Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Top Ten Indie Rock Albums Portending Doom and Rebirth

The Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead
This album expresses the beauty, emotional passion, and sincere battling of youth life, in times of confusion, agnosticism, post-modernism and delight in life. Keep your eyes ahead challenges and rebels against much of life, while hinting at a greater expression of joy elsewhere. Distorted, experimental indie rock with vocals flashing from haunting to rythmic. 

Mew - No More Stories are Told Today I'm Sorry They Washed Away The World is Grey I'm Tired Let's Wash Away
No more stories expresses the beauty of searching, the beauty of life's melancholy twists and turns, toying with self-destruction, joyously walking through solitude, light, darkness, and the danger of living in angst and sorrow.  It is at times a celebration, at times an elegy, at times hopeful, at times dismal, and always mysteriously beautiful. 


Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon digest manages to make us nostalgic for things that never really happened, but isn't that the story of drug addiction anyway? Are these brutal memories truly a halcyon digest or are they sinister crippling sorrows? How easy it is to lie to ourselves about the past.  The electronic/guitar driven tones of the digest are haunting in their mix of hope and fear, delight in joy and beauty while also reflecting on total desperation, crippling sorrow, depression, and repeatedly rippling with cries like "pray for me" and "somebody help me."  I've always loved music best defined as "happy, but sad" because that is how I experience life.  And it tends to a constant that life is both tragic and beautiful, good and terrible. 

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
This classic album needs no introduction. It accurately depicted the mood of an entire generation of millennials born into the suburbs, into modernism and post-modernism, finding boredom out of affluence, and a yearning for justice in a world often populated with corruption, yet also expressing the hope of a generation for greater things.  

Bon Iver - For Emma Forever Ago
Justin Vernon certainly knows how to express the wintery cold of Wisconsin, my homeland, he resided I believe in Eau Claire, just two hours from my home town of Wausau.  The wintery-feeling tones of For Emma Forever Ago jived so well with the angst of lost love, the beauty of the seasons, the joy of solitude and self-expression and an appreciation for the beautiful melancholy of life.  

Boards of Canada - Music has the right to Children
Unlike any other group I think Boards of Canada has the ability to stir in me the most mysterious emotions and appealing twists of reality. The confusion, depression, anxiety, and emptiness of a life without meaning, without truth, and without God are well expressed in the fragmented, gorgeous sounds of Music has the right to Children. No other techno touches Boards of Canada in my view.  It's on another level.  The tones paint landscapes, they express more than mere emotions or ideas, they express dynamic stories, dreams untold, and memories of far away places. There is nothing like Boards of Canada, in an ability to express beauty and horror. 

The Foals - Total Life Forever
Particularly the last four songs of Total Life Forever have a special place in my heart.  The angst, the elegy of the songs, the crying out for a different approach, the beautiful guitar riffs, the atmospheric vibe, it was hopeful while expressing the suffering found in any true growth. The vocals of Total Life Forever seem to cry out to the listener like a lone voice of reason in a cloud of emotional chaos. 

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
Veckatimest is like an old friend, who was at times playful and fun, and later expresses the most sincere emotions and truth dialogues. It expresses the grit of chaos living, of living on a highspeed blend of drugs, sex, parties, music, depression, misery, and self-loathing. It expresses anger, misery, laughter, mockery, and dismal self-loathing/self-destruction. 

Team Sleep - Self Title
I recall hearing of a project between members of the Deftones and Pinback, and the meshing of those two sounds together truly delivered a vibe beyond beautiful.  My friend and I still speak of the team sleep album as something we still love and truly don't understand. To me, the song Princeton Review perfectly accentuates the vibe of the album: mysterious, melodic, atmospheric, polished, while also seeming to be raw. The album seems like an elegy again. It seems like a funeral, or a reunion after a war, it tastes like a group talking in the night after being at a rave for 12 years, trapped inside, not shackled, but unwilling to escape, whispering quietly in the failing light of the morning, shades drawn, smell of burnt cigarettes, and dried sweat, exhausted, miserable, exhilarated, expressing remorse, while also pleasure and delight, awaiting the end of the world and ultimate judgment that will most likely be harsh. 

Blonde Redhead - 23
The manic, despairing, angsty expressions of 23, by Blonde Redhead certainly epitomized a time in my life when everything was high speed, fear was a constant companion, and there seemed to be a tidal wave of doom threatening just upon the horizon. Mania, mania, mania, confusion, mania, manic, and more manic mania.  Whispers of doom papered over by shallow self-pleasuring. But unable to cover the portent of disaster. "Heroine" and "Silently" perfectly express the album as a whole, whispers of danger, with no response.  Chaos of love, and romantic relationships that are not meant to be, but driven by drugs and loneliness. "You die in my arms" "Your clock is ticking" Madness. 


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