Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Kids These Days" ~ Fur Trade

You guys.  I know next to nothing about this band.  It seems to be the rebirth of Hot Hot Heat, a Canadian group (yep, another one from B.C., just like Said The Whale, The Zolas, Hey Ocean!, and Mother Mother, all bands with whom I am slightly obsessed...) who I must confess I've never gotten around to, but may have to check out after this.  I've listened to this track at least twenty times today... maybe thirty.  Yeah, probably at least thirty.  I can't even put my finger on what it is that makes it so awesome... sweet little funky guitar riff, the dirty piano counter-riff, a brilliant line or two, or maybe the girl dancing in the video - speaking of things I can't explain, this girl's moves... she just exudes confidence.  Blends some raggedy ballet with street moves, and it just... works.  I wish I had that kind of confidence when I was thirteen (I'm guessing that's about how old she was at filming)...

Anyway, check out the track, and tell me what you think:

Ridiculously simple, yet amazing, music video:


"There's a melody I hone that no one wrote..."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Tonight" ~Lykke Li

A wise man once said "Elegance is simplicity".  Or maybe it was a woman, and maybe it was "Simplicity is elegance".  Or I could be making this up.  At any rate, this song by Lykke Li is beautiful, and the simplicity of it only serves to enhance and emphasize the beauty.  Especially in this one-take acoustic video:

Here's the album version, if you like:

"Watch my back so I'll make sure
You're right behind me as before
Yesterday the night before tomorrow..."

Monday, January 21, 2013

"Song For Zula" ~ Phosphorescent

So I just discovered this band thanks to another band (Efterklang).  This track is phenomal - simple, chill, and on repeat most of the evening.  Give it a go:

This track is the first single from an upcoming album.  If you check the band's label's website (Dead Oceans), you can snag a couple downloads - different tracks, though.  And if you dig a bit deeper on the site, you can find a little treasure trove of more free tracks from artists such as The Tallest Man On Earth, Gauntlet Hair, and several others I haven't listened to yet but will be checking out in the near future.

"Now my feet are gold, and my heart is white
And we race out on the desert plains all night
See honey, I am not some broken thing
I do not lay here in the dark waiting for thee..."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Half Acre" ~ Hem

My friend Doug introduced me to this band during a recent LEGO building session (LEGO is cool, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  We were working on this Great Wall of China display for the Cranberry Library.)  Sorry, that's a bit of a non sequitur, but it's a true story.

Anyway, the band plays an incredible Americana style of music, of which this song is the archetype.  Simple, yet poignant, lyrics sung by a fantastic vocalist over beautiful instrumentation evocative of the heartland come together for a tune that will keep you hitting repeat.  The band admits to being influenced by Aaron Copland, and if you're familiar with his work you'll hear the similarities... hmm, I should post some Copland sometime... at any rate, have a listen:

If you like this track, you can find a different song on the band's website, available for free download (yeah, sorry, bait and switch... that song is also good but I felt like posting this one.)

"A man is walking on the highway
A woman stares out at the sea
And light is only now just breaking..."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Don't Wanna Die Anymore ~ Ivan & Alyosha

My buddy Jake passed on a tip to check this band.  They're from Seattle and are pretty rad.  This song is on the chill side of their spectrum... they get a bit louder - not Slayer loud, but louder than this.  But today this one feels like the one to post.

Here are a couple takeaway-style performances:

Oh by the way, check their website for a free download of the track!

"Well, I don't want to die anymore
Don't want the Lord to call me home
I've got this feeling he ain't done with me yet
So, I'll sit right right here and place my bet"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

"Elias" ~ Dispatch

Given my recent track record, and in the interest of more music and less of my ramblings, I'm going to try and post at least every other day, even if it means limited to no commentary.  As such, here's a track off of Dispatch's first release, "Silent Steeples".  The song has powerful roots, which you can learn about in the video below; if it interests you, you can also check out the band's charity, The Elias Fund, which was started to help a man in Zimbabwe provide education for his sons.

"Distance is short when your hand carries what your eye found..."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

"All Sense Of Time" ~ David Wax Museum

David Wax Museum are coming back to Pittsburgh to play Club Cafe on Feb 2., a show for which I'm pretty excited.  This might be my favorite track from last year's release, "Knock Knock Get Up"... but it's a fantastic album, so that's a tough call.

I love that David sings most of the song in the low end of his register.  It's a dynamic you don't hear often, and it sets the track apart while drawing focus to the lyrics.

There isn't a lot of web presence for the song, but you can listen through the band's site, and/or check out this concert recording from last fall:

I find the lyrics to be quite powerful, so here they are in their entirety, taken straight from the band's website:

"How beautiful when it rains
You can hear the nighttime sing
It’s eight and then it’s nine o’clock
But I’m still somewhere in between 

Remember half the world
Sets out while half returns
It’s eight and then it’s nine o’clock
The sun has set but still it burns 

Look and see how everything
Dissolves and becomes one
It’s eight and then it’s nine o’clock
The whole night moves in unison 

May we lose all sense of time
May we be patient as a stone
All the time we’re given
Is given to us on loan"