29 votes

AlbumLove: a new social music discovery series on Tildes

Choose one album
that you love
that you think deserves more love

Tell us what it is, and why.


Additional Details

What is this?

It's a new post series I'm trying out! Each month people can use the AlbumLove thread to post an album they love and explore those posted by others.

I'm planning to put up a new AlbumLove thread on the first of each month for a few months to see how these go as a trial run. If people like it we can keep it going — if they don’t it’ll fizzle out and I’ll stop.

Why AlbumLove?

In this day and age, algorithmic recommendations for music are easy to come by, and it's trivial to seek out new music that interests you by searching online. AlbumLove offers an opportunity to sift through music loved by others, including those who might have divergent tastes from you. Think of this as an opportunity to listen outside of your comfort zone, with music that you know someone else adores, from a small pool of thoughtful hand-selected options.

What do I post?

Any album that you love and that you feel deserves more appreciation. There are no restrictions on genre, year, or anything else, and nothing is “too popular” or “too niche”. If you think it needs more love — for whatever reason — then it’s welcome in AlbumLove.

Name the artist and the album, and then, most importantly, share what you love about the album. It could be the music itself, but it could also be your associations with it -- maybe the album reminds you of someone you love, or you saw the band live and got a new appreciation for the studio songs.

Also, commenting on others' recommendations is encouraged! If you love something that someone else shared, let them know!

Do I have to listen to what everyone else posts?

Nope. You don't have to listen to anything if you don't want to. This is about creating a menu of options that people can explore as they wish.

Can I post more than one album in a month?

Nope. Limit one! This helps us be more selective about what we choose, as well as preventing the threads from getting flooded with too many contributions to keep track of.

Why albums and not songs/artists?

I like albums. :)

Seriously though, I feel like it's a very different thing to like an album as a whole versus a few songs or just an artist's general vibe. I like the idea of quantizing music for appreciation in the same way we might do with books or movies.

What about EPs?

Fair game!

17 comments

  1. [3]
    kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    Bear's Den - Red Earth & Pouring Rain (2016) I love the album art for this. I love it because I think it looks cool, but I really love it because it’s a clever nod to the music of the album...

    Bear's Den - Red Earth & Pouring Rain (2016)

    I love the album art for this. I love it because I think it looks cool, but I really love it because it’s a clever nod to the music of the album itself. The artwork is a portrait painting (traditional) in a car interior flush with neon red, blue, and purple (modern).

    This is a deliberate nod to an album that mixes traditional indie folk with modern synthwave. It’s the kind of thing that sounds like it’s made for meme-y purposes, but it done earnestly, tactfully, and skillfully. In fact, I didn’t even notice the synths until I’d listened to the album a few times. They’re subtle and supportive and more out-of-the-way than you’d think, pairing unexpectedly well with the album’s traditional instrumentation.

    The vocalist’s voice is bright and often has a subtle overdubbing that gives it a layered, expansive quality that helps fill up the synthy soundscapes. Lyrically, the album is rife with Biblical allusions which, even though I'm no longer Christian, still hit me in the heart as someone who grew up in the church. "Broken Parable" captures a familiar sorrow of feeling rudderless and adrift in a loss of faith. Later, in “Gabriel”, the sorrow is deeper — more desperate. The singer speaks directly to his guardian angel, pleading “don’t leave me alone”.

    Even though I’m no longer a believer, that line still give me chills.

    7 votes
    1. inwardpath
      Link Parent
      Listening now, liking what I hear so far. This sounds right up my alley. I love indie music and especially synthwave/synth-influenced stuff. It's super inspiring to me because it's the kind of...

      Listening now, liking what I hear so far. This sounds right up my alley. I love indie music and especially synthwave/synth-influenced stuff. It's super inspiring to me because it's the kind of music I'd like to write.

      This almost strikes me as The War On Drugs-meets-synths

      2 votes
    2. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      It's not my sort of thing, but it's definitely a sound I haven't heard quite this way before, in a good way. It feels more like proper use of production techniques than a cheap shot at nostalgia,...

      It's not my sort of thing, but it's definitely a sound I haven't heard quite this way before, in a good way.

      It’s the kind of thing that sounds like it’s made for meme-y purposes, but it done earnestly, tactfully, and skillfully.

      It feels more like proper use of production techniques than a cheap shot at nostalgia, and they seem to nail the sound. I actually tend to cringe at heavily produced folksy music because it feels like bluegrass forced into a different mold, but they do a really good job. It honestly feels and sounds better than most similarly uplifting, reverby music. I also think it's the lack of "EEEEEoooh EEEOoh" sort of chanting that makes it feel less canned.

      And that line you mentioned did hit pretty well.

      2 votes
  2. [2]
    rosco
    Link
    Late to the party but excited to contribute, great post kfwyre! Parcels - Parcels (self titled) It's already four years old and I still can't get enough of Parcels debut album. It's one of those...

    Late to the party but excited to contribute, great post kfwyre!

