Mixtape Monday: Too Young to Burn with A Soul Full of Love

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.

1a.White Water Hymnal (Fleet Foxes) (remix)- Mondo Boys

1b. Bottle Up and Explode (Elliot Smith) (remix)- Mondo Boys

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 full mixtape after the jump

Continue reading Mixtape Monday: Too Young to Burn with A Soul Full of Love

Mixtape Monday: Some Strange Rain While Walking in the Park

1. Promises- The Morning Benders

This band out of the Berkeley California area showed alot of promise on their debut with strong hooks and a dynamic singer, however, their latest LP Big Echo promises to be even better, and I promise you’ll be hooked from the start.  Wouldn’t be out of place on a Vampire Weekend or Grizzly Bear album, lovely changes and fantastic dynamic energy.

2.  I Love You Like A Madman- The Wave Pictures

Raw and uncompromising in its hooks, in a way the lyrics don’t make sense, like Jim Morrison on a drunken poem binge, but in a way thats the point. Love the 50’s styled sax solo at the end.

3.  Cloud Pleaser- Harlem

Not as cheeky as the previous but delivered in a cutesy tongue in cheek way, and catchy all the way through.  Like a Paul McCartney demo sung by The Monkees.

4.  Numbers Don’t Lie- The Mynabirds

With a lively hammer-tack piano backing and strong roots in the gospel soul that was Motown’s trademark this song is perfectly done and in their book, old is the new new.

5. Josefin the Writer- Olney Clark

Elegant and beautiful, almost like a musical in its spoken sung vocal delivery and a sublime mix of strings and piano.

6. Dear Friend- Emanuel and the Fear

Great piano hook and melody, as well as a nice voice, the track in terms of arrangement is daring, going from piano romp to Queen-ish bridges, just a song that wants to be repeated over and over.

7. I’m Broke- Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Catchy from the start and featuring a piano hook that takes a page out of Miles Davis, This soul-styled band might have the energy of a young band, but they are refined beyond their years.

8. Just A Silhouette- Exlovers

Starting with a simple guitar hook before building into a catchy song supported by a sublime boy-girl harmony.  This is a band out of England I haven’t heard much of, and one I definitely want to hear of more.

9. Nightfall- Robert Francis

I had never intended to find Robert Francis, but thats the beauty of music, there is so much to find out there, his voice comes across like a Johnny Cash/ Neil Young/ Bruce Springsteen love child with strong songwriting to match, and though it be a live recording, it sure don’t sound like one. Don’t miss out on this one.

10.  Walk in the Park- Beach House

More than just sharing the first word of their band name with the Beach Boys, Beach House has taken a page out of their book of melodic songcraft and the organ work on here is pure Brian Wilson, and while they don’t have the full five person harmonies, its hard not to think of the Beach Boys when the singer here reaches up into the higher register.  Just a great song.

11. Be Set Free- Langhorne Slim

A  simple live dynamic and some wonderful lyrics accompany this homey and sweetly familiar melody, and the man’s got soul.

12. She’s So Blonde- Illinois

So gritty and bluesy rootsy, Jack White would be proud.

13. She Needs Me- Fyfe Dangerfield

When those drums start, you almost can hear Billie Jean begin, but not to knock Fyfe, a drum beat is a drum beat and he makes it his own with an equally talented voice.  And in any other hands the strings would seem a little 70’s/bombastic but the fact that he arranged the whole thing gives it a more heartfelt presence and the song is so gosh darn catchy and warm its hard not to listen to.  A great use of melody.

14. Martina and Clive Krantz- Princeton

An eccentric title for sure, but this band is firmly rooted in good old fashioned power pop and this comes off like a wiser cousin of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark.

15. Try It You’ll Like It- Marvin Gaye

The fact that a song this good was left off Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On just goes to show how strong the album was; the band is on full swing on this one and Marvin is holding it together with a strong vocal performance at the top.

16. Some Strange Rain- Cotton Jones

One of the bands strongest suits is the atmosphere they create and the pitter patter guitar at the beginning sure sounds like rain if it were only more musical, with a cloudy organ backdrop and when the singer comes in, its a blissful moment, transported back to the 60’s you can swear you see San Francisco,and you swear you’re hearing Sonny (from Sonny and Cher) or Bob Dylan, and you’re happy.

