Defeating the January New Music Blahs With Parov Stelar, Kathleen Edwards and Classic Dylan

January, and even sometimes February, is usually a bit of a snooze if you’re the type who waits all week for New Music Tuesday. The October – December holiday shopping season is stacked with major releases, leaving the beginning of the new year a bit wanting.

What are you supposed to do in this lull? We have a few suggestions on how you can treat your ears in these less obvious times.

Ask one of your music-nerdy friends to suggest one of their favourite albums:

Parov Stelar Shine CoverParov Stelar – Shine
Parov Stelar aka Marcus Füreder lives in Linz, Austria. He cut his teeth as a club DJ and producer before releasing his first album in 2004. In the 8 years since, Parov Stelar has released an impressive 7 albums, and a whopping 17 EPs. He has been credited as single-handedly founding a new genre of music called “Electroswing.” 2007’s Shine is heavily jazz influenced, with a splash of electronica. I’d never heard of this guy, but I took the word of a friend whose taste I trust, and this album proved to be a really great discovery.

Dig through your collection to rediscover an old classic:

Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde coverBob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde
I pulled out this album when rifling through my cd collection for something familiar and comfortable. Released in the summer of 1966, it was Dylan’s seventh studio album, and came out one year after he famously plugged in his guitar at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. If you already know the album, you know it is magic from beginning to end. If you’re new to Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde is one of his quintessential albums, featuring hugely popular tracks “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35” and “Just Like a Woman.”

Randomly pick up a new album from someone you’ve heard of, but never listened to:

Kathleen Edwards Voyageur coverKathleen Edwards – Voyageur
I’ve heard Kathleen Edwards’ name for years. I remember stocking her first two albums when I worked at a record store, and I’d heard about the release of her third album in 2008 on CBC Radio. Despite my taste for Alt-Country and Folk, which her music is known to be, I’d never given her a listen. I don’t know why, some things just cannot be explained. Her 4th effort, the Bon Iver produced, Voyageur was released today (Jan 16, 2012), and I picked it up from iTunes on a lark. She seems to have deviated from the country/folk sound that she’s known for, and you can really hear the influence of Bon Iver. “Chameleon/Comedian” is a stand-out track, but the album is lovely in it’s entirety.

How do treat your ears during the music industry’s slow season? Where do you find music to put on, and what are you listening to? Tell us in the comments!

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