We live in an EP, YouTube ready, and singles only -- and I mean that in music terms -- world. So, when artists emerge with not just a full-length album but an amazing one at that, you have to figuratively hug the living crap out of it. Two acts, who fittingly worked together last summer, just put out two of the best albums of the year so allow me, if you will, to spread the love like cream cheese on a New York-style bagel.
Joywave and Big Data did the EP and single thing last year. Together, they arguably had the song of last summer with the electro-pop smash "Dangerous". That was just a taste. Their respective debut albums take genres and swirl them up like toddler-ready food out of Baby Bullet. Joywave's up first.
Joywave are described as an indie rock band, but the Upstate New York natives are so much more. Their album How Do You Feel Now? picks up where last year's How Do You Feel? EP left off. It's rock. It's pop. It's dance. It's everything. The first single "Somebody New" may be the best single of the year thus far, but dig deep into the album, and you'll have a problem deciding which song is better than the next. Most albums end up like Saturday Night Live in that the content disintegrates slowly over the course of the running time. Not true here. It actually builds momentum and is so damn infectious you'll run through the album twice before you realized you did. Moments before Joywave (Daniel Armbruster, Joseph Morinelli, Sean Donnelly, Benjamin Bailey, and Paul Brenner) opened for Bleachers at Terminal 5, a 'Wave pair sat down for a chat to discuss their own awesomeness, the new album, and how they can go from a '90s alt-rock vibe one moment, and a '80s-inspired jam the next. (Interview filmed by Mike LoBello at Terminal 5 in NYC.)
Maybe one day LCD Soundsystem will get together and play a song called "Big Data Is Playing At My House". If not, maybe you can write it. Notice how I'm pointing to everyone reading this on the Internet? Pretty impressive, huh? Anyway, Data -- known to friends, family, and the pay stubs as Alan Wilkis, just dropped his 2.0 full-length album off the heels of his buzzworthy EP 1.0 and two remix EPs, and it's a doozy.
The album features collaborations with the aforementioned Joywave, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, Twin Shadow, Jamie Lidell, and Kimbra. Rarely do lyrics, technology and music mesh as good as this. And like Joywave, Data's got one of the best songs of the year in "The Business of Emotion," which features the always awesome White Sea. Anyway, you can catch Big Data on the road via the festival circuit and more all summer. Ditto for Joywave just to bring things full circle. Watch the interview with Big Data, which was filmed at the "A-Sides Studio" within Primary Wave in New York City, and became a fan. That, by the way, will be as easy as a Commodore 64 video game was back in the day.
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman's music series features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change.