Some new album recommendations for the one and only Blinkon Duncan
The Killers, Pressure Machine (Abridged)
First of all, if you don't know this album, you definitely should. Brandon Flowers spent months in Nephi Utah interviewing locals and writing music about them. This is The Killers best album, IMO. The stories are moving, sad, hopeful, and beautiful. If you're tuned into it, you'll hear mormon references all over the place. There's sort of a theme of: I'm trying to do the right thing, but life sucks anyway. It's a great record. Give it a few spins.
This might be my overall favorite record of the last ten years or so. It took me 4-5 spins before I started to get the feel of it, but once you start to recognize these melodies it will blossom into a celebratory exploration of nature and family. I read once that "Fleet foxes is defiant against despair". That's how I feel about them. While the world burns, they sing about sunrises, birds, family, and the weather. I can sing every word to this entire album. Highly recommend. But give it a few spins before you reject it. I didn't love it the first couple of times I heard it.
Sons Of Kemet
I'm including this for two reasons. (1) Because it just totally kicks butt and (2) because it reminds me of some African music that I've heard over the years. This is hip hop, jazz, african traditional, and pop music all rolled into a crazy mix. It's amazing. Warning: The first track is totally sonically unique from the rest of the album, so don't judge based on Track 1. Get to at least Track 2 or 3 so you can get a sense for how the rest of the album feels.
You most likely already know Vampire Weekend. They are a basically perfect band. Hardly a bad track on any of their albums. I don't know if this is their best album, but it's definitely one of them. The fact is, every album could be called their best in one way or another.
I don't know if you'll be into this album, but I love it. It was one of my favorites of the 2015-ish time period. We've seen Courtney twice in concert and she's amazing. These songs have a bit of an edge to them, but there's also a certain innocence and sweetness to her lyrics and voice. Her stop-go lyrics are excellent (e.g., I don't want to go out but I don't want to stay in).
Nation of Language
I probably wouldn't include this one except that you're a creature of the 80s. This album could have been recorded in 1983 and no one would have batted an eye. I'm not saying it's the greatest record of all time or anything, but it's really very good and the 80s vibe is pretty awesome for anyone in our age group.
Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell
I'm guessing you already know Sufjan. I think he's the greatest living songwriter, most likely. His album Illinois is probably one of the greatest records of all time. This is his 2015 album and it has literally made me cry! He wrote it after his estranged mother died and every song is about her and her impact on him and her death. Listen to the lyrics. He says the swell of sounds at the end of Blue Bucket Of Gold is her ascending to Heaven. This is a work of art. You may already know it.
Camera Obscura, Let's Get Out of This Country
If you don't already know Camera Obscura, you probably should. They are a throwback band, to some degree. This album could have come out in 1991 alongside 10,000 Maniacs or something like that. But the melodies are great. Track One is a call out to one of my favorite albums of the 80s, Rattlesnakes by Lloyd Cole & The Commotions. They have a song called "Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken" and this is Tracyanne Campbell calling Lloyd and asking the same question.
Do you already know The Shins? Maybe I don't need to introduce you to them. I'm trying to keep this list to the last 15 years or so (this album is 2007, so that's close enough). The first three or four Shins albums are basically flawless. They are one of the great bands of the era. You may already know them.
Lord Huron, Long Lost
I totally love this album. The one negative thing I'll say about it is that his voice sounds a lot like Robin Pecknold's voice from Fleet Foxes. This is not as good as the Fleet Foxes album. But still, these melodies are fantastic and this album has an amazing groove.