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Posts tagged “mp3

EAR CANDY | [MP3] “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely” (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)

ryan hemsworth bsb remix

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[MP3]: “Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely” (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)

Backstreet Boys > N*Sync

FACT.

I don’t know about you, but I was a BSB girl back in the day (N*Sync who?). Millennium was the first album I ever owned (sorry Britney), and if last.fm scrobbling and the Internet had existed back then, you best believe the Backstreet Boys would be the #1 top scrobbled artist on my charts.

Clearly Ryan Hemsworth knows what’s up. (90s throwbacks, boy bands, remixes, and Amanda “I’m suing everyone” Bynes.) Chopping up BSB’s 1999 hit, “Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely,” amidst stuttering electronic beats and the ever-classic “Amanda please!”, the Halifax, Nova Scotia native gets the nostalgia levels pumpin’ so well that I’m almost left wanting to hear more of the original chorus. But really, it’s the feel good boy band harmonies and flamenco guitar juxtaposed against blitz claps, warped synths, and quick start-stops that makes for bumpin’-thumpin’-fist-pumpin’ good time.

Hello 1999, how nice of the self-professed Remix Ryan Gosling to usher you into the sample-heavy, nostalgia-infused 21st century. #Backstreetsbackalright!

You can download the track here by tweeting (just close the pop-up window and download away if you don’t have twitter) or by clicking the link above!

I used to have a serious aversion to remixes (“ORIGINAL 4EVER”), but I’ve now chalked that up to being young and very very confused. (Never) quit playing (remix) games with my heart, Hemsworth.


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Sweet Hearts EP

SWEET HEARTS
@ Los Angeles, CA.
Pop, Acoustic, Indie
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If you know me (I’ll assume you don’t), you’ll know that I’m not much for belt-y, powerhouse vocals; I’m more keen on whisper-sweet serenades that require you to almost lean in (even if you’ve got headphones on).

Priscilla Ahn more than checked off that box for me when I first came across her sparse ‘girl with a guitar and a loop and sometimes a harmonica’ easy listening tunes. I caught her at the Drake back in 2009, and sitting cross-legged on the floor with everyone else in tiny venue, there was a collective hush over the crowd and everyone was actually leaning in.

Now she’s back with Sweet Hearts, a duo project with fellow musician Charlie Wadhams, and they’ve just released their mellow, mushy, and blush-worthy self-titled EP for free download just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Or if you’re a single lady (“all the single ladies, all the single ladies, all the single ladies, now put your hands up!”), why not celebrate Galentine’s Day à la Leslie Knope?

  

Guys, you can follow suit. And then on the 14th, cozy up with a glass of wine, some cheese, a mirror, and celebrate a little good, healthy narcissism. Celebrate you! (It’ll be like your birthday except better because you’re not a year older!)

Oh sweetheart, when I see you again, you’re never gonna let me go. That’s right, you’ll always be my dearest friend. My, my, I’ll love you till the day I die.

Put on Sweet Hearts’ EP, gaze into your own eyes (that’s what the mirror’s for) and pretend all the lyrics are about you. It’s the new affirmation nation.  

[Download]: Sweet Hearts’ EP here by entering your email address!


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Memoryhouse – “Walk With Me”

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It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for Guelph, Ontario dream-pop duo Memoryhouse. Having just self-releasing their digital EP The Years the year before (2010), Sub Pop quickly snatched them up in them in 2011, remastered the EP, added a couple of new tracks, and re-released it–this time with a full-fledged physical release (cd and vinyl).

Their debut full-length, entitled The Slideshow Effect, is due out February 28. “Walk With Me,” the second single from the album, dropped today and is available for the price of an email address (so basically, it’s free)! The cuts that we’ve heard from the new LP thus far are little more uptempo than their predecessors, slightly more sonically optimistic, and much easier to sing along to–which is actually quite fitting since it’s still relatively early into new year and we’re (maybe) still stickin’ to our resolutions and laughably idealistic notions.

 

The lead single “The Kids Were Wrong” is also available below for less than a penny. With all the controversy surrounding SOPA and PIPA, you really begin to appreciate the exchange of an email address for a track. Commodity exchange for the new age. Oh the beauty of free (or is it “free”?) legal downloads!

