Backstreet Boys > N*Sync
I don’t know about you, but I was a BSB girl back in the day (N*Sync who?). Millennium was the first album I ever owned (sorry Britney), and if last.fm scrobbling and the Internet had existed back then, you best believe the Backstreet Boys would be the #1 top scrobbled artist on my charts.
Clearly Ryan Hemsworth knows what’s up. (90s throwbacks, boy bands, remixes, and Amanda “I’m suing everyone” Bynes.) Chopping up BSB’s 1999 hit, “Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely,” amidst stuttering electronic beats and the ever-classic “Amanda please!”, the Halifax, Nova Scotia native gets the nostalgia levels pumpin’ so well that I’m almost left wanting to hear more of the original chorus. But really, it’s the feel good boy band harmonies and flamenco guitar juxtaposed against blitz claps, warped synths, and quick start-stops that makes for bumpin’-thumpin’-fist-pumpin’ good time.
Hello 1999, how nice of the self-professed Remix Ryan Gosling to usher you into the sample-heavy, nostalgia-infused 21st century. #Backstreetsbackalright!
You can download the track here by tweeting (just close the pop-up window and download away if you don’t have twitter) or by clicking the link above!
I used to have a serious aversion to remixes (“ORIGINAL 4EVER”), but I’ve now chalked that up to being young and very very confused. (Never) quit playing (remix) games with my heart, Hemsworth.
I Went to the Fleetwood Mac Show Last Night and All I Got Was a Nosebleed, Overpriced Beer, and a New-Found Appreciation for Christine McVie
I also got this shitty iPhone photo that was so shitty it couldn’t even be saved by an Instagram filter!
First and foremost–this is not a review. Secondly–I enjoyed the show. It was, oh yes I know, “once in a lifetime.” Also, I, like everyone else in the room, fell in love with Stevie Nicks all over again (but I already predicted that one) and secretly wanted her and Lindsey Buckingham to fall in love again, too. Will they? Won’t they? Will they? (They wont.) Nevertheless, their chemistry is palpable. But enough about them, THIS IS ABOUT CHRISTINE MCVIE.
- No I did not actually get a nosebleed (but my $100+ nosebleed section tickets made my wallet bleed, so)
- I could’ve bought a hip, trendy* jacket from Value Village for the price of that beer on tap (*varying opinions on actual “hipness” and “trendiness” of said imaginary jacket)
- I really did get a new-found appreciation for Christine McVie
She was sorely missed at the ACC last night. I mean, you really can’t beat that superstar Rumours-era lineup of Fleetwood, Buckingham, Nicks, and McVie-squared. ”Everywhere” is my favourite song at the moment, and of course they didn’t play it last night because HOW COULD THEY without Christine McVie?
I’m obsessed with this song. Like, Janis Ian obsessed. Like, Regina-George-kinda-sorta-definitely-made-the-right-decision-not-inviting-me-to-her-pool-party obsessed. I play it in the morning when I’m brushing my teeth; I play it and sing along when I really should be studying; I play it in on my iphone speakers when I’m on the toilet (sorry not sorry); I play it on repeat in the car via my iphone when I’m driving–and that, my friends, takes True Dedication. (My van is so old it doesn’t have an audio jack so I have to use a cassette hookup that makes a horrid “clackclackclaaaaaaaack” noise every 7 seconds.) ((I’m immune to it now.))
“Say You Love Me”? “Don’t Stop”? “You Make Loving Fun”? All. Christine. McVie. That woman does not get enough credit, so I’m giving her a shout out right now. Christine, I love you. It was really cool how you made a surprise appearance performing with Steven Tyler (!!) and the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band in Maui, Hawaii in February. I’m glad you got on that plane. Really cool. Very cool. Appreciate you, girl. Miss you, too.
