The Key Of Geek: Must Listens Of 2012, Part 4

The list is getting closer to the end, but the quality tunes are still rolling!

The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind

Ben Folds Five

If you’ve been longing for a reason to headbang along with a piano, your long search is over. Ben Folds Five have returned after nearly 13 record-less years with The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, an album that picks up where they left off while treading new territory. Leadoff track ‘Erase Me’ and single ‘Do It Anyway’ surge with boundless energy and help shake off any of the dust accumulated during the bands hiatus. ‘Hold That Thought’ contains rich harmony and a stellar melody. ‘Thank You For Breaking My Heart’ closes the record in expert fashion, leaving you with one of Folds‘ finest ballads. If you are looking for a record that will demand repeated listens, then look no further than the newest disc by Ben Folds Five.

Listen on Spotify: The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind


Two Door Cinema Club

Beacon is an introspective, contemplative dance party that never lets you rest. ‘Next Year’ kicks things off with spirited hooks, and the record that follows further builds on this tune’s sense melodic interplay coupled with big beats and heartfelt lyrics. The band is on point throughout, and the delicate, purposeful vocals by Alex Trimble are a perfect fit to the electronic infused indie rock sound the band has perfected. If you’ve always wanted to dance your troubles away, Two Door Cinema Club have you covered with Beacon.

Listen on Spotify: Beacon


The Gaslight Anthem

If you ever wanted Bruce Springsteen to make a record with Social Distortion or Bad Religion, it looks like the closest you will ever come is Handwritten. The Gaslight Anthem possess the ability to combine scathing lyrics and razor sharp riffs with nostalgic, anthem style melodies that feel like the encapsulation of a generation. The band’s style of ‘every man rock and roll’ makes tunes like the relentless ’45’ or the bouncy mid-tempo ‘Here Comes My Man’ an absolute delight. The band have honed their sound so expertly, that by album’s end even the biggest of doubters have to admit one thing: The Gaslight Anthem are among today’s best at producing pure, unfiltered rock and roll.

Listen on Spotify: Handwritten

Break It Yourself

Andrew Bird

Break It Yourself is poetry in melody as well as word, and Andrew Bird‘s effort on this magnificent record is not to be glossed over. His work on the violin is some of the most jaw dropping you will hear, not to mention his passionate tenor over the work of his finely tuned songwriting skills. Each track flows into the next, giving a homespun outdoor concert feeling to the record. It feels like you are present at the creation of something special with each listen. ‘Desperation Breeds”¦’ and ‘Orpheo Looks Back’ will give you a taste of the range of the record, and also see the country tinged ‘Lusitania’ for more wonderful craft. Andrew Bird cannot be contained by the restraints of the term “Folk”, and neither should you.

Listen on Spotify: Break It Yourself

Blak and Blu

Gary Clark Jr.

When Gary Clark Jr. sings “I don’t believe in competition/Ain’t nobody else like me around” in the first lines of the exhilarating Ain’t Messing ‘Round’, you not only believe that he believes it, you’ll also be hard-pressed to detract the sentiment. His skills on the guitar are exemplary, his voice is velvety smooth and perfect for the blues, and his songwriting alone could make him highly sought after in his field. All of these traits combine on Blak and Blu, a wholly remarkable album. ‘When My Train Pulls In’ is a soulful ode to the genre, a nearly eight minute suite that will never let your ear wander. Many have stated that Gary Clark Jr. is the future of the blues, and after one listen to Blak and Blu, you’ll have all the confidence in that sentiment that Clark has in himself.

Listen on Spotify: Blak and Blu

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