Marie Avery released her debut album The Fire on January 31st after sharing the 1st song If You've Got Time with us back in October, which was (and still is) a fine tune. The album gives us a little more depth, a different person from the catchy happy tune with the somewhat cynical lyrics we got to know with that 1st song. There's more to Marie Avery than meets the eye.
These 2 songs are my favorites. They're the opening and closing tracks of the album, but everything in between is also very, very, very, very, very much worth hearing. This is not just another girl singing, playing the piano, this girl has something more. She reminds me of early Tori Amos, my favorite kind of Tori. And in my house, on this blog, there's not a lot of bigger compliments to be given.
After the silent weeks I have some catching up to do and there's some fine new releases coming your way, but there's also some older records that I fell in love with and would like to share with you. Like Fold In The Wind by House Of Wolves, released 364 days ago and just a great record. Let's be honest, "50's" is a beautiful song and a perfect album starter!
The songs on the album are slow and melodramatic in a good way. "Follow Me" builds up slowly, never explodes and ends on a tiny fading piano. It has drama written all over it, but when drama is served this fine, I’ll consider it fine dining (it that makes any sense at all..).
And I’m just loving the shit out of the horns on this one. They play a small part, but combined with the paced vocals and easily pumping guitar (see how cool of a serious blogger I can be? I’m amazing myself at the moment), they make a great a song.
When all the useless typing (and for you; useless reading) is done, all I’m trying to say here: this is a great record. It’ll take a few spins to get used to, so don’t give up too soon. Stick around for a while and (hopefully) you’ll end up addicted. Just like me.
'April' is the new single by The Lake Poets and it's being released on April 29th. I fell in love with it the 1st time I heard it and spent at least an hour last night looping it. Thursdays are the longest days of the week, but with a beautiful song like this, today will be over in a heartbeat.
Completely addicted to this 4-track album by Justin Paul Lewis, it's folky like Hip Hatchet, it's jazzy like Randy Newman, it's soul like no one I can think of. It's a mini-album that is all of that and a lot more, but most of all just a 4-track masterpiece.
Some albums do not fit descriptions, they just need to be listened to. Over and over again. Let me finish this little blog post by advising you do so. Over and over again. Or as Justin Paul Lewis advises: Rinse, Repeat, Rewind.
Loved their previous record and this is the latest video from their new album Arc. Just ordered myself a copy, is it here already?! Everything Everything is Everything As Good As You Expect It To Be (damn, that's a lame joke..).
In an attempt to introduce some new great bands to you besides sharing the fine tunes they're releasing, here's an ongoing series of Q&A's with several of these bands. Just a little extra info on who the people behind the music are (please forgive me my poor interviewing-skills). Old English have released their debut album "Prose & Kahns" in February and it's a fine piece of art: 11 songs, 47 minutes of intense beauty. Read a little Q&A with leading man Matt Henderson and listen to a few more songs of that great album while you're at it!
- So, who are Old English? I know that's supposed to be an easy starter question but it's kind of a tricky one to answer. Right now there are about 7 of us in the live band but that number sometimes fluctuates as there is a pretty big group of people who play with us or have contributed in some way or another, whether live or on record. There's also been a lot of changeover in the band recently with people leaving and new members coming in. We've got a bit of a revolving door policy.
- How did you meet? How did the band form? I was playing solo a lot. I had recorded an album and was playing shows on my own. Originally, Prose and Kahns was meant to be my second solo album. I was working with Matt Froese on the recording and realized that the new songs were too big to do on my own, so Matt and his drummer Thom joined and then I asked my good friend Dan Halyburton to join in on guitar. He was in a band called the Passengers at the time and we had played several shows together. I've always loved his guitar playing, and thought it would be a perfect fit. He's the only original member still in the band, and thank God for that!
- When or how did you decide to start making music together? Oops, I think I just answered that one... We all went for chinese food and got fortune cookies saying we should form a band. Pretty good story eh? Not true, but pretty good.
- What is an average week for Old English? I don't think we have average weeks to be honest. That's not to say that we're really interesting as much as we are just disorganized. We're all busy with other things, be it school, work, other band, or all of those things at once, so we don't really have set practice times and such. The result is that we have lots of frantic facebook conversations when we realize we're a week away from a show and haven't practiced. Three of us are in a fantasy hockey league together so in the average week we spend a lot of time talking about that. I'm sure that's exactly the sort of thing you were hoping I'd say!
What music do you listen to yourselves? Any favorite new releases? I couldn't even begin to guess what everyone in the group is listening to, so I can only speak for myself. But luckily enough I have the best taste out of all of us haha. Now that I've said that I'm drawing a blank! Umm... I'm still listening to that Jessie Ware album quite a bit. I also just started listening to the new Josh Ritter album and there are a few really great songs on it. And to be totally honest, I'm pretty excited about the new Justin Timberlake. I know Dan and Justin have been really into the new Tegan and Sara album as well.
