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2007 audio almanac

We hope you're enjoying your copy of the vanmega almanac, or at least using the disk as a very pretty coaster.
This almanac has been lovingly crafted to be enjoyed in sequence, as a whole. We tend to fuss and bother about these kinds of things.


001. Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

From the album "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga"
Released July, 2007

The reigning champs of eclectic wondering indie experimentation wade into the realm of blue-eyed soul. Magically delicious.

002. Apples In Stereo - Can You Feel It?

From the album "New Magnetic Wonder"
Released February, 2007

Hands down, my favorite disk of 2007. It plays like the perfect pop album. Apples In Stereo normally obvious 60's influences are dialed down a bit and the fuzz is turned up. Everything sounds optimistic, tight, and punchy.

003. The New Pornographers - Myriad Harbour

From the album "Challengers"
Released August, 2007

Prior to Challengers, The New Pornos were a indie rock band that - as a bonus - did melody well. Challengers flipped the formula and put melody first and foremost. A lot of folks got pointlessly worked up about the departure. The album is beautiful, complex and mature. Oh, and my favorite NP disk to date.

004. The National - Brainy

From the album "Boxer"
Released May, 2007

I'm perhaps the only guy on teh internets not constantly singing praise for The National. I've just never really gotten into them (I know, okay). With all that said, I can't deny the brooding, tenor awesomeness of Brainy. This song lurks in the back of your head for months... I find myself randomly humming the chorus at my desk at completely inappropriate times. People love that.

005. Wil - Wedding Dress

From the album  "By December"
Released May, 2007

Team vanmega has known Wil for, well, forever. He's a Calgary boy who signed to a major a few years ago. Wil, who historically has performed in a solo fashion, always talked about creating an album which had a real collaborative full band feel to it. With help from Ron Sexsmith, Jason Collett, and some of the guys from Arcade Fire, this might be it.

006. The Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running

From the album "Neon Bible"
Released March, 2007

Despite being wrapped up in an insane amount of folklore and having the most hyped debut album ever, The Arcade Fire created a follow-up album equally as urgent and exciting as the first. Their live shows continue to make other bands look uncreative and lazy, and are the reason why these guys will be one of my favorites for years to come.

007. Field Music - Working to Work

From the album "Tones of Town"
Released January, 2007

An English band which at one time or another have featured members of both Maxïmo Park and The Futureheads. What's not to love?

008. John Vanderslice - White Dove

From the album "Emerald City"
Released July, 2007

While Emerald City wasn't the strongest John Vanderslice album to date, White Dove captures his strong points: experimental production, cutting vocals, engaging lyrics. Hooray!

009. Bishop Allen - Rain

From the album "Bishop Allen & The Broken String"
Released July, 2007

First full length from a band known for an assortment of random EP's. The finished product is eclectic and energetic. File somewhere between Belle & Sebastian and Psapp.

010. Jason Anderson - July 4, 2004

From the album "Tonight"
Released August, 2007

Full disclosure: it was the Catbird Seat that got me on to this track. Sounds like a cross between gentle open-mic jam band stuff & indie rock cliches. It’s fucking perfect.

011. Against Me! - Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart (Feat. Tegan from Tegan & Sara)

From the album "New Wave"
Released July, 2007

I know punk rock about as much as I know how to cook a turkey, but... the arrangement of this song is fantastic, Tegan and Tom's sustained vocals pair perfectly with each other... and *ohmygoodness!* the way the pre-chorus just rises up and smacks your ear drums. One of the few times Butch Vig's love of overpolish really works.

012. Beirut - Elephant Gun

From the album "Lon Gisland EP"
Released January, 2007

This year, I sat on a beach in Cuba drinking boozey drinks and listening to this song on repeat over and over. Ha!

013. St. Vincent - Human Racing

From the album "Marry Me"
Released July, 2007

Favorite "discovery" of 2007. We were introduced to Annie Clark as an opener for The Arcade Fire at Deer Lake Park. A total delight, despite looking like a pixie she can sing the hell out of anything and can throttle an electric guitar.

014. Woodpigeon - Songbook

From the EP  "Songbook"
Released Oct, 2006

Woodpigeon is a band from Calgary which I never ever heard of when I lived in Calgary. A random blog recently put me on to this year. True story: after listening to their album, I checked out the bands myspace space and saw pictures of the band. It turns out the lead singer of band is the guy who sold me his last ticket in line to Sufjan Stevens at St. James Church in the fall of 2006. How do you like them synchronicity-flavored apples?

015. Blonde Redhead - Dr. Strangeluv

From the album "23"
Released April, 2007

Another Cuba/beach track for me, but that doesn't mean that 23 lacks merit. Same haunting approach to music as previous BR albums, but with a more distinct bridge between electro and rock.

016. Charlotte Gainsbourg - The Songs That We Sing

From the album "5:55"
Released April, 2007

A project driven by Jarvis Cocker and the guys from Air. An album of reflective, literate pop. Gorgeous completely.

017. LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great

From the album "Sound Of Silver"
Released January, 2007

Hey, has anyone heard of those LCD Soundsystems guys? Oh you have? Everyone's been talking about them all year? Yes, and it's buzz well deserved. Someone Great is the standout track. James has successfully plowed bittersweet lyrics normally reserved for singer-songwriter types into an electronic track. Mission impossible.

018. Patrick Watson - Luscious Life

From the album "Close to Paradise"
Released September, 2006

Yes, yes, yes... Mr. Polaris Prize 2007 has done good for himself. There was a bit of a backlash around this win, but I think it was a fair win. Watson blends Jeff Buckley vocal delivery with accessible Coldplay style piano. Yes, I made a Coldplay reference. Sorry.

019. Miracle Fortress - Hold Your Secrets to Your Heart

From the album "Five Roses"
Released May, 2007

Another French Canadian band! Who'd have thought it? A wall of sound album complete with rising vocal harmonies, abstract lyrics and echoing drums. Kinda perfect.


previous almanacs 2007, 2005, 2004

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