For almost two years I have posted my indie every Monday, Wednesday, Friday with the diligence and consistency of a morning newspaper delivery, often staying up late the night before or rising early to ensure each post made my self imposed deadline, as if a job depended on it. And I know lately I have been faltering, with a post a week at best. “Real life” has gotten in the way of music life and blog life, such that I have had less time to write and even less to discover music, and I don’t want to put quick shit out for either category. Bare with me, TUATI is still a labor of love, and I wont let it slip away.
Today’s Indie: Ocean Tides / Kyson
Now that the elephant is out of the room, here is an ethereal track from Australian born, Berlin based singer and producer Kyson, released late last fall. His almost-spoken whisper like vocals in the song’s opening remind me of Jamie’s sultry presence in The xx, and they blend seamlessly with slow moving keys and light washes of rain. You can almost picture this layered sound as fog over the ocean in its title… it’s the perfect ‘do not disturb’ music. #indie/tory
Today’s Indie: Skeletons / Of Monsters and Men (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
Of Monsters and Men covered the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Skeletons last month, and it got picked up the blog circuit this week, hard. I can see why. There is both power and restraint in singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s voice as she takes on the formidable Karen O’s words as her own, and her vocals met with the soaring harmonies and tambourine rings of her bandmates flow together into a sound that gives a feeling of creature comfort to a cloud covered Monday. I have listened to this song ten times, and counting.
It has been an epic couple of years for the Icelandic sextet since I first laid ears on Little Talks back in 2011: they have toured the world and their full length debut, My Head is an Animal, hit number six on the US charts. Hearing this sliver of new sound from them today has me hoping for their continued success. #indie/tory
Today’s Indie: Save my City / Symbols of the West
‘save my city / save my soul / save my body for who knows’
Today’s track comes from a new San Francisco based duo called Symbols of the West, comprised of Nat Kendall and Lauren Stark. There is something both soothing and sinister to this song, its easy on the ears harmonies and steady beat intertwining with echoed and unexpected turns and an underlying feeling you might be up to no good, in a good way; indie pop meets a tinge of clap-along folk with a side of synth.
The track is off of this February’s full length debut, A Thousand Lights. Kendall says, ”The album is a family of ten songs, all brought to life through this surreal journey. Not one lacks heart, passion or authenticity; delivering an offering of truth that will inspire you to dance, beat your chest and fully live.” Beat away. #indie / tory
Today’s Indie: Freedom / Emma Louise
‘yeah we’re living free and riding dreams / and we’re living, yeah were living’
Here’s an example of a song that makes you feel exactly what its lyrics spell out–first listen of Freedom had me far away from the project my brain had been swimming in for work and nestled into a passenger seat instead, a little buzz in my veins, driving into the night with the windows down and my fingers skimming the air. Ah sweet musical escape.
Australian songstress Emma-Louise is poised for a big spring with an upcoming appearance at SXSW and a full length debut, Vs. Head Vs. Heart, landing stateside May 21st via French Kiss. Her quiet, spine tingling vocals in the track remind me of Daughter’s acoustic darling Elena Tonra, but the echoed twists and turns of celestial synths embedded throughout give it a sound all its own.
‘it’s not over, til the weekend‘ #indie/tory
Today’s Indie: Wolves / Valentina
‘it’s just a sound that your heart makes when you sleep’
Sleep. I haven’t been doing it lately. The bewitching vocals from Italian-English songstress Valentina in the opening bit of Wolves may be enough to lull me under though. The song starts with a slow and steady restraint, but then brightens into something more theatrical and pulling. Brilliant.
Up until recently Valentina had been lending her chops to play with the boys, including the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, but she’s doing her own thing now, releasing a five track EP on Greco-Roman. Happy Friday. #indie/tory
Today’s Indie: Ramona / Night Beds
‘I know the planets have a way / to meet us back to fate and never / never sever’
You Were Afraid / Night Beds
Now here is something to curl up into and get lost in: Night Beds. I love their debut album so much that it was hard to pick just two tracks to share. Blog legend has it frontman Winston Yellen has had quite the few years: the 22 year old dropped out of college, suffered a serious breakup, camped out in his car, and then with the help of a loan rented a house formerly inhabited by Johnny and June Cash and therein created his debut full length album, Country Sleep. He still resides in the house in Nashville til this day. Or so they say.
Regardless of the how, the resulting album is something to be cherished. In Ramona, Yellen sounds like a less weathered and less burdened Ryan Adams, while You Were Afraid settles into your bones and echoes against your insides. The whole album is on iTunes and well worth the $7.99 it will put you back. #indie / tory
Today’s Indie: New Life / Jim James
‘babe let’s get one thing clear / there’s much more stardust when you’re near’
New Life is sounding about right right now. I just got a new job, a new apartment, and a new roommate: my TUATI co-contributor and I are no longer just sharing internet real estate. With all this change going on, coming across this sweet song by My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James was just what I needed to take pause and be thankful for what’s good. The track is off of the singer’s solo release, Regions of Light and Sound of God, out this week, and he delivered a great live rendition of it on Jimmy Fallon. The lyrics noted above are some of the best I have come around in some time.
For all you San Francisco folks, James plays the Fillmore on May 12th. #indie/tory
Today’s Indie: White Leather / Wolf Alice
‘and I see big things for you / on my own, at least for a while / and I will wait’
White Leather is a new song from a new band hailing from Northern London called Wolf Alice that I am buckling in the knees over. It is a smooth and simple sliver of a song, with a catchy pull to it met with lead singer Ellie Roswell’s beautiful vocals. Her sound has that “easy listening while knocking the wind of you” quality of the likes of Daughter or Cat Power.
This song is about being overlooked by someone when they are the only person you see. I can imagine it being played at the end of an episode of My So Called Life– it is way too cool to be associated with the Gossip Girl sitcoms of our time, but perfectly captures that anxious sting of unrequited young love. #indie/tory
Today’s Indie: Running for Cover / Ivan and Alyosha
‘we’ve been trying with each other to unravel the age old story’
This is the first time Ivan and Alyosha have come on my radar since I fell for their song Easy to Love back in 2011, and its great to hear they are gearing up to release a debut LP on February 26th, All The Times We Had. Like Easy to Love, Running for Cover provides easy listening, feel good folk pop with a slow tap along beat and steady, yearning vocals. I am excited to hear the rest of what this Seattle quartet comes out with next month, in the meantime enjoy the single. indie/tory
Drop everything, today is a two-poster because I just came across new Cold War Kids and I can’t sit on it.
Today’s Indie: Miracle Mile / Cold War Kids
‘I’ll be alright if I could just see you’
Cold War Kids just released the first track off of their upcoming album, Dear Miss Lonleyhearts, and it is a real keep your feet off the ground/can’t wait to see this live piano jam. I am loving the pace and kick to Miracle Mile and can’t wait to track my own miles with it on my next running playlist.
It’s hard to believe it has already been almost two years since the band released Mine is Yours, which I thought had some great slow builders like Bulldozer, but lacked strong tracks with this kind of pep to them. Dear Miss Lonleyhearts sounds off to a good start. The album will be out on April 1st via Downtown Records/Cooperative Music, and the band is gearing up for big winter/spring tour. Catch them while you can. #indie/tory