[MP3]: Memoryhouse – “The Kids Were Wrong” [via]


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Oberhofer – “HEART”

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The recent couple years have seen an uprising of lo-fi bedroom musicians (see: Youth Lagoon, Coma Cinema) and when Brad Oberhofer appeared on the scene in 2010 unsigned and with a free EP for download, he was no different.

“Heart,” the first single from Oberhofer’s debut LP Time Capsules II (out March 27), is a departure from the reverb-laden fuzz-filled soundscape that we’ve come to identify with him. From the crisp and clear opening notes of a solitude piano to the addition of orchestral strings towards the end, it’s immediately clear that Oberhofer (now signed to Glassnote) is heading in a new, bigger direction. I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical at first upon hearing that he was going polish up his sound for his full-length, because I worried that it might lose the youthful fervor and frenetic energy of the o0Oo0Oo EP that really caught my attention.

Everything’s a little more pristine and little more calculated and thought out, but the youthful energy (albeit a little more mature) is still there bubbling under the surface, so I think I’m coming around to it. After all, we all have to grow up some time, right? Besides, that signature throaty Oberhofer yelp embedded in mix at the 30-second mark of “Heart” gave me my sigh of relief and kind of sort of won me over.

[MP3]: Oberhofer – “HEART”


ON THE VERGE | Youth Lagoon

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Getting to know an artist is like making a new friend.

There are some people that seem standoffish in the beginning (maybe because they’re shy or because they’ve eaten a crap sandwich and it’s ruined their entire day–sandwiches have that kind of effect on people, y’know), so it takes a couple of visits or run-ins for them to get comfortable around you and for you to warm up to them; then there are those people you take an instant liking to (perhaps you both find great pleasure in watching/making fun of what has become of America’s Top Model over the years).

It’s the same with music. There are some musicians that require a couple listens to get into (Joanna Newsom, anyone?) and others where the connection is undeniable and instantaneous. For me, Youth Lagoon was the latter.

Even better, it was like revisiting an old friend. That’s the kind of nostalgia-tinged feeling The Year of Hibernation is wrought with.

“Five years ago, in my backyard I sang love away. Little did I know that real love had not quite yet found me.”

[MP3]: Youth Lagoon – “July”

Raw vocals with a sort of youthful reverie, crackling and hazy with reverb, beg for a closer listen, for a more concentrated ear. With synths, organ, guitar, and some heavy beats layered on–usually starting off quietly and then building up to thicker, fuller sound (think wall-of-sound)–Youth Lagoon crafts introspective bedroom anthems.

Also, I cannot lie. During my first listen of the entire album, I thought it was a girl singing. (Sorry, Trevor.) Alas, Youth Lagoon is Boise, Idaho’s awesomely named Trevor Powers. (Yes, that’s his real name.) And with a name like that and a penchant for bedroom music and introspection, you’d think that Powers might be walking around with a superhero costume hidden underneath his button-ups.

However even amidst the quiet introspection, Powers references the past only as a way to look to the future. Like the experiences and memories that make us who we are today, The Year of Hibernation is a memento of sorts, to the past.

[MP3]: Youth Lagoon – “Cannons”

From the opening track (“Posters”), I could immediately feel a quiet sense of understanding between Powers and I, like a quiet nod. Like, a musical ‘hey, I feel ya!’ What started as a bedroom project (where the whole LP was recorded) has found resonance beyond his four-walls.

You make real friends quickly. You make real friends quickly. But not me.

I get him. I feel where he’s coming from; from his lyrics, to his delivery, to the entire atmosphere that’s created when everything comes together perfectly. And for me, that’s the beautiful thing.


EAR CANDY | [MP3] St. Vincent – “Surgeon”

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“…But where is her face?”

I’m sure this was the first thought to cross the mind of every single longtime St. Vincent fan when they saw the album art for her forthcoming album, Strange Mercy (out Sept. 13 via 4AD).

