4. Joel Plaskett - Three
Joel Plaskett has ruled this blog the past 12 months or so as I've been privileged to see him perform multiple times which no doubt has influenced my view of this album. Three is Plaskett's ambitious triple album containing a total of 27 songs as well as 3 other songs available on iTunes and vinyl. While this may sound like overdoing it, surprisingly each album is carefully crafted and is full of songs that should last the test of time. The real strength of this album is the way that he collaborated with Ana Egge and Rose Cousins, drawing on their musicianship and vocals to make songs like Through & Through & Through really come alive. They play a central role in many of the songs, doing call back parts with Joel, as well as really driving the catchy choruses home. The album contains a variety of songs, from the country infused Pine, Pine, Pine to the traditional East Coast sounding Sailor's Eyes. Plaskett's lyrics are at his best on this album, thoughtful, playful, and witty. This album propelled Plaskett from an artist that I appreciated to one of my favourite artists making music.
Favourites: Through&Through&Through, You Let Me Down, Wishful Thinking, "Deny, Deny, Deny", "Heartless, Heartless, Heartless, One Look
5. Bruce Peninsula - A Mountain Is A Mouth
Initially I was blown away by the band members personalities. Then I was blown away by their live show. Then I was blown away by their full length album. I can't say I wasn't warned. Herohill (essential music blog by the way) have raved about them multiple times and had them headlining their showcase at the Halifax Pop Explosion. The band has a big sound, having anywhere from 6 to 600 people contributing vocals, guitars, hand claps, and the like. Okay not quite 600, but you get the idea. The album sounds big too. This album makes you want to join in and lend your voice to the choruses as well. The lyrics sound like they were written outside while the rest of the world burns to pieces inside. At other times it is a peaceful album, like during Weave Myself a Dress with just the sounds of acoustic guitars creaking and Misha Brown's beautiful voice. It is a different album, hard to really pin it down to one genre or style, which is exactly what they want.
Favourites: Steamroller, Shutters, Weave Myself A Dress, Shanty Song