Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.
For what it’s worth, I’ve spent most of my 20s as a devoted Decemberists-head, coming in right around the release of Picaresque, staying for the genius The Crane Wife, working through the more difficult The Hazards of Love (“The Wanting Comes in Waves” is still epic) and experiencing that feeling of musical euphoria over The King is Dead, maybe the best album of 2011.
Maybe you think Colin Meloy is too bookish, too stuffy, too “that guy” to be one of the best songwriters in the world. I guess I’ve never been that way. And yet, somehow, I was never turned onto Tarkio, the band Meloy formed while he was a graduate student at the University of Montana in the late 90s. This was before the Decemberists, of course. And I’m still not sure how I never knew this band existed until about six months ago.
Here’s something else. I figured it was true. But I looked it up as I was writing this endorsement. When Meloy formed Tarkio, he was three or four years younger than I am now. These realizations happen as you get older, I guess. But it’s still amazing to me. Especially when you listen to this.
— Rustin Dodd
If dance music should make you want to dance, it doesn’t make much sense that the best dance album of the year makes you want to do anything but move. “Gossamer” is Passion Pit’s sophomore LP, the Boston band’s follow-up to “Manners,” the most mathy, frenetic and wonderful album of 2009.
While “Manners” hid its less-than-sunny lyrical disposition under a wall of massive synths, big beats and the occasional guitar, “Gossamer” lets the bad vibes loose with front-and-center vocals that deal with the bad side of pills, alcohol and mental illness. The contrast between the lyrical content and the music is stark and unsettling. It’s hard to dance to something so depressing. It’s also hard to resist listening to an album so confessional and so great. – Asher Fusco