When it was first released, I was pretty stunned not to see Annie Clark‘s pale skin and wide, bewildered eyes front and centre among a bed of bouncy curls. I, for one, will admit that I was looking forward to another (for lack of a better word) headshot [classic St. Vincent!], so I was not particularly captivated by the mute tones of the cover and the lack of, well, face.

I was crossing my fingers for some Top Model-worthy, Tyra-sponsored “smizing” this time around! (Smizing is ‘smiling with your eyes’ for those you who aren’t familiar with the term, even though I have no idea why you wouldn’t be since Tyra invented it and mentions it every single time she can get a word in.)

But considering the entirety of the album and the theme of a strange mercy, it’s quite fitting. Whereas Clark’s first two albums were more “people-focused,” Strange Mercy seems to run on a unifying theme, and I can’t wait to see where she takes it and how she weaves it into her lyrics and sounds.

[MP3]: St. Vincent – “Surgeon” (via)

Fans had to unlock this free track by tweeting with the hashtag #strangemercy, so it was all pretty interactive and ingenious on the promotions front.

“I spent the summer on my back…”

“Surgeon” is different from previous material in that it is a bit synth heavy and more electronic-based–lacking the harsh, thrashing guitar sounds (save for build up of screeching synths at the end). However, it’s still classic St. Vincent:  wispy and slightly reverbed vocals atop layers of eerie, orchestral, and score-like instrumental tracks. I can dig it.


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Memoryhouse – “Modern, Normal”

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[MP3]: Memoryhouse – “Modern, Normal” (via)

I have so much love for Memoryhouse that it’s seeping out of my every pore.

But it is summer, so it could just be the heat. I don’t know. Regardless, here is the just released “Modern, Normal”–one of two new tracks that will be added to the re-recorded/remixed/remastered version of The Years EP  to be released via Sub Pop. (It will the band’s debut on the label!)

So much Canadian pride going on here. Who needs hockey, anyway!? (Too soon? Not soon enough? Whatever.)

P.S. Apologies for the lack of updates. Life sort of took over unexpectedly, and a person can’t really argue with life right? I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, so expect to see more posts soon!


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Bon Iver – “Calgary”

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Eargasm.

I’ve been waiting for an eternity for some new Bon Iver, and finally, we get our first taste of new material with the release of the first single off the band’s doubly self-titled sophomore LP–Bon Iver, Bon Iver (due out June 21 via Jagjaguwar).

[MP3]: Bon Iver – “Calgary” (via)

As usual, the lyrics are cryptic as all hell, but Justin Vernon’s vocals weave themselves into a harmonic tapestry that I want to envelop myself in for days. It’s still the barebones Bon Iver we’ve all come to love, but this time the soundscape is fuller, more vast, and eclectic. The addition of synthesizers and electronic elements embedded into the the backdrop create a heavier, rounded experience.

Sure it’s supposed to be spring, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a “good winter,” right? I mean, the weather isn’t exactly warm and sunny, and my hands are effectively ice blocks as I type this.

Plus it doesn’t hurt that it’s about a Canadian city, either. Canadian pride and wintery wonderland both check off!

Bon Iver, warm me up.

*Tour dates after the jump! (more…)


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Fleet Foxes – “Grown Ocean”

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Fleet Foxes’ highly regarded sophomore album, Helplessness Blueswas released May 3, but that isn’t stopping Sub Pop from giving away another freebie: “Grown Ocean.

[MP3]: Fleet Foxes – “Grown Ocean” (right-click, save as)

If you haven’t already, you can also grab the lead single and title track that was given away as a teaser to the band’s second LP.

Fleet Foxes’ frontman Robin Pecknold also took to twitter a while ago to showcase 3 tracks he’d previously recorded in California while on a break, one of which features Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste.


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Russian Red – “I Hate You But I Love You,” “Fuerteventura”

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[LISTEN]: Russian Red – “I Hate You But I Love You”

Last time I spoke with Russian Red (Lourdes Hernandez) back in the 2010, she mentioned that she was hoping to start recording the new record this year. Since then, she has played a couple of shows in the States and released “I Hate You But I Love You”–the first single off her highly anticipated sophomore record. Here debut, I Love Your Glasses, came out in 2008, so it’s been long while, and I’m incredibly excited to hear her new material.

