Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winter, Maybe Mix

The past few years I've done anti-holiday cheer mixes for all of those christmas carol haters. I also put together mixes of indie holiday songs that are bearable. This year I'm too sick and overwhelmed with music to go through the absurd amounts of holiday songs that we'll all soon forget.

So instead, there's this: some vaguely winter themed songs. Some are happy, some are less so, and some are there because I like them. There'll be another winter mix to look forward to further down the line. It's up to you to download and enjoy.

Download ZIP // Stream on Spotify (only has 9/20 songs)

2012 Albums for Mom

I don't intend for this list to be a knock on any album by any means. If anything, these were the most accessible albums of the year that both my mom and myself could listen to and enjoy. The biggest thing to eliminate in this type of list is any reverby, screachy, too much rock type music. My mom is a lover of motown, strong female voices (but dislikes Alabama Shakes), a little bit of country, and upbeat music. Although I threw in some crooners for her enjoyment too. This list could also be known as most likely to be on the radio, as a handful of it already is.

Kathleen Edwards - Voyageurs (buy)
I've been a Kathleen Edwards fan for a long time so I knew I'd like this one but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I love this album. It's one of Edwards' best to date, full of gumption and a renewed energy.
Kathleen Edwards - Change the Sheets

The Lumineers - The Lumineers (buy)
Destined to be loved by radio listening moms everywhere. I can't help but smile when I hear them on the radio which is where they are all the time, not to mention all the TV placements from Blue Moon ads to Grey's Anatomy that they've garnered this year. The Lumineers - Ho Hey

Of Monsters and Men - My Head is an Animal (buy)
I'll always remember the first time I heard them in early 2011 and watching their ascent to whatever you call their type of fame (indie darlings? mainstream folk-pop?) has been an adventure. I saw them live three times this year, my mom even came to their first Boston show on their first US tour. They've grown so fast and are leaps and bounds better with each performance.
Of Monsters and Men - King and Lionheart

Lord Huron - Lonesome Dreams (buy)
Happy go-lucky music at it's finest.
Lord Huron - Time To Run

Bahamas - Barchords (buy)
I spent the entire winter cooking hearty soups and stews with this as my constant companion. For whatever reason this became my cooking album and I'll always love dancing around the kitchen, knife in one hand, glass of wine in the other with this album turned up loud.
Bahamas - Lost In The Light

Ben Howard - Every Kingdom (buy)
This album was huge last year in the UK so I almost forgot that it counts as a 2012 album with it's debut in the US this year.
Ben Howard - Old Pine

Cody Chesnutt - Landing On A Hundred (buy)
This one is a bit of a stretch as it has it's experimental moments, but it's hard to deny his voice and story telling abilities. I'd expect my mom to like 60% of this, and since it's one of my favorites, she'll learn to like it.
Cody Chesnutt - That's Still Mama

Lee Fields & The Expressions - Faithful Man (buy)
This one is another 60%er due to his voice, which I love, reaching towards the screechy side in some songs. The good songs on this album are too wonderful to ignore.
Lee Fields - You're The Right Kind of Girl

Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again (buy)
See a pattern here? While it won't make my top albums it's a wonderful listen, a stunning voice, and perfect dinner background music.
Michael Kiwanuka - I'm Getting Ready

Justin Townes Earle - Nothing's Gonna Change The Way I Feel About You Now (buy)
While not as loveable as his Harlem River Blues, this is a more than stellar album.
Justin Townes Earle - Nothing's Gonna Change...

The Staves - Dead & Born & Grown (buy)
Stunning harmonies. Lyrically it sounds like they should be angier than their soft and sweet voices lead you to believe, making for an interesting listen.

