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"Just Like Heaven" by Neil Halstead and Tennis // Originally by The Cure

Now here is a treat. Neil Halstead (Slowdive, Mojave 3) playing a classic track from The Cure, while being backed by Tennis. The whole beautiful thing popped off a couple of months back for Boulder-based artist community, eTown's web series. The end result is a lovely, dreamy folk pop treat that has me wanting to dig out my old Cure records, as well my Mojave 3 catalog. Highly recommended. 

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Bon Iver - Holocene

Bon Iver, 2011

pepsi/coke suicide
  • pepsi/coke suicide
  • Elvis Depressedly
  • Holo Pleasures
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"pepsi/coke suicide" by Elvis Depressedly // Holo Pleasures (Out 4.16.13 via Birdtapes)

The past few years have been hyper productive for Mat Cothran (Coma Cinema, Elvis Depressedly) and it would appear that 2013 is not going to change things. In addition to having a new Coma Cinema album coming down the pipeline (his previous, “Blue Suicide” was one of the best albums of 2011), we’re also getting new material from his Elvis Depressedly project, in the form of a new album called “Holo Pleasures”. That album comes out on the 16th of April and the first, stunning taste is streaming now. “Pepsi/Coke Suicide” is a somber dirge, delivered in a heartbreaking drug haze. The fuzzed out guitars and orchestral synths are the perfect accompaniment to Cothran’s haunting lyrics. Truth be told, this is one of the best moments that I’ve heard from the artist and I’m a lover of all of his works. If there’s more of this coming excellence sliding our way, then we’re all in for a remarkable album from a truly talented artist. Highest recommendation

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Promo spot for The Living Arches by RM88.

"Casimir Pulaski Day" by Tea Leigh // Originally by Sufjan Stevens (2012)

Brooklyn’s Tea Leigh recently posted a collection of stripped down, dreamy folk covers over at Bandcamp, entitled (appropriately enough) “Little Covers”. Included are covers of songs by The Postal Service, Coco Rosie, Phillip Baptiste (by way of Tom Waits and or Cat Power), and this track here, by Sufjan Stevens. It’s hard to imagine a song any more intimate and fragile than the original version of “Casimir Pulaski Day” but Tea Leigh definitely gives it a try. It’s a lovely and subtle take on a song that already existed in that wheelhouse, but hearing it this way, it stands on it’s own. A sweet little interpretation that’s absolutely worth your time. Definitely give this one a listen. Beautiful stuff. 

(download) "Little Covers" by Tea Leigh (Name Your Price @ Bandcamp)

Slough (David Brent cover)
  • Slough (David Brent cover)
  • Toro Y Moi
  • Slough - One Off Online Single
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"Slough" by Toro Y Moi // Originally by David Brent (Ricky Gervais)

For the past few months, Ricky Gervais has been using his David Brent character (of the original version of The Office) as series of guitar tutorials, which are played for humor, but also showcases Gervais’s talent for writing music. Even when the songs are lyrically goofy, Gervais still plays the guitar and sings quite well, so as you’re laughing you’re also left impressed. Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi is a fan, and decided to cover one of David Brent’s new tracks - an ode to his hometown, “Slough”, which is also where the UK version of The Office is set. Bundick’s version plays it sincerely and in layering on the lo-fi texures, really opens up the track as a the pretty ballad that it actually is - despite ya know, being about a small factory town. Check out Ricky’s version here

"Every Time the Sun Comes Up" by Sharon Van Etten // Are We There (Out 5.27.14 via Jagjaguwar)

Sharon Van Etten seems to be getting better with every new release. Whereas I used to be happy to hear new material, now i’m fiending for the next track. Hearing her new single, “Every Time the Sun Comes Up” has satiated that lust for the time being - but soon, i’ll be on the hunt again. In the meantime, I will spend some time with the new single. And what a single it is! The track has a sort of dust blown loneliness to it, like the kind of song that would soundtrack a long drive through the desert at night. The melody reminds me of some of the girl groups of the 60’s, but turned on it’s head and delivered in a melancholic sing/speak. It’s a a gorgeous track, and one of the best songs that i’ve heard in a while. The new album, Are We There, drops at the end of next month. In the meantime, spend some time with “Every Time the Sun Comes Up”. You won’t regret it. 

"(I Wanna) Be Your Dog" by Storms on the Moon // Stranger Skies EP (Out 2.1.13)

Storms on the Moon is a shoegaze project out of Birmingham, England that creates dust blown shoegaze beauties that sound part haunted western and part ethereal beauty. Here, on one of the tracks from the lovely forthcoming EP, “Stranger Skies”, we get to hear a hypnotic, dreamy take on “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by the Stooges - here, just being called “Be Your Dog” - that’s a perfect summation of what’s in store for you on the forthcoming EP. Be on the lookout for it on February 1st. Highly recommended for fans of Widowspeak, Kurt Vile, and Slowdive

(stream) "Stranger Skies EP" by Storms on the Moon (via Soundcloud)

Our Work Was Good
  • Our Work Was Good
  • Chelsea Wolfe
  • Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs
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"Our Work Was Good" by Chelsea Wolfe // Unknown Rooms (2012)

Chelsea Wolfe's new album, “Unknown Rooms”, is comprised of acoustic works that she's collected in recent years. It's a fantastic listen to hear her dark and stormy take on gothic pop being stripped back to bare bones acoustics and vocals. Her powerful voice though, is the star, as it always has been. On album standout, “Our Work Was Good”, Wolfe layers her vocals over a somber guitar strum and lets the harmonies build and swirl from there. It's comes off as some lovely and haunting campfire confessional, and it's a stunning bit of music. Highest recommendation. 

