Ian’s Favorite Songs of 2016

These are my favorite songs of the past year. I don’t really feel like going on at length about why these songs are “good” and trying to convince you as much, I just know I really liked them.

Ian’s Favorite Albums of 2016

I am so conflicted about Nada Surf. I feel like they are just terrible. Their name is awful. I’m sure if I took the time to really dig into their lyrics I’d find them to mostly be corny indie rock clichés. There’s a guy in the band with dreads! But, I listened to You Know Who You Are so much this year. It is positively happy and hopeful and full of catchy melodies; if ever there was a sucker for a good melodies it’s me. Give them a chance. Ultimate Painting has quietly made a nice little career out of … Read More

Jim James – Eternally Even

I want to start by saying something about my own current emotional state before I get into my thoughts on Jim James’ latest solo effort, Eternally Even. I don’t really even need to get into all of the extremely obvious political goings-on; everyone knows what happened. But I will say it has me feeling extremely numb and cynical. So I’m listening to Eternally Even through ear muffs, viewing it through a grayscale lens. I know I’m supposed to be objective, and I don’t think this necessarily biases me against Jim James, who I generally like. But I feel responsible to … Read More

Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – I Had a Dream That You Were Mine

Hamilton Leithauser has a frayed rope of a voice. Like he just got done playing an entire show (plus encore) but now he’s gonna sing another couple ditties just for you and he isn’t gonna tone these puppies down none, no. He’s gonna go for the rafters again. What is a rafter but something to shake? This worked excellently in his old band, the Walkmen. They were the classiest group of disheveled NYC punks you ever saw, and they ended their career on a series of high notes that includes the wonderful album Heaven. Leithauser’s back now, but he’s paired … Read More

Broken Bells – After the Disco

Broken Bells should probably be one of the better groups out there these days, the type of group that could be greater than the sum of its parts. That is saying something when the parts in question are James Mercer of the Shins and Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse of the everything (a guy who has worked with the likes of Jack White, MF DOOM, and a host of other big names has his fingers in many pots). Furthermore, their self-titled debut album at the very least had to have left even its biggest detractors optimistic for this duo’s future … Read More

Andrew Bird – I Want to See Pulaski at Night

When it comes to multi-instrumentalists, Andrew Bird has to come to mind as a special talent. A master violinist and accomplished guitar player who also plays glockenspiel, sings, and of course there is his well-known proclivity to lavish songs with a warbling whistle. This repertoire of abilities coupled with Bird’s propensity for pretty melodies and intricate lyricism has allowed him to create some truly great and lovely records over the past decade; blending Germanic-folk and indie rock to create a sound both eclectic and authentic. Last year’s Break it Yourself was perhaps one of Bird’s weaker releases given his track ... Read More

Los Campesinos! – No Blues

Los Campesinos! puts on a hell of a show, loud, energetic, and engaging; seeing them in Chicago in 2009 was a display impressive enough to have me delving into their catalog for more, only to find disappointment. Something about their delivery on studio recordings often finds them struggling to sustain such energy start to finish. Enter, No Blues, the Welsh outfit’s latest effort, which puts forth the best analog to that live experience, and perhaps their best work, to date. While it is difficult tease out exactly what it is about No Blues that gives it the edge that was ... Read More

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

—————— Reflektor is the 4th album by Canadian indie-rock band Arcade Fire. It was produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and finds the band incorporating elements of reggae, ska, and funk music into their usual sound. In addition to some forthcoming full reviews, we got the entire Hearing Double staff together to discuss the double album on a track-by-track basis below. —————— 1) Reflektor  Tucker Phillips: I feel like this is the most obviously LCD Soundsystem-inspired song on the album. It’s, ya know, funky. Jackson Scott: Yeah. Funky is a good word. TP: 2013 is the year of the disco. … Read More