Sara Watkins - Sun Midnight Sun (buy)
Another country album for the list. It's hard to resist a song as sweet at You & Me.
Sara Watkins - You & Me

Pure Bathing Culture - Pure Bathing Culture EP (buy)
One that'd be hard for anyone to dislike, and one of my favorites of the year.
Pure Bathing Culture - Ivory Coast

Haim - Forever EP (buy)
Play it loud, dance to it, work out to it, blast it in the car, whatever. These are the songs I sang along to the most and the loudest all year long.
Haim - Forever

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Postiljonen - How Will I Know/All That We Had Is Lost

This is genius. A gorgeous stripped down version of Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" plays out as a slow jam. It's perfect for blissfully staring out the window all afternoon with your headphones on. (via Line of Best Fit)

Pascal Pinon - At The Coast

Ease in to the day with this video filmed at 2am in Iceland. Their new album, Twosomeness, will be out January 18th via Morr Music. It shows incredible growth since the days of the sweet "I Wrote A Song" from 2010, as well as quite a few more songs in english. It's a dreamy getaway of an album.

Site // Facebook // Morr Music // Buy advanced version on itunes

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Belle Game - I Would Wait Up For You

Having loved their song "Sleep To Grow" over a year ago, I've been waiting to find out what was coming next from the Vancouver band The Belle Game. We have to wait just a bit longer as they've announced that their debut album, Ritual Tradition Habit, will be out early in 2013. In the meantime, they have a few EPs and songs to check out on soundcloud, a name your price song on bandcamp, and be sure to keep your ears open for something soon.

Site // Facebook // Bandcamp

Campfire Ok - Our Hearts Beat Light

Campfire Ok have been warming the hearts of many since their debut album in 2011. Their sophomore album, When They Have Arrived, isn't out yet but they've been releasing one song a month on their bandcamp page. It'll be one to look out for in 2013.

Site // Bandcamp // Facebook

Friday, December 7, 2012

Jetsi Kain - Love

Jetsi Kain is a Danish duo that released their debut EP over the summer. They're back with a new poppy single that boldly declares "we're going to make love in the most peculiar way". It's hard to say much more than that. Enjoy.

On and On - Ghost

On and On will be releasing their debut album Give In, out 4 March 2013 on City Slang. The three members have been playing together in various bands over the past 10 years and finally came together as one entity. The depth of this single is phenomenal, but the best part is the break that lets just a little fuzz through so that he can sing the main lyric the song is centered around for the last time.

"I was on the verge to scream when you wouldn't scream about anything."

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Feldspar - Let The Time Run

Feldspar, a young, UK based, folk band that tells stories.

Feldspar is also releasing a new EP this week and this is one of the new tracks.

Site // Bandcamp // Facebook

Tom Odell - Another Love

Wallowing in the sad songs when you yourself feel perfectly OK is always an odd sensation. Confusion usually sets in and you wonder if you should be upset about something too as their lyrics rattle around in your brain. Sometimes the songs, like this one, are just too transcendant to ignore.

Site // Facebook //

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gerard & The Watchmen - Stables

Dave Gerard & The Watchmen released the I Climbed a Tree EP in April, but I think it's better suited to the new chills of winter settling in your bones. Something about this EP is so tender, I want to carry all the words and melodies around in my coat pocket, close to my heart. The gentle and understated bits of mandolin and banjo don't hurt either.

Tom Williams & The Boat - My Bones

I love you from the marrow of my bones is a lyric I can't seem to shake from my mind and is one of many reasons why this song has been on repeat. Tom Williams and The Boat recorded their second album, Teenage Blood, in a working brewery in Kent and it was released in April via the always wonderful Moshi Moshi Records. You should also listen to the title track from this album.

Tom Williams also recorded a Christmas song for the annual For Folk's Sake compilation. This song sounds like if you dropped it, it'd shatter into a million tiny glass shards, it's that fragile, especially in comparison to the previous song.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gospels - Animal Feelings

Gospels don't have much to speak of on the internet, but I do know that they were at CMJ this year, they are from New York, and that I enjoy this song.

Dancing Years - Borderline

Nothing like a depressing change of pace. This song is a beast. It's quiet and hiding in the bushes at first and then it roars and eats you alive. It's a doozy that deserves every bit of your listening ability. It's beautifully brilliant.

It wasn't until I was writing this post that I realized I had heard this band before, I even found an old post that was lost in the drafts under their previous band name. "Falling Wood" is especially close to sounding like a Lost in The Trees song, which I'm not complaining about. I'm happy to have re-stumbled upon this band and all the melancholy, anger, and accordion that comes with it.

Site // Soundcloud // Facebook // Bandcamp

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wayne Petti of Cuff the Duke - Darkest Hour

Red Brick Songs and Casablanca Media organized a retreat with some Canadian songwriters to record and release an 8-track compilation while spending time lake side. The result is a wonderful collection of songs that showcase the immense talent this hand picked group of musician has at their disposal.  There's more to check out at soundcloud and to follow on facebook.

The Falls - Home

The Falls are a Sydney based band whose bio starts with this story: "They met. They fell in love. They wrote songs. They fought. They made up. They broke up. They wrote songs." We've heard this story a few times (think The Rosebuds and Fleetwood Mac) but it's a situation that never fails to amaze. What came out of it was five pop songs on an EP with palpable and genuine emotions. There's plenty of hand claps and sweet male/female vocals that seem to be a soft spot for many listeners. It's well worth your time listening to all five.

Site // Facebook // Soundcloud

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Federale - Fine

In case you ever needed proof that whistling improves every song, there's this instrumental track with some choice whistling with a large dose of the wild wild west. Federale is actually based in Portland, Oregon and is Collin Hegna from Brian Jonestown Massacre.  This song is off a limited (250) cassette, The Blood Flowed Like Wine, from Burger Records and is full of more spaghetti western awesomeness. It's definitely a fun listen and perfect for soundtracking any horse ride through the desert.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - Give Me A Sign

It sounds exactly like you'd hope an Edward Sharpe song to sound like...except somehow with a raspier voice.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy Friday. I play Little Richard almost every morning while getting ready and I swear it nearly replaces the need for coffee. To fully enjoy this song, I suggest dancing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jonathan Wilson - Trials of Jonathan (Happy and Artie Traum cover)

I fell head over heels in love with Jonathan Wilson's music during the Newport Folk Fest this past July. I saw him 3 times that weekend and then somehow saw him twice after that. So it makes sense that the first vinyl I've bought in six months would be his November Record Store Day release from Bella Union. It was a smart purchase, and luckily he's shared it on soundcloud for us all to enjoy.

The songs are all covers that are done true to Jonathan Wilson style. Fucking fantastic.
1. "Isn't It A Pity" featuring Graham Nash on guest vocals (George Harrison cover)
2. "Trials of Jonathan (Happy and Artie Traum cover)
3. "Tomorrow's Child" (Apryl Fool cover)

By all means, watch this brand new video of his original song, "The Way I Feel".

Farewell Luna - By The Morning

Smooth as peanut butter with healthy doses of R'n'B. The four track EP is available on a name your price basis over at bandcamp. Farewell Luna is Jared Wohl from New Jersey. Site // Bandcamp

Andrew Combs - Devil's Got My Woman

I've been stuck on this album since it came out at the end of October. The twangy, yet soulful country album, revolves around heartbreak and has a tendency to get left playing on loop all day.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Among Savages - Cold Wind

Among Savages is 24 year old Nashville, TN based artist Peter Barbee. His debut record Wanderings of an Illustrative Mind was released almost two years ago, but this song just came across my radar via a Noise Trade Sampler. It's a warm crackling fire of a song despite the title, it's best played loud so you can dance around and enjoy the general sweetness of it all. "Baby, you've been on my mind, you're the only thing I want on this snowy night."

Emily Moldy - My Own One

I heard this during the Nature's Valley Granola Thins commercial and was curious to hear the rest of it. I like it, but most of all my musical self 8 years ago really likes it. Somewhere I strayed from songs that sounded like they were made for wholesome commercials and/or Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl, etc. However, I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, I just sometimes miss my mixes being filled with easy listening songs like this one. Find more on her site.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wild Cub - Thunder Clatter

If you had to guess where the duo is from, Nashville would probably be one of the last locations you'd place them. But here we all are, clapping along to this tremendous track out of Nashville. Their 13 track album, Youth, is a great way to kick off the week. I highly recommend giving it a full listen.
Site // Soundcloud // Facebook // Bandcamp

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shovels & Rope - Peace, Love, and Understanding (Elvis Costello cover)

