Once again, here we go on the first Monday of a new month, digging through my 2012 music journal for a sampler of some of my favorite new albums. February wasn’t quite as intense as the first month. I think I got in one of my modes where I want to revisit things I already love instead of go seeking out new stuff.

Two things that most informed my listening this month were The Grammys and a semi-related renewed interest in rock. There was good, bad, and mediocre, but lets just talk about the good, shall we? Here were a few records I found worth getting to know in February.

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

Genre: Garage rock n roll! Little grungy, alternative with a 90s feel
First Impressions: My friend Lindsay is borderline obsessed with them and they got quite a few Grammy nods. My goal was to listen to all the major nominees before the show, and this one caught and held my attention more than any other Album of the Year contender. (well, besides Adele, but everybody loves Adele, right?) Organic, passionate, and straight up fun rock with melodic tendencies. I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun listening to a rock album. It was also the final push I needed to finally give Nirvana a listen.
Source: Spotify, then bought it on iTunes

Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror

Genre: Like a bunch of cheerleaders started a thrash metal dance punk band. But it’s only two people.
First Impressions: It doesn’t give me a headache like their last record does (every time.) I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. While big loud distortion noise was the norm on Treats, this one turns down the fuzz for something more accessible and even melodic. Huge shredding guitars and thundering drums juxtaposed with sweet, girly vocals are still the defining mark of Sleigh Bells, but this time around things seem darker, more serious. They even dare to work in a couple of introspective almost-ballads. In spite of/because of the differences, I’m really liking it. Nice to see this New York duo stretching their sound and proving they’re not a fluke.
Source: iTunes

Dave Barnes – Stories to Tell

Genre: Songwriter pop with a soulful twist
First Impressions: It’s not rock at all in my month of rock, but I do love me some Dave Barnes. His music just makes me happy. It’s understated and not too flashy, but his musicality and blending of R&B-ish grooves with heartfelt acoustic-based songwriting is always  an interesting and fun listen. At the same time, I had it on background repeat all day, so I may have missed something. But then again, music that always leaves something to discover is the best kind, isn’t it? It’s a fine, smart melodic pop record, and one to check out when it releases next week.
Source: Pre-release (Releases March 13th. Pre-order on iTunes or Dave’s website)

Total new albums for February: 9, plus maybe 2 I didn’t finish. Mostly on Spotify as Grammy studying, therefore a few were kind of “meh” or not my style.

What have you been listening to this month? Drop a comment and share!