For fans of: Twin Sister, Oberhofer, Cults, Summer Camp
Sounds like: hearing your neighbor’s noisy 90s party through the wall and not getting mad because you know they’re all probably wearing neon windbreakers and spandex over there
I downloaded Pandercakes‘ debut EP Paint By Numbers last week and finally got around to listening to it on this beautifully sunny and abnormally warm day, and I’ve got to say–how fitting! The Columbia, South Carolina 4-piece surprised me with the diversity on this record. They describe their music as “fogpop,” and I guess it makes sense: their sound is bright, upbeat, intricate, and definitively pop under a layer of reverb and noise. Thing is, their bouncy melodies mask the rather grim ‘oh-so-this-is-life’ type lyrics. It’s in an interesting contrast. Also, who can resist boy-girl vocals (god knows I can’t)?!
You’re telling me when a tiny pin can break the skin so easily, that your soul will never die. I’d like to see all the evidence behind your arrogance. (“Fogwalk”)
“André Breton” is the only track where they really rein in their sunshine fogpop (is that an oxymoron?), but it’s a nice slowed-down departure to end off Paint By Numbers. It’s like a sunshower! (Y’know, when it rains while the sun is still shining.)
Overall, something about their melodies just makes me think college–but more so the riding-in-cars-during-the-summertime-in-between-college-semesters kind of college picture than beer pong or all nighters. CHEER! SMILES! SUN! OPTIMISM! (Along with a healthy dose of “but, hi– this is reality, don’t forget” lyrics). It’s a nice counter to Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness.”
Listen and download the EP for *free* below!
Thanks to Coma Cinema for this recommendation, and thank you, Internet, for everything else.
If you know me (I’ll assume you don’t), you’ll know that I’m not much for belt-y, powerhouse vocals; I’m more keen on whisper-sweet serenades that require you to almost lean in (even if you’ve got headphones on).
Priscilla Ahn more than checked off that box for me when I first came across her sparse ‘girl with a guitar and a loop and sometimes a harmonica’ easy listening tunes. I caught her at the Drake back in 2009, and sitting cross-legged on the floor with everyone else in tiny venue, there was a collective hush over the crowd and everyone was actually leaning in.
Now she’s back with Sweet Hearts, a duo project with fellow musician Charlie Wadhams, and they’ve just released their mellow, mushy, and blush-worthy self-titled EP for free download just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Or if you’re a single lady (“all the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies, now put your hands up!”), why not celebrate Galentine’s Day à la Leslie Knope?
Guys, you can follow suit. And then on the 14th, cozy up with a glass of wine, some cheese, a mirror, and celebrate a little good, healthy narcissism. Celebrate you! (It’ll be like your birthday except better because you’re not a year older!)
Oh sweetheart, when I see you again, you’re never gonna let me go. That’s right, you’ll always be my dearest friend. My, my, I’ll love you till the day I die.
Put on Sweet Hearts’ EP, gaze into your own eyes (that’s what the mirror’s for) and pretend all the lyrics are about you. It’s the new affirmation nation.
[Download]: Sweet Hearts’ EP here by entering your email address!
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for Guelph, Ontario dream-pop duo Memoryhouse. Having just self-releasing their digital EP The Years the year before (2010), Sub Pop quickly snatched them up in them in 2011, remastered the EP, added a couple of new tracks, and re-released it–this time with a full-fledged physical release (cd and vinyl).
Their debut full-length, entitled The Slideshow Effect, is due out February 28. “Walk With Me,” the second single from the album, dropped today and is available for the price of an email address (so basically, it’s free)! The cuts that we’ve heard from the new LP thus far are little more uptempo than their predecessors, slightly more sonically optimistic, and much easier to sing along to–which is actually quite fitting since it’s still relatively early into new year and we’re (maybe) still stickin’ to our resolutions and laughably idealistic notions.
The lead single “The Kids Were Wrong” is also available below for less than a penny. With all the controversy surrounding SOPA and PIPA, you really begin to appreciate the exchange of an email address for a track. Commodity exchange for the new age. Oh the beauty of free (or is it “free”?) legal downloads!
The recent couple years have seen an uprising of lo-fi bedroom musicians (see: Youth Lagoon, Coma Cinema) and when Brad Oberhofer appeared on the scene in 2010 unsigned and with a free EP for download, he was no different.