Fuerteventura is the name of her forthcoming album, slated for release in Spring 2011 (according to her website, vinyl ships out on May 11, 2011). Below is a little preview or behind-the-scenes of the making of the album. To be honest, I had no idea what she was saying (Spanish, duh), but I watched the whole thing anyway to get a sneak peek of some of her new songs.

[LISTEN]: Russian Red – “Fuerteventura”

Russian Red just recently announced via her Facebook that you can download the second single and the album’s namesake “Fuerteventura” for the price of an email (it’s basically free) FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY over here in English or Spanish. Enjoy!


EAR CANDY | [MP3] The Kills – “DNA”

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[Mp3]: The Kills – “DNA” (right-click, save as / control + click, save link as)

The enigmatic grunge blues rock duo of the Kills‘ “Hotel” (Jamie Hince) and “VV” (Alison Mosshart) have already released the first single off Blood Pressures“Satellite”–along with its accompanying video, announced the first leg of their tour in support of the album, and shown off the record’s album art (pictured above). Now they’ve jumped on the “free track” trend with a no-fee download of second single, “DNA.”

On the first listen, I have to say I’m partial to the crunchy guitar work and overall frenetic fuzz and grittiness of “Satellite.”

“DNA” is much more down-tempo in comparison, but it’s the type of slinky song you could imagine a gang of leather and vintage-clad badasses with perfectly messied up ‘just-got-out-of-bed-hair’ strutting down a dimly lit street to in slow motion. I think it’s a track that I’ll grow to love more and more with each listen.

With two strong singles, the anticipation is definitely building up for the Kills’ April 5 release date (via Domino) of Blood Pressures, and I cannot wait.


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Little Scream – “Cannons”

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[MP3]: Little Scream – “Cannons” (click arrow on the right to download)

Montreal-based Laurel Sprengelmeyer (under the moniker Little Scream) has already gifted us with a free download of “Heron and the Fox” (featuring guitar work from The National’s Aaron Dessner), the first single off her debut album The Golden Record. But I guess the Canadian spirit has really rubbed off on the Mississippi native, because now she’s also giving away her second single, “Cannons.”

If you aren’t a (physical) album collector like I am, you’ll be happy to know that her album is out today exclusively on iTunes. Yes…you can purchase it today. But if you must get your hands on the jewel casing (or perhaps digipak or vinyl) and artwork, then you’ll have to wait until April 11 (Europe) or April 12 (North America).

The Golden Record - Little Scream


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold Gives Away Three New Songs

Robin Pecknold, the primary voice of Fleet Foxes, took to twitter about an hour ago to give away 3 new tracks that he recorded a couple weeks ago in LA: “Where Is My Wild Rose,” “Derwentwater Stones,” and “I’m Losing Myself” (feat. Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear).

He made sure to say that they are not Fleet Fox tracks, so don’t expect glorious layered harmonies. The songs are mellow and simple voice and guitars, but they are just as warm and welcoming, and like @mintonmk tweeted, sound like “classic British folk on vinyl.”

[MP3]: Click to download individual track (or scroll below to download all three)

[DOWNLOAD]: Robin Pecknold – Three Songs


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Priscilla Ahn – “When You Grow Up”

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L.A.-based Priscilla Ahn is gearing up for the release of her sophomore album and follow-up to 2008′s A Good Day with a free download of the lead single off When You Grow Up (out May 3 via Blue Note Records).

 

Back in high school, I had a serious Hotel Cafe phase. It’s a small venue in Los Angeles that has been home to many of my favourite singer-songwriters, like Joshua Radin, Meiko, Rachel Yamagata, Sara Bareilles, and the list goes on. It’s always fascinated me how each city has their own little music scene, much like Nashville’s Ten out of Tenn–a collective with a rotating roster of amazing and like-minded musicians and friends. (Fun fact: The Civil War’s Joy Williams, Madi Diaz, Katie Herzig, and Erin McCarley were all part of Ten out of Tenn once upon a time.)

Anyway, the Hotel Cafe used to put on a tour of current and past resident musicians, aptly entitled the Hotel Cafe Tour, and the line-up was always to die for. I vowed that one day, I would go to L.A. and check out this iconic venue.

