- "Americana" from Neil Young and Crazy Horse--I have to say, this record is best enjoyed driving on an open road--think some highway that passes through a small town every seven miles. It's a bit of a dark twist on the traditional folk songs we all know---like Travel On, This Land is Your Land, Oh Susannah, etc. The songs are still recognizable; they're just roughed up a bit with a Neil Young flare.
- "The Only Place" by Best Coast---I heard this band for the first time last night on WBEZ Chicago's Sound Opinions broadcasted on Omaha Public Radio. I fell in love right away. Her pop voice and catchy melodies make it the perfect summer album. Normally I'm skeptical of poppy music, but the depth of her lyrics make the album endearing.
- Sun Kil Moon's "Among the Leaves"--I loved this band when I was an angst ridden teenage girl. I loved that nobody knew who the band was, and I loved the lead singer's, Mark Kozelek, smooth, haunting voice. It's one of those that hangs in the air like a stale cigarette. This is a great late night album paired well with low lighting and coffee (as cliche as that sounds). I read a review recently that criticized the sullen nature of the album as well as the reflective insights on aging---perhaps my recent struggle with growing older is what's drawn me to the album. This album does have some strong language, so proceed with caution if you're sensitive to that sort of thing.
- And if these don't fit your fancy, here are a few more artists I've been digging on this summer: Band of Horses, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Sean Hayes, and Brandi Carlile.