I have been listening to Mark Kozelek for the better part of 10 years, and he’s been producing music of an exceptional depth and quality for almost twice that time. I honestly believe that he sits high amongst the canon of truly great living songwriters. This is probably my most anticipated album of 2010. It is a record of nothing other than nylon string guitar and voice – a notable departure for someone as renowned for his Crazy Horse comparisons as his Nick Drake ones. It works, though, and even better than i’d hoped. Kozelek may never see the appreciation he is due – or at least not whilst he’s still alive, as these things always go – but he seems determined to keep making profoundly beautiful music all the same.
Please click here to sample this album
You’ll notice my intentionally poor spelling. Just hoping to provide this sample as long as possible without being reported. It’s not normally my style to post something so “enjoyable”, but hey, been waiting a while for this. So enjoy.
Please click here to sample this album
(original link lasted 5 hours. Should work now.)
If you’re a fan of 90’s-inspired literate punk girls spitting lyrics at you in a Southern accent, this will please you infinitely. If you aren’t, well, what the hell is wrong with you?
P.S. Eliot is like if Letters To Cleo went to some Tennessee college to study English Literature and used words like asinine or cerebral in their songs but rhymed them really well and described distress as ‘varnished’ and your prime as ‘looming’ and yet still came off as really fucking adorable.
Contemporary Song Cycles #4
It’s 2 AM and the neighbours’ kid is screaming his lungs out. Here, I want you to listen to this. In some way, it is an album about someone called Rehana, but there’s no information on who or what this means. What we’re left with is a brilliant trio – New Zealand’s Dean Roberts on guitar and vocals, and Austrians Werner Dafeldecker and Martin Brandlmayr on double bass and drums/loops respectively – putting together 7 really challenging and utterly rewarding tracks of unrivaled beauty and complexity. Chris Abrahams from The Necks adds his usual brilliance on the piano for several tracks. These songs are slow burners and understated growers. It might take a couple of listens for you to realize that something really special is hidden in here. I hope you give it that chance.
Please click here to sample this album.
(yes, i’ve taken to posting again. If you leave comments, that will make us want to post even more, fickle though it may seem.)
In an alternate reality, Electrelane were actually a lo-fi, melodious, surf-rock three-piece and their name was Grass Widow.
They say lo-fi is the new hi-fi. If that’s true, let’s call these guys post-lo-fi. PENS are three grrrls from the UK who sound like the pissed off punk sisters of the Vivian Girls.
Contemporary Song Cycles Pt. 3
Did you, as a matter of reference, know that Henry Ford tried to establish an Americanised city in the middle of the jungle in Brazil, in the 1920s? He decided it would be a really good way to get cheap rubber. He forced indigenous workers to live in white picket fence style surrounds and eat hamburgers. They rioted in 1930 and the ruins are still there. Henry Ford never once visited the place, and they also never succeeded in exporting a single iota of rubber back to the USA.
Majestic strings alongside blipping electronics, deep looming bass and old creaky pianos. And a killer backstory to boot. Jóhannsson is surely one of the better composers currently making recordings – not to mention that he’s labelmates with the Pixies and the Shins whilst doing so. If you have an appreciation for the delicate and the grandiose all at once, this is a wonderfully moving record, and a wonderful gateway into his other works too.
Please click here to sample this album. (link now fixed)