Haute Coutunes - June

Boost your musical prowess with three hot new discs hitting the charts this month

Haute Coutunes

Boost your musical prowess with three hot new discs hitting the charts this month

Click on the albums below to read a review and listen to a sample track >

Wil Bright Eyes Travis
(Click on album cover to hear a track)  

Wil, By December

Canada has strong roots in folk music – Neil Young and Blue Rodeo to name a couple – and Wil’s sophomore album is giving those roots a new direction with his modern take on the folk tradition. By building in some Paul Simon-esque bongo beats and a multi-instrumental compilation that recalls to American indie success O.A.R., Wil has tapped into a sound that his Canadian elders would surely approve of.

With a rich voice delivering image-filled lyrics, Wil comes at his second album with purpose and passion. Every chord and key is full of intention, without letting any airtime go to waste.

Perfect For: Reading the Saturday paper
Stand-out track: Tell You Twice

Artwork and audio courtesy of EMI Music

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(Click on album cover to hear a track)  

Bright Eyes Cassadaga

Bright Eyes’ frontman, Conor Oberst, has become something of an indie heartthrob in the few years since the band’s last album I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning gained mainstream attention in 2005. Luckily, however, he doesn’t seem to have let the ladies’ love go to his head. Quite the opposite actually, Oberst took a hiatus between the last and this latest album, Cassadaga, as time to find his inner self – even naming the album after a spiritualist community in Florida.

His spiritual experiences punctuate the album – from voices of clairvoyants opening the first track, to woeful insights such as “everything must belong somewhere” to heartfelt love songs. And, self aside, Oberst isn’t afraid to examine some of the issues plaguing his home and native land, crying about “the vengence of the sea” and war having “no heart”.

With guest vocalist Rachael Yamagata serving as a brilliant addition, Bright Eyes has finally found a balance between their overexcited early recordings and the under-excited recordings that followed. Cassadaga brings the best of both together.

Perfect for: Your next backyard barbeque
Stand-out track: No One Would Riot For Less

Artwork and music courtesy of Saddle Creek Records

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(Click on album cover to hear a track)  

Travis, The Boy With No Name

Pop can be cool and Travis is proof. With this, their fifth album, the Scottish band returns by tapping into the Brit-pop sound they helped establish. Without Travis there would be no Keane – maybe even no Coldplay – and this album proves why they’re the genre’s leader.

The Boy With No Name, is the band’s first studio album since 2003 and it is loaded with irresistibly catchy lines and hooks. Full of energy from top to bottom, don’t be surprised if you find yourself dancing along – the tunes ‘Colder’ and ‘Eyes Wide Open’ may even have you singing along, too.

If you love The Shins, Sam Roberts, and Snow Patrol, you already love Travis. You just may not know it yet. But no worries: this album should clear things right up.

Perfect for: Keeping you alert at your desk
Stand-put track: My Eyes

Artwork and music courtesy of Red Ink Music (Sony BMG)

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