Staff Picks: 1/29 – 2/4

Mark Nosiri
Artist: How to Destroy Angels
Album: How to Destroy Angels EP
Comments: I’ve been diving into the mind of Trent Reznor for the past few weeks and wasn’t aware of his latest project, How to Destroy Angels, until very recently. Everything about this band grabs me; the name How to Destroy Angels is incredibly epic, the fact that Reznor’s wife, Mariqueen Maandig, handles vocals, and production is assisted by Reznor’s chief collaborator, Atticus Ross. It is just about as sentimental and untouchable as a combination can get. HtDA’s self-titled debut EP showcases a sound that at times feels like Nine Inch Nails except with Mariqueen singing instead of Trent (not that I mind), but also goes into some nice electronic/dance/world music fusion territory. Highly recommended for fans of Reznor’s past work, and be sure to check them out on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo soundtrack as well.

James Brightman
Artist: Mull Historical Society
Album: City Awakenings
Comments: This has to be my favorite album of 2012…so far. Yes, it’s twee. Yes, it’s happiness in a flimsy hourglass, but I love it! If ever there was a record needed to brighten up the darkest month of the year, it’s this one. I would go so far to say that it’s Mull Historical Society’s finest album to date. It’s so good, I’m talking in sound bites! Alt-pop loveliness! Wam-bam prettiness! But seriously, you need this album in your life – otherwise you’ll be considered dull by all your friends. So there.

Carlos Reyes
Artist: Amy Winehouse
Lioness: Hidden Treasures
My first instinct was to hate Lioness: Hidden Treasures because it was clearly a ploy to make more money off of Amy Winehouse. However, it was impossible to stay away from this material being a major fan of her. I have to admit I’m glad I have these recordings with me because there are some really good tunes, especially “Our Day Will Come” and “A Song For You.” While I liked the album version of “Wake Up Alone” better it’s still nice to listen to the original one featured on this disc, and can you really go wrong with any cover version of “The Girl From Ipanema?” I think not.

Matt Fox
Assistant Editor
Artist: of Montreal
Album: Paralytic Stalks
Comments: For the first time since Hissing Fauna, I feel like I can honestly say that I have fallen in love with of Montreal’s latest effort. After giving up on their attempt at a second comeback to the mainstream, Paralytic Stalks is a reversion to their old ways, but with a twist bringing a new level of interest. With undeniable melodies from tracks such as “Dour Percentage” and “Winter Debts,” this is an album that will refuse to leave your whistling repertoire. A review of the album will be out on TST Tuesday, so keep your eyes peeled!