Priscilla Ahn was one of the musicians that really caught my attention. The simplicity of her music, the looped vocals/harmonies, the pureness of her voice, and the nostalgic songs created the perfect company on nights when it was hard to fall asleep. Her music has the ability to lull you to sleep, not out of boredom, but out of sheer warmness, much like how it felt to fall asleep on the car ride home and be carried into your bedroom and tucked into bed by your parents when you were a child. It’s a sort of reminiscing serum that calls back to childhood, and isn’t that something we could all use from time to time?

I was lucky enough to catch her show at the Drake two years ago, and she had completely enraptured the audience. I’m really excited for When You Grow Up, because it seems as if Ahn is moving away from the childhood aspects and more into the experiences that overtake us in adulthood. And now that I’m 21, I’m ready for the ride.


[MP3] EAR CANDY | James Vincent McMorrow – “If I Had A Boat” + “We Don’t Eat”

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[MP3]: James McMorrow – “If I Had A Boat”

I’ll just come right out and say it now: the Bon Iver comparisons are kind of inevitable with James Vincent McMorrow. Some have already dubbed him Dublin’s answer to the wispy-voiced Justin Vernon.

From the opening notes of “If I Had A Boat,” the familiar sounds are there. And I’m not going to lie…Justin Vernon was the first thing that came to my mind. Regardless, it is a beautiful track that had me right from the beginning.

Yes, if you were to simply judge McMorrow based on this song and nothing more, the echos of Justin Vernon are quite evident–glaring even. But if you were to delve further and really listen to his music–like his recently released debut, Early In the Morning–you’d find that he is a different artist with a little bit more of a folk lean.

Sure, they both have impossibly luscious and husky voices and have a penchant for layers of falsetto harmonies–but the similarities pretty much end there. His voice is also reminiscent of James Morrison’s at times (“We Don’t Eat”), if we were to be so keen on comparisons.

[MP3]: James Vincent McMorrow – “We Don’t Eat” (right-click, save as)

After going through a bit more of his catalogue, I find the main difference between the two artists to be in the instrumentation. Both sing from emotional depths, but Bon Iver creates more sparse, yet sweeping, atmospheric experiences, while McMorrow relies more on the devices of the singer-songwriter.

Still, if you like Bon Iver, it’s a pretty good bet you’ll dig James Vincent McMorrow.


[MP3] EAR CANDY | Heidi Spencer & The Rare Birds – “Alibi”

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[MP3]: Heidi Spencer & The Rare Birds – “Alibi” (right-click, save as)

“No one needs to know we laid around all day.”

All day, every day, that’s pretty much my theory. And if your first thought when seeing her name was Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt (from The Hills), you weren’t alone. If not, I should cut back on my celebrity gossip. MTV is terrible.

“Alibi” is a nice, simple, mellow song I came across and thought I’d share. Sometimes it’s nice when things aren’t too complicated; sometimes you need that. (Also, I like how you can hear a single finger-snap on some beats.) It’s the first single off Milwaukee’s Heidi Spencer & the Rare Birds‘ album, Under Streetlight Glow (due out March 27 via Bella Union). Hope you enjoy!


[MP3] EAR CANDY | The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow”

THE CIVIL WARS
Folk/Indie

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You’ll like them if you like: Ray Lamontagne, sitting by the fire with a cup of tea, roasted walnuts, syrup on blueberry pancakes (or just pancakes in general), The Swell Season, boy-girl vocals that melt seamlessly into one another.

I’ve previously mentioned The Civil Wars in an ON THE VERGE feature as an up-and-coming band about to make the big leagues, and boy was I right. The folksy duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White were the first musicians to have a song of theirs (“Poison & Wine”) played in its entirety on Grey’s Anatomy, they recently played Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show, and they’ve been featured in Paste Magazine; basically, they been popping up everywhere–and all before the release of their debut LP, Barton Hollow (out Feb. 1 via Sensibility Music). All the attention they’ve gotten is not without good reason: these two have real, unadulterated talent–and they have substance.

