Bandcamp Find of the Week – Santah

Having just released their new album, Santah have a knack for producing music you want to listen to. Feel-good harmonic progressions accompanied by charming vocals produce a somewhat nostalgic classic rock sound, similar to that of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Since the success of their first album, White Noise Bed (2011), they’ve just released a new album titled, You’re Still A Lover. The 5 track album is a melody of dreamy love songs each with their own heart. The band are from Chicago and have so far only been touring in the states, but I’ve got a good feeling they’ll be making their way over the pond next year.

Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself [Review]

My introduction to Andrew Bird was while browsing the shelves of the small and rather wonderful record store People Independent Music of Guildford, Surrey. A superb Indie store packed with a range of genres and always something interesting or new, if you’re ever in the area check it out, it’s well worth a look. So, I’m standing there, browsing the Alternative/Indie section, I have one CD in hand, probably all I’m going to spend today and then this song kicks up, it’s beautiful, it reminds me of the Fleet Foxes, with a little Ryan Adams, but with a whole lot of violin and a little more subtlety, it’s sort of quirky as well. The guy next to me leans over to the counter and asks “Who is this?”, to which the girl replies with a smile “It’s Andrew Bird’s new album”, “Hmm…” the customer ponders for all of half a second, “I’ll take one!”. Handing the CD over in my hand to pay I echo, “You know what, I’ll take one as well”.

It was one of those moments I had to hear more on my own stereo, if I hadn’t bought that album there and then I’d be a mug. That’s a great start, first track of the new album and I’m totally sold, as was my fellow customer. I’m happy to report Break It Yourself delivers. I’d heard Birds name thrown around before, I’d heard his outstanding whistling skills (seriously, check it out – this song also features on this album), but never taken the time to check out his music properly. I was pleasantly surprised to find a sound that mixes beautiful strings with soft guitars and rock elements, arranged with just enough oddities to keep it fresh. It straddles modern acoustic songwriting and traditional folk music pretty comfortably and never feels like an unnatural or forced combination. Desperation Breeds elevates itself to one of my favourite album openers of the year beginning slow and brooding before bursting into life with beautiful flourishes of violin. These frequent the album and compliment most songs bringing the music alive with a bright and vibrant feel. The aforementioned whistling is there and is as excellent as ever, Bird really does have some skills and no matter what he is playing it all comes together so perfectly well with a natural and effortless flow. The short recording window and live studio recording only helps to give the album the organic, natural sound is presents. Pacing is graceful and mixes the uplifting with the more gentle mellow tracks.

The only complaints I have are aimed at the latter half which drags slightly before soaring again with the absolutely superb Hole in the Ocean Floor. It never becomes wearisome however and overall it can be taken as a very well rounded full-length. It’s worth keeping in mind that this is my first Andrew Bird album so I cannot compare it to previous releases, but it’s definitely a great place to start and I can safely say I’ve come away a fan.

Andrew lacks a website at the moment but check him out on facebook if you want to keep up with news and tour info.

The Flashbulb – Opus At The End Of Everything [Listen]

Sorry for the hiatus the last 10 days, we’re back, and so is Benn Jordan with his new release Opus At The End Of Everything under The Flashbulb pseudonym. It’s really more of the same sound heard on the previous Flashbulb albums and that of course is no bad thing. If anything it has a little more of a mellow vibe and as ever Jordan’s production is superb throughout, warm yet crisp and full of depth. I wasn’t expecting this one so it’s been a nice surprise for a snowy Friday morning. Listen to some highlights below and check out the album teaser, which I totally missed last October!

Grab the album over at The Flashbulb bandcamp page.

theflashbulb.net

New Wilco iTunes Session [News]

Wilco have announced a new iTunes session featuring eight songs recorded at Wilco’s Chicago loft in December last year. The session features five new versions of tracks from last years outstanding album The Whole Love as well as two Wilco classics and cover of Nick Lowe’s Cruel to Be Kind featuring the man himself. Pre-orders are available now over on the iTunes Store.

Tracklisting is as follows.

1 – Dawned on Me
2 – Born Alone
3 – I Might
4 – Black Moon
5 – Whole Love
6 – War on War
7 – Passenger Side
8 – Cruel to Be Kind (feat. Nick Lowe)

Monday Morning Links: Jeff Tweedy presents the Chicago weather, Solar Fields new album out, Mumford & Sons make Doom/Folk Record

Just a few short snippets of interesting thing’s I’ve seen over the web this weekend.

This is a great little clip of Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy presenting the news on Chicago TV station WGN’s morning news last week. Watching Jeff Tweedy report the weather was always going to be fun.

http://www.wgntv.com/videogallery/66789435/News/Jeff-Tweedy-forecasts-the-weather

Solar Fields has a new album titled Until We Meet the Sky. The physical edition was out Friday and the digital version follows tomorrow (20th December). I’ve yet to receive my copy through the post but will most likely write some thoughts up after a listen or two.

You can hear samples and pre-order the digital version over at Ultimae records bandcamp page.

Yes, you read that headline right. Mumford & Sons have informed Rolling Stone that their new album, due in 2012, will be a more mature record and that it’s ‘doom folk’. In their words, Black Sabbath meets Nick Drake. I’m struggling to imagine that but definitely interested.

source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/week-in-review-mumford-sons-plan-doom-folk-album-20111216