Hallelujah the Hills may be one of the better surprises I was introduced to in 2009. When I gave their sophomore release, Colonial Drones, some play time on my iPod, my immediate reaction was: “how is it I haven’t heard of these guys yet?” This Boston based six piece record lo-fi indie rock that is reminiscent of Guided By Voices, Sonic Youth, Pavement and a hint of Bright Eyes. If you think that sounds like a winning combination – you’d be right. On single “Blank Passports” Hallelujah the Hills take the safe approach: great guitar riffs, thoughtful lyrics, steady percussion, keyboard highlighting, and solid song writing. You’d think it was easy if so few bands were able to pull it off this successfully. Colonial Drones sounds was released by Absolutely Kosher Records in September and is a recommended listen.
Sunset is the indie-pop recording project of Austin, Texas’ Bill Baird. Baird was formerly one of the founding members of the underrated Sound Team. After the dissolution of Sound Team, Baird returned to his solo project for the release of his latest material. Sunset’s fourth release, Gold Dissolves to Gray, was released on November 24. It is poetic, subtle and understated. This is an album that offers moments of pure beauty and clarity. Pick up the album at Insound.
I can’t imagine how you could be unfamiliar with Grizzly Bear at this point in 2009. If you are: shame on you. Their full length, Veckatimest, is one of the years… no, the decade’s… best albums. Neon Indian offered up two great remixes of Grizzly Bear’s “Cheerleader” last week. Neon Indian is another one of 2009’s most promising new artists, so it should come as no surprise that his remixes of “Cheerleader” are a great time. His ‘Studio 6669’ remix is my favorite of the two. Check it out: