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.
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