‘you feed me words when you had her between your sheets / bet she likes that’
I have noticed that folk debuts can tend to be people pleasers, lurring me in with their promises of comforting front porches and cheery foot stomping melodies that pull the heartstrings in and keep them firmly entrapped with the snap of deliciously sweet bubblegum, so it is fun to see this Aussie trio debut with something a little more dark, sinister and ambitious right out of the gate. It is also fun to see a female folk trio hitting that gate from Sydney, well beyond the recently well trodden US and European boarders.
Little May has the earnest rumblings of Black Prairie met with the beautiful young girl power who can harmonize appeal of First Aid Kit (see above photo) and I am excited to see what they have in store for us with their early 2014 EP. Until then, repeat. I like that. #inde
‘I will wait forever, always looking straight / thinking, counting, all the hours you wait’
While spending the afternoon seeking inspiration for my office halloween party and scanning endless Pinterst boards of spider ridden cobwebs and pumpkins with exasperated expressions, this unexpected cover of Grime’s classic Oblivion came on and immediately gave me pause; I found myself taken by hearing such a shrill and sprawling song performed with such restraint. In the NY based folk group Wilsen’s take the track comes across as a little dark, while sounding silvery on the ears via font woman Tasmin Wilson’s lush vocals.
How apt to hear an eerie cover in the week leading up to All Hallo’s Eve, a holiday which has become about dressing up as someone you are not, temporarily taking someone else’s identity as your own. Loving the way Wilsen is wearing this one. #indie
Cavilar is the light lowering, candle burning, begging to be played behind closed doors first single from my favorite Irish singer songwriter, James Vincent McMorrow’s new album. James is no stranger to TUATI, and it is wonderful surprise to have a taste of his new album after three years since his debut.
JVMM’s aching falsetto has gotten the obvious comparison Bon Iver, but Caviliar also has something reminiscent of Maxwell, or even D’Angelo, and the slow jam angle is really working for him, with his hushed and steady vocals and measured pauses. We can expect a different sound from 2010′s Early in the Morning, says James, who wrote Post Tropical album tucked away in Mexo: “I’m so proud of that album, but I never longed to be a guy with a guitar. You play these songs live as best you can, and suddenly you’re a Folk musician. But the texture of this record is completely different. This is the kind of stuff I actually listen to.” The new album is due stateside in January 2014.
‘I remember how clothes hung / half waist and high raised arms / kicking at the slightest form / I remember my first love’
Today’s Indie: Come Sleepwalk With Me / Young Galaxy
‘come sleep walk with me / look here comes the sunrise’
Welp it has been one of those Mondays, complete with waking up on the wrong side of the bed, having a to do list that only got longer as the day wore on, having a piece of food stuck in my teeth for the entire afternoon without anyone telling me, and finally making it to the safety of my apartment only to immediately witness a construction worker verbally and then almost physically assault a cyclist and threaten charges of aggravated assault. Humans. As Monica would say, just one of dem days, that a girl goes through.
Can’t take it personal, but can light a a candle and give myself an auditory change of scene with this sleepy tropically infused track from Vancouver’s Young Galaxy, which was shared with me by favorite sleepwalker, TheTrashJuice. The calming effect of this blissed out synth and ethereal female vocals has me toes in the sand under the night sky, far far away. I won’t even let the first Google search result I came across for “sleepwalking on the beach” (which I typed in for photo ideas for this post) get me back down. #indie
‘so don’t send me no postcards telling me you miss me / ’cause I’m trying here’
The Head and the Heart is streaming their full album, Let’s Be Still, on Rolling Stone this week before its release on Tuesday and accordingly I ended yesterday evening curled up in bed with a glass of red wine, giving it that critical first listen and my full attention. I smiled, I sighed, I cringed, but overall, I am very proud of my favorite Seattle sextet, and what they have accomplished with their sophomore effort. While the buttered up pop debacle Summertime feels like a terribly poor use of Charity’s talents, the album is a flush with heart pullers and show stoppers, including last week’s TUATI feature, Another Story.
