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White Noise: 4 Great Albums for Winter: Intro

Monday, 21 November 2011

4 Great Albums for Winter: Intro

Since I did my big summer playlists and features about 6 months ago, I’ve been waiting for an opportune moment to write something more personal again. Although this blog focuses entirely on Electronic and Dance music, just a few years ago terms like House, Bass and Dubstep didn’t really mean anything to me. My introduction to the world of music came in the form of 90s and 2000s Indie and Alternative albums, a world which I’ve all but had to leave behind to keep up with the bafflingly vast and ever-changing Dance scene. As a result there’s not a lot of new acoustic music in my life, because when you listen to Electronic stuff all day, searching for new takes on existing styles and re-interpretations of dance tropes it becomes harder to fall in love with a set-up which is almost always a guitar, a vocalist, a bassist and a drummer. This difficulty doesn’t quite come into play with old classics from more than 20 years ago or more experimental, far-flung acoustic projects, but it certainly makes it harder to welcome every new Indie or Alternative band like you’ve never heard anything like them before.

At the same time, it is undeniable that these bands hold a power that only the greatest Electronic producers can achieve; the power to move easily through expressive lyrics and the humanity of their musicianship, which is all too often lost in laptop production. Don’t get me wrong, some laptop-produced albums are among the most powerful and transportative in my collection, but the ones that really make you feel, in your stomach and your heart rather than your head, tend to be releases where a computer wasn’t even introduced until the mixing stage.

This all coincides rather conveniently with the encroaching winter season, where a bit of humanity and warmth is just what is required from your daily listening. By no means am I talking about happy music, but that analogue richness that organic instruments naturally produce that only the best laptop producers can re-create with any real fidelity. So for my winter feature I’d like to briefly discuss some of my favourite acoustic albums for the season, because although I’m not still moving with the times on the Pitchfork front, I can’t stop loving my old favourites from the last few years or so. If you’re an Electro-head then maybe take a rest to give one of these albums a listen, and if you’re a fan of Indie or Alternative music then you’ll probably already know them, but maybe give them another spin, for winter’s sake.

And just in case you’re interested, if I took Electronic releases out of the equation, all four of these albums would place in my top ten of all time.

PS – I’d probably have included The National on here too if I hadn’t covered them in an extensive feature over the summer.



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