“Heart,” the first single from Oberhofer’s debut LP Time Capsules II (out March 27), is a departure from the reverb-laden fuzz-filled soundscape that we’ve come to identify with him. From the crisp and clear opening notes of a solitude piano to the addition of orchestral strings towards the end, it’s immediately clear that Oberhofer (now signed to Glassnote) is heading in a new, bigger direction. I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical at first upon hearing that he was going polish up his sound for his full-length, because I worried that it might lose the youthful fervor and frenetic energy of the o0Oo0Oo EP that really caught my attention.
Everything’s a little more pristine and little more calculated and thought out, but the youthful energy (albeit a little more mature) is still there bubbling under the surface, so I think I’m coming around to it. After all, we all have to grow up some time, right? Besides, that signature throaty Oberhofer yelp embedded in mix at the 30-second mark of “Heart” gave me my sigh of relief and kind of sort of won me over.
[MP3]: Oberhofer – “HEART”
Traffique is the closeted lesbian alter ego of out gay man, Edward Miller, a musical project of Redding Hunter who performs under the moniker, Peter and the Wolf.
Did you catch that?
[LISTEN]: Peter and the Wolf – “New Shooz”
The man behind the music is Austin, Texas’s Redding Hunter. And yes, he dresses in drag when he performs as Traffique. “New Shooz” is a delightfully lighthearted electro-pop track that’s a bit psychedelic. If you close your eyes, you can almost imagine a not-so-closeted Traffique emerging slowly from a behind a blanket of pink smoke, vogue-ing montage-style amid cutaways and quick flashes.
The whole story, according to the official site:
traffique’s endless weekend mixtape is the story of a well-adjusted gay man, Edwin Miller, who discovers he’s leading a second life late at night, sleepwalking down dark alleyways in drag, looking for intrigue. His other self, Traffique, is a closeted lesbian, a sexually repressed librarian-type, who sneaks out into the underworld each night self-actualizing all the way down her own vortex of trouble.
Hurray for breaking gender norms and conventions!
In my second life I’m a genderqueer pansexual criminal lawyer come go-go dancer who goes by the name of Kikki Cola, and this my anthem. Holla!
[DOWNLOAD]: P.S. I just realized that traffique’s endless weekend mixtape is actually up for download at the sweet price of “name your price” aka. pay-what-you-want, meaning you can grab it on the spectrum of free to $5 billion. The important part is to spread the music: play it obnoxiously loud through your headphones on the subway until people stare, force/beg/bribe friends to let you be the dj at the next party, announce that you’d like one of the tracks on the album (preferably “almost free” or “get weird”–and then pull out the hat trick “koala hat”–to be played at your funeral alongside Kylie Minogue’s “Come Into My World”), etc. etc. etc. You get the picture. Share with your friends.
Getting to know an artist is like making a new friend.
There are some people that seem standoffish in the beginning (maybe because they’re shy or because they’ve eaten a crap sandwich and it’s ruined their entire day–sandwiches have that kind of effect on people, y’know), so it takes a couple of visits or run-ins for them to get comfortable around you and for you to warm up to them; then there are those people you take an instant liking to (perhaps you both find great pleasure in watching/making fun of what has become of America’s Top Model over the years).
It’s the same with music. There are some musicians that require a couple listens to get into (Joanna Newsom, anyone?) and others where the connection is undeniable and instantaneous. For me, Youth Lagoon was the latter.
Even better, it was like revisiting an old friend. That’s the kind of nostalgia-tinged feeling The Year of Hibernation is wrought with.
“Five years ago, in my backyard I sang love away. Little did I know that real love had not quite yet found me.”
[MP3]: Youth Lagoon – “July”
Raw vocals with a sort of youthful reverie, crackling and hazy with reverb, beg for a closer listen, for a more concentrated ear. With synths, organ, guitar, and some heavy beats layered on–usually starting off quietly and then building up to thicker, fuller sound (think wall-of-sound)–Youth Lagoon crafts introspective bedroom anthems.
Also, I cannot lie. During my first listen of the entire album, I thought it was a girl singing. (Sorry, Trevor.) Alas, Youth Lagoon is Boise, Idaho’s awesomely named Trevor Powers. (Yes, that’s his real name.) And with a name like that and a penchant for bedroom music and introspection, you’d think that Powers might be walking around with a superhero costume hidden underneath his button-ups.
