07-03-2012 // Album: Shenandoah Davis - The Company We Keep|
When this 1st track of Shenandoah Davis' album starts, you don't know what to expect. Well, at least not the first time you hear it. And then after 62 seconds you hear it. That incredible voice. So beautiful, so uncommon, so intriging. It is undoubtfully among the most thrilling voices I've heard in a long time. The only reference I can think of is Bridie Jackson, so far still responsible for my favourite record of the year. Shenandoah Davis reminds me of her, but the music itself is less gospel and more classical. I think. If that makes any sense..
My favourite song on this incredible album is "Proof". The piano-driven track is unstoppable and over in a heartbeat. It's so good it'll force you to stop whatever it is you're doing and just listen, dance & sing along to this. The singing will be horrible no doubt, as I don't think there's a lot of people being able to sing like Shenandoah Davis does.
I was wondering if I can make this a huge competitor for being my favourite album of the year, as it was released in August of 2011. But I didn't discover it untill a few weeks ago (I'm very, very sorry for not sharing this amazing album with you earlier, I've been egocentric. For that, I apologize). After some thinking on the matter I've decided to count it in for 2012, as the list I'll be producing in December will be about the best records I've heard/discovered in 2012, not about the best albums released. And it's not uncommon for me to write on an album or artist months after they've released their album.
So yes. Shenandoah Davis has officially made one of the best albums of the year. Whatever year that is, is up to everyone for themselves. I'm counting 2012, but what do I know..? Now please stop reading, listen to the entire record at her bandcamp-page and get yourself a gift for you: this beautiful album!
05-03-2012 // Monday Morning Kick-Off: [MM-KO] Beach Fossils - Lessons|
After a year of starting the week with a special wake up song I decided to let this idea go when 2012 hit. But I hacve to admit that I actually miss these things and I just start posting tracks througout the week telling you that it's a great song for early in the morning waking up. So as of now, the Monday Morning Kick-Off is back, baby!
Beach Fossils - Lessons
Start this week with a B-side from the recently released new single "Shallow" by Beach Fossils. The B-side is called "Lessons" and it's a fine Summertrack that'll wake you up smiling and ready for a new day and a new week.
02-03-2012 // Album: James Vincent McMorrow - Early In The Morning|
Looking back on 2011 and the albums that I've listed as my favourites I'm still pretty satisfied. The top 10 is still on regular rotation and I still stand behind the words I wrote on the albums I've selected back in December. There is only one album I truly regret for not putting in that list and that is Early In The Morning by James Vincent McMorrow.
Back in October I 1st listened to James Vincent McMorrow when he did a brilliant live-cover of Chris Isaak's Wicked Game; it's just him, his guitar and his beautiful voice in the woods somewhere. A must-see for every music lover! I listened to some of his own songs on his website and put it on my list of things I'd have to listen later. I never did untill January. But when I finally did, I was in love right away.
The voice is still there, and it cuts right through your soul. The low whispering words turns into high notes that remind me of Jeff Buckley. And I don't use a comparisation like that lightly, trust me. All 12 songs are beauties of their own and it is pretty much impossible to select my favourite ones, but if you force it on me, it'll probably be "From The Woods!!", the way he builts that song up with the almost 'wild' ending and James screaming on the top of his lungs, it's pure magic. But this is an album to be heard from start to finish, constantly. Which is why I've included 4 songs of it in this declaration of love.
Looking back on my list of albums for 2011 I've clearly missed out on this one. Since I had already heard of it, I should've given it more attention. But it's not too late to make up for it! So if in March 2012, you would like to purchase just 1 album that was released last year. Make it this one. It is among the best of the year! It's passionate, it's beautiful, it's rich, it's a masterpiece!
28-02-2012 // Album: Paper Aeroplanes - A Comfortable Sleep|
Bought myself 3 great albums tonight and will surely share all of these with you. But there's a bit of an overkill of great music on my laptop these days, so I don't really know where to start.. Next to these 3 great albums, there's at least 3 more albums that are on my "to-show-love-on-blog"-list. Nevermind that stuff though, we'll get loving right away with this great 4-track album by Paper Aeroplanes.
This was an instant-buy the 1st time I heard it. Although I spend over 3 weeks listening to it before I actually purchased it tonight, it was clear from the start. These four songs are pure beauties, as rarely found. A hypnotizing combination of only a few songs that can be played over and over again. Sarah Howells has a beautiful (there is simply no other word to describe it) voice, that works perfect with these sweet and soft songs. The acoustic songs are all things good that can be said about music. I will grand you my silence in words, so you can focus on one of the best things I've heard this month (and I've heard A LOT of good things this month).
28-02-2012 // : Yellow Ostrich - The Shakedown|
Yellow Ostrich is releasing their new album next week and they've shared 2 tracks with us so far. Just a few days ago the 2nd track "The Shakedown" was released and it rocks hard.
It's a perfect track for getting up in the morning and the troubles you might have with that. It's loud, it's banging and it's impossible not to jump around to this song. Makes me extremely curious about the entire album Strange Land, but for now you can download "The Shakedown" for free using the widget below and don't forget to check out their website for the other pre-released track "Marathon Runner".
