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It just occurred to me that I forgot to post this last Friday, which was technically the last Friday of the month. Oops. But it's not too late because it's still February and even though it's Monday, just pretend it's Friday (because you know Friday's are better than Monday's anyway). On with the music!

Local Natives – "Black Balloons"

I'd been looking forward to a new Local Natives album for well over a year now so there was no holding back on buying it the second it was released at the end of January. In comparison to their debut album, it rocks just as hard. I've found that it's more common for great indie artists to change their sound on their second album into something more mainstream, which can be disappointing. I'm happy to report Local Natives stayed true to their indie sound and I can guarantee this album will get just as much play as it's predecessor for me.

RED – "If we only"

This is easily one of my favorite Christian rock bands so obviously I was crazy excited for this new album this month. It has all the qualities I love about their other albums, a healthy does of heavy music made better with Michael Barnes perfect voice. Admittedly, I was skeptical about the dubstep remixes on the deluxe version of this album, but they turned out awesome as well. See!

Secret & Whisper – "Warrior"

I finally found a purpose for my tablet this month while cleaning the house. I always listen to music when I'm cleaning, but typically my iPods die out halfway through and even if they last, I'm just listening to music I already own. But I've heard lots of good things about this app Songza and so I gave it a shot. I found a channel called Christian artists for Hardcore kids that listed a bunch of bands I know I love like Underoath and He Is Legend, and discovered several bands I'd never heard of before but fell instantly in-love with, like Secret & Whisper. Sadly, this band is on a indefinite hiatus, which sucks, but at least I can enjoy the two album they'd released previously and keep hoping they get back together one day.

Family Force 5 – "D-I-E 4 Y-O-U"

This is another band I stumbled on via Songza and I didn't think I'd like more than the song I'd heard, but when I snagged the album that featured it from the library, I found myself falling harder for the rest of the album than just that song. Sadly, after acquiring a second album, I'm nowhere near as impressed with their music. But I'll just stick to loving that first album and pretend the second one never happened.

Fireflight – "Unbreakable"

My mom can take credit for my interest in this band (which I just think makes her even cooler). She sent me a bunch of artists wondering if I had anything else by them so she could update her iPod, but surprisingly I'd never even heard of some of them, like Fireflight, which is sort of funny because I'm huge fan of female fronted rock bands. Three albums later and I'm hooked. Thanks, Mom!

Aside from all of these "new" artists, I spent a great deal of time listening to my Dreamsters playlist since I've been writing so much this month for Grapemo. It's a strange sort of playlist (maybe the strangest I've ever had for one of my novels) because it varies from the heaviest of sounds like Underaoth to rap like Busta Rhymes and there's an in between of soft sweet soft, too.

What are you listening to these days?