(stream and purchase) "Unknown Rooms" by Chelsea Wolfe (via Bandcamp)

"Glory" by Wye Oak // Shriek (Out 4.28.14 via City Slang!)

Wye Oak's forthcoming album , Shriek, is high on my list of anticipated releases, but still over a month and change away. Luckily, the band has been forthcoming with tastes of the new material. In addition to first single, “The Tower”, fans have been hearing new material live, and now we’ve got an official second single, for the shadowy beauty, “Glory”. The track hasa  mid-tempo groove that features a layer of eerie synths running beneath a killer bass line that all lead to an absolutely soaring chorus that sounds designed to destroy at festivals this year. It’s another magnificent evolution of the band’s sound and Jenn Wasner's voice continues to shine as a stellar instrument all it's own. Highest recommendation!

"Magnolia" by Wilsen // Magnolia EP (Out 5.18.14)

Tamsin Wilson feels due for a breakthrough. The music that she makes with her Brooklyn based band, Wilsen (she is originally from the UK), has a darkly textured dream pop sound that crosses into folk and atmospheric ambient pop sounds, but it’s her lovely vocals that weave everything together with ease. There’s a calming otherworldly air about the band’s sound that really comes into focus on the stunning single, “Magnolia”. With a little luck, we should be hearing a lot more from Wilsen in the coming months. Highly recommended for fans of Widowspeak and Beach House

"The Dark Age" by Widowspeak // Almanac (Out 1.22.13 via Captured Tracks)

Inching closer to the release of Widowspeak's sophomore album, and we get a second taste of what awaits on “Almanac”. “The Dark Age” is a shoegazey stunner with a driving beat and a dusty, widescreen and windblown sound. The leap in growth from the first album to this, is flat out stunning. Think Beach House playing a storming set with Songs: Ohia and you’re almost there. This is a track that has me penciling in that release date because it can’t arrive soon enough. Highest possible recommendation.

"Heathens" by Cemeteries // Cemeteries Soundcloud (Streaming Now)

I know that I’m a big pusher of all of the music that Kyle J. Reigle (Cemeteries, Camp Counselors) puts forth, but there’s a good reason. Hitting the play button will be a better reason than I could put forth in words. So go ahead, do it. I’ll wait… see? 

We last heard from his Cemeteries project a couple of months back, with the beautifully creepy one-off, “Feed”. And now, we’re in luck because we’ve got another one-off, entitled “Heathens”. Taking a step back from the synth-heavy atmospherics of recent releases, Reigle has gone and wrote a folk song - albeit, one that is firmly within the Cemeteries world. A lonely, autumnal guitar strum beneath airy, haunted vocals make up most of the song, and it’s more than enough to register a few dozen repeat listens - but as the sweetly eerie composition builds and ghostly layered backing vocals float in, so does an exquisite bit of shimmering guitar work that serves as a darkly dreamy outro. I made the comparison last time that “Feed” sounded like David Lynch producing Beach House, and that’s not far off here, but what it sounds like is Cemeteries - and for an artist so early in his career to have captured such a definitive tone and sound, while continuing to grow, is truly something special. Reigle recently made the transition from Buffalo to Portland, and has begun putting together what will be the next Cemeteries record. If it’s anything like this, we’re in for a wonderful listen. 

Full disclosure: Though I consider Reigle a friend, I am genuinely impressed with each new artistic release. He’s a lovely guy, with talent for days, and I couldn’t be pulling harder for him to break big and gain the audience that he deserves. I sincerely hope this is his year.

"Mercury" by Conner Youngblood // Mercury - Single (Available Now via Soundcloud)

I know it’s no real way to start a post to promote something so stunning, but - holy shit! Dallas based artist, Conner Youngblood has been floating around the blogosphere for a couple of years now. After a quiet online presence, Youngblood signed with a label, which sadly, eventually fell through (check out the great interview he did with Pigeons and Planes) - luckily for us, the past couple of months have found this talented artist back releasing material online and his most recent track is one to fall in love with. “Mercury”, the latest track to find it’s way to his Soundcloud (soon available on the forthcoming Confidence EP)is something special. Building on the promise of those fantastic early tracks, “Mercury” finds Youngblood building a stunning vista at dawn, hazy at first but slowly exposing a breathtaking beauty as light breaks through and reveals a weary, but wide eyed stunner. Imagine Justin Vernon and Bon Iver collaborating with Takk-era Sigur Ros, and a little Port St. Willow tossed in for good measure and you’ll get close to what awaits on “Mercury”, but that doesn’t do Youngblood the justice he deserves. This is a gorgeous piece of music and you should be listening to it on repeat right now. 

* Download the track for free now from the Conner Youngblood Soundcloud.

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