2013 is only a month old, but I’ve been enjoying some much anticipated releases, leaving me with the hope that this will be an exciting year for music.
A$AP Rocky ‘LONG.LIVE.A$AP’ Chances are you probably copped a leak of this late last year, but it’s official release was January 15, and it quickly to #1 on three Billboard charts and solidified Mr. Rocky has one of hip-hops newest stars. The album is full of guest stars, including 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar and even Florence Welch, but A$AP doesn’t let them outshine him on his debut which features smooth cuts like the first single “Goldie.” Some collaborations, like Skrillex on “Wild For The Night,” oddly work while others like Santigold, whom I usually love, on “Hell” miss the mark. He’s fine all by himself on “Fashion Killa” working in references to designers like Isabel Marant and the always popular Tom Ford. With ‘Long Live,’ A$AP easily became one of my favorite rappers, and it doesn’t hurt that he has a mega-watt smile. Buy it on iTunes
Blood Red Shoes ‘Water-EP’ BRS released the heavy ‘In Time To Voices’ last year, but come back even harder with three songs I hope are a preview for what’s to come from them. Usually guitarist Laura-Mary Carter handles most of the vocals but drummer Steven Ansell takes over on the White Stripes-ish “Black Distractions” and slightly dark “Idle Hands.” I’m excited to see what else they’ll deliver this year but this will do for now. Buy on iTunes
The Joy Formidable ‘Wolf’s Law’ Much like BRS, The Joy Formidable sound much bigger than their three members, offering up crunchy rock riffs with interesting and somehwhat ethereal lyrics. They made a big splash in 2011 with their debut ‘The Big Roar’ and instantly garnered my attention with singles like “Whirring.” On ‘Wolf’s Law’ the band experiments with new sounds and the influence of nature and social issues is evident on songs like “The Leopard and The Lung,” with the opening track and lead single “This Ladder Is Ours” setting the epic tone for the album. What really makes the songs for me are Ritzy Bryan‘s vocals, and how can you not like a blonde, pixie-ish lead singer named Ritzy? Buy on iTunes!