A Two for Tuesday so to speak. M. Ward’s latest album A Wasteland Companion is a return to form to the spellbinding off kilter acoustic that albums like Post-War had made people expect of the mysterious M. Ward, a man with a tuneful warble, and the silent Him of She & Him.  Do yourself a favor and go through this man’s albums (You can skip Hold Time) and you’ll find an artist who isn’t afraid to take ventures into silent 30’s films musical territory, as well as cover songs from the greats like Pete Townshend’s  "Let My Love Open The Door" and David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”. “Primitive Girl”, the track featured here, is evocative of its title with simple and bright acoustics, shining like the titular girl herself.

Primitive Girl- M. Ward

Chinese Translation- M. Ward

A Wasteland Companion was released on April 10th, 2012 on Merge Records. You can find all versions (including the stunning vinyl package) on Merge Records here, and the digital version on iTunes here .

A Mixtape Monday Presentation: Cars and Trains, Boats and Planes

Introducing the themed mixtape, more music, word free. This week concerns those means of transportation. The mixtape after the jump.

Continue reading A Mixtape Monday Presentation: Cars and Trains, Boats and Planes

Mixtape Monday: Stolen Shoes, Cold Wars, and Love Fools

It’s time for another Mixtape Monday.  This week has it all; great indies ( New Pornographers,Destroyer,Surfer Blood, Blitzen Trapper, Rosewood Thieves, Voxtrot, and the Morning Benders) some forgotten classics (Bill Withers, Jorge Ben, Paul McCartney, Freda Payne) and some great covers (Barbara, M. Ward). A little rain and a little sun and as always for free.  Please check out the artists included because they’re all great bands that deserve some well earned cash.  The full mix after the jump

Continue reading Mixtape Monday: Stolen Shoes, Cold Wars, and Love Fools

Mixtape Monday: In Ears

In Ear Park- Department of Eagles

The intro to this song is a beautiful weave of guitars and pianos going in and out like waves crashing into the shores that leads into an ethereal vocal and beautiful backing instrumentation, a lament on loss, the beauty of this song just speaks volumes

So Far Around the Bend- The National

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Boxer nor did I see the big attraction to the National until this song came out.  The lyrics are perfectly understated and performed, with a creative arrangement and a sentiment that everyone can identify with, it doesn’t hurt that the melody is so damn catchy as well

Fine For Now- Grizzly Bear

Veckatimest, the latest album by Grizzly Bear is full of songs that range from the sweet to the bizarre, Fine for Now starts off with a strangely beautiful vocal arrangement before turning into an otherworldly meld of guitar and drums and vocals, truly a song worth multiple listens

Chinese Translation- M. Ward

M. Ward has a knack for great studio production and melody, and this has a great chorus, and no theres no chinese in a single second of the recording, just a great overall song

Lost Coastlines- Okkervil River

I love the vocalist in this band, his range is affecting and his lyrics are well written, and i can hear glimmers of Paul Simons Graceland and the Jam’s Town Called Malice woven in

We Were Sick- The Thermals

Like Blink 182, fun upbeat and catchy, but better because you don’t get tired of the nasal voice and the chord progression is classic

Race You- Elizabeth and the Catapults

Little known bands often provide the most happiness to the listener when they make great catchy songs, because you feel like you’re the one discovering them, it’s a little feistish and happy and just puts you in a good mood

Wilco (The Song)- Wilco

Love this song, a little weezerish but with less pop culture reliant lyrics

Take A Walk Around the Table- White Rabbits

This song is so delightfully weird that you can’t help but listen to it over and over again

Metal Detektor- Spoon

Of all the great Spoon songs there are to choose from, this is one of, if not their finest songs ever put to record

Golden- My Morning Jacket

Beautiful acoustic guitar, beautiful singing, beautiful lyrics, need i even say more

The Golden Age- Beck

Great progression and arrangement, both of which Beck has an undeniable knack for and this is one of his finer songs

Songs for the Fireflies- Josh Ritter

This is one of those songs that feels as if the performer is right in front of you not in some far off studio and the buildup is wonderful

The Honeymoon Song- The Beatles

It’s hard to find a Beatles song that the whole world hasn’t heard millions of times.  This one comes from Live at the BBC and the arrangment lets Paul McCartneys voice take front and center, and how sweet and young he sounds, the only bad thing is the song ends so soon

Honeymoon- Phoenix

Love every part about this song, the bass, the guitar, the singing, the build up, it works perfectly

Everything Hits At Once- Spoon

Another early Spoon song, undeniably their own, from the arrangment to the melody and the buildup as well the great guitar and piano hooks

Fernando Pando- The Virgins

this son builds from intimate guitar and vocals to a great energetic arrangement.  Terrific vocal performance throughout

Changes- David Bowie

Because this song is undeniable in its classic status, love the progression and the lyrics

A Day in the Life- The Beatles

Arguably the greatest song Lennon and McCartney put together from the arrangement to the lyrics to the orchestra build up and McCartneys part.  Also the interplay between the musicians is great, McCartney’s piano and Lennon’s guitar and Ringo’s drums couldn’t have fit any better

You Got the Silver- The Rolling Stones

this song goes a long way in saying that Keith Richards was as underrated a singer and songwriter as Harrison was in The Beatles.