Now to add to the hype, they’ve offered up the lead single of the same name off their forthcoming album for free download! And if you haven’t already downloaded their free live album, Live at Eddie’s Attic, (which is what first got them noticed and garnered them fans–hint hint, independent musicians!) just head on over here to pick up your free copy! Also, I got a chance to listen to the full album when they were streaming it earlier today from 12-1 pm. Verdict: Heavenly.

[MP3]: The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow”


EAR CANDY | [MP3] Lykke Li – “I Follow Rivers” (Dave Sitek Remix) + “Untitled” Video

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I apologize for the lack of updates recently. I’ve been incredibly swamped with school and…well, school. You know how it is. Anyway, on to business…Lykke Li.

Another remix of her single, “I Follow Rivers” has popped up–this time by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek. That guy likes to bury vocals and use horns (as evidenced by his production on Holly Miranda’s The Magician’s Private Library), so of course there’s a full horn/brass section on this remix (which I find a bit abrasive). Personally, I prefer the original and The Magician remix better, but that’s just me–you can decide for yourself!

[MP3]: Lykke Li – “I Follow Rivers” (Dave Sitek Remix)

The indie darling has also released a video entitled, “Untitled.” I’m not sure if it’s an EPK for the album, or an introduction track of sorts–but the again I have no idea what’s going on in the video itself. Let’s just say it involves a big white dog, sand, knives, lots of flailing around and stabbings of knives into the sand, a deck of cards, and artistry with a switchblade. And all that while wearing five-inch white stilettos.


EAR CANDY | [STREAM] Esben & the Witch, ‘Violet Cries’ + MP3

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You’ll like them if you like: Bat for Lashes, zombiefied Florence + the Machine, Ouija boards, Warpaint, Zola Jesus, those stupid ghost hunting tv shows.

Must listen to: “Lucia, at the Precipice,” “About This Peninsula,”

Esben & the Witch are descending upon North America and are on a warpath, ready to take on anything and everyone with the release of their debut full-length, Violet Cries (via Matador). But you can stream the entire album below before its Feb. 8 US/Canada release date! The Brighton three-piece first popped up on the radar when they offered their self-released EP 33 for free download. Their dark, brooding, and ominous creations embedded with the dragged out vocals of Rachel Davies caught the attention of The xx, who they later toured with; they’ve also toured with Foals.

[LISTEN]: Esben & the Witch – “About This Peninsula” (from 33)

“About This Peninsula” was the first track of theirs that I heard, and to me, its instrumentation (specifically the guitar work) sounded very reminiscent of Warpaint’s Exquisite Corpse EP (which I adore). Plus they have English accents and used the word “folly,” “peninsula,” and mentioned “Icarus”! Ding ding ding–hooked!

You can download “Warpath” the second single off Violet Cries below (or watch the new video). Also check out the video for the first single, “Marching Song” here.

[MP3]: Esben & the Witch – “Warpath” (right-click, save as) [via]

They’ll be playing Toronto’s Wrongbar for Canadian Music Week on March 11 (on the same bill a Guelph’s Memoryhouse), so it should be an amazingly atmospheric (and creepy) show. You can check out their full tour dates below!

Just a tip–if you’re afraid of the dark, ghosts, or are just easily scared in general, do no listen to this album before you go to sleep. (“Battlecry/Mimicry” is especially unsettling.) Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Tour Dates (more…)


ON THE VERGE | The Head and the Heart

THE HEAD & THE HEART
Folk/Pop/Rock/Indie
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| Website | Twitter | Facebook

WHO: Charity Rose Thielen (vocals, violin, percussion), Chris Zasche (bass), Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar, percussion), Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar, percussion), Kenny Hensley (piano), Tyler Williams (drums)
WHERE:
Seattle, Washington
CONNECT THE DOTS:
Toured with Dr. Dog, Dave Matthews, Vampire Weekend
CLAIM TO FAME:
They’re just really good. (Plus they just got signed to Sub Pop!)
YOU WILL LIKE THEM IF YOU LIKE:
Husky male vocals, collectives, bearded men in plaid, log cabins

[MP3]: The Head and the Heart – “Sounds Like Hallelujah”

Seattle is a very luck state. Composed largely of Seattle transplants, The Head and the Heart was certainly the state’s best kept secret (up until now that is). I, myself, only discovered them this past summer (after finding their eponymous self-released full-length debut); but now that they’ve just been signed to Sub Pop Records, these guys are about definitely about to, for lack of better terms, “make it big.”

