Summer Gems Part II: An End of Summer Compilation

To commiserate/celebrate the end of summer, here’s your friend Summer Gems Part II.

Tracklisting:

1. You Turn Clear In The Sun – Telekinesis
2. Hypnotic Winter – JEFF the Brotherhood
3. Before The Dive – St. Lucia 
4. Henrietta – Yeasayer
5. Falling Out – Body Language
6. The Look – Metronomy
7. Waiting On A Friend – The Rolling Stones
8. Just My Imagination – The Temptations
9. I Want To Hold Your Hand – Al Green
10. Where I’m Going – Cut Copy
11. I’m Goin’ Down – Bruce Springsteen
12. Time To Run -Lord Huron
13. Little Garcon – Born Ruffians
14. Private Affair – The Virgins
15. The Village – Boy & Bear
16. Don’t Deny Your Heart – Hot Chip
17. Everything All The Time – The Outfit
18. New Coat – White Denim
19. More Of This – Vetiver

 Just click the picture to download.

(Photo via We Are Handsome) 

Talkin’ Turkey: A Mixtape

Just in time for everybody to tuck in to the most lazy and food filled day of the year. As always the tracks are all free downloads, but support these wonderful artists if you can.

Man Who Lives Forever (Rollo & Grady Session)- Lord Huron

Lord Huron has been a band that is constantly defying my expectations, they’re due out for a well deserved full length album this coming year and if Man Who Lives Forever is any indication of where their sound is going, look for them to be all over the indie airwaves next year.

Man Who Lives Forever- Lord Huron

Song to Sing When I’m Lonely- John Frusciante

Possibly the greatest talent to emerge from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Frusciante has shown that he’s no one trick pony and a masterful songwriter in his own right, Song To Sing When I’m Lonely is one of my favorites, starting with a melody right out of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Song To Sing When I’m Lonely- John Frusciante

Fletcher- Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper have the new Americana sound locked down on their most recent full length, American Goldwing. Think of it as Wilco with a little more drawl and optimism.  Not many bands these days can write a narrative as compelling as this Portland group.

Fletcher- Blitzen Trapper

Coeur D’Alene- The Head and The Heart

Critics of The Head and the Heart stated that their debut album was filled with derivative sounds of Americana, on “Coeur D’Alene”  all they can note is a perfectly crafted pop song.

Coeur D’Alene- The Head and The Heart

I Stopped Missing You Today- Stone Darlings

Stone Darling is an all-girl group that single-handedly defies the label.

I Stopped Missing You Today- Stone Darling

More Than Muscle- Luke Temple

Quite possibly my favorite song of 2011 with its off-kilter rhythms and technicolor arrangements, Temple lures you in with the first few notes and by the time his charming lilt comes into the fore there’s no letting go.

More than Muscle- Luke Temple

Handwriting- White Denim

White Denim is one of those bands that can make prodigious skill seem par for the course for their songwriting, “Handwriting” being an intriguing guitar run through that makes you wonder how they’re playing what they’re playing and can still mold it into a conventional song form.  The pedal steel puts a nice touch.

Handwriting- White Denim

Freeze Out- Snorri Helgason

If not the best thing to come out of Iceland, by far he is the most underrated. Sure his name might never be commonplace in pop music but he is as well deserving as any singer-songwriter out there right now.

Freeze Out- Snorri Helgason

The Only Way- Gotye

Gotye shows the creative intensity that we used to expect out of Beck, but this Australian troubadour proves his equal and more through his clever approach at arrangements and his chameleon vocals.

The Only Way- Gotye

Livin’ In The Jungle- Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears seem intent on bringing R&B back to what it once was, the hard propulsive blues that brought the Black Keys into prominence with Brothers only with more of a funky kick and a wicked horn section.

Livin’ in the Jungle – Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

I’ll Walk Away- James Hunter

James Hunter wowed Van Morrison with his debut Believe What I Say even getting the man himself to duet on a couple tracks with him, if Sam Cooke had managed to live to old age this croon might be what we were in for.

