I find this pattern rather interesting. What is the best album of the year so far? Of course, it is Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago. It is a hands down win for me. The new Land of Talk album Some are Lakes is really fantastic. It is quite genre defying. Often times your ear tells you that a song is in well-defined key. The problem is that there is so much dissonance and chaotic melody that it is an oversimplification to say that it is “really” in a key. At no point does your ear yell at you, though. It sounds perfectly natural. Like I said, it is amazingly original in sound.
The lyrics are often very blunt and challenging. I love the no-nonsense of them. There is no fluff here. Some examples:
We’ve seen how sick winds blow,
But i’ve got your boat for a night.
And I’ll love you like I love you then I’ll die.
One way road
Don’t care what I find
A little thunder’s good,
I thought maybe you would
But it’s okay,
We all feel left out
Sometimes growing up,
it can get you down.
So here is where the interesting part comes in. This is the only album that I think can rival Bon Iver. But Bon Iver is the name of Justin Vernon’s project. Who produced Land of Talk’s album? That’s right. Justin Vernon. It almost seems unfair that he could knock his own album off of the number one spot by producing another band’s album. At the same time it is fascinating that everything he touches can be so good. I wouldn’t be surprised if many prominant top 10 or 50 lists (KEXP or Pitchfork) considered both of these in the top 5.