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Two albums that are blowing my mind

Filed under: creativity,music,worship — 7:21 pm

I have to admit that I’ve been in a bit of a music listening rut.  It’s been a long time since a new CD has really captured me.  (Florence + the Machine was probably the last one)

But in the last couple weeks, two albums have been on constant rotation – both in iTunes and in my mind…

St Vincent

(1) St Vincent.  I’ve been hearing about her for a long time, but my friend Izzy finally pushed me over the edge and said “Aaron, you HAVE to buy her new album!”.  I downloaded Strange Mercy immediately and proceeded to have my mind blown.  This album is strange and beautiful and aggressive and quirky and profoundly original.  (It should come as no surprise that she was a part of Polyphonic Spree – who I love – and Sufjan Steven’s touring band.)

The highlight of the album for me is “Cheerleader”, which you can watch her perform at The Met Museum HERE.  The menacing bass growling underneath the soaring melody of the chorus kills me every time.

(2) Gungor.  In spite of being consumed with St Vincent, a friend of mine released an album last week that is equally brilliant.  Maybe more so.  Sincerely.  Gungor’s new album “Ghosts Upon the Earth” is phenomenal.

While they began as a worship band, and remain vaguely in that camp, this new album pushes the boundaries of what “worship music” can be.  Thank God.  Far from 10 happy songs about heaven, “Ghosts” takes us on a cinematic journey from the creation of the universe to the end of the Story.  In fact, calling it “worship music” is misleading.  It’s more accurate to call it “spiritual music that is actually good music.”  The album is dark and mournful at moments (in a Damian Rice sort of way), bright and upward and infectious (like the best of Jonsi), heavy and fuzzed out (as if Muse decided to sing about something beside space aliens)…all tied together with great melodies and ever-morphing time signatures.  Here is how Gungor describes it…

Any St Vincent or Gungor fans out there?  (It’s definitely a strange pairing of artists…)

What music is blowing your mind these days?


  1. Apparat’s new album, Moderat, M83’s new album (out on 10/18), and anything by Burial is ruling my listening.

    For you, I would recommend Apparat.

    Comment by bd — October 13, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

  2. I’ve been listening to the new Ungor as well a lot lately. REALLY liking it. The opening track blows me away. Love it.

    The new Bon Iver has been in pretty heavy rotation for me as well, too. Epic would be a good word for it.

    Comment by Curtis — October 13, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

  3. Gungor, that is… Stupid auto correct… Ha ha

    Comment by Curtis — October 13, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

  4. The Gungor record is absolutely astounding. It’s gorgeous to listen to and the lyrics are so very meaningful. The other album getting some play from me is “Odd Soul” from Mutemath (who doesn’t love a little funk/soul/rock now and then?). Also, on your recommendation, “A Rush of Blood to the Head” from Coldplay.

    Comment by Nathan — October 25, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  5. The lyrics to ‘Cannot Keep You’ are so good! ‘Please Be My Strength’ is also fast becoming a personal favorite song.

    Ever spin Balmorhea? Rivers Arms is an excellent instrumental album. Also listening to Mundi’s record, ‘The Book And The Flower’.

    All the earth is a fair violin sitting alone, ignored on the floor. It longs to sing a song, the song it was made for. We’re all surrounded by an overflow of love. When it’s quiet, when it’s silent, you can hear creation’s groan…its song. All the earth is a tall glass, a chalice sitting dusty on the shelf. And it longs to be filled with most expensive wines, to touch their lips and give drink again. We’re surrounded by an overflow of love. But when it’s quiet, when it’s silent you can hear creation’s groan, its song to be made known that all will be new again. Let’s partake in
    the renewing of them…until I am new again.

    Comment by Rob Kelly — October 30, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

  6. Oh yeah, and Anathallo… always Anathallo. Not just their hymns either- it’s all excellent.

    Comment by Rob Kelly — October 30, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  7. I stumbled onto your blog in my quest to find a recording of Glen Phillips “Your Love is Everywhere” for a project I’m working on for my Bible Study’s Thanksgiving Celebration. I LOVE Annie Clark. She is absolutely fascinating to watch play the guitar. She’s so intense. One of my (5) daughters recently got to see her play in Chicago and said she was fabulous.

    Thanks for all you do at Willow. Your worship leadership is amazing!

    By the way, do you know how I can download the above mentioned Glen Phillips song?

    Comment by Mary Behrens — November 6, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  8. I’d never heard of St. Vincent before, but I just checked her stuff out, and she’s great! I was introduced to Gungor last year when a friend played “Beautiful Things”. I was hooked. Their new album, in my opinion, is even better than the first. “Ezekiel” is a kick in the gut for sure. Trigger Code has some music that is different in style, but equally as haunting.

    Audrey Assad’s work has completely blown me away most recently. As many times as I have played her first album, it never gets old. My Brightest Diamond is amazing, too. Check out “Be Brave”.

    Comment by Miranda — April 20, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

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