I`ll Walk Away- James Hunter

Million Dollar Bill- Dawes

When it hits me that she’s gone/  I think i’ll run for president/ Get my face put on the million dollar bill/ So when these rich men that she wants/ Show her ways they can’t take care of her/ I’ll have found a way to be there with her still

Within the opening of “Million Dollar Bill” Taylor Goldsmith managed to portray the sadness, jealousy, and ultimately love that’s still present when your lover has left you. Proof why he’s one of the greatest songwriters of his generation.

Million Dollar Bill- Dawes

I Found You- Alabama Shakes

Otis Redding reincarnated in girl form, no other description should be necessary.

I Found You- Alabama Shakes

Soulless- Fake Problems

Who said people couldn’t write upbeat rock songs anymore.

Soulless- Fake Problems

Big Man- Boy & Bear

It wouldn’t be the farthest stretch to compare this band with Mumford & Sons, but that would greatly undermine the talent present in this group, the lyrics and vocals alone on this song should guarantee them recognition for album of the year (and yes, the rest of the album is fine too).

Big Man- Boy & Bear
From The Start- Tiger Waves

For the acoustic guitars and the rolling drum fills that propel this song along and the endearing harmonies that go along with it. Who couldn’t like a band called Tiger Waves? And you call yourselves American.

From The Start- Tiger Waves

The Understanding- Jones Street Station

No matter how many incarnations there was and will always be of tight harmonies and acoustic fingerpicking, it will always sound good, and Jones Street Station isn’t about to change that. But they certainly liven the arrangement up to great success.

The Understanding- Jones Street Station

Mighty- Lord Huron

The yearning for discovery and the search for happiness and the unknown all bottled up into one song, but it’s more than a song, it’s a whole world.

Mighty- Lord Huron

Usually, I try to at least give some detail into the songs I choose to put on here, but Boy & Bear’s “Big Man” is a song whose lyrics speak for itself.  For those of you who have been craving more Mumford & Sons, and still are in love with Bruce Springsteen, this piece is right up your alley.  Hailing from Sydney, Australia, their choral vocals on par with the best that Fleet Foxes can muster.  Surely, Boy & Bear will be big in only a matter of time.  Check out the full lyrics below, enjoy the song, download it below, and buy Boy & Bear’s debut album Moonfire.  You won’t regret it.

Well I bit on my lip, and I kicked at my toes
No, I don’t need your lecture cause your lecture won’t show
That you told me so I told you so
But I would have managed, I would have been fine
I’d do it myself and I’d do it just my way,
I’m a big man for thinking just so.

But somebody told me that your mother was born
Wa-wa-wandering woman with a spirit so sworn of the riverside
And it never surprised me but it meant that my love was immobilized
Well, it meant that my love was immobilized
Cause when it comes, it comes when it does.

But you came in the middle and you fell in my hands
Oh a, wonderful woman and an average man.
See that makes me the lucky man
I won’t be deserving, but I won’t be denied
See, I fell in this position, I will still teach my kids pride
Because failure’s a part of it all
And if failure don’t hurt then failure don’t work at all

But somebody told me that your nephew was born
Oh, a beautiful baby, so smart and so sure of his little self
And in a wonderful way he was making me feel so small
Was making me feel so small, was making me feel so small.
And I don’t think I’ve felt this before.

In all the reasons to come, well they override my body and,
I point to the sun, cause where it’s warm is where the wilderness grows
And it grows, and it grows ‘til it all becomes nothing
And nothing is left as you know.

(We walked it for a thousand years, with broken eyes and salted ears
Complaining ’bout the weather like we ever had a choice.
Through all the noise and self abuse, you waited for your fill of truth
Oh I’m terrified I’ll achieve nothing at all.)

Big Man- Boy & Bear