- Now that Prose & Kahns is out for over a month, how are things going? How is the response? It's been pretty great, honestly. We've been pretty floored by the positive response. It seems to be striking a chord with a lot of people, which is so flattering and exciting. There have been some negative reviews of course, but I think that's good, in a strange way. I think good music is often polarizing so the fact that people seem to either love the album or hate it seems positive to me in an odd way, and sort of affirms my belief that what we're doing is unique and original. Now we just need to wait for the money to start pouring in (I feel like we'll be waiting awhile...)
- If you had to name one, which would be your favorite song on the album? I think for me it would be Layaway, I'm so thrilled with how it turned out. Our good friend Mark Underdown mixed the album and did a lot of extra production on the back end. He really took every song up to a whole new level, and I feel like the work he did on Layaway is especially great. His wife Jessica sings on it too, which is probably another reason why it's my favourite; I get tired of hearing my own voice so it's nice to hear someone who actually knows how to sing take the reigns for a bit.
- What are the plans for the rest of the year? Any special things you're looking forward to? (And how about a tour to Europe?) Not too much has been planned as of now! We're booking shows and trying to push and promote the album as much as we can and hopefully we can working on new songs soon, but we'll see. We're planning on filming a video or two as well so hopefully that all works out! Also, I'm planning on winning this hockey pool even if it kills me (metaphorically, at least). Unfortunately there are no plans to tour Europe at this point, but maybe we'll apply to be on Eurovision this year and then stick around for a bit after if it goes well.
- Any final words you want to share? Nothing I can think of! But thanks so much for the support, we really appreciate it.
-- Thanks Matt & Old English, good luck winning that hockey pool & I'm looking forward to videos or new songs later this year!
Remember last night? Remember 'Drowsy Eyes? That beautiful song by Scared Crow that helped you sleep like a baby. Well, here's the perfect song for waking up with a smile, again thanks to Scared Crow. Ironically called "Tonight" is this actually a perfect song for (Monday) mornings. You'll dance all the way to work, smile at every grumpy person you run into & finally tell that cute girl at the supermarket how she brightens your day a little extra every morning you see her. You will feel light on your feet all day, have a good one!
"Drowsy Eyes" is the perfect song for late at night. Get in your bed & turn off the lights. Think about absolutely nothing, focus on your breathing for a few minutes. It'll clear your mind. Now turn on this beautiful song, put it on repeat & slowly sink into a deep sleep that'll feel like the best sleep you've ever had. Sweet dreams!
Trotting Bear's previous record Morning still plays at least once a week. Preferably late at night, when I'm doing some reading in the comforting warmth of my bed. Trotting Bear's leading man Andy Berkhout has been writing new music in 2012 and this has let to a new release just last week. A 4-track EP called Currents.
Now, imagine a Thursday morning. Despite the snow that fell while you were sleeping, you wake up to a warm sunny world. The snow is quickly melting into the streets, while you're drinking a nice cup of coffee in the living room. The sun is lighting up the room bright yellow through the half-open curtains. The stereo is feeding you "easy-going, everything is alright, the world is at complete peace"-music. It is probably Trotting Bear playing their new EP. Making you feel very comfortable, in harmony with yourself and the rest of the world. Ready and fired up for a new day and whatever challenges it may hold.
I won't mind waking up like this for the rest of the year.
Remember BOY?! Two fine German girls singing beautiful songs from their 2012 debut album Mutual Friends. Last week they stopped by at KCRW and did a new song they had just finished, live and acoustic. And just like the songs we've heard before, it is a beauty! Take your time and if you haven't fallen in love in January, make sure you'll do it now!
Some albums are easy to love, some are hard. Some loves are easy to explain, some are hard. Through the Deep, Dark Valley by The Oh Hellos is easy to love, but hard to explain. Last year I displayed some love for their 4-track EP The Oh Hello's, but this full album is a huge step forward.
What makes The Oh Hellos special is the duo behind it, brother and sister singing together and switching lead vocals on the tracks. Making this an album with different sounds and songs. Perhaps the finest example for that is my favorite song "I Have Made Mistakes". This song is intimate; beautifully sung by Tyler, with Maggie doing 2nd voice.
As you may have noticed, I'm having a little trouble describing my love for this album. Which is weird, because I love it. It shouldn't be hard to declare love on a beautiful album with great songs on it. I've done it before... Yet here I am having a hard time with it. Maybe you should just not care about what I think or write (as you should do most of the time) and listen to the fine songs you've been presented. And if you like what you've heard, get your ass in gear and get yourself a copy.