Yep, I have finally pinned down the best ten albums that I have heard in 2003. But, first, I thought I would mention the best EP that battled for playing time this year. So here is the first installment in the No Matter What You Heard best-of series, which features first releases from two bands from opposite ends of the U.S. of A.
Best EP of 2003
TV on the Radio — Young Liars. Brooklyn-based TV on the Radio recorded one of the most creative EPs in recent memory. Allmusic notes: "Elements of electronica, post-rock, film music, even spirituals and traditional African vocal music combine and recombine throughout Young Liars' five songs so organically that it's clear that TV on the Radio isn't striving to be 'eclectic' or 'atmospheric'." While the captivating epic, "Blind," might recall early solo work from Peter Gabriel, as the above quotation suggests, the band's inspiration and influences are markedly diverse. Further proof of the band's range is a not-so hidden extra track-- an a cappella rendition (and re-working) of the Pixies' "Mr. Grieves". Download "Staring at the Sun", the album's most urgent and catchy track, at Insound.
Moving Units — s/t. Although more derivative and less diverse than TV on the Radio's work, L.A.'s Moving Units provide one of the most striking four songs in the recent post-punk revivalist movement. Less reliant on keyboards than the Rapture, Moving Units nail the ever-so "in" sound of Gang of Four's Entertainment and the Cure's Boys Don't Cry. Epitonic kindly hosts one of the excellent tracks on the album, "I Am".
For more musings on the best independent music, the music industry, and the like, swing by No Matter What You Heard.