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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

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

“(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!

“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. 

“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

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“From a Cage (ft. Justin Vernon)” by Haley Bonar // Dir. Josh Quigly

I haven’t slathered nearly enough praise on Haley Bonar’s brilliant album, Last War, which was released earlier this year. Seriously - it’s a stupendous piece of work that is easily among the best releases of the year. That being said, she recently released a video for the lovely album cut, “From a Cage” (one of two tracks that feature vocals from Justin Vernon), so now is as good a time as any to share some of that adoration. The hauntingly beautiful video was directed by Josh Quigly and features Bonar, a baby, and some lovely scenery (of course, there’s much more to the story). The track is pretty as all hell, but the album holds some much more powerful work. If you’re unfamiliar with the album, I recommend seeking out the title track as well as the album closer, “Eat For Free”

“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.

Hollywood” by Tobias Jesso Jr. // Goon (Out Spring 2015 via True Panther)

Due to Tumblr’s consistent need to give me errors when posting this evening, I’m just going to keep it quick. “Hollywood” is the first official studio single from the immensely talented singer-songwriter, Tobias Jesso Jr. The haunting, melancholic track details some of the darker times Jesso spent in the city of angels before returning to his hometown of Vancouver. It’s a stirring, elegiac performance that gets under the skin and stays. 

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“Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” by Father John Misty // Dir. Noel Paul

J. Tillman (formerly of Fleet Foxes) has an album (Fear Fun) coming out under the moniker Father John Misty and here’s the first single and video, which stars Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Scott Pilgrim, assorted other awesome things) as a drunken funeral guest who’s determined to fuck up things. The song itself is pretty much excellent as well. It’s a dark, charging, folk track with a pounding rhythm section and big melodies (not unlike what you’d find on a Fleet Foxes album). In fact, I’ve had that “Jesus Christ, girl…” line stuck in my head for the better part of two days. It’s a hell of a song. Definitely worth listening to if you’re a fan of Damien Jurado, Horse Feathers, or A.A. Bondy

“of Asheville” by Sunshine Faces // Letting You Know (Out Now via Swamp Church Tapes)

One of my favorite Bandcamp discoveries as of late has been the wonderful new album, Letting You Know, by Chapel Hill’s Sunshine Faces. The album is the work of artist, Noah Rawlings, who manages to weave a collection together youthful nostalgia, melancholic romanticism, and gently textured lo-fi production into a series of songs that are absolutely overflowing with promise. Of course, the promise of an exciting future for the artist can build as you get lost inside the ten tracks that make up Letting You Know. Try starting out with the sweet longing of the gorgeous track, “of Asheville” - delicately building from a softly charging beat to a rumbling, haunted beauty. You can grab the album for a name-your-price fee at Bandcamp, right now. It’s absolutely a must graB for fans of Alex G, Coma Cinema, and R.L. Kelly.

Lover, Don't Come Back
  • Lover, Don't Come Back
  • Pandit
  • Pandit
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“Lover, Don’t Come Back” by Pandit // Pandit (2012)

Wow. I’ve had this album, by Pandit, sitting on my hard drive for a little while now and hadn’t gotten around to giving it a proper listen. This morning I noticed it and popped it on, and immediately fell in love with the album, but one song in particular. “Lover, Don’t Come Back” (which actually appears 3 times on the album - this version and then two demo variations) is a delicate, somber tale of love gone lost. A pretty melancholic guitar and lovely hushed vocals are pretty much all that you get, but it’s a stunning bit of less-is-more music. Highest recommendation for fans of Bon Iver, Kurt Vile, and Ryan Adams

(download) Pandit’s Self Titled Album @ Bandcamp (name your own price)