However even amidst the quiet introspection, Powers references the past only as a way to look to the future. Like the experiences and memories that make us who we are today, The Year of Hibernation is a memento of sorts, to the past.
[MP3]: Youth Lagoon – “Cannons”
From the opening track (“Posters”), I could immediately feel a quiet sense of understanding between Powers and I, like a quiet nod. Like, a musical ‘hey, I feel ya!’ What started as a bedroom project (where the whole LP was recorded) has found resonance beyond his four-walls.
You make real friends quickly. You make real friends quickly. But not me.
I get him. I feel where he’s coming from; from his lyrics, to his delivery, to the entire atmosphere that’s created when everything comes together perfectly. And for me, that’s the beautiful thing.
“…But where is her face?”
I’m sure this was the first thought to cross the mind of every single longtime St. Vincent fan when they saw the album art for her forthcoming album, Strange Mercy (out Sept. 13 via 4AD).
When it was first released, I was pretty stunned not to see Annie Clark‘s pale skin and wide, bewildered eyes front and centre among a bed of bouncy curls. I, for one, will admit that I was looking forward to another (for lack of a better word) headshot [classic St. Vincent!], so I was not particularly captivated by the mute tones of the cover and the lack of, well, face.
I was crossing my fingers for some Top Model-worthy, Tyra-sponsored “smizing” this time around! (Smizing is ‘smiling with your eyes’ for those you who aren’t familiar with the term, even though I have no idea why you wouldn’t be since Tyra invented it and mentions it every single time she can get a word in.)
But considering the entirety of the album and the theme of a strange mercy, it’s quite fitting. Whereas Clark’s first two albums were more “people-focused,” Strange Mercy seems to run on a unifying theme, and I can’t wait to see where she takes it and how she weaves it into her lyrics and sounds.
Fans had to unlock this free track by tweeting with the hashtag #strangemercy, so it was all pretty interactive and ingenious on the promotions front.
“I spent the summer on my back…”
“Surgeon” is different from previous material in that it is a bit synth heavy and more electronic-based–lacking the harsh, thrashing guitar sounds (save for build up of screeching synths at the end). However, it’s still classic St. Vincent: wispy and slightly reverbed vocals atop layers of eerie, orchestral, and score-like instrumental tracks. I can dig it.
So Kanye and Jay-Z have released the appropriately titled, “Otis,” (it features a sampling of Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness”) the first track off their highly anticipated collab album, Watch the Throne.
Cue a million pre-teens professing that they have always loved Otis Redding before it was “cool” and before this song even came out and then cue their parents eye-rolling the hell out of their eyes because they actually were fans. Yeah, no.
Look at it this way, at least a whole generation is being introduced to the “King of Soul”–right?
I have so much love for Memoryhouse that it’s seeping out of my every pore.
But it is summer, so it could just be the heat. I don’t know. Regardless, here is the just released “Modern, Normal”–one of two new tracks that will be added to the re-recorded/remixed/remastered version of The Years EP to be released via Sub Pop. (It will the band’s debut on the label!)
So much Canadian pride going on here. Who needs hockey, anyway!? (Too soon? Not soon enough? Whatever.)
P.S. Apologies for the lack of updates. Life sort of took over unexpectedly, and a person can’t really argue with life right? I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, so expect to see more posts soon!
I have always and will always be a fan of good pop music.
And Robyn‘s “Call Your Girlfriend” is a prime example of what I would personally call ‘good’ pop music.
It’s got everything going for it: a message that is quite relatable for many with the whole meeting-someone-new-when-you’re-still-in-a-relationship-and-having-to-break-it-off thing; it’s emotional but not dissolve-into-tears-worthy (simply because it is quite upbeat) unless you’re a melodramatic Pisces (hey, that’s me!) so it’s still something you can sing along to for fun at the right moments.
Or if you’ve just broken up and you are looking for something to cry to, it’s also good for belting along to while the tears stream down your face as you contemplate the sad state of your life post break-up. (It’s okay, you’ll get over it eventually.)
Or if you just want to feel good about the sorry excuse for moves you call dancing, then the video is your solution. Robyn makes awkward dancing cool (again?)! So the next time you go out to the club (or wherever you get your groove on), you’ll have people thinking “Daaaaaaamn, girl” instead of the usual slow backing away accompanied by looks of horror.
