Best Free Album Downloads

I've written about music on here a few times before, but for those of you who aren't aware, music is a big deal for me. I listen allll the time. But... I'm also kind of picky. 
But that's ok, since I'm able to admit it?
The first step is acceptance. 

Anyways. Here are my rules for music:

  • Lyrics should be poetic/subjective/up for interpretation
  • Instruments should be included (not solely electronic) and played with talent
  • Vocals should be strong without auto tuning or other heavy editing
  • Music itself should be catchy and interesting
I know, I know. I sound like a giant music jerk. But believe it or not, there's a slew of music that fits these requirements. Loads and loads of it, actually. But the best part? Some of it is free

That's right. There are complete, fantastic, catchy albums that meet my too-picky requirements available for download, FOR FREE. And the legal kind of free, too. If you're like me - an avid traveler/college student - you're probably broke, too. So a little bit of free can go a long ways. 
I know all this music won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I hope that I spread some musical joy with these complete-album free downloads. I'd love to hear your suggestions, as well!

Disclaimer: A solid portion of these are available for download from noisetrade.com - this post was not sponsored by Noisetrade, I am just solidly behind their website and concept. 

Sea Wolf: Song Spells, NO. 1, Cedarsmoke
I've talked about Sea Wolf on here before, and for good reason. Formed primarily by lead singer and guitarist Eric Church, Sea Wolf is a solid mix of moody lyrics, hazy strumming, and catchy choruses. In fact, their album Old World Romance is one of my top 10 favorite of all time. This new album, released earlier this month, is a 'thank you' for the support gained from fans over the years. Though this particular album is very rough and raw sounding compared to previous albums, it doesn't detract from the overall quality of the music. I've said it before, but Sea Wolf is the ultimate 'curl up with a book on a rainy day' type background music I can't get enough of.

The Oh Hellos: Through the Deep, Dark Valley
If you are a fan of the Lumineers or The Head and the Heart, you'll probably get hooked on The Oh Hellos pretty quickly. Their americana/folk style songs are perfect for sunny mornings sipping coffee on your back porch. Or any other time you want cheery music with more than just superficial lyrics. I mean, one of their songs is inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia, which as both a CoN and CS Lewis fan, I highly appreciate. I personally love Like The Dawn; the lyrics are lovely, and I can't get enough of all the guitar plucking going on. Check them out. 

Wild Child: Pillow Talk
This quirky duo is simply fun to listen to, though they create lovely music too. Songs like Silly Things and Pillow Talk are stuck-in-your-head-for-3-days type of catchy, and their lyrics are cute. Not the patronizing kind of cute, either. Reminiscent of Regina Spektor in a duet, if you will. If you're looking for something a bit more eclectic and fun, you should definitely download this album by Wild Child. 

JOSEPH: Native Dreamer Kin
Comprised of three sisters from Portland, OR (just a hop, skip, and a jump from me!) JOSEPH is the most harmonious album you'll hear in a long time. Seriously, the harmony these gals put out in every chorus is incredible. I listened to Cloudline for several days nonstop... it's that good. Their sound is reminiscent of Mountain Man (the background singers/band for Feist) combined with The Boxer Rebellion; a little bit heavy, a little gray, but very, very worthwhile. Save this album for a rainy day. 

Matt Pond: Threeep
Two things: the opening song on this album, Starting, is one of my 'songs that made me fall in love'. I was tell-everyone-I-know obsessed with that one song for several months, and still am. The whole album is great, but if you're anything like me, you'll get hooked on the first song and stop there. Want to know something even cooler? The second song, The Colour Out of Space, is the title of a short story by HP Lovecraft. As a MASSIVE Lovecraft/scifi/horror fan, just knowing about that one song was enough for me to download the entire album. Anyways, Matt Pond has a 'too cool for school' type voice, and the instrumentals are creative and catchy. If you like Oren Lavie or Sea Wolf, you'll probably like Matt Pond. 

With all that said, there are certainly loads of free songs/EPs available for download, but I chose to stick to the complete albums out there. What do you think? Have you listened to any of these albums before? Have any others you would add to the list?

Read about my favorite albums of all time, here

Read about songs that make you fall in love, here

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  1. ...Awesome--thanks for the suggestions, :-)!!...

    By the way, have you ever heard of this Norwegian indie pop duo called Kings of Convenience???...Feist did featured vocals on a couple of the songs of their 2nd album, "Riot on an Empty Street"!!...

    The Pumpkin's Head (Betty J. Ogburn)

    1. Ahh, I love Kings of Convenience! I've actually been listening to them this week! My favorite of theirs is Peacetime Resistance, though I love Riot on an Empty Street as well. Good good good stuff! Thanks for the recommendation :) If you like them, you should check out Oren Lavie, Jose Gonzalez, and The Boxer Rebellion. Similar styles and voices, all fantastic as well.

  2. ..."Peacetime Resistance"???...I haven't heard of that EP/LP (must go to YouTube)!!...

    Thanks for the suggestions--I gotta check them out, :-)!!...

  3. I haven't heard of these, thank you though! I am falling in love with Sea Wolf Now :)


    1. Ahhh that makes my heart happy! Personal favorite songs of Sea Wolf are 'You're a Wolf', 'Kasper', and 'Changing Season's, though you really can't go wrong with any of his.

  4. I adore Matt Pond, excellent vocals! I haven't heard of any of the other groups, will definitely have to check them out. How do you find these different music groups?
    I also nominated you for a Liebster award! Check out the link to learn more: http://yourstrulyfreckleface.blogspot.com/2014/08/leibster-awards.html

    1. I'm so glad to find a fellow Matt Pond fan! He is just goodness. I find most of my music through research and recommendations; I like using Pandora and writing down new-to-me songs I hear, as well as frequenting Noisetrade on a regular basis. Plus, I have lots of lovely music-loving friends who always have good suggestions. And you're AWESOME! thanks so much - I love your content :) Just checked out your blog.

  5. I enjoy listening to The Oh Hellos, I found them on Noise Trade. I will have to check out the others you mentioned as well.