Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wye Not Wye Oak

Meet Wye Oak; indie folk duo from Baltimore made up of equal parts Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack. In their latest release, Civilian, expect a cross between Florence + The Machine and Deb Talan of the Weepies. Riveting from the first beat, it didn't take long for me to wrap my headphones and heart around this amazing track, which revels in a humble combination of Elliot Smith's lyricism and the unapologetic grit missing from mainstream music. Tremendously brave and beautiful, Civilian is a song to fall in love with.

I am nothing without pretend
I know my thoughts

can't live with them
I am nothing without a man
I know my faults

but I can hide them

I don't need another friend
when most of them
i can barely keep up with
i'm perfectly able to hold my own hand
but i still can't
kiss my own neck

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Second Annual - Year in Musical Review

A little glimpse into the mixtape of my year. What better way to measure your time but musically...
"as the lights of the cars go by in a stream
seems like i stand pretty much unseen
but i open my eyes and beams come out"

"you must stick up for yourself, son
never mind what anybody else done"

Winter Winds - Mumford & Sons

"and my head told my heart 'let love grow'
but my heart told my head 'this time no"
The Chaconne - Dessa & Matthew Santos
"the books i read said you were a fragile kid, just as i imagined it your story goes"
"put the ghost in my sail/put the spin in my wheel/ roll me up in your heart,
awe make it seem real/i'm clay in your hands, i'm the ball in your game

i've been lovin you forever but i never knew your name"

Franklin Avenue - Jeremy Messersmith

"waiting for/ that sinking feeling/it's all that keeps me together + im so scared to let it unwind"
"wake up
you're getting high on your own supply
oh baby,
you're still alive when you could've died
the world is not around because of you
you know?
i'm not around because of you"
"show me the way to shake. a memory"


Heart of Gold - Neil Young

"it's these expressions i never give, that keep me searching for a heart of gold"

Who You Gonna Run To? - Solid Gold

"who you gonna run to?
who you gonna run to now?"

The Light - Common

we known each other for some time -

it don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine"

"i know they won't believe me, but i've got favorite memories
darkness, always
it doesn't make much sense"

As the new year approaches, I only hope that it is happier, calmer, and more beautiful than any year before. Try not to make too many resolutions, you don't need 'em.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kill The Light

Expect to hear these two next time you venture into Urban Outfitters.
An 80s, slightly sexed up version of Tegan and Sara,
Kitten provides some good clean hipster fun with Kill The Light. Would easily fit into any techno-pop montage in a Sofia Coppola movie.

Not to be outdone,
Deerhunter will leave you begging for more on the trance-like Revival - another song too short to be played less than a few times in a row.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Age of Adele

Adele, whose breakout album 19 was touted as the vocalist's powerhouse debut, comes back strong with her sophomore effort appropriately titled 21. Expected to hit iTunes this February, the first single Rolling in the Deep has been pre-released to thunderous praise from both sides of the pond. (Pure vocal power. If you want to listen to something that sounds. good. this is the song for you...) With a maturity transcending the age suggested on her albums, Adele's bold, soulful tracks resonate louder than many of her more half-hearted counterparts.
From powerful vocals to a richly transcendent artist tethered to textural fragility, Sufjan Stevens presents Futile Devices - a tiny work of art. This 2 minute gem is one of the most beautiful tracks off of Sufjan Stevens' latest album, The Age of Adz.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Simone White

It's been a while since something has struck me as earnestly as this.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Louder Than Ever

I've got an inkling Cold War Kid's newly released Louder Than Ever will reach Kings-Of-Leon fame by the time their January-expected album is droped. CWK's vibe I've long compared to a mingling of Strokes-like riffs and Spoon's off-kilter vocals. Regardless, with Louder Than Ever CWK re-establishes itself as a band deserving merit all its own.

What's more, thanks to my good friend Erose I've been privy to Lykke Li's latest track Get Some. LL is back and catchier than ever with this decidedly aggressive release which, coupled with classic LL percussion sounds like the perfect track to keep you dancing through these cold, dark nights.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Best of October

Some October faves, all the more relevant with cold air howling as their accompaniment.

1) Before I Die - Roma di Luna
A mainstay on the current this past week, and a favorite of mine for Channey Casselle's haunting, Cat Power-like growl. A homegrown independent music-making genius.

2) I'm Not Calling You a Liar - Florence + The Machine
Best with the iTunes visualizer handy.
There's a ghost in my lungs and it sighs in my sleep
Wraps itself around my tongue as it softly speaks
Then it walks, then it walks with my legs
To fall, to fall at your feet

3) Miracles - Jeremy Messersmith
J questions fate vs. free will with poignancy, as always.

4) When I'm Small - Phantogram
By far one of the most exciting discoveries this year. Sure to be around for many moons to come.
5) Rome - Phoenix with Devendra Banhart
The remixed version is more Bon Iver than Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus, which is why I dig it.
I never loved you
And if I loved you

I wouldn't say it, I'm sorry

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Guardian

I lack collateral on the parts I've loaned you
If you've seen any tell them I'm incomplete
Without knowing where they are
Or what they're doing
If they're wandering the streets
Cold and hungry
Stopping in shame against the better judgments they no longer need
Begging for mercy,
a half hour of your time,
a ride home
If they've taken up another trade
In your restless presence
If they are being resourceful
With time
With money
If they are careful to lock their doors
And not talk to strangers
Tell them I'm sorry I didn't teach them any better
And that I love them
And I want them to come home
Show them how confused I was to give them up
How ancient I've grown in their absence
Taking life like a shot with a grain of salt
But never sell them on manipulated bliss
The water draining from my veins as you told me
I've had this fever my whole life-
don't wait for it to break
Skeptically breathing in the same space
Shield them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Everywhere I Go

I have some major beef with Lissie. First of all, she's talented, gorgeous, and has toured with Ray Lamontagne. (Not to mention she cancelled the concert I had tickets to last weekend.) Despite these reasons I find I can't stay away from her honey-smooth, Fleetwood Mac-remniscent vocals. Kicked out of highschool and spending time in Colorado, Paris, and eventually making her home in LA, Lissie is an indie-rock rebel after my own heart. The powerful, evocative "Everywhere I Go" breaks my heart in just the right way; and "Worried About" has one of the catchier hooks I've heard in a while. (You like to see/Your thumb on me/Just checkin in/To make it begin again.)
By far the biggest hit is the aching protest "In Sleep."
Fast asleep where I keep my memories
Calling me out in dreams, he visits me
I know that when the story ends
The one that's in my head
Well, I'll be alone again
If you're a fan of Laura Marling or Marina & The Diamonds, you'll find a pleasant surprise in Lissie. And if she ever comes to town again you'd be wise to get tickets...just make sure they're refundable.