Smell that, smells like freedom, that’s right I’m finally free from the yoke of college (for the summer at least) so thanks y’all for the patience on this mixtape but the finals were calling and I couldn’t have them leave a message. I’m excited for this one to drop ladies and gentleman, high hitting, in the pocket funky grooves and outstanding performances, new and old and definitely fresh.
This week’s Mixtape Monday mixes some great up and coming bands (Cotton Jones, Field Music, The Dutchess and the Duke, and Robert Francis to name a few) established new acts (The Morning Benders, Josh Rouse, Fleet Foxes) with some old (Elliot Smith) and even older classics (The Beatles, E.L.O., The Four Tops, The Impressions). As always downloads are encouraged to promote the artists and raise awareness of all the great music out there.
The great thing about these two remixes is that they don’t do too much, rather they add to the song ever so subtly, tinkering with the rhythm here, adding bits to the song there, it does what a remix should, which is highlight the original work, and avoids taking anything away from it. These two should be listened to in succession.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.