I rented a cabin last week and ended up in over a foot of snow. Picked the wrong week for a retreat. This will be my last installment of under the radar albums of the decade list before I get to the top 10 of the year. Again, I didn't want to replicate a bunch of other lists. These are albums I feel should get more attention. See my previous list here and here.
The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? (2003)
True story. I was down in Miami and saw The Unicorns play for about 5 songs. Between songs, one of the members went off and slugged the other before running off stage. The member decked threw down his guitar and gave chase. Meanwhile the drummer picked up the guitar and did an impromptu solo before the show ended. Thought it was a joke but apparently not because they soon disbanded. This album for me made arty-pop accessible to many who probably wouldn't listen to it otherwise.
Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism (2003)
The breakthrough album for DCFC and one of my wife's favorites. Remember the "OC"? The awful show that put DCFC further in the mainstream? The album starts off with "The New Year" layering the song with various arrangements before coming together in accumulation of sound. The layering can be found throughout making this one of DCFC best.
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Hearts of Oak (2003)
Some people cannot get past the falsetto voice (which threw me off at first). But if you can, this is Ted Leo's best album. I used 'peaked' a lot in my last posts, but this is where I felt Ted did just that. He added a keyboard and extra member to create Hearts and it was definitely worth it. His last couple of albums have been ok, but nothing near this level.
The Mountain Goats - Tallahassee (2002)
A full narrative of a marriage going through hell. This is John Darnielle's first venture into a proper studio and creating one of his more accessible albums. From the opening the album blitzes through a pace of despair and sympathy. One of his best.
Bat for Lashes - Fur and Gold (2007)
Another of the better half's picks. This album opened up Natasha Khan to a wide audience. Often compared to Bjork, Natasha weaves raw emotions in soft melodies and hush sounds. She has the lyrics of someone pushing the envelope while using harpsichords, violins and hand claps on the album.