You can thank Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” music video for that.
“I thought about you, because I always think about you.”
[MP3]: Widowspeak – “Harsh Realm”
Languid, hazy, lilting and lulling are few adjectives that can be used to describe the music Molly Hamilton, Michael Stasiak, and Robert Thomas craft on Harsh Realm / Burnout 7″ (released on Captured Tracks); however, they’d still be insufficient. For me, it’s the solemn and somewhat cinematic feeling “Harsh Realm” evokes. You can easily imagine it being played in the background of a film scene where a heartbroken is lover is walking lonesome the midnight streets with quick cuts to car headlights and stumbling feet and dirty streets.
“It can wait. Everything else can wait. We sleep in. We sleep in late.”
Perfect for those humid summer nights in college kid housing with no AC, “Burnout” is a slow burn with Molly’s breathy vocals whispering the lethargy the lyrics speak of. It’s all about those lazy days when lying in bed is the best option, because nothing really matters in that moment but the feel of your head on the pillow and your legs between the sheets. Sounds like my theme song.
[WATCH]: Widowspeak – “Burnout” (made with scenes from Jack Cardiff’s The Girl On A Motorcycle)
I’ve been waiting for an eternity for some new Bon Iver, and finally, we get our first taste of new material with the release of the first single off the band’s doubly self-titled sophomore LP–Bon Iver, Bon Iver (due out June 21 via Jagjaguwar).
As usual, the lyrics are cryptic as all hell, but Justin Vernon’s vocals weave themselves into a harmonic tapestry that I want to envelop myself in for days. It’s still the barebones Bon Iver we’ve all come to love, but this time the soundscape is fuller, more vast, and eclectic. The addition of synthesizers and electronic elements embedded into the the backdrop create a heavier, rounded experience.
Sure it’s supposed to be spring, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a “good winter,” right? I mean, the weather isn’t exactly warm and sunny, and my hands are effectively ice blocks as I type this.
Plus it doesn’t hurt that it’s about a Canadian city, either. Canadian pride and wintery wonderland both check off!
Bon Iver, warm me up.
*Tour dates after the jump! (more…)
Yes, I will admit that sometimes I will search up a musician just because their cover art or album title intrigues me. It’s a superficial method, but hey, I’ve stumbled across many of my favourite artists this way.
It happened again a couple days ago. Pitchfork did me a solid when I happened across the cover art for Des Ark‘s sophomore album Don’t Rock the Boat, Sink the Fucker along with a review (which I didn’t bother to read) while I was browsing the site for the first time in a long time.
Aimée Argote has been making music under the Des Ark moniker for a decade along with a rotating cast of band members throughout the years. Compared to the more jammy and abrasive punk-influenced rock the then-duo’s 2005 debut LP, Loose Lips Sink Ships, the sophomore effort is much more pristine and polished with mellow and introspective moments that are undercut by sudden bursts of instrumental clamour.
I’d describe it sort of like when you’re listening to Manchester Orchestra albums and there are quiet songs that focus on Andy Hull’s warbling lament and then suddenly there’s this intense break and it turns to a frenzy of energy and drums and guitar. The energy that Des Ark gives off is kind of like that. Argote isn’t a background music type of artist.
Song titles like “FTW Y’all!!!” and “If By Gay You Mean Totally Fucking Awesome, Then Yeah, I Guess It’s Pretty Gay” are highly entertaining and effectively attention-grabbing, but it’s Aimée Argote’s voice that keeps that attention.
[LISTEN]: Des Ark – “My Saddle Is Waitin’ (C’mon Jump On It)” (Live)
Vulnerable and quivering as she bends and stretches her syllables (which is especially evident in the album recording), she’s one of the artists whose tracks you need to listen and re-listen to just to decipher the lyrics and even then you’re never completely sure you’ve got them correct.
“Oh to be perfect for the ones we love. I gave it a shot, but I am not and I never was. If I keep dragging all these anchors across my scars, I ain’t never gonna heal at all.”
Argote’s completely upfront and honest, lyrically, so listening to “Two Hearts Are Better Than One” almost made me cry. (Granted, I’m a pretty sentimental person, but still.)
