2015 GRAMMY nominees!

The Recording Academy recently announced the 2015 GRAMMY nominees! It’s interesting to see what music rises to the surface when countless recordings are released every year. You can find the full list of nominees on the GRAMMY website, but here’s an overview of some of the most popular album-related categories.

Have you heard any of these albums? Who do you think will win?! Let us know in the comments.

Album of the Year

Beck – Morning Phase
Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Ed Sheeran – X
Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour
Pharrell Williams – Girl

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – Cheek to Cheek
Annie Lennox – Nostalgia
Barry Manilow – Night Songs
Johnny Mathis – Sending You a Little Christmas
Barbara Streisand & Various Artists – Partners

Best Pop Vocal Album

Coldplay – Ghost Stories
Miley Cyrus – Bangerz
Ariana Grande – My Everything
Katy Perry – Prism
Ed Sheeran – X
Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Aphex Twin – Syro
Deadmau5 – While (1<2)
Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband
Royksopp & Robyn – Do it Again
Mat Zo – Damage Control

Best Rock Album

Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
Beck – Morning Phase
The Black Keys – Turn Blue
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
U2 – Songs of Innocence

Best Alternative Music Album

Alt-J – This is All Yours
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
Cage the Elephant – Melophobia
St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Jack White – Lazaretto

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Jhené Aiko – Sail Out
Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Chris Brown – X
Mali Music – Mali is…
Pharrell Williams – Girl

Best Rap Album

Continue reading 2015 GRAMMY nominees!

Album Preview: “Stay Gold” by First Aid Kit

Stay GoldAlbum
Stay Gold

Artist
First Aid Kit

Release date
Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Label
Columbia Records

Pre-order link
Pre-order album

Preview
First Aid Kit will be releasing their third studio album, conveying an echoey Americana sound that lovers of indie folk will undoubtedly enjoy. The band is a duo of two sisters from Sweden, born in 1990 and 1993—yet at this young age, the two girls already have a ton of experience under their belt. Their talent has sparked the interest of Jack White, and also Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes, indicating that they have something ear-catching in the works. Check out the links below to hear our take on the upcoming release, along with some teasers—and don’t forget to pre-order your own copy!

Murfie preview

Audio-only version

Some teasers from Stay Gold

Other albums by (& featuring) First Aid Kit 

Drunken Trees

Upside Down MountainThe Lion's Roar

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-order your copy of Stay Gold today on our pre-order page (CD with streaming + downloads included)!

Album Preview: “Lazaretto” by Jack White

Jack White Lazaretto

Album
Lazaretto

Artist
Jack White

Release date
Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Label
Third Man Records

Pre-order link
Pre-order album

Preview
Jack White can easily be considered one of the most influential people in the current rock n’ roll scene. Starting with The White Stripes, he really revived a raw, bluesy-rock sound that hit the mainstream in the best way. A bit odd and eccentric, Jack White is ahead of the curve when it comes to music, and this upcoming solo album is set to be a smash hit. Check out the links below to hear our take on the upcoming release, along with some teasers—and don’t forget to pre-order your own copy!

Murfie preview

Some teasers from Lazaretto

Other albums by Jack White

The White Stripes - "Elephant"The White StripesWhite Blood CellsIcky Thump85784-large

Pre-order your copy of Lazaretto today on our pre-order page (CD with streaming + downloads included)!

Mom-Approved Modern Music for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day can often mean a trip back home to spend the day with a certain woman who raised you. I love a good family tradition (and I love my mom even more), but let’s face it: A day of listening to music released circa your mom’s high school years can get a little, well… old. Here are three suggestions to bring your mom into the 21st century, music-wise, this Mother’s Day. Take them for a spin this Sunday—they’re guaranteed to not contain too many lyrics that will make family listening time uncomfortable. (Author’s Note: All albums have been successfully test-driven by my mom.)

MI0003392585Channel Orange
Frank Ocean

This 2012 record was the beginning of something big: Frank Ocean is one of the most incredibly talented singers and songwriters of our time. This record is packed full of the stuff of legends: One-of-a-kind lyrics, an ambitious sound, and a sizable helping of passion and philosophy. Ocean is a storyteller, and his stories highlight the best and the worst of what it’s like to be alive.

Musically, this album is a mishmash in the best possible way. It fuses influences from decades past (think ’70s funk sounds and ’90s hip-hop) with a new and thoroughly modern groove, including truly awesome use of quiet electronic percussion. There’s also heavy soul influence here–moments on this album suggest flashbacks to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. I rarely listen to R&B, but I sure would if it all sounded like this. The songs have tight verses that hit you with incredible impact. The sheer force of emotion on this album hits you hard, creating a soundtrack for those who have lived, loved–and most of all, lost.

Don’t Miss Tracks: “Bad Religion”, “Pyramids”

MI0003341793Blunderbuss
Jack White

Up until now, Jack White has been part of a group, whether alongside Meg White of The White Stripes or the rest of The Raconteurs. On this album, however, he’s the star: Not only is this a great solo record, it also holds its own among White’s incredible discography as part of a band. White’s reflections on life and love might tear you apart, but you’ll manage to enjoy every moment of the gut-wrenching process.

For White, going solo means that all his crazy musical ideas and influences find a home. This album contains traces of everything from old-school R&B all the way through modern country music. From his cover of Little Willie John‘s 1960 hit “I’m Shakin” to his use of fiddles and mandolins on “Blunderbuss”, a lot of ground is covered here. Jack White isn’t an easy man to figure out-—nor does he want to be: despite track after track lamenting the heartbreak of love, his female backup chorus includes his ex-wife Karen Elson. A few listens of this album, however, leave you with the impression that Jack White does his best work when he’s a little shrouded in mystery.