26-02-2012 // : Skeletons On Holiday - Night of the Long Knives / Silence is Broken|
Pretty much impossible not to dance around at least a little bit to these 2 fine songs. Especially "Night of the Long Knives" is a very nice danceable track, that actually reminded me of a Muse-song with that 'hammering' guitar and the touch of piano that wonders around in it. I don't think Bellamy & Co. would've felt bad if they had written this song.
Second track "Silence is Broken" is slower and a bit darker, but nonetheless irresistible. it's a perfect combo to show what this band is creating and I'm really hoping they'll be releasing some more great stuff soon. Which they are, as Skeletons On Holiday is releasing their next single "Sink Or Swim" in March. And March, my dear friends, is only 4 days away.. I can't wait!
26-02-2012 // Album: Woodpigeon - For Paolo|
Over a month ago I 1st heard this album's title track "For Paolo", I don't even remember where I found it. But I immediately enjoyed it and the song was quickley added to my daily rotation system; a huge list of loose tracks that I enjoy. Sometimes these tracks make it onto the blog, sometimes they don't. This track made it, not just the single track, but the entire album it belongs to. Because it's a great album. And Woodpigeon deserves to be heard.
This is one of those albums where all tracks are equally sweet. I started out loving the title track as it was, at 1st, the only track I knew. But once I discovered the rest of the album, it has grown to be a must-play-in-full kinda album. It is simply undoable to just listen to one or two songs of this thing and then go listen to something else. "For Paolo" is a great up-tempo opening track, followed by a few slower tracks, that reveal a more melancholic type of singer-songwriter. Which makes perfectly good sense, if you take the time to read the description given by the artist for this album; For Woodpigeon songwriter Mark Andrew Hamilton, For Paolo was inspired by his parents, the cassette tapes they played on long, family drives across the prairies of Canada (and that's just the 1st line).
Perfect Sunday morning album. Which is exactly why I've been waiting all week for this moment to share it with you. Have a nice Sunday.
23-02-2012 // : Chet Faker - Terms and Conditions|
The voice of Chet Faker kinda reminds me of Tom Vek. Who released a great album last year. There's more references with Vek here, as this slow and swinging track could easily have fitted on Vek's 2011-album "Leisure Seizure".
But let's not compare too much, after all this is just a fine piece of music. And based on appearances, Chet Faker looks more like bearded folkies like James Vincent McMorrow. Listen to more of his electronic melancholia on his website, songs like "Jeans & Wallet" and "No Diggity" (yes, it is a Blackstreet-cover) are the proof Chet Faker has released more than one good song. Keep an eye out, I think we got a rising star here!
23-02-2012 // : Matt Stalker & Fables - Little Sister|
Matt Stalker & Fables are back! After their Beautiful 2011-album The Man Who Said This Died Of Alchemy some things have changed for them. They are now a full 4-piece band and with this new formed team they are working on a new EP, due this Summer.
The 1st taste is a fine new song called Little Sister, which you can listen on bandcamp by clicking the title or image above, unfortunately the embed-function is not opted, so you'll have to follow the link. But it's worth it! The added Fables make the sound richer and more powerfull, but the moment Matt starts singing it is undoubtfully MS&F. The track is a download-only upon release next Monday and whatever it'll cost, it sure is worth your money.
Me personally, I can't wait for the full EP of this 'new and improved' Matt Stalker & Fables.
21-02-2012 // EP: Fire Mountain - Off The Dust|
Fire Mountain is an Alabama-based band that plays great folk songs. These songs go from sweet, soft melancholic songs like my favourite "Fade" to the more up-tempo almost a little rockin' song "Ghosts". But basically, this 6-track EP is just beautiful from start to finish. They have named several influences/comparisations on their website (Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, Ray LaMontagne are among the list) and I can relate to all of them, yet not at all. I can hear some influences of these acts in their songs, but mostly Fire Mountain just sounds like Fire Mountain. Which I think is a great achievement. Because Fire Mountain is a great band.
And Off The Dust is a great EP!
21-02-2012 // EP: AFKA - Thunder In Our Heart|
AFKA is Dutch singer-songwriter Aafke with musical assistance from producer Adriano DiTamorra. Her strong voice and the dreamy synths works very nice together, really special is the addition of more traditional instruments like guitar and horns. It makes this debut 5-track EP (which you can hear and download for free via the website) stand out and become extremely pleasant to hear on any moment of the day. Last night it was the last thing I heard before I fell into a sizzling coma, this morning I drank my 1st cup of coffee to it and both moments where equally enjoyable.
Favourite track is the collaboration with rapper Andy Smart, listen to that below. Looking forward to hearing more from this cool project, this EP is very promising.
20-02-2012 // : Drew Smith - Smoke and Mirrors|
Really enjoying this sweet track by Drew Smith these last few days. It's relaxing, mesmerizing and perfect for playing on and on. Also works very well taking turns with the new Matt Stalker & Fables-single i'll be spreading the love for tomorrow (so keep an eye out).
Drew Smith has recently released his latest album The Secret Languages and although I have to admit I've given it only one spin so far, it sounds good. I will definately listen to it some more later this extremely busy week (got a hot date tomorrow night, who knows what'll happen) and maybe get back on it, but this track is worth hearing. You can also download it for free via his website of bandcamp-page. And while you're there, listen to the rest of the album and let me know what you think!