Regardless of what the future holds, specifically the outcome of the election, this Elvis Costello classic "Peace, Love, and Understanding" seems like a good thing to hear right now. Especially since it's covered by the always lovely Shovels & Rope duo. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tomas Barfod - November Skies ft. Nina Kinert

This song came out over the summer, but I think now we can start listening to it obsessively. Enjoy the beginnings of a brand new month.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Don't Haunt Me Mix

Here's a little well known secret: I detest the costume portion of Halloween to the point where I haven't had a costume since high school. However, as long as there are Midnight Milky Ways I'm ok with the candy part. I also like pumpkins and scooping out the guts in case you were wondering. The other part I especially like are the mixes that come out of working around a spooky theme. I'm just as excited about this year's mix as the previous two.

Stream all three mixes in one playlist on spotify. Of course it's missing some of my favorite songs due to the usual spotify issues, but that's why I reuploaded the old playlists so you can download all three.

Ben Howard - Esmerelda

Ben Howard is sharing a new song from his EP, 'Esmerelda', a song he's been playing during his live shows. Much like the video it's dark and a bit menacing. It's a beautiful and twisted song that sounds like it was too dark for his debut album, but it's too stunning of a song to have not recorded. The angry sea in this video is a perfect backdrop. The new EP is titled Burgh Island EP and if it's limited vinyl (1000) you want, you'll have to wait for December 10th. Or you can buy now via iTunes if you're in the UK or get it November 6th if you're elsewhere. (via The Music Hoarder)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sóley - I'll Drown

Sóley's 'I'll Drown' was one of my favorite songs of 2011. More recently a dramatic and stark, black and white video for the song was released. She's touring with other NMC favorites Of Monsters & Men through Iceland, Canada and the east coast of the US. Be sure to check her out. I still get completely lost in this song.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sambassadeur - Memories

Sambassadeur is releasing a doube A-side 7". "Memories" is the first song with plenty of saxophone that has the right degree of cheesy while remaining a completely enjoyable and catchy song. Enjoy.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Balto - Cavalry

I've been listening to this EP for weeks. It's always nice when you get five lovely songs rather than see someone try and fudge some filler songs to make a full length album. While all the songs have something to offer, I've been giving 'Cavalry' the repeat treatment.

So if you see me start retreating 
See the shadow cross my eyes 
I’m gonna place a bet on wine, I'm gonna take my own advice 
And if I’m lucky I can see your lantern shine

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lord Huron - Lonesome Dream

"I run through a wooded isle
and chase the sunlight mile after mile,
and I feel like I know this place
As the tree line breaks into wide open space."
First thing this morning I took off for a run to test my lungs in the thin Colorado air.  It seemed like a good time to finally give the new Lord Huron album a solid listen. Seconds after I pressed play, I was beaming and bursting with a joy that brought tears to my eyes. Colorado always makes me feel good, but the combination of Lord Huron, the scenery, my friend's dog for comapany, and the mile high air made me feel like my heart was exploding. I can't remember the last time I smiled a big cheesy smile during a five mile run.

Nothing soothes my soul like songs built on a heaping mountain of wanderlust. This album gives people trying to find their footing in the real world some solid ground to travel upon. Mountains come up often in the songs and each time I caught myself glancing westward towards the Rocky Mountains that hold so many of my memories. The timing of this first listen couldn't have been more perfect.

I realize I haven't told you about how well these songs are crafted, but just trust me that they are. Sometimes the feelings brought on by the music are what matter the most.

"Run away with me, it'll all make sense."
Buy Lonesome Dreams // Amazon

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Free Energy - Dance All Night

Free Energy will always own a large part of my summer of 2010, a summer I remember with a freakish accuracy. It'll be an interesting change of pace to have a new alum of theirs out in the dead of winter this January. It'll be sure to keep you warm, or at least dancing/bopping/singing along.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rhye - The Fall (live)

This new music from Rhye is a live version of 'The Fall' that is simply that husky charming voice and the piano. It's very stripped down and just as beautiful as everything else we've heard. Find Rhye on Facebook.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Broke For Free - The Gold Lining

I'm trying this thing out. I'm not going to write all that much anymore. The writing has been what's holding me back. When I started out all I wanted to do was share the music I enjoyed with other people, I've never been particularly proud of my song or album reviews anyway. Now that I've already written more than I intended to, have a listen to this.