Don’t Miss Tracks: “Love Interruption”, “Sixteen Saltines”

MI0002921033Brothers
The Black Keys

For a group with such a stellar big-band sound, it’s hard to believe that The Black Keys are a two-man show. This album comes after both members took some time away from their main band, trying their hand at other projects. It was a well-needed break: This album is their best release in years, cementing their own unique sound and their position atop the blues-rock food chain. This is nothing incredibly new or different, but that’s why I love them: Consistency is key with a group that constantly delivers music that just sounds like a good time.

This album very successfully plays around with a variety of styles, incorporating everything from up-tempo beats on “Howlin’ For You” to quiet, haunting harpsichord on “Too Afraid to Love You”. My personal favorite addition, however, is vocalist Dan Auerbach’s incorporation of falsetto, For a band that’s made a name with its bluesy sound, a falsetto was certainly a surprise (and a welcome one at that). He nails the sound on tracks like “Everlasting Light”, bringing a much-needed new edge into the mix. For longtime fans like myself, this album set a new standard for the band, turning classic bluesy sounds into something fresh and creative.

Don’t Miss Tracks: “Everlasting Light”, “Howlin’ For You”

Staff Picks: Ally’s Picks

As a Murfie newbie in an office populated by seasoned music lovers and audiophiles, I thought there was no better way to make my introduction to Murfie’s blogosphere than to make my own musical statement. Now, it’s worth noting that though I may be young, I don’t tend to be the Murfian digging up the next big thing. I’m a believer in my own tried and true—the bands that have continued to narrate my life by never failing to make music that just sounds right.  I’m the kid you went to elementary school with who just wouldn’t ditch his blankie: when something’s right, I never want to let go.

6334-largeKid A by Radiohead

As a die-hard Radiohead worshipper, it’s rare to find a Radiohead album I don’t like. Kid A, however, occupies its own musical universe. It’s music that gets under your skin, a paradoxical listening experience that’s quiet and cacophonous at the same time. Thom Yorke’s famous alien-esque vocals lend an ethereal feel to the album, giving you 48 minutes of a complicated, slightly unsettling dream. At the end of those 48 minutes and after tracks like “Everything in Its Right Place” and “Idioteque”, you’re left amazed that this album was created in a studio. What makes Radiohead the greatest band on earth is exactly that: every track sounds like the product of some unearthly time and space—and leaves you longing to learn more.

5710-largeWhite Blood Cells by The White Stripes

This album is not only at the top of my most played albums list; it so far exceeds the second place finisher that it feels like a natural, if not inevitable, fit on my staff picks. Without a single dud of a song, White Blood Cells has become as natural a part of my day as breathing (and certainly more natural than waking up in the morning). The White Stripes don’t have much instrumental variety—they love their guitar and drums—but there’s something about the way they handle them that takes this album to another level. It’s rock and it’s blues and it’s gritty and hard, but it also has the variety and sentiment to make you feel each song right along with them. And feel you do—tracks like “The Union Forever” and “The Same Boy You’ve Always Known” illustrate Jack and Meg White’s mastery of imparting endless meaning into succinct songs. Their endlessly interesting take on rock keeps me pressing “play” over and over again.

This Week in Music History (April 4th-10th)

What does music history have for us this week? Learn up and boogie down.

Oh, you wanna own any of these gems? What do you know, we just so happen to have them for sale! (Funny how that worked out ;) Right now, these titles start at just $1, so get ’em before they’re gone!

4 /4

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Chicago bluesman Muddy Waters was born on this day in 1915. Muddy’s influence spread across the Atlantic and helped ignite the British blues explosion (The Rolling Stones got their name from a Muddy Waters song). Muddy was in turn influenced by the psychedelic 60’s, resulting in a Hendrix-esque album of scorching guitar, Electric Mud. Enjoy!

4/5

13629-largeR.E.M. played their first gig on this day in 1980. The group released their debut record, Murmur, three years later, and Rolling Stone Magazine voted it the top album  of 1983, beating out Michael Jackson’s Thriller and U2’s War.

4/6

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The White Stripes took the top spot on the U.K. charts with their second album, Elephant, on this day in 2003. Jack White once said that the driving bassy riff of the record’s first song, “Seven Nation Army,” would be the song he would submit if he was ever asked to write the theme to a James Bond movie. Jack was asked to do just that five years later.

4/7

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Deep Purple was in deep trouble when their guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore, announced his departure from the band on this day in 1975. Blackmore then formed the band, Rainbow, and frontman Ian Gillan went on to play the part of Jesus in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Jesus Christ Superstar.

4/8

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Former Joy Division bass player Peter Hook was knocked unconscious after a riot broke out at a New Order gig in Rotterdam on this day in 1982. In other news, New Order has reunited, and the group is scheduled to headline several festivals in Europe. The shows are sure to be knock outs.

4/9

32981-largeGene Parsons, drummer of The Byrds, was born on this day in 1944. Although The Byrds are best known for the psychedelic jangle of Mr. Tambourine Man, the group later moved in the direction of country with the addition of famed bluegrass picker, Clarence White.

4/10

7325-largePaul McCartney announced The Beatles‘ breakup on this day in 1970. The fab four released 12 albums, which together have sold over a billion units wordwide.