Showing posts with label videos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label videos. Show all posts

May 01, 2014


If You Like: The Staves, Laura Marling

Despite their band name, Joseph is a group made of three sisters from Portland, Oregon. Gentle harmonies, soothing arrangements, and crisp, concise songwriting help this trio stand out in the folk world. Bringing to mind their British equivalent, The Staves, their voices fit together like only siblings' could. The music is almost always relaxing, perfect for a quiet night in the Pacific Northwest, preferably in a wood cabin. The first track on their record, "Cloudline," is a builder, however, and slowly grows into a fiery sing-along jam. Going on a road trip? Experiencing nature? Or just hanging out? This is your new perfect soundtrack.

Their album, Native Dreamer Kin, can be streamed below or downloaded for a suggested donation over at Noisetrade!

March 26, 2014

St. Paul & The Broken Bones

If You Like: Otis Redding, James Brown, Al Green

Looks can be deceiving. Take a listen to any song from Birmingham, AL crew St. Paul & The Broken Bones, and you would have no idea that it came from these guys. While the group may appear like a young posse of jazz nerds, the instant they start playing, they evoke a time much before their own. Lead singer Paul Janeway's voice is as close to Otis Redding as I've heard, and the band backing him up is as tight as can be. Their debut record, Half The City, is chock full of swingin', smooth soul music that will have you dancing one second, and crooning along the next. This is one of the most fun albums I've heard in a while and it's going to be on repeat for a while. Enjoy!

March 25, 2014


If You Like: Astronomyy, CHVRCHES, GEMS

Brooklyn trio Wet picked a name that's not too Google-able, but luckily their music is noteworthy enough to warrant some web searching. After making some ripples with their debut single, "Don't Wanna Be Your Girl" they released their Wet - EP  towards the end of last year. Since then, their minimalist, synth-laden, melancholy pop songs have earned them an opening slot on tour for CHVRCHES, and some highly-coveted SXSW appearances. While NYC is constantly overcrowded by exciting buzzbands, Wet are making a strong case for themselves and seem to be near the head of the pack. 

Their music video for "You're The Best" is quite New York. Featuring dark imagery and late night shots of indie parties, it'll help you get the vibe of the big city's hipster underbelly without having to trek all the way there. 

November 11, 2013


If You Like: Bon Iver, Ben Howard

I know, I've written about Ásgeir before. But last time, I had simply heard a song or two, and I thought, "what pretty, relaxing, Icelandic songs." Now, after putting his debut album on repeat for the last few days, I have more to say. One listen of the record (the American version called In The Silence) had me thinking how high to place it on my 'Best of 2013' list. His voice is as pure as they come, and his melodic warbles have been weaving in and out of my head for days. The best surprise from the album is that he doesn't stay safe in the acoustic singer/songwriter cave that he so easily fit into. There are synth soundscapes, frantic computer drums, and on the fantastic "Torrent," beautiful masses of noise that bring to mind Bon Iver's "Perth". All in all, this record has me floored. And did I mention that he's 21?

If you trust me, grab the album here

In his native Iceland, he is a rock star. According to some estimations, one in ten Icelanders own his debut record. One in ten!! Iceland is a tiny country, but still, that market penetration is off the charts! I'm hoping that he gains a bit of a following in the States, at least enough to come tour here. Otherwise, I'm going to need to book a flight pretty soon. 

October 01, 2013

RÁJ - "Ghost"

These past few months, I have found myself gravitating to slow, undulating, R&B-influenced tracks, usually with male vocals. This contrasts the previous six months in which everything I liked seemed to have female vocals. The last track to really grab me came from mysterious singer RÁJ. While I have not been able to learn where he is from or anything about the guy, I know that his debut single, "Ghost," is gosh-darned beautiful. 

It begins with a simple, distorted vocal sample repeated over guitar strumming and echoey chanting. As the song evolves, however, it gathers energy like a hurricane, eventually bringing forth quite a storm of powerful instrumentation.

If you enjoy it, you can catch him on tour opening for The Neighbourhood and Lovelife on the California leg of their tour

(Warning: This video contains small amounts of nudity)

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.

July 22, 2013


If You Like: Passenger, Dry The River, Frightened Rabbit

I'm not sure why - maybe it's the rain - but musicians from the UK or Ireland seem to have a different kind of melancholy than us Americans. It is rusty, dull, and never-ending, like a brick wall slowly pushing you backwards for eternity. The folks from that area of the world also have an uncanny ability to turn that sadness into gorgeous music (See bands mentioned above). 

The latest band to do so is Kodaline, a group of Irishmen who topped the charts in their home country with their debut album, In A Perfect World. Nearly every song on the record has a stadium-ready hook and tears at your heartstrings with a deep emotional sadness. If that wasn't enough to make this band your go-to for breakup jams, they make beautifully filmed videos to go along with their finest tracks. Both videos below are as emotionally stirring as any I have seen. Get your tissues ready. 

