Wow, the first post of the new year. Just about one year ago we started this blog, and we are still going. We've had some ups and downs, especially about frequency of posting but hopefully we'll get better in the new year.
Anyway, I've been listening to a lot of stuff lately but the first thing I want to mention is Reading Rainbow.
This is the cover of their first real/offish album. They've kicked around in the lo-fi/noise pop scene for a while (and that stuff is really good) but they've cleaned it up a bit on Prism Eyes. It came out near the end of 2010 and the only reason it didn't make my year end's list was because I really hadn't had enough time with it. It's a killer album though, plenty of sweet pop hooks and they didn't completely eradicate the noise so it is still fun. I think they're gonna blow up/get huge this year, they've already gotten way more popular. Kinda bummed I missed seeing them in a pizza parlor in December (with Coasting) but I wouldn't have had anyone to go with anyway.
Stream the stuff on their bandcamp or download it here, but if you like it please buy it, it's definitely worth it.
Next up is Philip Seymour Hoffman. Named after the actor/director (featured in such films as Capote (about Truman Capote/In Cold Blood)) he makes these off-kilter, really sweet and endearing songs. He's not for everyone (a friend I recently sent a song to stopped listening after like 20 seconds) but if you can dig it, you'll probably really like it. His stuff is generally pretty simple but it's crazy intimate. From songs about crushin' on Natalie Portman (ode2natalie) to Watching the sun rise (The Lighthouse Itself is the Rocket), basically anyone can relate. They'll hit you hard an you'll feel like you're right there with him.
He's got two full length tapes out, which are both unfortunately sold-out, but you can download them for free on his bandcamp. If possible though, pay for it, they're well worth it and he's definitely worth supporting.