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

Campfire Songs

Hello folks, welcome back to a brand new year of Art of the Mixtape.  To help kick it off I bring you a nice bucolic little mixture of some great songs.

1. Greatest Show On Earth- The Felice Brothers

On their eponymous debut, The Felice Brothers very much earned their label of following in the tradition of Bob Dylan and The Band.  Perhaps what is most impressive is their narrative ability, delivering slices of Americana in a world weary mood.  However, “Greatest Show On Earth” stands out with its jaunty New Orleans infused melody.  Come for the story, stay for the music.

Greatest Show On Earth- The Felice Brothers

2. Fables-  The Dodos

The Dodos burst onto the San Francisco music scene with a unique drumming centric sound, but don’t let that scare you, they’re very much a rootsy rock band with a percussive twist.  Many of their other songs showcase a more daring aesthetic but “Fables” is a very endearing acoustic standout with a nice vocal to boot.

Fables- The Dodos

3. Jackhammer- The Spinto Band

This song has a bag full of production tricks around every corner, and it’s done very well. I love songs that continue to surprise their listener.

Jackhammer (Slim Version)- The Spinto Band

4.  Oslo Campfire- Port O’Brien

You’ll be hooked from the very beginning of this number by the unfortunately little known Port O’Brien, very much a cousin to The Shins output circa “New Slang”, the guitar/vocal/drum hook is amazing.

Oslo Campfire- Port O’Brien

5. Snake- Frightened Rabbit

A nice little lilting acoustic number.

Snake- Frightened Rabbit

6. Stepping Stones- G. Love and Special Sauce

A delightful little modern blues number with a very catchy chorus

Stepping Stones- G. Love and Special Sauce

7. Ruminant Band- Fruit Bats

Hearing this song, you’d be very surprised to learn that it was not recorded in the 70’s, but in a good way.

The Ruminant Band- Fruit Bats

 

8. I’ll Be Back- The Beatles

One of the oft-overlooked numbers from a tremendous album,  A Hard Day’s Night

I’ll Be Back- The Beatles

 

9. The Cave- Mumford & Sons

A very energetic number from an up-and-coming folksy band out of England.

The Cave- Mumford & Sons

 

10. Hiroshima- Blake Mills

Blake Mills came out with a very under-promoted debut and his number “Hiroshima” is delightful ear candy that grows from the likes of worthy predecessors such like the homegrown material of Paul McCartney’s McCartney and Ram, absolutely beautiful melody, before a slide guitar solo comes out of nowhere sounding like Duane Allman coming from the dead.

Hiroshima- Blake Mills

11. Mightiest of Guns- A.A. Bondy

One of those perfect songs.

Mightiest Of Guns- A.A. Bondy

 

12. Steel On Steel- J. Tillman

A very charming and upbeat number, with a great horn melody and diverse instrumentation.

Steel On Steel- J. Tillman

 

13. I Summon You- Spoon

Spoon has been hard pressed to beat the overall feeling of this song and for good reason, it’s a straight up classic.

I Summon You- Spoon

 

14. All Day Day Light- The Morning Benders

Great production, arrangement, vocal, on “All Day Day Light” The Morning Benders do everything right.

All Day Day Light- The Morning Benders

 

15. Timshel- Mumford & Sons

Detractors would say that they took this directly out of the book of previous acts like Fleet Foxes, they would be right, but they do it so well that its hardly an insult, their harmonies are gorgeous.

Timshel- Mumford & Sons

16. Let The Distance Keep Us Together- Spoon/ Bright Eyes

Spoon can create a great melody out of anything, but when they write great lyrics to go with it, there’s hardly a modern band that can compete with them.

Let the Distance Keep Us Together- Spoon/Bright Eyes

17. Change of Time- Josh Ritter

Perhaps no man is better qualified to write a finger-picked acoustic piece of Americana than one who went to Oberlin and graduated with a self made major in “American History through Narrative Folk Music”

Change of Time- Josh Ritter

18. Frankie’s Gun- The Felice Brothers

If you had any doubts about the following in the footsteps of Bob Dylan and The Band label, well here’s your proof.

Frankie’s Gun!- The Felice Brothers

19. Ain’t No Tellin’- Mississippi John Hurt

This beautiful little ending number is reaching your ears all the way back from 1928.

Ain’t No Tellin’- Mississippi John Hurt