While the album is not yet available in the States, you can import a copy or download their EP here

July 09, 2013

Branches - "Halo"

If You Like: Old Crow Medicine Show, Fiction Family, Seryn

Beyonce's "Halo" has been a guilty pleasure of mine for a while but now, I like it in a whole new way. Branches, an indie-folk crew from Los Angeles gave the track their own spin and turned it into a brooding, twangy jam with banjo, harmonium, and some sugar-sweet harmonies. Filmed in a lovely country-side yard, this cover really shows a new side of the song and shows me once again how truly lovely it is.

Also, their song "Helicopter." So so good.

You can check out some of their other songs and covers here. Hint: Watch the "Skinny Love" and "Seven Nation Army" covers. You won't regret it.

July 03, 2013

Seryn - "Ivory Black"

If You Like: Hey Marseilles, The Head & The Heart, Farewell Milwaukee

Seryn, hailing from Denton, Texas, caught my attention with their debut single "We Will All Be Changed," a cheerful folk tune that placed the group clearly in the league of The Head & The Heart and at the forefront of the current folk revolution. But then, for about a year and a half, I heard nothing about the group as they laid dormant, or so I thought. They have recently returned with a brand new single, "Ivory Black." And it was worth the wait. The track begins meekly with a ukulele strum and builds to the group's signature style of chanting, sing-along climax. Enjoy this gem and keep an eye out. 

July 02, 2013

Ásgeir Trausti

If You Like: Lay Low, Pascal Pinon, Of Monsters And Men

Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson looks and sounds wise beyond his years. In testament to the fact that Europeans grow up faster than Americans, the Icelandic Einarsson, who sometimes goes by just Ásgeir, is only 20 years old. His soothing, beautiful folk music is unlike anything I have heard from an artist his age. The calm sense of perspective in his lyrics is moving, and his warbly voice is reminiscent of a more-accessible Jónsi. This past year, his debut album, Dýrð í dauðaþögn, was nominated for a Nordic Music Prize, and is filled with ethereal but memorable melodies. You can download his three-song Toe Rag Sessions EP for free at his Bandcamp page. It's starting to look like this guy may be the next great Icelandic export. 

April 23, 2013

Reviewed: The Lone Bellow, Ivan & Alyosha

Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA

I kind of feel bad for Ivan & Alyosha. Their recent album, All The Times We Had, is a solid, catchy, and interesting indie folk-rock record, and they put on a very entertaining show to back it up. When this tour of theirs was booked, few had heard of the opening act, but now, touring behind their fantastic Civil Wars-meets-Mumford and Sons debut, The Lone Bellow is taking the nation by storm. So when they finished their jaw-dropping opening set, Ivan & Alyosha had a pretty tough act to follow. 

I have never seen an opening band win over a crowd so quickly and effectively. While it seemed that at least half of the crowd was familiar with The Lone Bellow, by the end of their set, they had 300 new guaranteed fans. 

The first thing that stands out about The Lone Bellow is the harmonies. And yes, they are pristine live. Frontman Zach Williams jumped, sweated, and hollered all over the tiny stage, whipping his soaked curls with excitement. While most people say they put 100% into every show, Williams manages to squeeze all 100% into every single song. Between tracks, he looks like he is about to pass out, and then, miraculously, summons enough energy and power to do it all over again. Ten more times. As NPR's Bob Boilen accurately describes it, he sings "every word as if it's the last time he'll ever get the chance."

Guitarist/singer Brian Elmquist didn't step into the spotlight for most of the show, but when he finally took the lead on his track "Watch Over Us," it became instantly clear that there is no weak link in this group. His voice was crystal clear bluesy perfection and the song was a nice change of pace that split up the set nicely. Please, RELEASE THAT SONG. It was unreal. 

Those lucky enough to be in the audience knew what they were witnessing: a band truly on the verge.

March 25, 2013

Ed Sheeran & Passenger - "No Diggity/Thrift Shop"

A few weeks ago, British folk champions Ed Sheeran and Mike Rosenberg a.k.a. Passenger let their fans in on quite a treat. While performing an acoustic set for Australian radio show Fifi & Jules, they let loose a beast of an acoustic cover-mashup. With their rustic voices intertwining, they killed with a glorious rendition of Blackstreet's "No Diggity," squeezing in a little "Thrift Shop" while they were at it. They take a classic song, and really run with it. Beautiful stuff.

February 23, 2013

The Milk Carton Kids

If You Like: Tyler Lyle, Ben Sollee, Bryan John Appleby

The Milk Carton Kids play the kind of folk that makes you want to cuddle up in your bed and dream of home. Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale of Eagle Rock, CA conjure up quiet alt-country tunes so bittersweet that it sometimes sounds like the singers themselves might start tearing up. On their debut studio album, Prologue, they sing songs of the road and heartbreak, incorporating two minimal guitars and soothing harmonies. Luckily, they are no one-trick-ponies, livening things up just when you start to think calm is all they can do. They have recently been on the road with The Lumineers and Punch Brothers and are set to release their next record, The Ash & Clay, on March 26th. You can download their first two albums for free via their website.

Milk Carton Kids-"Michigan"

December 18, 2012

The Best of Everything Else in 2012

Not everything fits perfectly into a category for this end of the year stuff. Here is all the rest!

