Quick blurbs on my new music of the year so far… technically, they came out last year, but I found them late enough to count for this year. :)

Melody Olson – All These Things
Genre: Acoustic-based singer/songwriter folksy pop
Where I got it: At Melody’s CD release show in Orlando, January 30, 2009 // Buy online here!
Background: After several years touring as a backup singer for Sara Groves, Melody Olson releases a debut album of her own songs. The Groves factor is unmistakable, but the songs shimmer with Melody’s youthful voice and personality.
Verdict: Okay, I admit. I was probably inclined to take an interest in her music since her sister in law is my friend. :) But when I saw her performance, I was in for something far more than I ever expected! Melody has a beautiful voice and a gift for songwriting, and every track sparkles in its own way. Fans of Sara Groves and the more singer/songwriterly side of Christian music owe it to themselves to get to know her now. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Melody!
Highlights: “All These Things,” “Gone,” “Let Love Win,” “Too Late”

Leiahdorus – Sirens EP
Swoontastic, oddly organic synthpop
Where I got it: iTunes (yay gift card!) // Buy online at iTunes!
Background: Leiahdorus stole my heart years ago with it’s unique marriage of synthpop and acoustic piano sensibilities. After releasing an amazing debut and an okay follow up on indie synth label A Different Drum, Leiahdorus seemed to drop off the planet, until a mysterious little song called “They Have Eyes” appeared on MySpace, heralding signs of life.
Verdict: Sirens EP reintroduces Leiahdorus with a new label and bigger sound than ever, and if these five songs are any indication, their third album is going to be epic. I’ve been listening to “They Have Eyes” on MySpace for so long that hearing the full quality version from iTunes was a huge treat, and though this could quickly be pegged the best track, the songs that follow are every bit as good. “Snow in July” almost has a retro synthpop vibe, “Forward Blindly” thumps with energy reminiscent The Echoing Green, and the almost-seven-minute “Blankets” brings back some of the beautifully moody piano melodies they’re known for. Worth the wait for fans; dirt cheap enough that it’s worth a try for those closet synth lovers out there.
“They Have Eyes,” “Snow in July,” “Blankets”… oh, just buy the whole thing, k?

So, how’s this format?
I figure as new music comes into my life, these mini-reviews will be fun to keep me in practice when I don’t have a JFH deadline staring me down.

Though um… I am working on my Fireflight review for February 9. Really. Promise. :)

In the meantime… I still got ten bucks left on that iTunes card I need to use. Suggestions? I have tons of albums that I want in mind, but picking just one is so hard.