This year was all about X chromosomes. Female-fronted acts came out with some stellar albums.
Personally, I’m discovering my taste is being ever more focused on pop music. It’s possibly spurred by less free time. I’ve lost my patience for twelve minute experiential soundscapes. Give me a melody. And if the chorus crescendoes into a bridge? I’m sold.
Tegan & Sara – Heartthrob
Power pop at its catchiest. Every track on this album is a heavy hitter, deserving of its own musical interlude in the next Joseph Gordon Levitt movie. My only regret is that I’m not a 15 year old girl who can get away with belting these songs into her hairbrush.
HAIM – Days Are Gone
Is it okay to honestly love this album? I feel as soon as I hear of HAIM, my hipster compulsions coerced me to dismiss it as mainstream drivel. But the whole album is a delight. Most songs have that uncanny sound of a long-lost hit song from the past. The ascending bass arpeggio on The Wire could go platinum itself.
Patterns – Dangerous Intentions
At first listen, Patterns has the making of yet another 80’s nostalgia act. Most acts of the sub-genre are content with employing the synth-pop cliché like a crutch. But Patterns use it as a platform to set up lead vocalist Michelle Gonzalez to sizzle and pop like hot peppers on a skillet. Woman can sing.
Thanks to Talbs for his initial recommendation on this one.
Sky Ferreira – Night Time, My Time
For about a month I had this song stuck in my head. Jangly power chord riffs, female vocals, catchy chorus. I had the memory of the song, but couldn’t verify its lyrics, let alone its origin. The song was so infectious that I bugged my co-workers for 20 minutes to help me identify it, shamelessly singing the one melody over and over. They were of no help.
But to my luck, I was able to resolve the mystery as I listened through Night Time, My Time. Even better, the true song and rest of the album live up to the ideal I kept in my head for so long.