But the most telling song of how far the band has come on the new album is surprisingly not new at all, but rather something I first heard live at Coachella in the spring of 2012, the album’s final track, Gone. The song has progressed immensely since the initial version I took in in the desert sun, coming together in a calculated and remastered manner that shows THATH’s evolution as a band. From the detail of the gentle string plucks in its initial moments to Jonathan’s restraint ladden opening vocals giving way to a perfectly harmonized crescendo and all the way through the string and piano laced break to the tremble inducing finale, the finished version of Gone is a culmination of every band member at their best. I see great days ahead. #indie
Today’s Indie: Another Story / The Head and the Heart
‘I tell you one thing / we ain’t gonna change love / the sun still rises / even through the rain’
Hearing a great new song from a favorite band is like seeing a dear, dear friend you haven’t seen in forever… an encounter ripe with emotional stirrings, some mild heart palpitations, and ultimately the music surrounding you like an embrace. There is comfort in the familiarity and excitement for what is ahead.
The Head and the Heart have released their second single off of their upcoming sophomore album, Let’s Be Still, and it has all the signature components in it to make me feel like home: the strings, the poetry laced lyrics, the piano, the crooning, the crescendo… the heart. While I was left somewhat wanting from their first single Shake, this second glimpse into the record, met with the additional few new songs I heard at Outside Lands this year, have set my expectations excitedly (and probably impossibly) high for THATH. We have both come along a way since my first post on them (and first post ever) back in January 2011. Here is to many more. #indie
Today’s Untz: It’s Not Right but It’s OK / CHVRCHES (Whitney Houston cover)
BBC Radio 1 is known for playing host to the occasional unexpected, oh no they didn’t cover, and Scottish synth trio CHVRCHES definitely delivered one of these signature moments when they took on one of the most iconic break up hits of 90′s by the late, great Whitney Houston and spun it to another era.
While Lauren Mayberry can’t compete with Whitney’s signature chops (and isn’t trying to), her approach carries on the fierceness and determination in the song in a subtle and powerful (albeit not powerhouse) way. I am loving this fresh, unique take on the classic… I remember listening to all of the album My Love is Your Love on my bedroom floor in middle school, and to revisit that feeling almost 15 (!!) years later is a trip. #indie
‘what am I supposed to say / an old love called me yesterday / and she sounds so sweet’
Just had an “oh no, I haven’t posted in a week” moment, so here we go, briefly but with love and the catchiest of beats. Twin Shadow has released Old Love / New Love for Grand Theft Auto V’s soundtrack and while I can’t imagine jacking cars off the streets of LA to this song, I can definitely imagine busting a move or lacing up the sneakers for a spirited run. With an 80′s vibe met with a present feel, and the relatable lyrics of a blast from the past unexpectedly turning your world upside down, I can see why the track is blowing up the interweb this week. #indie
‘loving you it runs so deep / on the surface here I sleep’
Elephant Revival released their third full length album on the third, and it has been devoured for hours on end, my week aflush of strings and washboard strummings and harmonies for days. The Colorado quintet captivated me at High Sierra Music Festival two summers ago amidst the mountains and summer breeze, only to give an equally stirring rendition of their americana folk within the hushed and darkened walls of The Independent last year. These Changing Skies’ first track is my favorite, overflowing with yearning ridden harmonies, a subtle clap back beat, and lyrics that spill out like poetry:
in the backdrop of the night / I melt into the starry light
the moon pushes and pulls the tides / tempts the soul to stay alive
once again for you I fall / underneath a million stars
how can you ever have enough / oh this must be
Today’s Untz: Free Your Mind / Cut Copy
‘shine brighter than the sun’
What is better than a new Cut Copy song? A new Cut Copy song and the announcement of a Saturday night show in SF in November. Free Your Mind sounds signature Cut Copy with a toe wiggling, dare you to keep your feet on the ground, not a care in the world kind of beat to it. The song is the title track of the Australian’s new album, out November 5th. #untz
Today’s Indie: When All the Wild Things Die / Postiljonen
When All the Wild Things Die delivers vocals that glisten along the dream waves that they are strewn through. The Stockholm-based trio Postiljonen have created an ethereal sound that settles into your airwaves as you breath it in and out. The track didn’t make the cut for their critically acclaimed album release, Skyer, earlier this summer, but it has critically changed my Wednesday afternoon. We are all made of stars. #indie