    Parcels - Parcels (self titled)

    It's already four years old and I still can't get enough of Parcels debut album. It's one of those rare 10/10 albums that is amazing from start to finish, even including the outro that is effectively a 3 minute thank you track (how is that possible?!?!). The songs are largely upbeat, with some slower reflective songs sprinkled throughout, with a flow that reminds me of albums like Daft Punk's Discovery (which is a serious contender for my number 1 album of all time). The sound itself is some fusion of funk, soul, and electronica blended into a very groovy hybrid. The lyrics themselves make me think of bands like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, with more introspective and sometimes story telling components. In one song, Everyroad" they literally interview the members of the band about their ideal "dream palace" and while it is a weird addition to the album I've even grown to love that song.

    I just went back and replayed the album to type this up. I love this album. Originally I would have said my top songs of the album for me were the funkiest and danciest: Lightenup and Tieduprightnow. They both carry so much energy and happiness that I often find them chasing away the blues of the day. But I'm not sure I can say that now. The intro Comedown gives me the full body tingles. Yourfault and Bemyself are both amazing slow, refletive songs. The album takes you through a wide range of emotions.

    I dance to it. I work to it. I cook to it. It's the album that I looped during the difficult parts of Covid. Their shows look amazing, and look forward to their next tour.

    7 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      This thread lasts all month, so you're not actually late at all. In fact, you got in in the first half! Also, I like the idea of people slowly contributing to this over the course of the month...

      Late to the party

      This thread lasts all month, so you're not actually late at all. In fact, you got in in the first half!

      Also, I like the idea of people slowly contributing to this over the course of the month instead of a bunch of titles getting dropped at the beginning and then the thread being forgotten about. Thanks for keeping it alive! I'm looking forward to diving into your album.

      1 vote
  3. [3]
    AnthonyB
    Link
    Frog - Kind of Blah This little indie rock gem is one of my five favorite albums of all time. I first came across this album on my way back to Beijing from Vietnam during Chinese New Year 2020. I...

    Frog - Kind of Blah

    This little indie rock gem is one of my five favorite albums of all time. I first came across this album on my way back to Beijing from Vietnam during Chinese New Year 2020. I listened to it during my first flight from Hanoi to Guangzhou and thought it was pretty catchy, especially Judy Garland. When I touched down in Guangzhou, I realized that everything had changed and that I would be spending the next "few weeks" quarantined in my apartment. I listened to it on repeat during those first few days and developed an appreciation for their whole catalog over the course of 2020 (their self-titled debut ep is just as good). It's one of those albums that immediately takes me back to a specific time in my life. Every time I listen to Judy Garland, I think of my sneaky little trips to the supermarket for water and cigarettes. Wish Upon a Bar takes me back to the summer I spent at my parents' place back in the US and all the lengthy bike rides and basketball shootarounds I did to help pass the time. Somehow, almost every track on this album makes me feel nostalgic for an incredibly tumultuous time.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      This was an interesting listen. It kind of defies classification, with nods to different genres on pretty much a song by song basis. It also has a pleasant, down-to-earth unpretentiousness to it....

      This was an interesting listen. It kind of defies classification, with nods to different genres on pretty much a song by song basis. It also has a pleasant, down-to-earth unpretentiousness to it.

      I listened through it once but plan to return to it again.

      2 votes
      1. AnthonyB
        Link Parent
        Yeah, I wanted to write something that explains their sound but I couldn't come up with anything so I went for the personal connection instead. Their albums are kind of the same way. The early...

        Yeah, I wanted to write something that explains their sound but I couldn't come up with anything so I went for the personal connection instead. Their albums are kind of the same way. The early stuff is more jangly and rock oriented, while some of their later stuff sounds a bit more like folk. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to more posts on this topic.

        2 votes
  4. [3]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Meta Thread Put any questions/comments/thoughts about AlbumLove in this thread to help keep things clean. AlbumLove is something I literally just came up with on a whim and figured might be neat...

    Meta Thread

    Put any questions/comments/thoughts about AlbumLove in this thread to help keep things clean. AlbumLove is something I literally just came up with on a whim and figured might be neat to try, so I’m open to any and all feedback.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      circaechos
      Link Parent
      Maybe add a "if you haven't heard this and you want to get a taste, try this song, here's a link"? It's lovely listening to albums all the way through, and I've enjoyed having a way of checking...

      Maybe add a "if you haven't heard this and you want to get a taste, try this song, here's a link"? It's lovely listening to albums all the way through, and I've enjoyed having a way of checking something out before diving all the way in.

      6 votes
      1. kfwyre
        Link Parent
        My thought is that, if someone wants a taste of the album, they can just start at the beginning and see how it goes from there. I like the idea of AlbumLove not being particularly song-focused....

        My thought is that, if someone wants a taste of the album, they can just start at the beginning and see how it goes from there. I like the idea of AlbumLove not being particularly song-focused.

        That said, if some people think track highlights are a good thing, it doesn’t really hurt to have them. I’ll leave it up to individual commenters for now and see what people prefer.

        3 votes
  5. [4]
    inwardpath
    Link
    Curse Your Branches - David Bazan Indie rock. He added a bit of Americana/bluesy influence this time. Interesting that the one other comment at this time posted something with a faith-leaving...

