July 12, 2013

Macklemore - "Sneaking In The Show"

Most people know Macklemore thanks to his ubiquitous hits "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us," tracks that are seemingly everywhere these days. What you might not know, however, is that the Mack came out with a stellar record in 2005, called Language Of My World, before Ryan Lewis jumped in the mix. Recently, a track from those early years was unearthed. "Sneaking In The Show (feat. Ricky Pharoe)" definitely does sound like old Macklemore and showcases his storytelling abilities, bringing to mind a personal favorite, "Fake ID." The subject this time: Getting past strict bouncers. It doesn't seem like he will be needing to do that anymore. "Thrift Shop" is the fastest selling song in the first six months of any year. Ever. Wow, he's come a long way.

July 11, 2013

NONONO - "Pumpin' Blood"

If You Like: Icona Pop, Lykke Li, Beatrice Eli

In case there hasn't been enough awesomely catchy indie-pop coming out of Scandinavia, NONONO will fix that. The Swedish trio has perfected a loud, chanting sort of catchiness, complete with whistling, thumping drums, and bright synths. I know I already made my Summer Mixtape, but this track would fit well on it. While pumping blood might not seem like the most glamorous thing to sing about, this song about the functions of the heart might change your mind. 

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 08, 2013

San Fermin - "Sonsick"

If You Like: Lucius, Sufjan Stevens

If this song sounds familiar, take a look at the singers of the Brooklyn crew, fronted by composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone. The two gals who front Lucius, are featured on this track as well, intertwining their voices together to yet again form an entrancing sound. Their debut single, "Sonsick," shows a new side to the girls' voices that is not present in their work with Lucius. The swing and old-school doo-wop feel is replaced with an urgent, tense, burgeoning passion. Backed by a brass section, piano and drums, the girls let their voices loose, alternating lines in the chorus, harmonizing and complementing each other perfectly. 

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. 

July 01, 2013

Dustin Tebbutt

If You Like: Bon Iver, Ben Howard

Justin Vernon fans: Listen up! Australian Dustin Tebbutt may be the next falsetto voice to become a household name around the world. After relocating to Stockholm for two years, Tebbutt returned to his homeland armed with stunningly beautiful folk tunes that speak to the sparse, minimalistic, Scandinavian outlook on design. The first track to see the light of day, "The Breach," It takes you in, making you feel like a bearded man, huddled under a blanket and drinking hot tea in a lonely cabin in the woods. And I mean that in the best way possible. His echoey voice rings out above crunchy drums and delicate guitar work to form the closest thing to Bon Iver since, well. . ., the Vernon himself.