After The National put out Alligator, I have to say I was intrigued, but not quite sold on them. I was probably the only one since they seemed to have drawn praise from everyone. This year they put out Boxer, an album that feels like you're the only one in the room with them while they perform a selection of intimate and personal songs. I'm sold. They're 'friggin good'. Boxer is a dark and stormy night, with looming pianos and instrumentation. It can draw comparisons to many great musicians and artists, but in essence, it is unique, powerful, and one of this year's best.
mp3: The National - Squalor Victoria --> buy
mp3: The National - Mistaken For Strangers
Eulogies is a band that came out of nowhere for me. I had no expectations when I first dropped their cd into the player. The sounds that emerged were hints of late eighties/early nineties indie rock with layers of modern goodness. With a croon similar to Tweedy, Peter Walker belts out passionate vocals over crisp guitar pop rock. For a first album, Eulogies hits all the marks and has me anticipating the follow up.
mp3: Eulogies - One Man --> buy
mp3: Eulogies - Life Boat