The band responsible for what i called 'decent emorock' back in May have made a 180 degrees turn towards a December anthem of extreme beauty. Anthem not with guitar-powered rock, but as in piano based, harmonized folk of the best kind. Near the end it seems for a few seconds Chamberlin is gonna let the song explode, but thankfully they don't, the song just gently fades out as smooth and beautiful as it started.
It's not really a Christmas-song, but it'll fit in beautifully on Christmas Eve on your way to church or a bar (or a hooker).
As a "Farewell 2011"-series i have tried to get a little interview with the bands/artists that have made this a memorable musical year for me (and hopefully for you). Most of the bands i got in contact with responded very sweet and they have been so kind to answer a few questions about their 2011 and off course about their plans for the year to come, these will be posted between now & December 31st.
One of the 1st bands that responded was Conveyor, whose Sun Ray [EP] is one of the finest i've heard this year! Among the many, many loose tracks & EPs i've heard, this immediately stood out, with the thrilling & sizzling sounds, fine harmony singing & just perfectly written songs. Back in June when i 1st 'reviewed' their EP i made a comparison with Grizzly Bear & (a little less) Fleet Foxes, after the many spins it took on my mp3-player & the kitchen stereo i would like to add one more very decent band amongst these, which is Grandaddy, one of my all-time favourite bands and all more the reason i enjoy this release so much.
Read the interview below & listen to 2 cool tracks they released later this year.
If you had to name one moment, what would you consider the 2011-highlight for Conveyor? The highlight of our year was going on tour with this particular band for the first time. We did a few small dates across the Northeast U.S., and it was good to get out of the city for the first time. When we played our homecoming show (also the release show of our EP) we sold out the venue in lower Manhattan, which was a great way to finish the whole tour.
What are you doing at the moment (november 2011)? Right now we've started recording our first full-length album. We're wrapping up the mixing on the first single, which should be out next month, and we're rehearsing for an upcoming show at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn on January 5th.
Which great band or artist did you discover yourself in 2011? Any favourite albums? Caveman was another local band that had a great year. Their debut album was a standout in new music for us. Another great NY band that we got into is Via Audio, who have been around for a while now, but we finally got the chance to see them live.
How will you celebrate New Year’s Eve? Our drummer Evan is throwing a New Year's party at his apartment in Williamsburg. Our friend DJ Fischerking is going to play.
What are your plans for the new year? Oh man, this is exciting. We're releasing the first single from our debut full-length in December on a split 7" with our friends Illuminator. They'll be playing with us on January 5th at Glasslands. The album is planned for release in the spring. We'll be heading to SXSW in Austin to play, and we're planning a huge summer tour across the U.S. Hopefully we'll make it to Europe! Can't wait!
Thank you Conveyor for the little interview, i hope to be hearing a lot more from you guys in the new year!
And finally, check out this cool live session on a roof they did for Balcony TV.
One of the finest artists i have stumbled upon this year is Hip Hatchet. His slightly raw voice, accompanied by acoustic guitars is of sheer beauty. Earlier this year i wrote a discomforting 2-liner on a demo he has just released back then & it feels a little as if i should make up for that. Eversince i've been keeping track of him via twitter, where he has proven to be a fun person and this weekend he announced the release of a new 3-track EP, and it is as pretty as you would've expected based on previous knowledge. I've been playing it just about non-stop over the last 24hrs and still can't get enough of it. 2 acoustic guitars, his great voice and 3 killer songs is 'all' it takes to write a great EP.
I'm truly glad i haven't started on my 2011-yearlists for best albums/EPs, this might just make the EP-shortlist on the break. An addictive little masterpiece!
A little more 'dreamy' and a tiny bit less loud than usual on a Monday Morning Kick-Off, but i slept so fuckin' bad these last 2 nights that all i can think of is getting back into a deep coma. It's gonna be a long day, and hopefully a long night after that. But today, after what'll surely turn out to be a comatizing day at work, i start reviewing the year. Let's see if i can get a 1st draft of my favourite albums together & there's some other cool stuff lined up for these last 3 weeks of 2011.