“I got this anchor on my finger now. I got your blood pumping through my veins and still somehow when I am with you, dear, I cannot breath. I gave my heart, but then you took my lungs from me”
[WATCH]: Des Ark – “Two Hearts Are Better Than One” (Live)
They say the best things in life are free, and in the case of Coma Cinema, that saying holds up.
Mat Cothran, the guy behind this gem of a music find, equates music to something like oxygen, saying that it would be ridiculous to charge for the air we breathe so why charge for something as vital as music?
Accordingly, all three of Coma Cinema’s full-length records are available for free download on
the official band website (he recently retired that .org, so now you can download all the albums on his bandcamp). What sets Cothran apart from other musicians who do the pay-what-you-want thing (which is effectively a “free” download since the majority opt not to pay) is that he doesn’t even accept donations, stating on his page that “If you feel the need to compensate us, we only ask that you share the music with others.”
I don’t know what it was about this song that made me stop and focus into it as I mindlessly went through Coma Cinema’s catalog while studying for exams. Maybe it was the simplicity of the instrumentation with its lowly guitar picking or maybe it was the barely above a whisper talk-singing or maybe it was just the fact that it was a mere minute and a half long and thus able to keep my short attention span.
Or it could have been the fact that he said, “I am not afraid…even my fear’s in love with you,” and I thought it was simple and mundane yet startlingly beautiful and incredibly profound all at once.
Either way, I’ve been listening to it on repeat.
[MP3]: Coma Cinema – “Daffodils” (from Baby Prayers)
“Daffodils” hooked me in after a second listen. It didn’t stop my in my tracks like “Monica,” but I’ll chalk it up to my absentminded listening habits. The collage of sounds–especially the contrast of the clean guitar picking layered over the gritty feedback noise (?)–creates an intriguing backstory to the muffled vocals.
Coma Cinema’s tracks are catchy and only last an average of about 2 minutes or so, so I can guarantee that you’ll be listening to each record on repeat, wishing they were longer. (I know I have!) Cothran’s DIY mentality (not so much his music) reminds me a little of Oberhofer, if comparisons had to be made.
The vocals aren’t perfect and the recordings are hazy with noise and the drums are reminiscent of garage jamming, but I think that’s the point. It’s music for the sake of music, not for profit or anything else; it music made out of necessity because it’s begging to come out.
[DOWNLOAD]: Head on over to comacinema.bandcamp.com!
Fleet Foxes’ highly regarded sophomore album, Helplessness Blues, was released May 3, but that isn’t stopping Sub Pop from giving away another freebie: “Grown Ocean.“
[MP3]: Fleet Foxes – “Grown Ocean” (right-click, save as)
If you haven’t already, you can also grab the lead single and title track that was given away as a teaser to the band’s second LP.
Fleet Foxes’ frontman Robin Pecknold also took to twitter a while ago to showcase 3 tracks he’d previously recorded in California while on a break, one of which features Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste.
The moment I saw that We Are Trees had a song entitled “Dear Chan Marshall,” I was all ‘hell yeah, I’m up for the ride.’ (I’m a huge Cat Power fan and any reference to her will get me giddy.) That fact alone, for me, warranted them a listen–and I was not disappointed. (more…)
[LISTEN]: Russian Red – “I Hate You But I Love You”
Last time I spoke with Russian Red (Lourdes Hernandez) back in the 2010, she mentioned that she was hoping to start recording the new record this year. Since then, she has played a couple of shows in the States and released “I Hate You But I Love You”–the first single off her highly anticipated sophomore record. Here debut, I Love Your Glasses, came out in 2008, so it’s been long while, and I’m incredibly excited to hear her new material.
Fuerteventura is the name of her forthcoming album, slated for release in Spring 2011 (according to her website, vinyl ships out on May 11, 2011). Below is a little preview or behind-the-scenes of the making of the album. To be honest, I had no idea what she was saying (Spanish, duh), but I watched the whole thing anyway to get a sneak peek of some of her new songs.
