Month: September, 2012

Desert Noises “Tell Me You Love Me” & “Oak Tree”

I can confidently say that Desert Noises is the only thing keeping me from ODing on Mumford & Sons’ Babel at the moment. But not only that, this band is one serious gem. I am totally taken by their casual harmonies and lilting melodies. How I missed this 2011 release, I do not know. Here are just two out of ten fantastic tracks from the Utah natives’ debut album Mountain Sea. Other favorites include “Bible Study” and “Smoke Breathing Monsters.” I highly recommend acquiring this album stat.

“Tell Me You Love Me” starts off slow & steady with a touch of tambourine accenting every beat. Enter Kyle Henderson’s crystal clear voice that echoes each “tell me you love me” to the point you feel genuinely convinced. The pace quickens and eventually the track transforms into something much larger and grander than expected.

“Oak Tree” combines heavy, intricate (almost tribal) drums with perfectly clear and simple vocal harmonies. The result of this combination transports you to a peaceful, bucolic space. You might want to stay awhile…

Pale Seas “Bodies” / Dave Gerard & the Watchmen “Hesitate” / Sea Wolf “Old Friend”

So I’ve dubbed this post, “the pensive post.” I have a few tracks here that are lovely, but might require a double or triple listen (depending on how you roll). These three songs made it into my “food for thought” playlist, aka the giant one I flip on when I am feeling particularly contemplative.

The first song (above), “Bodies” by Pale Seas, is a dreamy, faraway tune that summons one of those introspective look-out-the-window moments from your distant past. Such a youthful, ephemeral feel to this song… I keep coming back.

This track by Dave Gerard & the Watchmen is like a solid dose of Dramamine. It’s calming and comforting. “Hesitate” lulls me and takes me to a quiet place.

Last and certainly not least, the new Sea Wolf album dropped. My oh my, it is quite good! “Old Friend” starts the album off dynamically with a moving melody that will surely capture you in some capacity. Check out the full album here.

Stars “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It”

The past few weeks I have been completely enthralled with the new Stars album. I’ll be honest, I have held out posting any of the new stuff until now since they play this coming Saturday in Nashville. It just seemed apropos to wait.

In the usual Stars fashion, they set out to impart a little gem of sweet wisdom to their listeners…and of course woo us with a warm hook throughout the process. Torq and Amy Milan are one of my favorite duos; there’s just something about his rational, calming vocal delivery and how it meshes beautifully with her breathy, female emotive one. Without further ado, one of my favorite tracks off of the new album North. 

“And the only way to last, and the only way to live it, is to hold on when you get love and let go when you give it.”

Peace “California Daze” & “Bloodshake”

This band is SOLID. I had a hard time deciding which song to post since these two are quite different. My indecision led to yet another double post. Something tells me there won’t be any complaints here…

“California Daze” is a beautiful, hazy ballad. A subdued guitar intro with Beach Boy-reminiscent backing harmonies that alternate with the lead singer’s very pronounced (British!) vocal delivery. This song is just damn pleasant!

“Bloodshake” is a double dose of two genres, one of which I have dubbed “trop-pop,” meaning a tropical pop sound. However, do not be deceived by the peaceful little hand drums, this track’s delicious other half (no pun intended – their EP is called Delicious) is amped with serious rock moments that balance it out in the nicest of ways. There’s a little bit of everything in “Bloodshake.” Right around the three minute mark, the song quiets into a series of handclaps; then out of nowhere, Peace plunges into a sick White Denim-ish rock out riff, ending the song explosively.

Campfire Ok “Wishing You The Best”

This past week, I’ve been trying to hone in on why this song deserves attention. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t know too many heavy songs involving banjo (could just be at a loss right now). After much thought, I’ve determined that intrinsically this song is a modern day dirge. Campfire Ok achieves a sense of foreboding through every element of this song: the simple, constant beat, the singer’s blunt voice, the almost dissonant jangle of the banjo – it all works. Allow this track to mesmerize you. If the music doesn’t do it for you, perhaps the video will help with the convincing.

Woods “Size Meets The Sound” & “Cali In A Cup”

This band is frustrating. Just try googling “Woods band” or “Woods music.” Yep. Not so much. I think these guys are worth the hunt though. I am not one to beeline it towards falsetto male vocalists, but every once in a while I find a band with one and it just fits nicely. In fact, the singer Jeremy Earl has a miraculous way of making it sound soothing (aka no need to squint your eyes when you listen). These two songs are significantly distinct from one another, but they very solidly display the (potential) breadth of this band’s upcoming release. I am thinking this could be a nice, complete album to look forward to in the next week.

Tin Sparrow “The Boat”

This Australian indie-folk quartet has been on my radar since last summer. They put out this absolutely wistful track, “The Boat” that blasted from my speakers for a good six months before I had to peel myself away from it. They don’t have a full length album out still, which is disappointing – just two EPs. All of their music has a distant, longing tinge to it. Very dense, full music embellished with simple nuances (keys, slide guitar etc…) that strike your senses within the wall of sound.

ON AN ON “Ghosts”

This mysterious tune falls under the “on repeat” category. Something about the intense, pent-up passion perfectly captured by the controlled, deliberate instrumentation sucked me in immediately.
It is quiet and loud at the same time. There is so much burning restraint seeping through every second of this song it’s unsettling.
It borders the land of fuzzy indie boredom, but then the ooo’s come in and seriously just that touch of melody transforms this song into a beautiful new dimension. For a song to keep that haunting and somewhat stagnant feeling, but still actually GO somewhere – that’s magnificent. Chilling beauty in the empty spaces.

Just found out these guys are former members of the band Scattered Trees. This makes sense; however, ON AN ON  (even just based on the only song they have out) takes the cake. Looks like they will be in Nashville on Sept. 28th…

The Staves Mexico EP

I have determined that these three British sisters descended from the clouds. They are pitch perfect with delicate, floating harmonies – simply angelic. They have an album coming out October 22nd (produced by Glyn and Ethan Johns – what!?) that should effectively remove the air from our lungs. Sweet, sweet music just in time for the winter months ahead!

Zulu Winter “Bitter Moon”

The beginning of this song feels like the birth of a revelation. There is almost a shimmering quality that draws you in and gives it this grand effect. Right when those cymbals crash, you’ll be sold. This song, actually, this band is extremely inventive, but not in a way that fans can’t connect to. I love how significant the tambourine is in this song. Wooo tambourine!