But besides that, check out this great tune by Savoir Adore, a Brooklyn quartet that reminds slightly of MGMT, but more fresh & friendly. I like MGMT, but this track is warm and friendly, and yes, dreamy. It's just this track though, cuz they also have some more up-tempo tracks, like the mesmerizing Bodies, which has a great drumbeat and makes it very hard to sit still. Savoir Adore: A band to watch!
And for the other cool things coming your way; Stay tuned & have a great week!
The tree is shining bright in the living room and i'm typing this story under a bright white star, that is lighting up most of the room, together with some dying candles. Now that it's December 11th i'm willing to accept the fact Christmas is on it's way. I've heard The Super Christmas Tape my dad made when i was 10 while decorating the tree and it only seemed right to continue with Hey! It's Christmas - Vol. 2. A collection of 15 Christmas-songs brought to you by bands that deserve a little attention. They are not all equally magic, but there's some beautiful songs on this free ep. So from today (The Oceanauts) untill the big weekend itself, i'll be posting a sweet Christmas-song (mainly from this fine collection) every day around midnight. Let the pre-fun begin!
Conrad Plymouth has released a free solo EP in August of this year, with 7 fine tracks on it. I've heard it play a few times by now and he's done a good job at it. The song that stands out though, is Decision Day, which i have played much more often than the entire album. It has a bit more power to it (just a tiny bit) and this (also) makes it an incredibly beautiful song. It's a song i can listen to over and over again, the EP is truely worth spending a few, but this song (for me) is the best reason to listen to it!
This has got to be one of the best instrumental tracks that has been released this year. I've been playing this for weeks and weeks now and today it has been on non-stop rotation for at least the last 2 hours. The great bass solo, the easy-going drums, it's the perfect chill-track after a long day at work. Close your eyes, relax. Play this song, you're in Paradise. It's that easy!
First Part of the Aretha Franklin-tribute these guys are working on, but i'm just very pleased they've released a new track that is brilliant as always. You can download the track for free on their website, click the image to go there (you know you want to..)
This is a very special EP, with 4 beautiful songs on it. It's dreamy music, but the sizzling kind. There's a vibe coming from these songs that pull you in, that occupy your mind & leave you in bit of a trance. This is not just for listening, it's for experiencing. Preferably late at night with the curtains closed, but it works very well in the early Wednesday morning, with the rain beating down on the windows & the kitchen being as cold as it is on a December morning. The warm sounds of Knox, The Band make it all bearable though.
This is a little bit of a special edition of the Monday Morning Kick-Off, not because it's December 5th (well, also) but because this is not an ordinary 3-minute powerrock song that we've got here. Hookworms make psychedelic rock noise in the best tradition on their 4-track EP "S/T" where this track comes from. This is my favourite track on it, but all 4 track are very much worth waking up to. Have a good week!
Michael Kiwanuka has just pre-released his new ep "Home Again", it's physical release is scheduled for January 2012, but it's already up for us to enjoy. And what joy i get from listening to these 3 songs. Michael Kiwanuka is a traditional singer-songwriter with a soulfull voice. Main support for his beautiful voice is his acoustic guitar, with the occassional support from drums, bass and backing vocals. But the songs, his sweet voice & relaxing vibe have something very familair, yet i can't put my finger on it. I guess that is sometimes how good music works, it makes you feel as if you've heard it somewhere before, as if you could sing it along from the 1st time you hear it, yet it is undoubtfully sparkling new. Great EP, is it January already, i got my 1st new years buy listed!
Lotte Kestner just keeps covering great songs and she does it so incredibly beautiful. Here is Elvis Costello-cover I Want You (of which a live version with Fiona Apple was on the blog earlier this year, click here). Perfection in so many ways; Lotte Kestner has a great hand of picking songs & a great voice to perform them with.