Press Play Friday: All-Stars

The Best of . . .

As BLOGAVERSARY week comes to a close, I thought for today’s Press Play it would be nice to look back at a few of our favorite featured artists from the past two years. Many talented musicians have taken the spotlight since the segment’s introduction – which featured Mumford & Sons; singer/songwriters, Pop stars, rockers, indie-alternative groups. The selection has been vast and varied. It has been a place that has introduced you to up & coming artists, fan favorites, and previous unknowns. I hope to continue that tradition, bringing you even more new artists and fresh music for your lovely ears to devour. My music obsession knows no bounds and it won’t be long (Next week, actually) until you’ll have another song or album to download; another artist to discover. Press Play has been and will always be a home for all music lovers.

Oh, look. It’s Florence + The Machine. You’re not surprised, are you? You shouldn’t be, seeing as I’m kinda (a lot) obsessed with this band and have frequently posted about the magical awesomeness they possess. “You want to keep Florence in your pocket and have her sing you lullabies. Or maybe, that’s just me?” (Ceremonials – Album Review, 11/8/11).

I love Jack’s Mannequin and their frontman, Andrew McMahon, so much that I dedicated an entire month of Press Play’s to them and their beautiful, inspiring music. We covered everything from Dark Blue to Caves, Bruised to Hammers and Strings. It was a good month, I must say. Their newest album, People and Things, connects with JM’s previous two albums seamlessly – sounds of familiarity mixed with unaccustomed tones. Amy, I became an instant classic in my book. The chorus is a singable earworm. Andrew brings energetic Alternative-Rock to melancholy lyrics in a way that seems almost impossible. But he does it. Flawlessly.

Epic. That is how I often describe Civil Twilight, only because it’s true. They create stories; construct sensations of love and loss that explode into finely crafted masterpieces. I’ve been playing Holy Weather, their sophomore record, on repeat for the past few weeks. If you haven’t bought this spectacular album, I don’t even know what to say to you. You need to have this in your collection. There is not a bad song in the bunch. Shape of a Sound is my current favorite (It changes from day-to-day. You know how it is). While the song is intensified by heavy drum beats, strong electric guitars, and a passionately sung chorus, the heart of the song is pure romance – epic (See. I told you) in its nature. “Strange as it may seem, my body leans on only you.”

Glen Hansard. What can I say about Glen Hansard? One of my favorites, to be sure. Though this singer/songwriter has only made one brief appearance for Press Play, the intensity at which I love his music, his voice, ranks high on the scale. Hansard’s first solo album, Rhythm and Repose, debuted this month to rave reviews (by me and the collective). His soulful sounds produce a wave of calm, gaining momentum, and finally burst with intensity – a signature of his. High Hope follows this formula, perfecting it. I highly recommend downloading the entire album. Trust me. You won’t regret it.

What did you think of the songs and artists featured in this week’s Press Play Friday? Are there any new albums you are looking forward to? What songs and artists have you been listening to recently? What’s your favorite Press Play? Tell me in the comments!

For more Kim the FanGirl follow the blog on Twitter @kimthefangirl and on Facebook

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