[LISTEN]: Russian Red – “Fuerteventura”
Russian Red just recently announced via her Facebook that you can download the second single and the album’s namesake “Fuerteventura” for the price of an email (it’s basically free) FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY over here in English or Spanish. Enjoy!
I’m in the middle of writing an essay, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to share Angel Olsen with everyone. I’m a little late to the party on this one as she released her debut cassette (yes, cassette–you read right) Strange Cacti via Bathetic Records last year, but I don’t even care; I’m just happy I found her.
“Creator, you destroy me. You know my hunger well and yet you starve me until I’m begging on my knees.”
Sometimes you just feel it–a connection, an emotion, a surprisingly familiarity–when you listen to a new musician for the first time. I felt it when I heard Angel Olsen. It was something I felt when I first listened to Joni Mitchell (the two are nothing are alike, but still), Sharon Van Etten, and Marissa Nadler. There’s this innate and immediate understanding, and it’s ever so beautiful.
Her sound is lo-fi and organic and effortlessly sincere; everything’s raw. There’s a throwback feel almost as if these recordings were made in the 60s and resurrected. “Some Things Cosmic” sounds like something your grandparents might have listened to.
BUY: STRANGE CACTI 12″
The Swell Season // “The Verb”
“I’m stuck here killing myself, and you’re out there laughing somewhere.”
sometimes i wonder
and i wonder and i wonder until
i feel you at the nape of my neck
at the top of my spine
at the back of my head
in the space between my ears
creeping up to the furrow of my brow
and up my forehead until
you run yourself into my mind
and so i wonder
and i wonder and i wonder until
you’re no more
and then i wander
S-SQUARED | Song and a Story
I’ve always been fascinated with the interplay between song and its ability to tell a story or evoke images in our minds. Sometimes when I’m listening to a track, I’ll picture a scene or a couple phrases may find themselves in my mind. This is where a song and a story meet. All writing here is my own and may be fiction or non-fiction or poetry or just a couple of phrases. And there will also be a photograph (it makes it look better and I’m all about aesthetics), and even though that doesn’t start with an ‘s’ but I’m going to go with S-Squared anyway (just because).
Please do let me know what you think about this! I’m really interested to see how you guys like (or do not like) this!
The official album release isn’t until April 5 (via Domino), but the Kills released a full online stream for Blood Pressures just yesterday. I’m listening to it right now and thought I’d share. If “Satellite” and “DNA” were any indication, I think I’m gong to love the record. Enjoy!
- Opening track (“Future Starts Slow”) is the perfect introduction.
- The guitar work is a lot more muddy and full on this album than on Midnight Boom. I’m always so impressed with the tones and sounds that Hince can get on his guitar.
- Jamie Hince made me swoon on “Wild Charms”
- I can’t help but notice that Mosshart’s vocals have gotten even deeper and huskier on “The Last Goodbye” (must be due to the smoking).
- The album has a good mixture of sounds from the steeped-in-sex gritty and heavy to more nostalgic slowdance tunes
- Waltz-like 3/4 time string symphony of “Last Goodbye” is beautiful. It’s quite a departure for the duo, but it’s quite orgasmic.
I know I’ve taken a long hiatus again, everyone. I’m sorry. It’s coming close to the end of the year and essays and such are piling up. Thank you very much, English Major.
Anyway, while I’ve been sitting here putting off reading another page about writing for the web and not being able to actually write for the web because I’m reading about it, I came across this new tearjerker by The National.
“Think You Can Wait” is featured on the soundtrack for the upcoming Thomas McCarthy-directed Paul Giamatti flick, Win Win.
It’s a quiet and sweeping melancholy orchestration. In short, this song is heartbreaking and pure The National. Somber in mood, the track beats on quietly like a steady heartbeat following the subdued lull of Matt Berninger‘s calm baritone and features guest vocals/harmonies courtesy of Brooklyn’s Sharon Van Etten. Just the thought of the two singing together makes my tired heart flush warm and bright.
I guess this is one of the tracks they recorded this when Aaron Dessner told Pitchfork that they had been working with Van Etten on a couple new songs. I cannot wait for some more new material from the two. After all, The National and Sharon Van Etten did release two of my most loved records of 2010.
In the meantime, here is the recently released star-studded video for The National’s “Conversation 16.”