After a few slow months in late 2012, the first thirty-one days of the new year have already brought some life back to the music scene. A few releases this past month have really taken me by surprise, which is a great start to the year. To honor this great music, I decided to share some first tracks from some of my favorite albums from this year’s first month. Album openers are such a tricky thing in music. You want to grab your audiences attention immediately, but you also don’t want to blow your load too early. That always ends up a bit messy. In essence, the idea is to have something that previews the energy of the album and is somewhat accessible, but not so heavy that it wears the audience out. The short playlist I put together below I feel has some very strong examples of first tracks, and hopefully it inspires some to want to listen to the rest of the albums they each came from. They are all worth a listen in my opinion. So here you are, some first tracks from the first month of 2013 on this, the first Friday of February:
Foxygen – “In The Darkness”
I already touched on, not only Foxygen, but this song specifically once already this week so I decided to get it out of the way early. It’s just too good to not list. Out of all the openers I am about to list, this one probably has the best rest of the album that follows it.
FIDLAR – “Cheap Beer”
Aggressive, fast-paced, punk-faced, sarcastic-rock is something that has always gotten me going. FIDLAR is certainly no exception, and the opening track just makes me want to rage in an all-out bar brawl. And with the Dick Dale-ish surf-rock guitar stylings in this song, I’d prefer a bar as close to a beach as possible. I think this goes without saying, but cheap beer would be a must as well. (Duh)
Tegan & Sara – “Closer”
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard anything from these lovely ladies, but absence has only made my heart grow fonder. “Closer” is a perfect opener to a beautiful album, and also one that gives me a reason to start dancing my ass off. With Ke$ha and Katy Perry still providing my most recent female dance tunes, it’s good to have a year with Tegan & Sara and Yeah Yeah Yeahs to look forward to.
Mystical Weapons – “Impossible Shapes”
Sometimes you need a break from lyrics. Especially when you have the likes of Deerhoof’s drummer Greg Saunier and Sean Lennon playing together. I’ve never been an extreme fan of Sean’s previous work, but this album makes me second guess why I haven’t. High octane, grungy jazz-rock … what’s not to like?
Widowspeak – “Perennials”
Widowspeak’s sophomore album, much like Foxygen’s, has really peaked my interest level in the band. “Perennials” is a soft but slow progression of a beautifully noisy, grungy, avant-garde rock song. If any track on this list is a perfect window into the soul of the album that follows it, this is the one. Mixing this type of noise behind Molly Hamilton’s chillingly beautiful voice makes for a fantastic grunge band.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “From the Sun”
Okay, so this is cheating just a bit. The album doesn’t actually come out until next week, and it’s a solid follow-up to their self titled debut album. The opening track starts off with a blissfully soft, yet happy guitar lick, leading up to the bit more mellowdramtic lyrics of “Isolation can put a gun in your hand.” As it slowly sucks you in, it then pops into a bit of a more upbeat tune to perfectly segue into a near perfect album. Not that I have heard it yet of course, because it comes out next week.
Well that’s my first ever, first month’s first track playlist. I have to say, I’m quite happy with it. Hear is to the rest of 2013 … may it follow through as well as it began. Thanks for listening.