Crafting beautiful songs out of the heartache, they remind us not to dwell on the pains of sadness and instead focus on the beauty of it all. Just a bunch of friends singing around a proverbial bonfire, they’ve etched out a special little niche for themselves in a genre that seems overflowing. With a focus on instrumentation, their music is a seamless meshing of rustic harmonies, piano, percussion, acoustic guitar, violin, and yes–shakers. It’s a good ‘ol foot-stompin time.

Though I honestly don’t know too much about them as a band, but what I do know is that you should give them a listen. I guarantee you will like them. “Sounds like Hallelujah” was the first track of theirs that I heard, and damn, that transition to “Momma, don’t put no gun in my hand” really hooked me. “Down in the Valley” is another stunner, and you can now download it HERE, along with a new song, for the price of FREE (a.k.a. an email address), so there isn’t really a good reason not to check them out.

[MP3]: The Head and the Heart – “Winter Song” [via]

[MP3]: The Head and the Heart – “Lost in My Mind” [via]


COVER CLASH | “These Days” (Jackson Browne, Nico, Gregg Allman, St. Vincent, Gemma Hayes, Memoryhouse, The Tallest Man On Earth)

Nico’s Chelsea Girl album art will most likely call to mind “These Days,” the hit single it spawned. However, what most people don’t realize is that Nico’s rendition, although it is the most recognized version, is actually a cover.

Written in 1968 by a wise-beyond-his-years Jackson Browne when he was only 16 (YES, 16!!), it was recorded principally by Nico, Gregg Allman, and Browne himself on separate occasions and in very distinctly different styles. But the song has found new life in the covers by St. Vincent, Gemma Hayes, The Tallest Man On Earth, and most recently, Memoryhouse–each bringing a different feeling/perspective. (more…)


Favourites of 2010 | Albums


Looking at some “best of” lists this year, it seems as though some feel that 2010 hasn’t been spectacular for music. Personally, I feel that it has been a really strong year that yielded some albums that will be in my “favourites” section for years to come. I had a tough time, but here are my favourite 15 albums of 2010. I’m still a little iffy on the ordering, save for #1-3, and had difficulty narrowing it down to my top 15, so I’ve included honourable mentions at the bottom!

 

(more…)


[MP3] EAR CANDY | Lykke Li – “Get Some” (Beck Remix)

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I have to say, I’m pretty excited for Lykke Li’s sophomore album, Wounded Rhymes (due out March 1 via her own label, LL Recordings).

I loved Youth Novels (2008), but everyone’s favourite Swede seems to be growing up a bit with the introduction of some darker, heavier sounds and downright sassy lyrics (“Like a shotgun needs an outcome / I’m your prostitute / You gon’ get some”) on the first single (“Get Some”) off her forthcoming album, so it’ll be interesting to hear the finished package.

Just released is Beck’s remix of “Get Some” (which you can download for free). Just thought I’d add a little mp3 treat today since I (and probably a lot of you) are super busy with finals and what not. Think of it as a little pick me up.

Also If you haven’t already grabbed her new (though not so new anymore considering it was released back in October) single, “Get Some” and b-side “Paris Blue,” head HERE to download it for free! You can listen to the two tracks plus a few remixes below.

Break over. Now back to studying!

[MP3]: Lykki Li – “Get Some” (Remix by Beck) (right-click, save as)


LISTEN UP! Australia (Pt. 3) | Tame Impala + Abbe May

Here it is: part 3 of my series on Australian music, just as I promised (albeit a little–okay, very–late). The great “Down Under” has produced many quality folk-pop singer-songwriters, but with these two bands/musicians, Australia proves that it can churn out more than just sentimental and glitter-infused tracks. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a sucker for that kind of music; it’s just good to know there’s diversity.)

Australia is also home to quality psych-rock bands like Tame Impala and bluesy sirens a la Abbe May.

(more…)


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