August 29, 2013

Ticket Giveaway: Kishi Bashi


Hey everybody! It's time for another exciting ticket giveaway! This time, you have the chance to see
Kishi Bashi, the Georgia-based multi-instrumentalist who has toured with Of Montreal and Regina Spektor. He released his orchestral debut solo album 151a last year to much critical acclaim and is considered one of the most exciting live acts around!

He will be performing at The Royale in Boston on September 11th and you can win a pair of free tickets simply by following the steps below.

1. Like Write To The Beat on Facebook

2. Enter your email address below.

August 28, 2013

The Coming And The Going

Album Art by Brian Holmes

August is a month of transitions. Kids return home from camp and get ready for a new school year, a new group of high-schoolers leaves home for the first time to head off to college, and people come and go from vacations. These changes, as exciting as they can be, are not always so simple or easy. The eagerness to leave a place is always contrasted by the possibility that things will not be the same when coming back. Leaving behind the old is not always easy, even when the new is a breath of fresh air.

These songs are all demonstrations of the bittersweet nature of transitions. Not quite sad, but not quite happy, this collection of music is meant to help you in a time of confusing change and adaptation. Enjoy.

If you want to hear more music like this, take a listen to the Songza playlist I created that inspired this mixtape.

Tracklist
1. Milk Carton Kids - "Michigan"
2. The Decemberists - "June Hymn"
3. Nick Drake - "Road"
4. Honeyhoney - "LA River"
5. Tyler Lyle - "When I Say That I Love You"
6. Sufjan Stevens - "All The Trees Of The Field Will Clap Their Hands"
7. Michael Kiwanuka - "Home Again"
8. Farewell Milwaukee - "Come Back Home"
9. The Wooden Sky - "Oslo"
10. Ásgeir Trausti - "Going Home"
11. Alexi Murdoch - "All My Days"
12. Small Houses - "Oh, Hiding Out"
13. Dustin Tebbutt - "The Breach"
14. Milk Carton Kids - "Milk Carton Kid"
15. Benjamin Francis Leftwich - "Atlas Hands"
16. Bear's Den - "Agape"
17. Benjamin Gibbard & Jay Farrar - "One Fast Move Or I'm Gone"
18. Volcano Choir - "Byegone"

Download The Whole Mixtape Here

If that link does not work, try this one.

If any artist would like their song removed from the mixtape, please email me at jonah@writetothebeat.com and the song will be promptly removed.

August 12, 2013

Stefan Weiner - Potluck

If You Like: Town Hall, Gregory Alan Isakov, Blind Pilot

If you're an avid reader of this blog, you may recognize the name and face of Stefan Weiner. Not so long ago (and hopefully still!), he fronted the New York folk group Town Hall, making some of the cutest, most soothing folk music around. Weiner's voice was always one of the best things about the group; it is easy to like, yet not ordinary enough to pass by unnoticed. 

Now, with his new solo EP, Potluck, Weiner expands upon his sound, collaborates with some old and new friends, and has created one of the most interesting folk releases of 2013. While some of the tracks like "Fearful Lullaby" and "Say I'm Strong (feat. Phoeby Ryan)" sound at first like classic Town Hall, he grows these songs far beyond what the trio has ever done. A veritable orchestra helps back him up on many of the songs, resulting in a huge sound, the whole time led by fearless captain Weiner.

"Frozen Ground" was the biggest surprise for me. This song is the closest thing to a lively pop song that he has done so far, and it works so so well. If there is one song on this EP that will get him noticed, it is this one. It is catchy, charming, interesting, and just about anything anyone could want from a pop track. Strings weave in and out as his voice is taken to its limits. He rarely sings this loud, but that doesn't mean he can't. The rest of the tracks show his astounding diversity. Hints of jazz, blues, soul, and classical pop up all over the place and make you sure that this guy will not be pigeonholed. 

The album has just been released on Bandcamp, so grab yourself a copy and listen below!

August 08, 2013

Astronomyy - "Don't Need U"

If You Like: Jaymes Young, Bipolar Sunshine. The Weeknd

This song starts out innocent enough. Soothing guitar chords are plucked, a soulful voice arrives, and it seems as if you know where this is headed. But then the beat comes in. Astronomyy, a mysterious British group from Worcestershire, has crafted a stunningly simple beat that takes this song to an entirely new level. It stays relaxing, but now in a zone-out kind of way. Take a listen and let your mind drift away.

August 07, 2013

Natural Animal - "Who You Are"

If You Like: Cut Copy, Miike Snow, Foster The People

So much electronic music today is either overtly sexual, aggressive, or just bad. The Toronto producers of Natural Animal have made a dancey electro-pop track, that is a happy-go-lucky jam that will put an instant wholesome smile on your face. Perfect for driving down the highway with the top down, this song is ready to be placed on the Summer Songs of 2013 list. Turn it up!

August 06, 2013

Figaro - "Moving Slowly"

If You Like: Vampire Weekend, The Strokes, Spoon

It is difficult to make a great song, but even more difficult to make a great track that is incredibly simple. Figaro has done just that with "Moving Slowly," a sparse, sprightly pop tune that brings to mind the catchy cuteness of Vampire Weekend. The group, made up of two Americans and a Frenchman, met in college and seem to have quite the knack for making beachy songs. Until we hear more from the promising crew, enjoy the sunny vibes of "Moving Slowly."

August 05, 2013

Bastille - "Pompeii"

If You Like: Kodaline, Imagine Dragons, Walk The Moon

The British stars of Bastille have made it big in their home country, but are just starting to make waves stateside with their debut single, "Pompeii." The track begins with a jumpy synth line and slowly builds with choral samples, and culminates in a chorus as big as any I've heard this year. This is a stadium-ready hook, and I can see these guys getting a pretty solid following on both sides of the pond. Get ready to cheer and sing along when they head to the US of A this fall for a tour to promote their debut album, Bad Blood, out September 3rd in the US.

August 01, 2013

Bipolar Sunshine - "Fire"

If You Like: Miike Snow, Mikky Ekko, Frightened Rabbit

I may be a little late to the party here, as the British producer known as Bipolar Sunshine has become a bit of a music blog and Soundcloud star, but this is something I have to share. "Fire," the first song he showed up online with, is gunning for the Chillest Song of the Year award. Delayed guitars, a calming, accented voice, and a chorus that will have you cheering and relaxed at the same time. The track, which includes a laid-back rap and a sample from The Notebook, reflects on tough relationship arguments and the importance of cooling off. This is the kind of song that makes you think about your life with an incredible sense of perspective. 

Try to eliminate all distractions, click play, and savor this one. 

Buy his debut EP here.