The real-life romance that blossomed out of Oscar-winning indie “Once” is over. Glen Hansard confirmed he is no longer dating Marketa Irglova. The previous unknowns co-starred in the 2007 film and became international sensations, eventually winning last year’s Oscar for best original song for “Falling Slowly” and getting a record deal. Since then, they have toured together, but now it’s just as friends. (full story)
Wonder what this means about The Swell Season vs. The Frames..
I started with a list of 45 favorites. Over the course of December I tried to give each one another listen to decide a) where it would land on the list and b) whether or not it would make the cut. I ended up with a list of 24 and, not much to my surprise, many are female-fronted or British bands. I am surprised more alt.country didn’t make my list (I guess Wilco is the token alt.country band) and a complete lack of hard rock is unheard of (oh, how I wanted to love the new Down CD but it just didn’t happen).
From the first 30 seconds of listening to Great Northern’s ‘Trading Twilight for Daylight’, I knew it was going to be my top pick. But along came The Dollyrots a few months later and nearly stole the top spot. Actually, in my mind, they tied for my favorite of the year, I’m sure I listened to both of them an equal amount of times. The rest of the top 10 is pretty interchangeable but I figured I had to put them in some sort of order.
So, here’s my list of Favorite CDs of 2007:
1. Great Northern – Trading Twilight for Daylight(Eenie Meenie Records) Watch/Listen/MySpace/Buy
Part of the Silverlake scene (Sea Wolf, Earlimart, Silversun Pickups), Great Northern provides the soundtrack to a lazy/hazy Friday afternoon. Though Rachel Stolte is the lead singer, her vocal interplay with guitarist Solon Bixler adds depth to the songs.
2. The Dollyrots – Because I’m Awesome (Blackheart Records) Watch/MySpace/Buy
Signed to Joan Jett’s label (Blackheart Records), The Dollyrots embody a punk rock spirit and, to a degree, a punk rock sound though the band’s single “Because I’m Awesome” (as featured in a Kohl’s commercial) is gaining steam on pop radio stations such as WNCI in Columbus, Ohio. Based on comments left on The Dollyrots MySpace page, the trio is appealing to a wide age range including pre-teen girls whose iPod Shuffles are loaded with songs by Kelly Clarkson, Hannah Montana, and Avril Lavigne.
3. The Twilight Sad – Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters (Fat Cat) Watch/MySpace/Buy
From the thick Scottish accented vocals to the wall of guitar sounds, The Twilight Sad sound like Snow Patrol if Snow Patrol had started just a few years ago and was influenced by Mogwai, Aereogramme, My Bloody Valentine, and Dinosaur Jr. The band’s SXSW performance in a tent outside of Emo’s left my ears ringing for days … and I liked it!
4. Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer – Schematics (Le Pamplemousse) Watch/MySpace/Buy
As long as Zolof keeps putting out records, there will be a place for them on my year-end list. The synth-driven pop-punk with an edge is infectious and I can’t get enough of Rachel Minton’s spunky vocals. This band could sell a ton of records if they catch the right break.
5. The Frames – The Cost (Anti) Watch/MySpace/Buy
The Once soundtrack made a lot of year-end lists, as well it should and it would have made mine had Glen Hansard’s band, The Frames, not put out a record of their own this year. Fully fleshed-out versions of Once’s best tracks (“Falling Slowly” and “When Your Mind is Made Up”) appear on The Frames’ tenth studio album and are just as passionate and emotional as the stripped-down soundtrack versions. My hope is that everybody who loved the music in Once will explore The Frames’ back catalog. Continue reading →