My main man Kurt Vile is back with a fury, announcing a 69-minute long double album entitled Wakin On A Pretty Daze and dropping this almost 10-minute single "Wakin On A Pretty Day." It makes me long for the return of the sun with its soaked strum, loping pace and Vile's calmly oddball lyricism. Album drops April 9 via Matador. Welcome back, amigo.
I've made no secret about my hatred of accordions. They basically make me want to murder things. Add in a banjo and if I'm watching you at a club, I'll probably pull the fire alarm and then break everything within my field of vision. Lonesome Leash, a project from Walt McClements, is making me reevaluate a bit, though. "Ghosts" uses the instrument for loveable drone purposes – closer to a pump organ – and adds guttural drums and a defiant vocal intensity that reminds me of Future Islands. Check for more on I Am No Captain, which is out January 1, 2013.
C Duncan is the moniker of, well, a guy named Chris Duncan. Other than being from Glasgow and possessing a degree in composition, there's a lot of mystery present throughout "For." It's all circular, flighty acoustic guitar and a lilting voice that commands attention through sensitivity and subtlety. There's something about this song where I just want to pull up a chair on its porch and chain-smoke for awhile.
Ah, if only the title of this track worked as a realistic command rather than a wish. On "Keep Your Mind On Me," San Francisco group Evil Eyes dusts off some backroads indie rock that merges twang and vague sadness with droll lyricism and a chug-ready strum. Their debut album is coming in early 2013, but enjoy this one for the excellent price of 'free' right now.
Since we last featured Indians, the project of Soren Juul, he's signed a deal with 4AD and fleshed-out his introspective music in a real studio. "Carelakers" is purebred folk music with a distinct lushness as string arrangements color the edges and a bottomed-out guitar strums away, adding a dreamy feel to Juul's reverberated vocals.
There's little doubt that Steffaloo has what we in the blog world like to creepily call a 'sweet coo,' but it's usually in the service of sparkling electronics and laptop beat theatrics. Going solo, she's all alone and the music shows it with a spare, haunted folk arrangement on "Can't You See." This one has the sort of intimacy where it wouldn't be out of context to hear the distant hum of a car driving by in the background.
It's common to view people you're crushing on as a fantasy, as a ghost, as something shrouded and unattainable, which somehow makes them all the more perfect. On "Girl in The Fog," Levek gets at that mysterious, just-out-of-reach feeling with dreamy keys, layers of fingerpicking, string drones and the plea to step to "when you're feeling low." His debut LP, Look A Little Closer, is out September 25 via Lefse.
Dave Smallen wrote, recorded and produced his latest album, Desolation, in his bedroom last winter. The self-released effort rips through dark, moody indie-folk songs that showcase a progression away from his formative band Street To Nowhere. “The Tower” is based around lush layers that reflect the urgent emotions within Smallen’s voice. The Oakland native (now based in LA) writes of the album on his website: “I’d suggest listening to it loud, in the dark, at a time when you find yourself very much alone.” Good advice.
California singer-songwriter Aaron Embry has been best known as the former pianist for Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, but the musician recently crafted his debut solo LP. “Moon Of the Daylit Sky” is a track from the upcoming effort – an introspective acoustic number that pays homage to artists like Elliott Smith and M. Ward. Tiny Prayers will be out on September 18 via Community Music (Edward Sharpe’s label).
Copenhagen artist Indians (real name Soren Juul) recently released a new single via his own label Twimm Records. The musician, who will play some shows in the States later this month, has titled the track “I Am Haunted,” and his moniker suits the pensive indie rock tune. The sparsely-lit song, which is strangely buoyant, features minimal instrumentation and Juul’s introspective croon – sort of like a less-orchestral Bon Iver.