(Four Tet, aka Kieran Hebden)
So far, 2010 has been the year of the producer. Producers - bands that produce their own music (Yeasayer), bands taking over the boards for the first time (Spoon), longtime production geniuses (Four Tet) and young up and comers (Keepaway) - are the reason behind everything on my playlist right now.
Here's a sampling of their best stuff:
Yeasayer - I Remember - I have already raved about both singles ("Ambling Arp" and "ONE") and this CD just keeps growing on me. The first half is very strong and the appeal lies squarely in their musical experimentation and layered instrumentation. If anything, Yeasayer try TOO much. Not a bad problem at all on your sophomore effort. I see these guys only heading for bigger and better things on LPs to come. "I Remember" is one of the few songs that follows just a couple of ideas and they execute on it beautifully.
Spoon - Who Makes You Money - My track of the year so far. Can't say enough about these guys.
Four Tet - Angel Echoes - Four Tet (pictured above) is the electronic moniker for Kieran Hebden, an absolute electonic music pioneer - from his days back in the the post-rock band Fridge to his intoxicating blending of hip-hop, folk and jazz as Four Tet. His newest album, There Is Love In You, is his best and most straight forward. Absolutely love this track, "Angel Echoes", which is possibly the best musical articulation of a track title I have ever heard. The vocals are haunting. You can see him live Saturday, February 27th at Echoplex.
Keepaway - Yellow Wings - The Animal Collective reference point is an obvious one here, but the Keepaway's, a young Brooklyn band, are more than just a lesser AC. They use simple samples and percussions to perfect effect on "Yellow Wings" off their debut EP, Baby Style. And they have something to say; lyrically more akin to indie rock past than the AC mold. Been addicted to this tune for weeks.