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Flamingo (album) by Brandon Flowers

Following an announcement by The Killers that they would be taking a short break, frontman Brandon Flowers released his debut solo album entitled Flamingo.

 

Deviating from his typical alternative rock and post-punk styles as lead vocalist of The Killers,  Brandon demonstrates his versatility both as an artist and a musician through his new album.

The music video for his first single “Crossfire” featuring award winning actress Charlize Theron as his ninja killing girlfriend (I’m not even making this up) was truly amazing to watch.

-Mark

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No Rest by Dry The River

Dry The River

In all honesty, the beginning of No Rest was unassuming.

If not for the fact that I was made me promise to listen to it until the end, I would have missed out on their amazing, impassioned bridge that changed my evaluation of this song forever.

The lyrics and music video for No Rest contains alot of biblical references. There is also an acoustic version released, which is equally good.

-Mark

 

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The Glass Passenger (Album) by Jack’s Mannequin

Jack's Mannequin

The Glass Passenger was the second studio album produced by the recently retired (February 2, 2012) Alternative Rock band, Jack’s Mannequin.

For me, this is one of the very few albums out there which I genuinely enjoyed listening to from beginning to end.

What I enjoyed most was that each song in the album represents the different phases in the life journey of Andrew McMahon, the lead singer of the band who had been diagnosed with leukemia.

From struggling through adversity (Swim), to dealing with depression (Hammers and Strings), The Glass Passenger is a true musical storytelling masterpiece.

-Mark-

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The Frames

The Frames

The Frames

Star Star – The Frames

Founded by Glen Hansard (center) in 1990, The Frames have contributed greatly to the development of the rock music scene in Dublin, Ireland.

In 2006, Hansard starred in the musical film Once, in which he wrote most of the movie’s original soundtrack together with fellow actress and musician Markéta Irglová.

Their song Falling Slowly even won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Overall, their music is thoughtfully written, with lyrics filled with messages and meaning. The inclusion of the violin by Colm Mac Con Iomaire (far left) during the bridge of Falling Slowly still remains one of my most memorable musical moments of all time.

Check out their official site here: http://www.theframes.ie/

-Mark-

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Yuna

Lullabies

Lullabies – Yuna

Every now and again, a local artist stands out and makes me proud to be Malaysian. Debuting as a solo MySpace singer, Yuna’s career has since grown to include several albums in both Malaysia and the United States.

I’ve been a huge fan of Yuna since 2008, after hearing her song Dan Sebenarnya. Her depth of emotion caught me by surprise, expressed through her graceful, effortless style of singing.

Over the years, she has expanded her horizons to include edgier and more upbeat songs, all without losing the honesty in her voice which made her music so beautiful to listen to in the first place.

Among some of my favourite songs from Yuna are:

  • Lullabies
  • Dan Sebenarnya
  • Come As You Are (Nirvana cover)
  • Here Comes The Sun (Beatles cover)

Check out her official site here: http://www.yunamusic.com/

-Mark-

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The xx

Crystalised

Crystalised – The xx

One of the most relaxed and understated bands I have ever listened to in my lifetime, The xx has convinced me that true talent comes effortlessly. The fact that vocalist and bassist Oliver Sim (far left) looks almost identical to rap sensation Eminem doesn’t hurt their image either.

Check out their official site here: http://thexx.info/

-Mark-

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Brand New

Jesus Christ – Brand New

Brand New was one of the very first Alternative bands I’ve ever listened to. I discovered them through a flash game on Newgrounds - One Chance which featured their song Tautou during the climaxIts placement in the game was excellently done. Very moving.

Check out their official site here: http://www.fightoffyourdemons.com/

-Mark-

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Now, Now Every Children

Giants (Acoustic Version)

 

This is easily my favourite indie band this year. Although not very prominent at the moment, they have been gradually building a loyal fanbase since their inception in 2003.

Now, Now really distinguishes themselves through their slightly dark, melancholic music. Lead vocalist Cacie Dalager (centre) has a beautiful voice, with all the right inflections for the songs they play. Although not always pitch perfect, I somehow find that her offbeat notes actually enhances the overall listening experience.

Dalager’s partnership with guitarist and vocalist Jess Abbott (left) is a generous one, affording both girls opportunities to stand out individually.

Also listen out for some unexpected drum patterns every now and again from Bradley Hale (right), which he tastefully includes into the song without interrupting the flow and tempo.

Moving on, most of their lyrics are fairly unusual, but convey such universal emotions like resolve, frustration and regret. It’s music that anyone could relate to at some point in their life, and it will have a different meaning to each person.

Among some of my favourite songs from Now, Now are:

  • Giants (both original and acoustic versions)
  • Prehistoric
  •  Lucie, Too

Check out their official Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/NowNowMusic

-Mark-