A Little Sampler

Dawes- That Western Skyline

The song hits you like a classic melody right out of the Big Pink, organic with a booming Levon Helm like drum beat and.  Wistful and powerfully delivered, its hard to realize that this world weary sounding singer is only 23, this song sounds absolutely timeless and well constructed, high praise for a band in its debut.

Wild Beasts- All The Kings Men

This band from England sounds like David Bowie came together with David Byrne of Talking Heads and decided to make a song.  It’s very well produced, interestingly arranged and features a great octave hopping singing performance, and you’ll find yourself humming along with that vocal intro before the songs over.

Dawes- When My Time Comes

Another great song by this new band, coming off like the best of The Band and Wilco and Springsteenesque lyrics and delivery with great classic rock arrangement instincts and a great distinctive voice, Dawes is my favorite band of 2009 and wait for the harmonies in the chorus, they alone are worth the download of this song.

A.A. Bondy- I Can See The Pines Are Dancing

This song is beautiful from the arrangement to the singing, every instrument is placed perfectly,  his voice comes out of the music like the sun breaking through on a cloudy day, a more tuneful Bob Dylan but just as good lyrically.

Cotton Jones- By Morning Light

Starting off with a great whistling intro that could rival Andrew Bird, the harmonies on this are beautifully placed, sounding like a duet between Sonny (from Sonny and Cher)  and Nancy Sinatra, this band knows how to use their reverb and the strings only add to the song, not take away from it.

Devendra Banhart- 16th and Valencia Roxy Music

Devendra has an immediately identifiable voice and his taste for arranging is magnificent, his melodies segue from style to style better than any since the heyday of Paul McCartney, the guitars are excellent and the song just keeps you guessing while still being catchy.

Vetiver- Another Reason to Go

Another new band bringing back classic rock style, this song burns like a slow Rolling Stones song from the Some Girls period, this songs got a great hook and its a really fun melody.

Cotton Jones- I Am the Changer

Like driving through a rainstorm at night, or spending late nights with a loved one, this song builds and burns at a perfect laconic tempo, the guitar is beautifully done and the singing and lyrics match the music to a t.  Yo La Tengo fans will also love this one. The organ and guitar swirls and the slow steady reverbed drumming, its almost like listening to a dream of a summer evening.

The Rolling Stones- Slipping Away

Mick Jagger wasn’t the only person in The Rolling Stones capable of writing and singing.  And this effort by Keith Richards is among the best in the Rolling Stones and criminally underrated.  Beautiful melody and harmony and just an all around great song.

Golden Silvers- Magic Touch

Straight out of England, Golden Silvers knows how to cut right to the heart with their straight forward hopeless romantic sentiments.  Witty lyrics, and great hooks and harmonies abound.  Love the arrangement on this one.

Golden Silvers- Please Venus

Another great song by this new band with a great synthesizer hook, again the harmonies are nicely arranged in the background and, if Queen was still around, this song wouldn’t be a far stretch for them to do, again the lyrics are well written and the singing performance is well done.

Christmas Island- Twenty Nine

If John Lennon had made a garage band instead of the Beatles they’d sound like this.  The self doubt in the lyrics is there, the chord progression as well as the vocal delivery, and its a great song on its own merits anyway.

E.L.O.- Sweet Talking Woman

Great arrangement, great harmonies, great hook, great song.