17. One Day- Kings Go Forth

Classic old style funk at a breakneck pace, with Curtis Mayfield influenced singing and harmonies, but the highlight here is just the great energy put forth by the band and its a real fun song.

18. Gloria- Robb London

A great cover of the classic done slow soul style with as much vocal intensity as the original.  A fun interpretation for the ears to hear.

19. Don’t Stop Lovin’ Me Now- Juston Stens

It’s a cover, though the original is only a year old and its done in a classic blue eyed soul style, great harmony and upbeat organ in the chorus.

20.  Born Away on a Black Barge- J. Tillman

Sometimes there is no arrangement more powerful than just the voice, and the a capella here is incredible.

21. Ship Made of Stone- The Dutchess and the Duke

Sporting simplistic arrangements and beautiful two-part harmonies, The Dutchess and the Duke ironically (and thankfully) don’t boast arrangements that live up to their name in terms of grandeur, but I’d be hard pressed to find a band that does the simple better.

22. When You Walk In The Room- Fyfe Dangerfield

This song isn’t what it seems when it starts with its electronic beat, it soon fades into a much more organic arrangement, and the vocal delivery and intensity matches the lyrics, he just can’t be tied down, he has to rise up and beat the odds, to say unbridled enthusiasm is one thing, though this is inspiring in a whole new way.

23. Worried Head- Princeton

Nope this isn’t from the 80’s and yes it is just as good.

24.  Making Amends- G. Love

Almost like Sublime and Dispatch came together and wrote a song,  great harmonies, great bass line, great live sound, and great changes.

25. My Love Is Growing- Marvin Gaye

One of the great under-appreciated tracks on Let’s Get It On with a beautiful organic and dynamic arrangement building energy throughout.

26. Kelly Ray- Raphael Saadiq

The arranging stylings of Al Green meet a Stevie Wonder styled vocal performance with lyrics equal to Prince.

Hey Hey

A new one for you all, this is a light hearted good jams kind of mix

Robert Palmer-Addicted to Love

Suave meets power rock, awesome combination

Monsters of Folk- Say Please

This is a super group of Jim James, M. Ward, and Conor Oberst, Say Please is a Beatlesque tune, the guitar solo is a nice touch

The Shaky Hands- The Sleepless

Nice bouncy groove on this one, fans of Modest Mouse will like this one

My Morning Jacket- Golden

One of the prettiest acoustic melodies you will ever hear, if gold had a sound it would be this

The Dodos- Fables

Great melody and drumming on this one and the singing is in fine form too

Donovan Frankenreiter- These Arms

Just a nice light-hearted acoustic tune, nice touches with the organ

Geto Boys- Straight Gangstaism

I could swear Tupac was on this, great sample, great flow

Harper Blynn- Centrifugal Motion

It’s like E.L.O. and Billy Joel decided to have a musical baby and this was the result, catchy melody, great vocal performance and great bridge

Pete Willett- Something

Most of the time, Beatles covers are like heresy in my book, but the laconic way he delivers the lyrics brings the song to a different place, dreamy and wistful, perfectly conveying the feeling Harrison was getting at by not being sure.

Forest Fire- Fortune Teller

Great vocal performance, great arrangement, a new band that more people should know about

The Clash- Guns of Brixton

London Calling is a fantastic album for a number of songs, and this is one of the best, fantastic arrangement, snide vocals, a powerful song through and through

The Shaky Hands- Sunburns

Just a sunny day tune, a happy song, good backing harmonies and easy going arrangement

Liam Finn & Eliza Jane- Honest Face

Tight harmonies with a wild arrangement

The Generationals- When They Fight, They Fight

Great homage to beach boys/ motown girl group style, this song is amazingly catchy and it is hard to believe it was recorded this year

Portugal The Man- The Home

Oasis meets Dispatch, these guys have a great sense of dynamics and melody and they’re a pleasure to listen to

Pete and J- No More One More Chance

This song could easily have been straight out of the CSN &Y songbook, great acoustics and singing performance

Arcade Fire- Haiti

Very nicely done arrangement on this one

The Explorer’s Club- Do You Love Me

The Beach Boys 2.0, catchy, strong harmonies and a summer melody

The Dutchess and the Duke- Reservoir Park

Similar to House of the Rising Sun but good in its own right

Dean Martin- Gentle on My Mind

Great upbeat country arrangement and Dean Martin shows his considerable vocal chops on this one, this is a hard melody to get off your mind.