Staff Picks: What's on the Flavorpill Stereo This Month


We doubt it surprised many of you to learn that we were voracious readers at Flavorpill, and it’ll probably surprise no one to discover that we’re also big music nerds whose collective tastes cover a pretty broad spectrum of genres and sounds. What’s playing over the office stereo is always a topic for, um, polite discussion, especially when certain members of staff insist on playing Gotye repeatedly. Anyway, we thought we’d expand on the idea we started last month of soliciting staff picks for reading matter, and also ask our colleagues around the country what’s been on their stereo over the last few weeks. The results await after the jump — let us know what you’ve been listening to of late!

Grimes — Visions

“Already firmly in my top ten records of this year, Visions has survived the incessant hype and come out even better for it. With its instant earworms (like ‘Oblivion’) you wouldn’t expect the album to be a grower, but the more I’ve listened to Claire Boucher’s unique, creepy-cute vocals and innovative song structure, the more affection I have for her unapologetic weirdness. At this point, my favorite songs on the album aren’t the indie pop hits, but ‘Eight,’ which at just over a minute feels like a dizzying, time-lapsed drug trip, and ‘Skin,’ a song I could actually see myself crying along to someday not too far in the future. I’m beside myself with anticipation for her shows this weekend.”

Sophie Weiner, Social Media Manager

Piero Piccioni — Camille 2000

“Prolific Italian film composer Piero Piccioni has created some incredible, lush soundtracks, but lately I’ve been listening to his work for the stylish 1969 Eurotrash-drama Camille 2000. It’s a nice, sleazy listening mix of orgasmic funk, sexy bossa nova, throbbing rhythms, psychedelic swing, acid jazz, and traditional Italo soundtrack sounds.”

— Alison Nastasi, Night Editor, Flavorwire

Busdriver — Beaus$Eros

“Busdriver’s seventh full-length release, Beaus$Eros, is his most melodic yet. Produced by the gifted Belgium-based Loden, the album promises to ‘shock fans and confuse the unconverted into unwilling servitude,’ and it does.

— Tanja M. Laden, Managing Editor, Flavorpill Los Angeles

Vaura — Selenion

“I don’t know what post-rock is but maybe it’s this? Vaura’s loud, slashing guitars and whirls of noise fit nicely between Alcest’s pretty moments and other, noisier things I like to listen to, like the sounds of trains. It’s completely hypnotic and keeps the world at bay.”

— Russ Marshalek, Social Media Director

Sharon Van Etten — Tramp

“Think folk-identified singer-songwriters aren’t your cup of herbal tea? That’s generally my position, but I’ve fallen hard for Sharon Van Etten, whose third album is full of hard-won wisdom, searching vocals imbued with emotion, and even a fair number of genuine rock riffs. Start with ‘Give Out’ — you will hear no more perfect lyric this year than, ‘You’re the reason why I’ll move to the city or why I’ll need to leave’ — and see if it doesn’t make you a fan.”

— Judy Berman, Deputy Editor/Music Editor, Flavorwire

Pixies — Surfer Rosa

“There’s a heap of great new music out at the moment — as you’ll read elsewhere in this feature — but for some reason, as soon as the sun comes out, I want to listen to the Pixies. Surfer Rosa has long been my summer album, a record that evokes all the glory and weirdness of scorching days and long, endless nights when it’s too hot to sleep, but no one is sleeping anyway. The horizon shimmering in the haze, the smell of the city in the heat, the taste of the ocean and the strange dried-out feeling your skin gets from too long in the water. And the sounds that Joey Santiago ekes and scrapes out of his guitar — especially during the epic ‘Vamos’ — remain things of wonder.”

— Tom Hawking, Contributing Editor, Flavorwire

Terry Malts — Killing Time

“A friend of mine tweeted that this band sounded like 1990s Magnetic Fields mixed with The Ramones. I had to listen because that’s either the best comparison I’ve ever heard to anything, or my friend is insane. Thankfully it turned out to be the best comparison I’ve ever heard.”

— Jason Diamond, Deputy Editor, Flavorpill New York/Brooklyn

Animal Collective — Strawberry Jam

“There’s something about spring that makes repetitive, overly excited noises extremely appealing. Needless to say, Strawberry Jam is full of this type of sound. My recently reignited love affair with this album was specifically spurred by the back to back, 12+ minute combo that is ‘For Reverend Green’/’Fireworks.'”

— Dave Coll, Creative Project Manager

Robert Glasper Experiment — Black Radio

“This album was my first introduction to the jazz pianist known as Robert Glasper. I was excited to see the level of exploration he and his teammates (including Yaslin Bey, Erykah Badu, Bilal, and others) committed to melding Glasper’s jazz influences with contemporary soul, R&B, and hip-hop.”

— Alex Kim, Lead Designer

John Talabot — ƒIN

“An anonymous electronic producer from Barcelona, but before that introduction puts you to sleep, know that John Talabot’s debut is a simply outstanding album of moody, slow-motion house with blurry sonic ties to the Balearic, the Italo-disco, and even the lo-fi or ‘hipster’ house scenes flourishing here in the States. The collaborations with Pional are especially affecting, like soulful vocal house heard through a dark fog, but the whole album is an early essential of 2012.”

— Eric Grandy, Managing Editor, Flavorpill Seattle

Crystal Fighters — Star of Love

“This Spanish/British band has been winning people over with its psychedelic, folk-infused dance music since releasing its debut album overseas in 2010. Taking inspiration from an unfinished opera (also called Crystal Fighters) by a deranged relative, the band comes across like Edward Sharpe at a rave in the Basque country, and is just as likely to have you howling maniacally as dancing wildly. Star of Love gets its long overdue US release this spring, and the stateside assault has already begun, with newly converted crowds barely containing themselves at the band’s often unhinged live shows.”

— Doug Levy, Senior Editor, Flavorpill

And finally, we got this forlorn missive from our Literary Editor, Emily Temple:

“My computer crashed recently and I lost everything — somewhere near a decade’s worth of music. Unable to face the prospect of trying to piece my collection back together from memory, I’ve been adding albums as I feel I need them. So far, I have the entire Mountain Goats discography, Excitable Boy and The Essential Leonard Cohen. These three gentlemen are, I’ve found, all a girl really needs.”

The full list: of Montreal — Paralytic Stalks Mirroring — Foreign Body Throbbing Gristle — 20 Jazz Funk Greats K-Holes — Dismania (out 5/1) Screaming Females — Ugly (out 4/3) Magnetic Fields — Love at the Bottom of the Sea Infinite Livez — Warehouse Music Jarvis Cocker — Jarvis Jon DeRosa — A Wolf in Preacher’s Clothes Tronics — Love Backed by Force Golden Child — Quarter Life Crisis D’Eon — Music for Keyboards Alabama Shakes — Boys & Girls (out 4/10) John Cale — Music for a New Society Clark — Iradelphic (out 4/2) Various Artists — Trish’s Mind-Bending Motorway Mix Laura Stevenson and the Cans — Sit Resist Tanlines — Mixed Emotions Nneka — Soul Is Heavy Of Monsters and Men — My Head Is an Animal