“Don’t Turn the Lights On” and “Night By Night” - Chromeo
In a review of Chromeo’s latest album, Business Casual, Todd Prodanovich wrote, “As time rolls on, there are a few things that we can always count on: the sun will rise, the birds will sing, and Chromeo will make music for the dance floor. They will always have that blend of old and new, the style of the 80s with some modern flair. Their latest album would feel right at home as the soundtrack to a Saturday Night Fever remake for the 2010s, and that’s why we love them.”
Read the rest of Todd’s review here.
“Helicopter (Diplo & Lunice Remix)” - Deerhunter
Todd also reviewed Deerhunter’s latest album, Halcyon Digest, and had this to say: “Halcyon Digest is a shockingly beautiful album. It sounds as if Deerhunter simultaneously mellowed-out and became more ambitious than ever before. Nothing ever sounds forced, even though their music has a whole new dimension of complexity and tiny nuances to keep your ears guessing. Deerhunter took the lofty expectations that everyone had based on their previous albums and completely surpassed them with what is arguably their career-defining work.”
Read the rest of Todd’s review here.
“Up From Below” - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
At LA's Sunset Junction, Lauren Novik said, “the overly enthusiastic crowd evolved into mass chaos when [frontman Alex] Ebert hopped from stage into the press pit and then into the crowd, on a mission to maintain close connection with his minions. [...] That’s when it hit me. Looking out into the sea of overzealous and ever-excited fans, I could finally see for myself just how intense- and just how immense the crowd was. Presiding over this many people night after night at live shows- no wonder there were rumors circulating regarding a possible prophet persona.”
Read more posts on ES&MZ from Lauren Novik, Cervante Pope and Monica Christoffels.
“Bonny Doon” and “Rising Tides” - Gamble House
In her recent review of the band’s show at LA’s Spaceland, Laurel Kathleen wrote, “What I love about Gamble House is that they create beautiful, layered soundscapes while still managing to hint at the musical possibilities to come. [...] The second song ‘Rising Tides’ was performed at a considerably faster tempo than both their previous performance of the song and the album version. The dreamy speculation seemed more evocative and expressive as a ballad, the song losing some of its reflective beauty in the seemingly rushed chord changes.”
Read the rest of Laurel’s review here.
“My Companjera” - Gogol Bordello
Gogol Bordello visited Eugene, Oregon's McDonald Theatre in October, and Monica Christoffels was there to review the show. Monica wrote, "Although this band has performed in numerous high-profile venues around the globe with artists such as Flogging Molly and Madonna, Gogol Bordello plays without pretentiousness - as comfortably and intimately as they would an underground club in New York City. They delight in their worldliness, though, and their ability to share it with the crowd, who eagerly ate up every multi-lingual lyric."
Read the rest of Monica's review and watch videos of the concert here.
“Airplanes” - Local Natives
In an interview with Todd Prodanovich last September, band member Taylor Rice said, “‘Airplanes’ has been a song that has really connected with a lot of people for us, and just been one of the most enthusiastically received songs live at a lot of our shows. People tend to know it, and it’s so interesting because it’s a song that was on the chopping block originally when we were making the album. We were like, ‘It’s not coming together, I don’t know if this song is going to make the record,’ and then last minute everything came together. It’s just been, I think, one of our strongest songs in terms of that connection, its kind of immedia[cy].”
Read the rest of the interview here.
“Silvia” - Miike Snow
“Am I Real?” - Nite Jewel
Laurel Kathleen recently previewed the 2011 SXSW lineup, and had this to say of Nite Jewel: “Their music is as gorgeous and dark as the name would suggest, and though I've only seen them perform once (for the full review, click here) their unique blend of sultry female vocals, striking and perpetually moving bass lines, and tight drummer/bass player sound has stood out in my mind as one of the most intriguing acts I've yet to see in Los Angeles.”
Read the rest of Laurel’s review of Nite Jewel here.
"Harvest Moon" - Pepper Rabbit
In her concert review and interview with the band last month, Laurel Kathleen wrote, “[Pepper Rabbit’s] live performance was just as powerful and thought-provoking as their ten track debut. 'Harvest Moon' was one of the first songs that they played, and I was charmed from the first time that singer Xander Singh strummed the first chord on the ukulele. [...] It was obvious to the crowd that the beauty of the music and secret to controlling such chaos is to keep the loops and sounds simple, layering them slowly until a mountain is formed. It was truly a fascinating experience, and with each approaching song I couldn't wait to hear what they would build next.”
Read the rest of Laurel’s review and interview here.
“Butch” - Saint Motel
Daniel Kohn previewed Saint Motel’s fall tour in October, and had this to say: “For those familiar with Saint Motel, they know that each show will be different than the last and this will be no different. What you can expect from the outfit is the unexpected. With infectious energy, a dynamic stage performance and incredibly catchy songs, Saint Motel is one of the best bands not only in Los Angeles, but the entire country. Led by the vocal chops of A.J. Jackson and the shredding of guitarist Aaron Sharp, the quartet will put on a performance to die for (which should fit in well for Halloween).”
Read the rest of Daniel’s preview here.
“King of Spain” - The Tallest Man on Earth
Last July, Kelly Montgomery created a Summer Mix that included The Tallest Man on Earth. Kelly wrote, "This is as exuberant and humorous as indie-folk gets, and Kristian Matsson is the perfect, strange character to bring it to life. It's Americana folk music sung by a Swede who sounds more than a bit like Bob Dylan. When he howls 'I want to be the king of Spain!' it's difficult not to join right in. Play this once you've had a few beers and the joyousness will be palpable."
Check out the rest of Kelly's summer mix here.
Other nominated songs include:
“Running With the Wolves” - Cloud Cult
"Saticoy" - Fight From Above
"Murder of Birds" and "Whispering Light" - Jesca Hoop
“When Will I See You Again?” - Lord Huron
"Now I Don't" - Ma'ayan Castel
"Under a Cloud" - Robert Gomez
"Here We Never Die" - Sister Crayon
"Anika" and "Too Much" - Sufjan Stevens
"Persona" - Superhumanoids
"Just Can't Sleep" - The Aikiu
"Excuses" - The Morning Benders
"Bloodbuzz Ohio" - The National
"Island" - The XX
"Baby Drugs" - Tristen
"Babies" - Via Audio
"A World Soaked in Gold" - Volcanoless in Canada