This song is a five minute walk on a warm autumn day with the sun coming through the leaves at just the right angle.

And in case you've been living under a rock and haven't seen this video, then you should. I smiled, I cried, my heart was warmed. It's beautiful. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Leftover Sun Mix

I have no idea what music I've been listening to. My turntable broke, I haven't been reading emails, I don't like biking with headphones, and when I want background noise I just let itunes shuffle without much thought or preference. Music and me kind of broke up for approximately 52 days, but I think we're getting back together soon.
Balto - Smokestacks (bandcamp)
Neil Halstead - Full Moon Rising (site)
Poliça - Lay Your Cards Out (site)
Velah - Skeleton House (site)
Al James (of Dolorean) - If You've Got The Money (site)

Correction...Above is the absurdly long mix I wanted to make. I've been listening to it for a week trying to figure out what to cut so that I'd be able to upload it. I'm mostly happy with the condensed version, but I figured I'd let you see both. There's also a secret track #17 that I'm sure you'll love. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bensh - Doubt

Just spent my Saturday morning tuning into The Waiting Room radio show which is broadcasted twice on Houndstooth Radio on Saturdays. I know I've mentioned all this before but I love that it's become a quintessential part of my Saturday mornings. I wake up and plug my phone in to the big speakers even before making coffee. I was a bit late to tune in today but was immediately drawn to the featured band Bensh. When this broadcast is posted make sure to check out the live versions and the interview with the band that was recorded for The Waiting Room.

I highly suggest checking out Bensh you can find them on twitter, facebook, bandcamp, and their site. Enjoy the weekend. And as always thanks to The Waiting Room for helping me perfect my new music O face.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Old Man Luedecke - Jonah & The Whale

Old Man Luedecke is one of my favorite current banjo players. Myself, and anybody that's cooked dinner with me or rode in my car recently, must be extremely excited about what's coming next since I've played some other notable banjo records to death this summer (cough cough...spirit family...cough cough). Some new banjo music is in high demand around here. Old Man Luedecke is based in Chester, Nova Scotia, the award-winning roots singer-songwriter’s latest album, Tender Is The Night, gives nod to F.R. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel and will be released October 2nd.

Old Man Luedecke - Foreign Tongue (from My Hands are on Fire and other Love Songs 2010)
Old Man Luedecke - Proof of Love (from Proof of Love 2008)

Monday, August 20, 2012

1860 - For You, Forever

I've been dreaming of going to Iceland Airwaves Music Festival for years. Sadly, instead of booking an Iceland Air flight, I succumb to ravishing the playlists they post to soundcloud. Some day I'll make it, just not this year. The first band on the list, 1860, was an easy one to love with their featured song, "For You, Forever", including all of my favorites: handclaps, a mandolin, a trumpet, and easy sing-a-long lyrics. Their 2011 album, Sagan, is a daydream I'll happily get lost in, letting the unfamiliar icelandic words float away like clouds.

"Rise up, but remember that each sunrise is a sunset somwhere else."

Monday, August 13, 2012


Help me find the band this song belongs to. I downloaded it from soundcloud and it was only tagged with the title of the song. It's a rather lovely little tune, have a listen. To all the bands out there, please tag your songs properly.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jennah Barry - The Coast

Photo Credit: Stephen Cooper
Just when you thought the summer was coming to an end there was a wave of highly listenable summer songs that came crashing into sight. Jennah Barry, a country inspired Canadian, makes pop music that has a twinge of sadness which is often laying beneath her sweet voice. Plus, anyone who can write a song about Canadian Mounties deserves a listen.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Highasakite - Indian Summer

Highasakite is a Norwegian band that's off to a great start. They are releasing an EP in the UK called ‘Indian Summer’ which is due out in the UK on 20th August through Riot Factory. Is it perfect summer indie-pop? I'll let you be the judge, but I'll suggest you go ahead and download Indian Summer right away.

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