Staff Picks: 12/18 – 12/24

Mark Noisiri
Artist: McKenzie Eddy
Album: A Prelude to My Next Excursion
Comments: As the president of Dame Dash’s Bluroc Records, multigenre vocalist McKenzie Eddy has already been wow-ing me with her ability to be a capable versatile artist and have a strong handle on the business side as well. I recently got hip to her through listening to tracks she recorded with Curren$y and Murs. Juxtaposition is her calling card; sounding very much like an old soul transported to heavy modern electronic, neo-soul and rock based production. Everything from rock, pop, to even opera-oriented vocals are silk-woven into her precise sound selection. This particular album moves like a noir film soundtrack with features by Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Stalley, Chuck Inglish and more. McKenzie’s songs are already very interesting due to her cryptic lyrics, which read out with way more complexity than Jay-Z’s _Decoded_ book. Definitely one of the prime examples of refreshing music you can find out today and most definitely an artist to look out for in 2012.

Matt Fox
Assistant Editor
Artist: Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Album: F# A# ∞
Comments: There are very few albums that require demand undivided attention when listening. If you plan on putting this record on while doing your daily chores, don’t even bother. Godspeed’s debut album, F# A# ∞, is the quintessential concept album. Telling a story through nothing more than a few narrations, this dystopian work could easily serve as the soundtrack to The Road. From the most minimal of melodies to all out instrumental warfare, this is the type of album that everyone should check out at least once in their life. So if you’re a fan of thirty minute tracks, cold chill-inducing movements, or melodic desolation, pick this record out and give it a shot!

Courtnay Glatter
Artist: Lykke Li
Album: Youth Novels
Comments: While Lykke Li may not be the only Swedish pop star to come out with an English album (I’m looking at you, Robyn) she is the only one I have had on repeat this week. Her sound on 2008’s Youth Novels blends pop, electronic and indie rock to form an unbeatable alternative to Christmas music. While the album can be enjoyed year round, Lykke’s hypnotic voice and prodigious use of instruments seems fitting for the winter blues. Youth Novels incorporates her voice with songs about love and desire. She sings of lost love that she has clearly let go of in “I’m Good, I’m Gone” and sings about her love of crying in “Let It Fall.” She gets cheeky on her song “Complain Department,” telling everyone that if you gotta bitch, you gotta go elsewhere. So if any of you pop/indie music lovers are looking for a new lady to put on your ipod in 2012 look no farther than Lykke Li. Enjoy.

Carlos Reyes
Comments: It’s always cool to have bragging rights with an unknown band, and that’s what happened with GROUPLOVE. A few years ago I heard the song “Colours” on an online radio station, and for a couple of days I couldn’t get the melody  out of my head. I immediately bought the EP and hoped someday they would go big, and they’re getting there. Last week, I heard this same song on a Mexican radio station where they announced them as the next big thing. One can only hope.

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