The National new song Day I Die

If you’ve been following The National on YouTube you’ll know they’ve been slowly releasing tracks from their upcoming album.  The latest is Day I Die and it follows the formula of the past three in being pure uncompromising signature The National.

The new album is titled Sleep Well Beast and you can preorder it in multiple formats on Amazon.

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The National new track Exile Vilify

The brooding boys from Brooklyn have pushed out another solid track in the form of Exile Vilify.  Oddly enough it appears on the soundtrack to the latest blockbuster video game Portal 2.  Although the track probably won’t be called for during an encore it’s a simple look at how great The National really are.

mp3 : The National – Exile Vilify

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The Best Albums of 2010

The past year was filled with unforgettable music.  As I was poring over all of the great albums I began agonizing (often vocally to my wife) about how I was possibly going to choose which albums would make this list.  Throughout the past two months I’ve been listening to twenty albums on constant repeat and below I present to you the fruits of this labor.

01 : The National – High Violet (amazon) (itunes)

The National crafted an album in 2010 that surpassed all of the hype that has been surrounding them since they released their album Alligator in 2005.  Of all the great music in 2010 this album narrowly surpassed the rest of the pack in grabbing and holding my attention the most.

mp3 : The National – Sorrow
mp3 : The National – Conversation 16

02 : Cloud Cult – Light Chasers (amazon) (itunes)

There are five or six albums in this list that could have easily laid claim to the coveted number one position.  Light Chasers sits at number two on the list because every single song adds to the story arc and each track contributes something new, yet cohesive, to the experience.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – The Invocation (p.1) – You’ll Be Bright
mp3 : Cloud Cult – The Arrival – There’s So Much Energy In Us

03 : Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz (amazon) (itunes)

Many people didn’t know what to think of Sufjan’s return to music.  He eschewed his well known banjo and modern folk interpretations and instead produced a sprawling epic that combines intricate storytelling with even more intricate electronic compositions.  Truly a great album.

mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Now That I’m Older
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Vesuvius

04 : Jonsi – Go (amazon) (itunes)

Jonsi went solo this year from Sigur Ros and he came up with an album that sounds as great as his band, but it moves along with a joy and brevity that they don’t typically employ.

mp3 : Jonsi – Kolnidur

05 : Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (amazon) (itunes)

When you see Arcade Fire at fifth on this it’s easy to see just how hard it was to arrange the top ten.  The only problem I have with this album (which is the same as everyone else) is that it isn’t full of songs on the same level as Wake Up.  I know that isn’t fair, but it’s what we’re all waiting for.

mp3 : Arcade Fire – Rococo

06 : Vampire Weekend – Contra (amazon) (itunes)

In 2008 I was ready to write these Ivy League yuppie kids off as a typical flash in the pan.  On their sophomore album they’ve found a way to turn smug indie rock into something worth listening to over and over again.

mp3 : Vampire Weekend – Horchata

07 : Broadcast 2000 – Broadcast 2000 (amazon) (itunes)

The only reason this great album doesn’t move higher on the list is that many of the songs appeared two full years ago on their debut EP.

mp3 : Broadcast 2000 – Rouse Your Bones

08 : Freelance Whales – Weathervanes (amazon) (itunes)

Having been released back in early April it’s easy to see why many list makers completely forgot about this slice of well crafted folk pop.  The entire album is well crafted and infectious.

mp3 : Freelance Whales – Generator Second Floor

09 : Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (amazon) (itunes)

While I don’t agree with his lyrics, his message, his ego, or his personality I do agree with critics and listmakers across the globe that realize this album is worth looking past Ye’s flaws.

mp3 : Kanye West – Lost In The World (feat. Bon Iver)

10 : Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History (amazon) (itunes)

Each year I seem to find one amazing pop album that I can listen to again and again.  In 2009 it was Phoenix and in 2010 it was Two Door Cinema Club.

mp3 : Two Door Cinema Club – Eat That Up, It’s Good For You

Those are my top ten albums for 20010.  If you’d like to see my previous lists follow these links; 2009, 2008, 2007 (or click here to see all 4 years on one page).  I’m looking forward to 2011 in music as there will most likely be albums by Radiohead, Coldplay, Bon Iver, and The Strokes.  Enjoy the music.

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Surrounded covers The National

I wade through my inbox about once a week and it’s fairly rare that anything really catches my attention amidst the various detritus I’m sent from PR firms, myspace kids, and random self promoters.  About once every other month, however, I am pleasantly surprised by an email that is short, to the point, well written, and contains a little musical gem.  This time around the email came from Marcus Knutsson and essentially said “Last saturday when we rehearsed and recorded some new stuff, we did a cover of National’s Bloodbuzz Ohio. Its shot with my videocamera in my livingroom in Gothenburg (Sweden) …it turned out pretty good i think.”

Well I think it turned out pretty good as well.  This is a perfect cover.

mp3 : Surrounded – Bloodbuzz Ohio (The National Cover)

You can also watch the recording on Youtube here.

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The National album High Violet

At some point over the last three months I lost track of this brilliant album.  This album that will probably sit at or toward to the top of most year end lists five months from now.  The odd part is that I literally listened to this album on repeat for over a full month.  I listened to it so much that my fiance (now my wife) groaned every time we took my car anywhere because it was literally all The National all the time.

