubism Dream;"
2. It's Never Been Like That is "vintage" Phoenix (the album before their breakthrough) - it has a charming roughness to it, and like everything that Phoenix touches, is engineered for a good time;
3. "Let me be your everlasting light" doesn't sound dirty and weird at all, unless you hear it as the chorus to The Black Keys' "Everlasting Light," in which the band grinds out a slow rocker that will definitely make your next playlist;
4. "While I'm Away" from Good Old War is a short and sweet reminder of early Paul Simon and Beatles work, standing out on GOW's otherwise flaccid dad-rock album;
5. Blur released "Fool's Day" (the band's first recording since Think Tank) to only 1,000 fans on Record Store Day, but you can stream this Parklife-esque tune for free on the band's website;
6. In "Bloodbuzz Ohio," The National's Matt Berninger generates lyrical hooks that will soak into your brain, and is backed by perfectly loud drums and a band that sounds like it could bust at the seams any second, but keeps it together for four and a half fantastic minutes (tell the truth, you could only insert the obvious joke here if it were half that time).