Band I Re-Fell In Love With:

Givers. How could you not fall in love with those cute youngsters! At Sasquatch last year I was blown away by the energy of the Louisiana group I had previously failed to notice. But after listening to their debut album, In Light, I felt as if the music lost a lot of its punch on record. Fortunately, I gave them another chance this year. I saw them live again (awesome yet again), and they instantly recaptured my heart.

Saw You First by GIVERS

The Best Rap Collaboration:

3 Kings. Featuring Rick Ross, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z

The Best Stage Banter:

Strand of Oaks' Timothy Showalter: "I know I look like a homeless person"

Best Venue: Le Poisson Rouge, NYC

Rap Lines That Made Me Think Twice:

Nas on "Loco-Motive" - "Nas must have naked pictures of God or something"

Kanye West on "Clique" - "My girl a superstar all from a home movie"

Our Favorite Lists of the Year:

6 Mashup Albums You Need To Download Now

7 Great Songs Under 2 Minutes

The Best Kanye Tweets of 2012

The 10 Best New Voices in Music

The 20 Best Phil Dunphy Quotes

The Thing We Can't Get Enough Of:

People rapping over TNGHT. Even if the rap isn't great, it sounds so so good.


Weirdest Thing Ever:

Lil' B releasing a song credited to his cat, Keke.

Also, remember when Lil' B released an 855-song freestyle mixtape? That's 4.9 GB of music. Tracklist here.

Biggest Disappointment:

The Morning Benders' new sound as POP ETC. Last year, "Excuses" became one of my favorite jams/sing-alongs. So when I heard The Morning Benders were working on new material I was pretty eager to hear what they were coming up with. When they changed their name, however (a decision I respect quite a lot), they also altered their formula. Gentle harmonies were replaced with cheesy synths and almost all emotion faded away. Personally, I'm hoping this was all a big experiment and they'll do a u-turn next time.

November 28, 2012

New Music Wrap-Up: November

November by the numbers:

New songs added to my library: 332

Most listened to track:  Mikky Ekko-"Pull Me Down"

Best albums added:

Crystal Castles - III

P.O.S. - We Don't Even Live Here

The Staves - Dead and Born and Grown

Stuck In My Head All Month:  Rihanna-"Diamond Remix feat. Kanye West"

Best Remix: Eva Simmons-"Renegade (James Egbert Remix)"

Catchiest Danish Song Added: Shaka Loveless-"Tomgang"

November 20, 2012

Kenna - "Long Gone"

If You Like: Kele, Theophilus London, School of Seven Bells

While you may not have heard of Kenna, he was actually nominated for a Grammy in 2009 before falling out of the news for a few years. He has been featured in quite a few projects, yet has eluded the mainstream. Until now. His latest single, "Long Gone," brings to mind Kele Okereke's solo album and Theophilus London's classy swag. The video, a black and white self-proclaimed Alfred Hitchcock-like film, reinforces the song's somber, yet meditative tone. Check out the video below and let yourself get sucked in. 

September 27, 2012

Monsters Calling Home

If You Like: The Head and the Heart, Of Monsters and Men, Andrew Bird

A friend of mine recently informed me about Monsters Calling Home. At first, I must admit, I thought the video would show Of Monsters and Men covering The Head and the Heart's "Home." While that would be awesome, these guys were better. While the instruments had a similar jammy feel to The Head and the Heart, the vocals were grittier, more raw, and spectacular. The addition of delicately plucked violins just makes the whole arrangement come together. Look out for the new monsters in town.

September 10, 2012

Two Trees Cover Ryan Adams

Two Trees, one of my favorite recent discoveries, is keeping my attention focused on them with their third appearance online. Their cover of Ryan Adams' "Lucky Now" is straightforward, very much like the original. But like their other tracks, the harmonies are impeccable. I know I'm a sucker for male/female vocal harmonies, but this deserves anybody's attention. Check out their take on the track. Who does your favorite cover of the song?

August 29, 2012

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - "Thrift Shop"

The Mack is back. As we announced a while ago, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will be releasing their debut album, The Heist, on October 9th. We heard the gay rights anthem "Same Love" and now we get to hear about Mr. Haggerty's awesome thrift shopping skills. The single definitely shows Ryan Lewis expanding his sound from his usual piano melodies towards something quite a bit more old school. And it works quite well. Check it out! Also watch the music video, one of the funniest I've seen in a while. What do you think?

Buy on iTunes

Macklemore X Ryan Lewis - Thrift Shop feat. Wanz

Foreign Slippers - "It All Starts Now"

If You Like: Ben Howard, Angus & Julia Stone, James Vincent McMorrow
Sweden is hot right now. The indie music scene in Scandinavia is simply bursting with young talent, quite a bit of it falling into the indie pop wheelhouse. This track, from Sweden/London-based Foreign Slippers, is a classic mellow-to-anthemic tune that is nothing but charming. Aside from fantastic vocals by frontwoman Gabi Froden, and a rousing melody, the percussion sets everything off, keeping the song driving along. And it includes handclapping which is always a good sign. The track is off their new album, Farewell To The Old Ghosts, which you can buy right here. Enjoy!