Music

The main genre I listen would most certainly be indie pop, although I do occasionally wander into plain indie or standard pop. A few artists aside, I dislike rap, r n b, rock, you name it. Below are my favourite bands, (very) roughly listed in order of greatness (descending), with a  few recommendations to their best songs.

Decemberists

Best songs: Legionnaire’s Lament, O Valencia!, We both go down together, July July!, Isn’t it a lovely night?

Their the least pop-ish out of my favourite indie bands, but most definitely the best. Perhaps because of the endlessly smart lyrics, maybe the unique way those lyrics are sung, or the easily recognisable and evocative sound, or the mixture of all three. I could listen to Legionnaire’s Lament over and over again, and I occasionally find myself doing that, forgetting to turn the loop option off.

Architecture in Helsinki

Best songs: Like it or not, Debbie, Do the Whirlwind

They’re an utterly individual unique and crazy band, with an unmistakable sound. There’s no way I could listen through Places like This (their latest album) without having some endorphins thrown into my bloodstream.

Belle and Sebastian

Best songs: Another Sunny Day, I’m a Cuckoo, Get me away from here I’m dying

A soft and comfortable band with songs that you can easily listen to. However, their lack of roughness sometimes means they’re not as satisfying as others.

Los Campesinos

Best songs: Death to Los Campesinos, You! Me! Dancing!, We are beautiful we are doomed

Criticised for being garish, mainstream, maybe even a little immature, but this is the main reason they’re great. They’re not afraid to play what they want to play, and it makes for brilliant listening. Ever in a funk? Put your speakers on full and listen to You! Me! Dancing!. The long build-up makes the resulting 5 minutes of crashing happiness all the better.

Yo La Tengo

Best songs: Mr. Tough, Beach Party Tonight, Beanbag Chair, Moonrock Mambo

A more relaxed and calmer sound than Campesinos, but still in the same vein. Also, they have the best album name ever, so go look it up.

Stereolab

Best songs: Neon Beanbag, Three Women, One Finger Symphony, Chemical Chords

While some of their songs border on a mutated form on rock, stuff like beanbag is great. Very easy to listen to, very easy to get into to.

The Delgados

Best songs: Coming in from the cold, The Light Before We Land, I Fought the Angels

While appearing to be deppressing at first, the Delgados actually have a very subtle sound, requiring a little patience to fully enjoy. Take the whole song in, don’t skip to the chorus.

Florence + The Machine – You’ve got the love, Dog Days

The Russian Futurists – Precious Metals

Ladyhawke – Paris is Burning

Of Montreal – Gallery Piece

Chisel – It’s alright, you’re OK

Tilly and the Wall – Dust me off

Girl Talk

You need to listen to the whole album Feed the Animals, which is played as one continuous track. Trust me, you will enjoy. The rap is equalised by the mainstream tunes, the rock with the pop, the oldies with the r n b. It’s an intricate balancing act, and it works well.

The Ting Tings – Great DJ, Shut up and let me go, That’s not my name

Does it offend you, yeah? – We are rockstars

Dizzee Rascal – Come Dance With Me, Flex, Pussyole (Old Skool)

The Thermals – Tangerine

Frou Frou – Flicks, Let Go, Breathe In

Goldfrapp – Ooh la la, Happiness

Saturday looks good to me – Underwater Heartbeat

The Lonely Island – Dick in a Box, Jizz in my Pants, I’m on a boat

Flight of the Conchords – Sugalumps, Muthauckers

 

Finding Music

Go on the blogs near the end of the year. They tend to publish their favourite songs and albums, especially media journalists. Alternatively, go on last.fm or Spotify and listen to artist radio, which plays a few songs by the artist you’ve selected, as well as a choice of similar songs.

Listening to Music

Spotify is the best choice. Millions of tracks, absolutely free, and only a tiny download.

Getting Music

Piracy is bad. But still, 75% of the price of an album in a store goes to the shop itself, and most of the remaining quarter to the label. Also, huge mega-popular artists could live without some of their money. However, indie bands, like most of the ones I’ve listed above, barely scrape a living, so don’t pirate them. But if you must, I hear Limewire is good. Or if you don’t want your computer riddled with viruses, use this.

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