Posts tagged ‘Country’

Cedar Lane by First Aid Kit

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Anything First Aid Kit does is just about the most beautiful thing on the planet. With each album, the music crafted by these sisters matures by decades and their harmonies get sweeter and more layered, if that’s even possible.  With their latest single, “Cedar Lane,” off their upcoming third LP, Stay Gold, the influences of (and ability to be considered in the same vein as) Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell and Johnny Cash is striking and incredibly fitting.  The duo’s handling of contemporary folk, country and rock is nurtured with the same care and sincerity as these pioneers of music did in the 60s.  Stay Gold is due out on June 10th and will be nothing short of spectacular.  Not like my expectations are high or anything.  Enjoy.

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Sons & Daughters by Allman Brown

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Sometimes, it’s just nice to take a break from the synth pop dominated world and remind ourselves that music not born from a computer still exists.  Today, that break comes in the form of “Sons & Daughters” by the London-based artist, Allman Brown.  Brown’s music borders on folk, with rich acoustic tones, somber melodies and personal, honest stories.  “Sons & Daughters” starts like any standard folk song until indie pop artist, Liz Lawrence, joins in, adding an intimate texture that is both warm and exhilarating.  Ok, you can return to your synth pop now.  Enjoy.

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Colored Emotions by Night Moves

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Night Moves ain’t your dad’s rock band…but they could be.  As is indicative of the music of the 70s, Minneapolis’ Night Moves melds country, folk and blues into flashback inducing rock tracks.  Their October 2012 debut album,  Colored Emotions, is the rock equivalent of an outer space saga with an epic, infinite scope and a sense of intimacy that makes you feel as though you can reach out and capture each song in your hands.  There’s a layered grandeur and a gritty, down home feel to Colored Emotions that encaspulates the maturity of a band whose members are only in their mid-twenties.  Night Moves is clearly on to something since they have been steadily gaining popularity, even getting props from the most random of sources like Teen Vogue (I got this information from the band’s website, I swear!!!).  All this proves that Night Moves have rediscovered a sound that people never stopped pining for.  Give Colored Emotions a listen and you’ll find an album  you didn’t even realize you were waiting for.

Best Tracks:

Headlights

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Colored Emotions

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Country Queen

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When & Where:

Laying on the hood of your Pontiac Firebird in a jean jacket watching the stars and talking about how the 8-track is the height of music technology.

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Singular Focus – Carter Tanton

Keeping track of Carter Tanton is a full time job: He’s the former guitarist of the promising indie group, Tulsa, which broke up in 2009.  He then joined the band fronted by dream folk singer, Marissa Nadler.  Presently, he’s the keyboardist for the moody indie outfit, Lower Dens.  Throughout the bandhopping, Tanton carved out some time to create his debut solo album, Freeclouds.  Freeclouds is hard to follow since it embraces more genres than bands on Tanton’s resume.  But, the first track on Freeclouds, Murderous Joy, is Tanton’s successful attempt at alt-country and one of the high points on the album.  Sweet, nostalgic harmonies, crisp acoustic guitars,and Tanton’s unpolished, heartfelt voice give Murderous Joy a wholesome, hometown vibe that still maintains a contemporary tone.  Enjoy.

Dry the River’s debut album runs deep

Dry the River‘s debut album, Shallow Bed,  is an easy sell.  It’s filled with warm, campfire sing-a-longs that start slow but consistently build towards boisterous, celebratory choruses.  Dry the River released Shallow Bed on April 17, 2012 and has been compared to Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons…which is definitely not the worst thing in the world.  Shallow Bed is a rustic record that embraces the band’s indie folk roots and showcases delicate, full harmonies, sweeping violins and subtle country influences.  

Best Tracks:

New Ceremony is the embodiment of the tone of the album.  While starting with an overwhelming sentimentality, just hold tight until the 1:32 mark, trust me.  The intensity of the chorus can’t help but consume you.

Man, No Rest is an emotional powerhouse of a song.  It starts off gently, but is leveled with an overwhelming feeling of love and desperation as lead singer, Peter Liddle, croons with a trembling fragility that makes you think at any point, his voice will shatter under the weight of emotion.

Another highlight of the album is the charming, familiar feeling Bible Belt.  A sad, carefully crafted melody, Bible Belt proves that Dry the River can pull you in with gentle verses as much as it does with its dynamic choruses.

When & Where:

Shallow Bed is versatile in that it can be played at any time, and emotionally, under any condition.  If I didn’t hate the outdoors, I’d play this in the middle of the woods, around a bonfire with a group of friends.  However, the album is just as good with friends in my apartment surrounding a hot, rusty, old radiator.

New Ceremony

No Rest

Bible Belt

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And You Were A Crow by The Parlor Mob

The Parlor Mob formed in Asbury Park, New Jersey in 2004 and released And You Were A Crow in 2008.  With their new album, Dog, released a few weeks ago, it’s the perfect time to introduce you to their first album, a display of amazing hard rock, nasty guitar riffs, a lot of soul and rusty vocals that takes you back to the great rock groups of the 60s and 70s.  

And You Were a Crow is an energetic album that feels like it was forged out of sweat, dirt, and a love for groups like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.  Mark Melicia’s vocals are straining and angst-ridden, but it’s when the band slows things down for the mandatory rock ballads that his voice fills out and pulls you back down to reality.  This album is a lyrical rock rarity, where none of the songs are about partying and getting wasted.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes you ask a little bit more out of your music.

Best Tracks:

Hard Times is pure rock n’ roll: it’s fast, loud, unapologetic, and serves as an anthem for those who have been screwed.

Can’t Keep No Good Boy Down starts out with a country twang that maintains throughout the track and quickly becomes fun and energetic with the addition of a piano and tambourine.

Everything You’re Breathing For has an easy tempo but soon drops its vocals and cuts into a Zeppelin-influenced guitar riff.  The steady pace of the drums keeps the song moving smoothly and halfway through, hints of psychedelic rock take over the guitar solo.

When and Where:

Listen to this album when you are frustrated with society, corruption, the economy, or how Fox keep renewing Bones. If you are at a point where you you know a huge turning point in your life is on the horizon, you must listen to this album.

Hard Times:

Can’t Keep No Good Boy Down

Everything You’re Breathing For:

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