Maps Of Norway

December 10, 2008

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Maps of Norway are in fact not Norwegian but American, hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their moody mixture of indie pop, post-rock  and early UK 80s influences got its start in 2004 when formed by former Vespertine-members Jeff Ball (drums) and Eric Hanson (guitar). The band was later perfected when Rebecca Leigh joined and added her distinctive vocal antics to the mix, not to mention bass player Matt Helgeson.

Four years later Maps of Norway have finally completed their debut Die Off Songbird, an album filled with shrilling guitars and an atmosphere that brings The Chameleons and even Bauhaus to mind. Though a bit too drawn out at times, Die Off Songbird is still a must listen for anyone who likes dark new wave as well as good old post-rock. Rebecca Leigh’s vocals are bordering on hypnotic and could probably make even the most boring song sound exciting. 

~ “The Lights”, “The Runout” ~

Rae Spoon

November 24, 2008

Hailing from the Canadian prairies, Rae Spoon set out to tour the world in his early twenties. Back then his music was mostly country oriented but on his fourth album, the up-coming superioryouareinferior, Spoon has a gone towards a more advanced sound, blending the country with bluegrass, indie rock and experimental nuances.

As a young transgendered artist, Rae Spoon has found inspiration in the darker sides of being open about his identity, resulting in some of the most beautiful songs I’ve personally heard in a long time. He blends hope with fear, reassurance with despair, taking you on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

While his previous albums have only been released digitally, superioryouareinferior (out on October 7th) will also be available as a physical album. I highly suggest that you pick up a copy, regardless of its format. This is definitely one of the best albums of the year for me.

~ “Come On Forest Fire Burn The Disco Down” ~