#15 on the 2011 Musical Bacon Calendar
James Blake by James Blake
We’ve reached the halfway point! From here on out, the listenable longevity(™?) of these albums gets exponentially greater. #15 came to me first via my brother. “Thoughts on…James Blake?” read the email. I hadn’t heard of him. “James Blake is just…different.” Rare is the day that my brother finds the new music before I do, but I always appreciate when anyone reaches out to me about something new that excites them.
The hype machine was in high gear that fateful day back in February, because while I hadn’t yet heard of Blake, I couldn’t escape hearing about him for the rest of the day. Featured on iTunes, all the major blogs were talking about him, and it seemed as if every other tweet in my feed was about him. This new, barely defined brand of music from some young kid (22) out of London.
I watched the above video for his song “Wilhelm Scream” and was mesmerized. I couldn’t quite figure it out. So I downloaded the album and let the sparse, heavily-digitized vocals — sort of a fuzzed out Bon Iver — just wash over me.
I love that people continue to push the limits of how music sounds. You hear bits and pieces of things you recognize, but as a new whole it makes no sense to your virgin ears. James Blake is something new, for sure, and if you’re a fan of music to sleep to, then you should buy this immediately. But also, if you’re interested in expanding your musical horizons, interested in experiencing something different in your music library, then you should also buy it immediately. You won’t regret it.
16. Hysterical by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
17. An Argument with Myself by Jens Lekman
18. The Whole Love by Wilco
19. My Goodness by My Goodness
20. My Head is an Animal by Of Monsters and Men
21. Gloss Drop by Battles
22. Showroom of Compassion by CAKE
23. A New Kind of House EP by Typhoon
24. EP by Grouplove
25. Fan Chosen Covers (Best of) by Eef Barzelay
26. TKOL RMX 1234567 by Radiohead
27. Organ Music Not Virbraphone Like I’d Hoped by Moonface
28. Heavy Boots & Underwoods by Ben Fisher
29. The Rip Tide by Beirut
30. Collapse Into Now by R.E.M.
31. I Am Very Far by Okkervil River