The only 5-star album I’ve heard thus far this year. If Nine Inch Nails sang the Psalms and invited avant garde jazzbos The Art Ensemble of Chicago to the studio, it might sound like this. Paste music critic Andy Whitman

In the last several years, I’ve been excited about a few artists and a few albums, and it’s been easy to see. I’ve shouted myself hoarse here on the blog and Facebook, urging people to check them out.

The records that have lit me on fire include:

  • Arcade Fire – Funeral and Neon Bible
  • Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
  • The Decemberists – The Crane Wife
  • Over the Rhine – Ohio and The Trumpet Child
  • Joe Henry – Tiny Voices and Civilians
  • Sam Phillips – A Boot and a Shoe and Don’t Do Anything

and there have been a couple of little-known artists I wanted the world to discover, like

  • The Ragbirds – Yes Nearby

and

  • People You Meet – People You Meet.

Alas, People You Meet broke up after one sensational album. After a follow-up and a live album, The Ragbirds are still going, and I can’t wait to hear what they do next.

But today I’m here to recommend that you invest in this guy.

Aaron Strumpel

Get your hands on his new album, Elephants, and stuff it deeply into your ears. Turn it up loud so that you can explore the mix.

Strumpel won the Bandspotting contest at the Calvin music festival this year, a contest previously won by Son Lux. (And then Son Lux went on to earn all kinds of raves on NPR.)

So you can expect you’ll be hearing about him.

Why not climb aboard right now?

elephant-man-final2

Full disclosure: Yes, I know the producer. But I swear to you, I didn’t know he’d produced it when I heard it for the first time. I wrote to him afterwards and my suspicions were confirmed. And I didn’t know he was capable of such complex, exquisite production. I’ve heard other things he worked on and enjoyed them, but nothing made me want to grab the microphone away from Pitchfork or Paste to say, “Music lovers, wake up! Don’t let this one pass you by!” So trust me on this one.

If you won’t take my word for it, listen to Andy Whitman, music critic for Paste:

“So far it’s my favorite music released this year.”

and

“The only 5-star album I’ve heard thus far this year. If Nine Inch Nails sang the Psalms and invited avant garde jazzbos The Art Ensemble of Chicago to the studio, it might sound like this.”

So… wouldn’t you throw down a few bucks to spend some time with this album?

I’ll be writing an honest-to-goodness review when I get the chance.

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This