Short Review Series: The Avett Brothers – Magpie and the Dandelion

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The Avett BrothersMagpie and the Dandelion
American Recordings

RIYL: Trampled by Turtles, Old Crow Medicine Show, Langhorne Slim
Must-Hear Songs: Open-Ended Life, Another is Waiting, Vanity

Grade: A

Formed in 2000, brothers Seth and Scott Avett formed their alt-country/bluegrass band and have wasted no time releasing 12 full length records and EPs over the last 13 years. In fact, the release between 2012’s Carpenter is separated by a mere 13 months from their newest album Magpie and the Dandelion. The quick turnaround does not lose any quality, with the brothers putting out quite possibly their best record to date. Magpie and the Dandelion does a great job of showcasing the Avett Brothers’ ability to go from upbeat banjo-filled songs like “Another is Waiting” to piano ballads like “Good To You” and everything in between. If you were a fan of banjos before it was cool, you’ll love this record. If you just recently discovered how awesome bluegrass music can be, this highly accessible record can certainly provide a foothold into a magical genre of music.

Buy it on Amazon or iTunes.

Short Review Series: Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of The City

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Vampire WeekendModern Vampires of the City
XL Recordings

RIYL: Arcade Fire, Haim, Passion Pit
Must-Hear Songs: Unbelievers, Diane Young, Hannah Hunt

Grade: A

It’s hard to deny how catchy Vampire Weekend’s hits were from previous records. Songs like A-Punk, M79, and Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa are beyond catchy, but it’s understandable that you want a record full of songs this catchy. Luckily, their latest release provides you with that wish. Song after song is better than the next, truly elevating their sound to become more than just the darlings of indie music. With the release of this record, Vampire Weekend has solidified their place in the top ranks of the best indie rock bands of this decade. Ranging from dance songs like Diane Young to somber introspective songs like Hannah Hunt and everything in between, this album is chocked full of fantastic songs that show off their remarkable growth in songwriting. This one is sure to make a lot of end of year lists.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_qKmTLbEPc]

Buy it on Amazon or iTunes.