Harvest Star Folk Collective is a group of "like minded folk musicians" (their own words) from the south coast of the USA releasing music together. They've recently released their 3rd compilation album called Harvest Star Vol. 3 and it's every note perfection.
The base is Americana/Folk, but the 12 songs are all very different. Best example of the wide range of this compilation is "Dead Horses" vs "Billy Dyer", exciting experimental Tango-esque vs back-to-basics Country Folk (not sure why I use capitals dor music styles, but who cares..). Both equally beautiful, as you can hear for yourself. Justin Cross sounds a LOT like Ray LaMontagne, which can be considered a big compliment from the RLM-fan that I am.
Only familair name is Fire Mountain, who released a great album back in 2011, called Off The Dust. And they do a fine job here, just as the other 11 acts do. This is a great collection of music! I've been able to track down several of the artists already. There's more where this came from and you'll be hearing more soon. I'm already enjoying the result of my investigations.
One of my all-time favorite discoveries since I started writing Plug in, Baby! is Paper Aeroplanes and they have a new album coming out on Mat 13th. It is called Little Letters, just like this 1st single, which was released last week. As expected this a great song and it makes it even harder to be waiting another 4 weeks for the release of their 2nd full album, that will also include one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard: Multiple Love. Paper Aeroplanes are without a doubt on their way to greatness, and they deserve it like (hardly) no other band ever has..
A new Monday, a new week. Last week was completely fucked up, but the weekend was pretty okay and things are looking better for this week. The hot water should be fixed today (back to warm showers again, yay), I'm expecting another vinyl beauty in the mail, my best (female) friend and I are on speaking terms again, my right foot is healing pretty decent ánd I have the day off today. How's that for a start of a new week?! I'd say "Things Are Looking Up Again" by WEEKEND RIOT CLUB pretty much sums it up for me, so I've caught myself dancing to this for the last 30 minutes.
Just good old rock music is hard to find these days. City and The Sea does a fine job at it on their 1st EP as a renewed band. They have the perfect setting for it, four guys playing guitar, bass and drums, screaming their lungs out.
This is music to move to. Don't think, don't read, don't do anything else but dance and scream along to the fine tracks. Forget everything. It's Saturday night and we're loving it!
So this was released in July last year and I've been listening to it for over 3 months now. They have even released a new album already in January called "Mars, Je T'aime". But great music is great music and needs to be heard. So give it a spin: Tempus Fugit by Mars Water.
Tempus Fugit is a real Summer record. Best enjoyed wearing sunglasses, wearing only a thin shirt, while holding a cold can of your favorite beer, hanging out by the pool. This album has the same Summeresque vibe as Real Estate's Days had back in 2011. To be honest, it's the 1st album since Days that comes close to that feeling.
Listen to "Stay" and find Real Estate's "All The Same" and you'll hear what I'm talking about. Is this a bad thing? Not at all! Real Estate's album was among the best albums of 2011, just like Tempus Fugit is among the finest releases of 2012. It just took me a little longer to discover it.
With temperatures finally rising next week, this album will become of an even greater value. So get a copy, load it onto your mp3-players and portable radios and take it with you to that poolside. I know I will!
Without a doubt once of the best releases of the year. I know it’s a bit strange to tell you how this post ends in the 1st line, but there is no way I could not start off like this. Until a few weeks ago I had never heard of Little Tybee, but once I heard this record, everything changed. I’ve been singing a lot of these songs constantly, like the title track lines on ‘for distant viewing’ and everything that comes after that (you never win..).
Eventually, people that work with me, drink with me, sleep with me, eat cheese with me or visit places with me, all started asking about the songs I continued to be singing. Mainly because I annoyed the shit out of them with the a-rhythmic unknown things I’ve been humming and singing, but they were also intrigued. My father asked what was playing in the background over the phone last week, so did a good friend, also one of my finer ex-girlfriends. The answer was always: Little Tybee. Their response was always: who? What? When? Where? To which I replied: Little Tybee, perhaps the finest revelation of 2013.
I remember the first time I received an email about this album, I was told I had never heard anything like this. And that is a pretty lame and standard line in PR-emails, even for a tiny, pretty much useless blog like this, but Paper Garden Records hit a home-run on that one. I have never heard anything like this. And that is as good as it get. Little Tybee is like the insanely pretty girl I have a date with this weekend. We’ve just met, and I’m crazy about her, and I am 100% convinced we’re going to have a great time together this weekend. And on the even bigger plus side: I know Little Tybee won’t be breaking my heart. It’ll be unconditional love. From both sides.
Great. Fucking. Record. And one more for the road (although I’m a cat-person):
I'm a Small Houses-fan. I've been a fan since I've discovered his beautiful 2011-release North. A great album with nothing but amazing songs on it, which I still listen to every few days. A sign of greatness in my slightly less humble opinion.
About 6 weeks ago he released his new album Exactly Where You Wanted To Be. Usually I don't care much for artists doing the same thing several albums, but Small Houses probably does what he does best and I can't ignore the fact that he does it so well. Most songs have the same sound and feel as North, but that doesn't matter. In fact, it's a good thing. North is great. North is Beautiful. A lot of musicians wished they had once released an album like North. I know I would. Anyway, the new album is melancholic country folk as good as it gets and Jeremy Quentin has a special voice. A little rough around the edges, which makes it all the more better. I'm pretty sure I would reckonize his voice with my eyes closed.
The only so-called 'flaw' of this album is it being over too soon. I know I have used this line before, but it is so suitable for albums like this. Every song is something special, so when the last notes of closing track "Homes and Photographs" fade out, it just sucks to know it's over. At least untill I walk over to my laptop or stereo to hit 'play' again. Good thing my house ain't that big..
Beautiful Record. If I'd use any categories whatsoever on my personal ramblings spot, this would be labelled a "must-listen".
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.