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I remember my first love

17 Oct

PostTropicalToday’s Indie: Caviliar / James Vincent McMorrow

‘I read it somewhere / that they would lie still’

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.

Now repeat.

‘I remember how clothes hung / half waist and high raised arms / kicking at the slightest form / I remember my first love’



wicked empire

28 Sep

I created an email account for the blog back in July,, set up what I thought was email forwarding into my regular gmail account, and then just assumed no one was contacting me because nothing was coming through. I used to work at Google, so you’d think I could handle the simple concept of gmail forwarding, but apparently not. I logged into the blog account on a whim on Sunday night and had over a hundred emails waiting for me – music recommendations, artist plugs from labels, and to my delight even few thank you from artists themselves. Totally floored, all was happily (if tardily) received.

Today’s Untz: Wicked Game / James Vincent McMorrow

‘the world was on fire / no one could save me but you’

I saw JVMM for a second time last Friday night, appropriately rolling into Slim’s with a group of six Irish friends, and soon found myself knee deep in whiskey and beautiful music. James played all of my favorites from his album as well as his new cover of Higher Love, and then closed out his encore with this cover of the Chris Issak classic. Stripped down to just that voice and a little guitar, the result was tragically stirring. The house fell silent.

You know when you are watching a soccer game, and both teams are playing quite well, but then someone ties things up at the very end of the game and for the last few minutes everyone is playing like someone hit fast forward – with extreme focus, intensity, drive – and you wonder why either of the teams didn’t display this prowess earlier in the game and annihilate the other team all along? That is how I felt at the end of this show. James played beautifully throughout the night, but at the end some sort of fire got lit that brought things to an entirely new level. Stunning. #emo

Today’s Untz: Walking on a Dream / Empire of the Sun (Oxford remix)

‘we are always running for the thrill of it thrill of it, thrill of it’

Oxford shakes up Empire of the Sun’s signature track into something made to be played on the beach, and the head bob here is unavoidable. This is the first I have heard of French artist Antoine Rigail, pulled from my friend’s BlogJuice but hope to be hearing more soon. For the thrill of it. #untz

higher reach

6 Sep

Oh Lake Shasta, the waters where dreams are made. Houseboat, keg, speedboat, wake board, moderate to severe nudity, near constant roof dance party, little sleep and sunrises that were so beautiful I didn’t mind a six something wake up call three mornings in a row just to see that water glisten and breathe it all in. An unbeatable Labor Day weekend with new friends and old. As my dear friend Asanka put it, “Good times. Memories forever.”

And now music to help settle back into real life.

Today’s Emo: Higher Love (Steve Winwood cover) / James Vincent McMorrow

‘there must be a higher love / down in the heart or hidden in the stars above’

One of my favorite Irish singers released this beautiful cover for me to come home to last night, just when I was feeling the earliest signs of fatigue around his album, Early in the Morning. Perfect timing. Peaceful and stripped down, this take of Higher Love showcases McMorrow’s knee buckling falsetto, cut with piano and left simple. The result is something hopeful and stirring, the perfect taste to tide me over til I see James play Slims in a couple of weeks. #emo

Today’s Untz: Reach for Me / Dinka & Danny Inzerillo feat. Hadley

‘I’m losing my cool and I’m shaking like the first time’

We had a single mixed CD on the speedboat on repeat all weekend and this song will now always be associated with the happiest of memories being perched on the front, soaking in sun and wind, amidst the occasional epic wipe out among the wake. Happily received bruises and battle wounds, and a happily received new track from our capitan, Kristian. This song makes me want to dance… on and off a boat. #untz

steal the boat

29 Jun

Big changes here at TUATE. This week I purchased my domain and dropped the .wordpress from the url. I will still be using WP for my hosting, but excited to present this sleek and sexy abridged version of the site address, straight up

And the beat goes on.

Today’s Emo: If I had a Boat / James Vincent McMorrow

‘this is not the end / this is just the world / such a foolish thing / such an honest girl’

Another JVM song because I have been lost in his album, Early in the Morning, all week. This track manages to make me sleepy and wake me up at the same time, with a silvery sleek intro building into a tragic chorus of love lost amongst the rocks. The more I listen to James, the better that voice sounds… lately stirring up an Amos Lee feel. Interesting that he crafted the album in a similar fashion to Bon Iver’s creation of For Emma, but forfeited the seclusion of a cabin in Wisconsin for an Irish beach house. Glad that he did. #emo

Today’s Untz: Steal the Rainbow / MonstaR

Rise and shine, we made it to Wednesday and it is time to celebrate. So close to the luxuries of a three day holiday weekend, sink into these double rainbow inspiring beats of MonstaR and feel that much closer. Thanks to Chubby Beavers for debuting this newbie onto the scene last night. #untz

we don’t fake

22 Jun

I camped out on the couch and watched The Shawshank Redemption on AMC on Monday to combat a tough day at work and a nagging headache, and immediately lost myself in how good it is. Definitely cried when Brooks kills himself, and again when Andy and Red get reunited on that beach at the end.

But it was a moment that I had almost forgotten about that struck me the most… when Andy locks his supervising officer in the bathroom and plays an opera over the loudspeakers of the entire prison. Everyone throughout freezes, and you see the sound wash over their faces like light. Imagine going years without hearing music, and then hearing it for the first time again. Such an emo/magical moment.

Get busy living or get busy dying.

Today’s Emo: We Don’t Eat / James Vincent McMorrow

‘I moved to the coast, under a mountain / swam in the ocean, slept on my own / at dawn I would watch the sun cut ribbons through the bay’

The Civil Wars killed it during Sunday night’s show, but I was equally blown away by their opener. I walked into the Great American Music Hall shortly after James started his set, and I heard him before I saw him. He was doing one of his songs in a sharp falsetto, and I literally  thought I was listening to a middle aged woman singing. Then we stepped onto the floor and low and behold it is a cheeky, scruffy, scrawny young Irishman on stage, pouring his soul into the microphone. What a formidable feast. Between breathtaking songs James got in some clever jabs on us Californians and our coconut water hangover cures, and expressed sincere gratitude for being able to play in front of an American audience.

The pleasure was all ours. Bon Iver meets Ray LaMontague with a tinge of Marcus Mumford in those soulful smokey crisp chops, McMorrow delivered the kind of music makes me take pause. Have been devouring his album since. #emo

Today’s Untz: I Think I Like It / Fake Blood

The first time I heard this song, I didn’t think I liked it. I was gearing up to see FB play a Halloween gig at the Mezz, and going through his tracks before the show. I found it shrill and (gasp) a little annoying. Then I listened to it a few more times, and a few more, and then I saw it live and danced my face off to it, and the song has become a feel good go to ever since.  Beyond repetitive and yet it never gets old.  #untz