On the back of her 2010 debut EP, Hello Desire, and captivating live performances in the various boardwalk venues and beyond, Jerzy Jung has developed into one of the areas most renown artists, coveted by the likes of Captain James Peacock, Joanna Burns, and Glen Burtnik, to name a few, for collaborative performances. Thankfully, the Garden State songstress was able to construct a list of her favorite 2011 releases they are as follows:
5. Ceremonials by Florence + The Machine
Another record I was waiting a long time for. Not as many obvious hits as her first record, Lungs, but the gems beg to be played over and over again, and once again the vibe doesn’t disappoint. Personally I like my male artists sensitive and my female artists tough, and this record is the epitome of a primal, aggressive sound. The vocals are howling and guttural yet always under control, and the production is giant thanks to booming drums and heavenly harp synth sounds.
Standout tracks: Only If For A Night, Shake It Out, Lover To Lover, Bedroom Hymns
4. Bon Iver by Bon Iver
I’ve loved him since his first release so I was greatly anticipating this one. Strangely, the first few listens didn’t grab me, but as I continued to play it, it really grew on me. I think his melodies are more subtle than a lot of the music I enjoy but he puts so much into the spaces between the words. He uses his background vocals like another instrument, and the electric guitar parts are soft but insistent. I often pair music with times of day since most of my listening happens in my car, so I’ll say that this is definitely a perfect record to listen to while you’re driving down the highway on a warm summer night watching a particularly beautiful sunset.
Standout tracks: Perth, Towers, Calgary
3. Circuital by My Morning Jacket
This is a sexy record. I love the echo-y sound of the lead singer’s voice, the catchy melodies, the prominent drums. This was one of my favorite summer records this year – it sounded great with my car windows down and the smell of the ocean in the air. There’s just a carefree and rebellious feel to the entire album.
Standout tracks: Victory Dance, The Day Is Coming, Outta My System
2. Vows by Kimbra
She is another artist from Australia who is killing it right now in my opinion. You can’t even buy this in the U.S. iTunes store or on Amazon right now, but it’s available to stream on a few websites and on YouTube. “Settle Down” is the song that absolutely knocks me out. The official music video seems to be some kind of commentary on the way girls can become obsessed with the IDEA of “perfect” marriage and family as opposed to having honest, real relationships.
The production is this crazy hybrid of the pianos from Amy Winehouse’s record plus the melodies from Florence and The Machine or Imogen Heap and the percussion from The Bird and The Bee. It’s fierce and again it’s complex – not your average cookie cutter pop song.
Standout tracks: Settle Down, Call Me
1. Making Mirrors by Gotyee
Gotye is a self-produced artist from Australia. He made this record mostly alone in a barn. I love it because it sounds like an awesome mix of Depeche Mode, Steve Winwood, and The Police with some trip hop influences thrown in. The vocals are soulful, powerful and pure and the songs are so interesting – there are twists and turns in the structure of many of them so you won’t know them by heart after the first listen. I like that complexity, and I also love the creativity he shows you in this Making Of video:
Standout tracks: Somebody That I Used To Know, Eyes Wide Open, Smoke and Mirrors, State of the Art
NOTE: Jung will be playing tonight at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club for Cat Cosentino’s EP release party to celebrate the solo artist’s debut studio release Box Of Chocolates. Doors are 6:30 p.m. and admission is free. Don’t miss it.