So what happened?  And why review it now when it’s a already old news?  It’s because I forgot about this album.  It’s not that I forgot it existed or that I grew bored with it.  In fact I’m listening to it right now and it’s still solid from start to end.  It was rather the album is so good, so instantly timeless, that my subconscious filed it away with albums I’ve loved over the last 15 years of my life.  Now bear with me because this is where my review turns more personal anecdote, but it’s my blog, I pay the bills, so I’m allowed to indulge occasionally.

As part of getting married (about two weeks ago) I moved to a new location which requires a 40 minute commute to work each day.  This commute, although frustrating in that I have to commute at all, is very relaxing for me personally and has allowed me to listen to a new album, all they way through, twice a day.  To be honest it’s the most dedicated music listening I’ve been able to spend in the last three or four months combined.  And on these trips I decided to take a tour through my old favorites.  I started with Sufjan Stevens’ Greetings from Michigan.  Then I moved on to the Smashing Pumpkins album Adore, followed by Page France with Come I’m a Lion, and Radiohead’s Kid A.  For good measure I listened The Weakerthan’s Reunion Tour before rocking on with Weezer’s The Blue Album followed immediately by Weezer’s Pinkerton.

Most of these albums sit similarly in my brain on two levels.  First they’re great albums which I’ve loved for a long time.  Secondly, by some freak of memory, I still know almost every lyric to every track on all of those albums.  At some point, somewhere deep into this trip into my high school and university musical infatuations it hit me, I realized that my brain had already catalogued the latest album from The National, High Violet (amazon) (itunes), as “music that is inherently so well put together I’ll still like it 5, 10, and 20 years from now.”  I hadn’t forgotten about this musical masterpiece I had simply assumed that anything that sounds as complete as High Violet does must be filed away separately from all other current albums.

mp3 : The National – Runaway
mp3 : The National – Conversation 16

By far Conversation 16 is my favorite track on the album – it speaks of zombies and being afraid, what more do you need?  The rest of the song are brilliant in their own way, and yet together the 11 songs on High Violet find a way to combine for an even greater musical experience.  Everyone alive should hear this album at least once.

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Sufjan Stevens Apparently Not as Dead as His Musical Career – Lends Some Help to The National

I’ve been listening to an advance copy of The National’s upcoming album High Violet and let me first say, before digressing into a boring diatribe, that it is a masterpiece.  Quite simply it is brilliant and will feature prominently in almost all best of 2010 lists.  That being said let the wild rant commence.

Sufjan Stevens could be dead for all we know.  He hasn’t served up a proper album since his Illinois themed masterpiece went on sale in July of 2005.  That’s almost five full years without even so much as a hint that a new album is coming.  Now sure, you can argue that he gave us The Avalanche in 2006 (but that’s just extra material and b sides for Come on Feel the Illinoise) or his Songs for Christmas box set (but that’s mostly old recordings and group material that was officially put in a set) or his latest incarnation The BQE (but that’s hardly a Sufjan album by any stretch of the imagination).  In the general scheme of things our dear Sufjan has largely disappeared.

Occasionally he surfaces to play a small string of live shows, but those are few and very far between and serve mostly to push a new band his label, Asthmatic Kitty, has signed.  And let’s be honest, no band on Asthmatic Kitty comes close to living up to the guy who signs their checks.  Granted he’s randomly dropped a few new songs (or rather song ideas) during some of these shows, but not a single one has been properly recorded to date.

A year ago I posted an open letter to Sufjan Stevens here on TWF.  I never received a reply, a hint, or even a rumour that things were moving forward.  I did, however, receive a small gift.  Later that year Sufjan went on a mini tour in US and I was able to attend a show.  He played for us a few new songs scattered amongst a solid set and then promptly disappeared into the night.  Today, again, we get rare proof that Sufjan Stevens is not dead.  On the upcoming album from The National, High Violet (amazon), Sufjan lends his haunting vocals and harmonies to

mp3 : The National – Afraid of Everyone

The track is gorgeous, dark, and layered in a way that fits perfectly with The National.  And yet in the background there is the cathartic and haunting vocal track provided by our elusive hero.  Is this enough to sate Sufjan fans?  Probably not.  But at least we can rest assured that he’s still alive and still interested enough in quality music to lend a helping hand to his friends.

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The National new track Bloodbuzz Ohio

The National have seen it fit to throw another bone to their eagerly waiting fans.  I happen to be one of these fellows waiting patiently for scraps from the masters table.  Their just released track, off their upcoming album High Violet (amazon), Bloodbuzz Ohio has been performed live for over a year (I heard it last summer at Pitchfork Music Festival) and will appear as the sixth song when the album is released.

mp3 : The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

I would like to take a moment here and pause as this is my 500th post on The World Forgot.  I started blogging almost four years ago now and it’s been a privilege to be able to bring new and exciting music to all of you.  Recently the background architecture for TWF has undergone a rather painful upgrade process (if you notice the sidebar over on the right is still mostly barren).  Hopefully this behind the scenes upgrade will allow me to improve the functionality and use of this site as a place to discover new music.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by or is currently subscribing via RSS.  And, as always, enjoy the music.

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The National new track Terrible Love

Last night one of my favorite bands, The National, used Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (another favorite of mine) to debut a new song from their upcoming album.  As is par for the course when performing live on a late night talk show the sound quality isn’t exactly brilliant, but the song has a certain shine anyway.  Have a listen.

mp3 : The National – Terrible Love (Live)

Terrible Love will appear on the upcoming album High Violet which is due out on May 11.  If the rest of the tracks are as solid as Terrible Love we’re all in for a treat.

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