By Kate

The title of this playlist pretty much says it all: I chose one song from each of five albums that have been released in the last couple of months (or in the last couple of weeks, for two of them). New album releases tend to slow down during the holiday season and then explode in the spring- that’s definitely the case this year, because there is no shortage of great new music to listen to. Here are just a few examples from albums that are worth checking out:

“Repetition” from Nine Types of Light by TV On The Radio
I’ve been a fan of TVOTR since the Young Liars EP. The band has a huge range of influences-  the two founding members are also visual artists, so their influences aren’t simply musical ones-  and their willingness to change perspective and experiment with their sound is demonstrated with each album release.

“Jerome” from Wounded Rhymes by Lykke Li
Youth Novels was Lykke Li’s debut album- which I also recommend- but she’s probably more recognizable in a mainstream sense because her song “Possibility” was on the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack. Regardless of your feelings about the behemoth that is the Twilight franchise, it’s a good song- and like this track, a good example of Lykke Li’s sound.

“Rabbit Will Run” from Kiss Each Other Clean by Iron & Wine
I played The Shepherd’s Dog to death in the months following its release. (Sorry, Slackers coworkers!)  It’s stayed in pretty heavy rotation in the four years that followed, but it’s nice to have something new to throw in the mix. While Sam Beam’s sound is continually evolving, and as different instruments are added, his new songs are still unmistakably his.

“Don’t Carry It All”  from The King Is Dead by The Decemberists
In a change from the elaborately Victorian era- based albums of their past, The King is Dead is distinctively influenced by American folk and rock of the 60s and after. I chose this song because of its tempo, but I also really liked the slower ballads on this album (like “June Hymn”).

“The Plains/ Bitter Dancer” from Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes sound as if they are performing in a cavern with amazing acoustics. It’s apparent that every layered and complex moment of each song has been created with meticulous intent. If you missed all the buzz with their first (self-titled) album in 2008, now’s the time to check them out.

And on an unrelated note,

This is Klaus. His favorite song is the Friday Night Lights theme song- seriously, he loves that show. He comes to the edge of his cage and watches it over my shoulder. He was pretty mad that I didn’t include it on this, but it wasn’t a new release. He’ll just have to make his own playlist.

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