Ellie Goulding – Delirium
Ellie Goulding has been all over the place with her first 2 albums, from club anthems to heartfelt ballads and her cover of Elton John’s “Your Song.” This album is pure pop with EDM influences, but while many of her contemporaries are writing similar sounding music, Ellie has always had a bit more maturity, for the most part, to her lyrical content. So while it may sound all pop and circumstance meant to just dance around to, when you listen to the lyrics, there is emotion there. Blending listenability with emotive lyrics is what the best music does, and Ellie Goulding is doing it great for today’s generation.
Guster – Evermotion
Guster has been around for a long time, but I’ll admit I haven’t followed along with their last few albums. When I heard they were releasing a new album this year I decided to take a listen. Like Mumford and Sons, Guster is moving in a new direction with their latest album. Their earlier work was mostly acoustic, hand percussion indie pop.
It all changes right from the beginning, opening with an almost dreamy “Long Night.” It’s ambient and ethereal and wonderful. It offers a lot of what is to come on the album, which is new sounds, layers of synths and vocals and a new direction. I really enjoyed Guster’s older music, but it’s also nice to when bands can keep up with current music without losing themselves, which I think Guster has done with this album.
Jose Gonzalez – Vestiges and Claws
It’s been 8 years since everyone’s favorite Swedish Argentinean has released and album, though I wasn’t formally introduced to Jose Gonzalez until watching “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know his music. I praised Guster for releasing a new album and changing to stay current, but they have been releasing music on a fairly regular basis. When a musician takes a period of time between albums, there is a temptation to make changes that would seem forced or cliché. Jose Gonzalez took the better part of a decade between albums and released an album that drops nicely right in with his other material. He retains what has always been his best assets, his voice and his guitar with minimal other instrumentation throughout. With so many artists changing, mostly for the better, it’s refreshing to get an album in 2015 so pure to the voice of the artist. If you haven’t heard any Jose Gonzalez yet, you should definitely check him out, and if you haven’t listened to his latest album yet, you definitely, definitely should.