It’s been quite a while since I last put something up on this here blog but now that school is over and summer is here, well lets just say there won’t be weeks in between posts anymore (I hope). In celebration of being done and having free time once again, here is a good old mixtape chock full of music you might not have heard, and if you have you should listen again. As always, all the music here is free to download with the hopes that you go out and support these artists. The full mix after the jump.
Music will never be a fixed commodity, well let me qualify that, there may be periods where music is all along similar lines but every so often someone comes along and changes the game. Merill Garbus’s tUnE-yArDs does just that, incorporating loops upon loops to create pop songs with a modern hook, think of Es-So as MGMT meets Dirty Projectors on a funk bender, enjoyable to the very end.
The Desperate Man- Black Keys
The Desperate Man comes off of the fantastic Rubber Factory LP which was recorded in none other than an abandoned Rubber factory and features some of the best acidic blues this side of Jimi Hendrix. The interplay here between Auerbach (guitar) and Carney (drums) is fantastic with arguably more swagger than any White Stripes record. While the Black Keys have since taken off, Rubber Factory stands as their most cohesive effort.
If I Wanted Someone- Dawes
This Laurel Canyon outfit successfully manages to capture the area’s golden output from the 70’s, and this number from their upcoming LP has hints of Neil Young’s finest melodies with great harmonies.
(I Can’t Seem To) Make You Mine- The Clientele
This dreamy reverb soaked number sways with a beautiful intensity of tremoloed guitars and slow strings with a lead vocal reminiscent of The Monkees, perfect for those minutes before sleep, or a late-night wandering drive.
Sick Priest Learns to Last Forever- Destroyer
Don’t be scared off by the name, Destroyer is no heavy metal outfit, rather this number off of the Destroyers Rubies LP gives the sense of what a super group of CSNY and Hunky Dory era David Bowie might sound like if they came together for an album.
Go On, Say It- Blind Pilot
Portland based Blind Pilot cultivates a Shins meets Sea Changes era Beck type of sound on Go On, Say It, a subtle acoustic number with some wonderful backing strings and some very well placed vibraphone, definitely a song that sticks in your head.
Swim Club- Cave Singers
The Seattle based Cave Singers create a campfire friendly number off of No Witch featuring a jaunty acoustic guitar line with some interesting backing elements.
Lolita- Throw Me The Statue
This is a song you just have to hear, from the intro it’s not all that it seems and it turns into a very catchy happy go lucky melody.
Baby Says- The Kills
With an intro that’s equally indebted to the 80’s with it’s pounding drums and 00’s indie with it’s grungy guitar hook, Baby Says turns into a beautiful work of boy-girl harmony, hauntingly beautiful.
Dye The World- Smith Westerns
A song that stands toe to toe with the best of T. Rex’s 70’s glam rock and The Flaming Lips 2000’s psychedelia.
The Drying of the Lawns- The Tallest Man On Earth
Off of his newest LP The Wild Hunt, The Drying of the Lawns is a bucolic number in every sense of the word, from the lo-fi finger picked acoustic to the nature theme in the lyrics, a love story that turns the old phrase of watching the grass grow on its head.
Model Son- The Heavenly States
Be on the lookout for this band to make it big in this upcoming year, Model Son is a endearingly catchy number off of their newest LP, Oui Camera Oui replete with handclaps, bright acoustic guitar melodies, swirling harmonies, bouncy organs and catchy lead vocals and a great hook for the chorus.
St. James Infirmiry- Hugh Laurie
I was a bit cautious when I heard that the comedian/dramatic actor and star of House, Hugh Laurie, was coming out with an album. He sticks to a well worn blues cover here, but the piano-playing (by Laurie) is fantastic and the arrangement builds into something that would make old Bourbon Street proud.
Grain of Salt- The Morning Benders
This song had been making its way across the interweb recently after lead singer Chris Chu decided to go through old unreleased material and this number dates back to the end of the Talking Out of Tin Cans sessions, but was well deserving to be put on the album.
Watching the Detectives- Elvis Costello
Even from his debut, Elvis Costello, the punky nerd proved to be quite the lyricist. In this reggae send up Costello brings his lyrics to another level in a meta-twist of a song that is about someone watching someone watch the detectives (tv soap operas in Britain) soon this seemingly mundane song turns into the audience partaking in the watching a woman be killed by an unknown stalker. Plus the riff is great and the drum work is probably some of the best reggae drumming ever put on record.
Do You Believe In Destiny- The Fresh & Onlys
The lead guitar on here is played to understated perfection in this reverb drenched number with a classic chord progression.
Drover- Bill Callahan
Callahan is one of those artists who immediately draws the listeners attention with his arresting baritone. Bill and his guitar take front and center in this recording while the backing instrumentation provide a landscape for his forlorn cattle driver.
Goin’ Home- Dan Auerbach
Off of his solo debut, Keep It Hid, Auerbach proves to be a wholly different songwriting animal, using completely analog methods to record his LP, Goin’ Home showcases a subtle beauty that proves him to be one of the best songwriters of his generation.
Something (cover)- Pete Willett
Adding in a recording of waves crashing the shores of some isolated beach, this lo-fi demo turns into a breathtaking cover of a song that Frank Sinatra would call the greatest love song ever made.