FILTER’s Top 10 of 2011: Ivan Howard, of The Rosebuds
By Staff on December 1, 2011
Ivan Howard has been a busy guy, to say the least. Alongside at least 20 of his musical peers, Howard was among the huge cast of players involved with Minneapolis supergroup GAYNGS, which released their soulful debut, Relayted, just last year. Not to mention his fulltime duties as half of indie-pop duo The Rosebuds. Howard’s been releasing material with Kelly Crisp since 2003 and this summer saw them add record number five, Loud Planes Fly Low, to their catalog. Below, Howard gives FILTER his favorite albums of 2011, including a couple of mix tapes by The Weeknd and A$AP Rocky.
Ivan Howard’s Picks
Little Dragon, Ritual Union (PEACEFROG/EMI)
This was the record I was most excited about coming out this year. I was a huge fan of their previous release, Machine Dreams; probably the album I listened to the most the past year, and the new one didn't let me down. I'm pretty sure the deal was sealed with the homemade fan video for the song “Crystalfilm,” which was pieced together from one of my favorite scenes from the movie The Endless Summer.
Future Islands, On the Water (THRILL JOCKEY)
I've been a big fan of these guys since In Evening Air came out. I've been seeing their band play for years it seems, and everything just came together perfectly on this album. The slow songs are as important and memorable as the singles. It reminds of Depeche Mode's Violator in that way.
Destroyer, Kaputt (MERGE)
This is one of my favorite albums ever released on Merge Records, and it was also my running record for a good while. It was like half GAYNGS and half New Order with Dan [Bejar] singing the way only he can. When I saw them, they absolutely destroy(er)ed it live too! (I know, I know.)
Other Lives, Tamer Animals (TBD)
We were lucky enough that these guys agreed to go on tour with us in North America this year. So I got to hear these album songs live night after night, and they always sounded amazing and never got old. The single “Tamer Animals” might just be my song of the year.
Terius Nash, 1977 (RADIO KILLA)
This album came out of nowhere for me, and [it] was totally random that I even found out about it, but it hit me like a city bus. He sings things on this record that not many people ever say in a song and his word phrasing in genius. Emotionally, I would put it in the same category as the Afghan Whigs record Gentlemen; made for no one but the artist with a total disregard for commercial success. And this is the guy who co-wrote “Umbrella” for Rihanna and “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” for Beyoncé.
The Weeknd, House of Balloons (SELF-RELEASED)
This record might be my most listened to release of the year. It captures a feeling that I haven't really heard a lot before in the indie world and in a consistency that is hard to believe. Yeah, it's a mix tape, but they do use the Siouxsie and the Banshees song “Happy House” as a sample. Something that Kelly [Crisp], from The Rosebuds, was really into when we recorded Night of the Furies.
Real Estate, Days (DOMINO)
It has a little bit of everything I like from my record collection and I was happy to see a band like this that the critics decided to champion. To my ears, it makes me feel like I'm listening to a Teenage Fanclub/The Bats collaboration; just so laid back and really well written.
PJ Harvey, Let England Shake (ISLAND)
This didn't sound like anything else released in the past couple of years to me. It was really refreshing to hear something organic with lyrics that have a purpose and a direction. Definitely my personal favorite record of hers.
Lykke Li, Wounded Rhymes (LL/ATLANTIC)
This record was a grower for me and I think beautifully tackles concepts way beyond her first release. No matter what, now I can't get the song “I Follow Rivers” out of my head and that is OK with me. Its video is amazing as well.
A$AP Rocky, LiveLoveA$AP (SELF-RELEASED)
This is another mix tape, but it really is going to make me put a bass tube in my hatchback before it's all over with. The music that he is vocalizing over is pretty perfect to me. I have a soft spot for super dark, heavy beats and some of this picks up where Salem left off on King Night and cleans it up a bit but still leaves it in the same setting.