Vance Joy – Riptide [Listen]

vance-joy

If you asked anyone two weeks ago who Vance Joy was, no one would have a clue. However last week saw the release of his debt EP, God Loves You When You’re Dancing and he has since generated a huge amount of attention. The Australian artist has managed to tap into that niche of music which people are ever hungry for. His sound is a mix of Bon Iver and Mumford and Sons; let’s hope he doesn’t follow in the same steps as the latter.

Two tracks are publicly released, From Afar and Riptide both equally enjoyable. There are two reasons I’m going to post Riptide: Firstly because it’s so bloody good and I’m sure you’ll love it. Secondly because it’s so damn catchy and like me, I want you all to be cursed with it playing in your head for the next few days. Enjoy.

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The Lumineers – Boots Of Spanish Leather (Bob Dylan) [Listen]

Being a Dylan fan I couldn’t resist from sharing this very nice cover of Boots of Spanish Leather by The Lumineers. One of the wonderful things about Dylan’s ballads is how approachable they are to cover by other artists – providing they can step up to the mark.

Similar to Dylan’s version from the landmark album The Times They Are a-Changin (1964), The Lumineers opted to record their version solo with an acoustic guitar. The Lumineers had a fairytale of a year in 2012 with chart topping singles and sell out tours. Hopefully we’ll be hearing more from them soon.

Until then, enjoy Wesley Schultz dusty vocals in this live recording. It’s good, but still doesn’t beat my all time favourite cover of Moonshiner by Bob Forest which featured in the film I’m Not There (2007).

Bonus track:

The Universal Wax Top 12 of ’12 – Part Three

So here we are with the final four albums of our twelve that make up the Universal Wax top 12 of ’12.  This time it’s Toms selection which is as broad as ever and features some really fantastic records. I couldn’t agree more with the inclusion of the Journey OST which has been one of the most beautiful scores I’ve heard for a long time and as any long time readers may recall we’re already big Andrew Bird fans here at Universal Wax. This will be our final post of 2012, however we’ll be following this one up in the new year with our notable mentions (those that didn’t quite make our top twelve) and some upcoming artists to look out for in 2013. In the meantime, from all at Universal Wax, we hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and are about to have a fantastic New Year, enjoy our now complete Universal Wax Top 12 of ’12 and let us know what you think in the comments below!  – Sam

Top 12 of 12 Covers-Part Three11

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Woods – Bend Beyond [Review]

Sometime in June, before summer had sunk its teeth in, Woods announced their new album, Bend Beyond. Much excitement instantly circulated the alternative-folk scene; their track record has been consistently strong. Sun and Shade which was released last year was a personal favorite, and reassured the fans they were still on the right track.

Firstly, let me begin by saying Bend Beyond will not let you down. It’s a highly enjoyable, and extremely well executed album which demonstrates a maturity in both the songwriting and the production – which fits perfectly. The lo-fi indie-folk band from Brooklyn have a distinct sound, predominantly down to Jeremy Earl’s vocals, which this time round acquire a clarity like never before. It’s this factor for me that makes Bend Beyond different. Not only can you appreciate the layers of instruments that create their psychedelic sound, but the vocals are refined to the point where you can listen and enjoy the lyrics on a level which you couldn’t do before.

The first track, Bend Beyond sends you back to the woods, with their familiar riffs and guitar solos. It’s the longest track on the album, and paces itself nicely. It sets the tone that Woods is a band, not just Jeremy Earl. The second track, Cali in a Cup was in fact an early release, and has a nostalgic Super 8 music video to accompany it. This song is a prime example of the high quality production value they’ve got going.

One of my all time favorite songs by Woods was the final track on their last album, Say Goodbye. The gently strummed, stripped down style is apparent in a couple of tracks in Bend Beyond, most notably in It Ain’t Easy. It’s a moment of calm that engages you with the simpler harmonies and lyrics that Woods are so good at writing. It’s as essential as the much expected instrumental jams which remind you these guys are having fun making this music.

My top picks from the album would be, Back to the Stone and Is it Honest?, both encompass all that there is to love about Woods. The album is released as of today, and is available on iTunes.

Tracklist below.

  1. Bend Beyond
  2. Cali in a Cup
  3. Is it Honest?
  4. It Ain’t Easy
  5. Cascade
  6. Back to the Stone
  7. Find Them Empty
  8. Wind Was the Wine
  9. Lily
  10. Size Meets the Sound
  11. Impossible Sky
  12. Something Surreal

Here is Cali in a Cup and a few others to get you back in the zone.