    Curse Your Branches - David Bazan

    Indie rock. He added a bit of Americana/bluesy influence this time.

    Interesting that the one other comment at this time posted something with a faith-leaving theme too. It's hard to gauge the actual popularity of an artist sometimes, with Bazan it's even stranger. He and some of his projects in the past have been part of the Christian music scene and now they're not. He was pretty big in that scene but probably more unknown to the general public. He's been involved in a number of bands (Pedro The Lion, Lo Tom, etc), at least during one period released solo albums under his own name.

    One of the best of these is Curse Your Branches. This is essentially Bazan's breaking up with evangelicalism/Christianity record. He was always critical from the inside, but you can feel the anguish here as he wrestles with it all. This record hit at a time in my life when I was processing a long 5+ year journey out of the faith.

    The sound has got a bit of an upbeat theme to it, while the lyrics can be gut-wrenching. Interesting choice to mix those two very separate themes, but it's like hearing hope, pain, and matter-of-factness at the same time. A bit of courage and the sound of someone drawing his line in the sand. It's a beautiful statement of a record.

    And what am I afraid of?
    Whom did I betray?
    In what medieval kingdom
    Does justice work this way?

    You knew what would happen
    And made us just the same
    Then you, my lord, can take the blame

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      You ever listen to The Long Winters? They're another Seattle indie band, also started in 95 (when Pedro the Lion started), but only one member, John Roderick, is left. I noticed echoes of their...

      You ever listen to The Long Winters? They're another Seattle indie band, also started in 95 (when Pedro the Lion started), but only one member, John Roderick, is left.

      I noticed echoes of their sound in this, particularly David's cadence. They both grew out of the same scene, and were on some of the same labels, so it makes sense that there would be similarities. I'm definitely going to listen to this album a couple times, and Bazan's works in general, either bands or solo.

      3 votes
      1. inwardpath
        Link Parent
        I've heard a few songs by TLW but never really got into them the same way I did Bazan and all of his projects.

        I've heard a few songs by TLW but never really got into them the same way I did Bazan and all of his projects.

        2 votes
    2. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      This album feels like a brother to the one that I posted. I listened to it in the background while at work so I wasn’t able to tackle the lyrics or their meaning yet, but I really liked what I...

      This album feels like a brother to the one that I posted. I listened to it in the background while at work so I wasn’t able to tackle the lyrics or their meaning yet, but I really liked what I heard.

      Also, this is exactly the kind of album I’m hoping AlbumLove surfaces. I would have never come across this on my own nor through my algorithms. Thanks for this.

      2 votes
  6. knocklessmonster
    Link
    Hellfyre Club - Tookie vs Dorner Hellfyre Club, the record label that put this album out, dissolved within a year, Nocando, the dude in charge, sorted out whatever caused/resulted from the...

    Hellfyre Club - Tookie vs Dorner

    Hellfyre Club, the record label that put this album out, dissolved within a year, Nocando, the dude in charge, sorted out whatever caused/resulted from the failure, and has rebuilt it with a different roster, which is why I could only find the Soundcloud link.

    I figure I'd start this out with a release that I found personally transformative. The first rapper I ever liked was Busdriver (personal stuff, bought into the "rap is bad" hype but his song "Imaginary Places" broke that wall down, and I've gone back through decades of hip hop and changed). This EP came out of Leimert Park's Project Blowed, an open-mic workshop with an affiliated hip hop crew, which Busdriver came up through, and I only listened to this EP because he was on it, but it exposed me to other artists like Rheteric Ramirez, milo, who in turn exposed me to others, and led to hip hop being my primary music of choice from about 2014-2018. I may have come to awareness of it through Busdriver's track Werner Herzog which turned me on to Open Mike Eagle and Nocando, but it was eight years ago.

    Enough history. Why do I love this album? It has a lot of great talent on it across styles. It's showcasing some of the best of LA's underground hip hop scene, I think, even if some of it is a bit unconventional. Some of these artists (Kail and Rheteric Ramirez, nka Nietzsche Cortez) seem to have dropped off, but the rest (Open Mike Eagle, Busdriver, The Kleenrz (Self Jupiter and Kenny Segal) and Milo (nka R.A.P. Ferreira, with many other aliases)) and Nocando (nka All City Jimmy) are still putting work out. If any of these people worked with somebody, and those people worked with anybody else, they're worth listening to.

    I guess, in short, this album is a gateway to great music. Look at the artists on this album, and use it as a shopping list for other artists.

    4 votes
  7. Grzmot
    (edited )
    Link
    Royal Republic - Club Majesty First of all, great cover. Second of all, great music. I can listen to this entire thing in one go and it's just going to put me into a better mood. Simple lyrics,...

    Royal Republic - Club Majesty

    First of all, great cover. Second of all, great music. I can listen to this entire thing in one go and it's just going to put me into a better mood. Simple lyrics, pretty fast paced album, mostly about love, sex or parties but all delivered with so much energy that you just can't not have a good time listening to it. It's one of my favourite albums.

    Favourite track from the album: Blunt Force Trauma. Special mention to Stop Movin' for the lyrics.

    3 votes