Sun Kil Moon - Dramamine (Modest Mouse Cover)
Modest Mouse are one of those huge bands that most people seem to enjoy. I can’t claim to be a humongus fan but I do love the opening track Dramamine from their 1996 debut album This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About. Apparently dramamine is a motion sickness drug, which ties in to the concept of the album title rather nicely.
Sun Kil Moon covers this song changing the melody and progression of the original, playing up the tension with rhythm guitars and cymbal clashes. Mark Kozelek aka Sun Kil Moon makes Dramamine his own with this rendition and the result is vastly different, but grand in its own right.
Up Much Higher
Tim Fitz - Up Much Higher
One of the most promising new Australian acts to catch my attention in the past year is Tim Fitz. The man has already released 3 EPs since 2011 that are worthy of high rotation on ye olde iPod.
If you aren’t convinced that this song is up your alley, just check out his other releases on his bandcamp page. You really are spoiled for choice with the number of great tracks available. One of the beauties of his music is that no two tracks sound alike. There are a host of free and ‘name your price’ digital downloads available right now.
Fans of The Paper Kites will warm to this song very quickly and fans of more experimental production will surely enjoy Tim Fitz’s other work.
Wrapped in Piano Strings
Radical Face - Wrapped In Piano Strings
One song I know I will never tire of hearing is this one. Ben Cooper uses accordion, strings, guitar and yes, piano strings to pull at your heartstrings. Gothic subject matter is in its abundance on Radical Face’s debut concept album where narratives are told from the perspective of a ghost.
The 2006 album Ghost is not short of its fair share of classic songs. Welcome Home and Glory are just two other highlights worthy of a listen if this type of chill is up your alley.
K’naan, J. Period & Bob Dylan - Don’t Think Twice (Messengers Remix)
Not often does heartfelt folk and hip hop cross paths like this, which is why this version of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice is so special. When Somali/Canadian artist K’naan teamed up with mixtape extraordinaire J. Period in 2009 to create a mixtape, it soon became evident that the emcee/singer would draw on influences ranging generations, genres and continents to promote his message of peace.
Bob Marley and Fela Kuti join Bob Dylan as artists that have influenced K’naan’s musical pursuits. In turn, he pays homage to all three musicians on The Messengers mixtape project, where this song appears.
The Messengers version of Don’t Think Twice transcends age groups and musical preferences to appeal to people from all walks of life, and in doing so, enables the timeless music of Bob Dylan to be rediscovered by a new group of fans, while giving K’naan some well-deserved recognition.
Even If We Try
Night Beds - Even If We Try
If a slight breeze were to blow, or a drop of rain were to fall anywhere near this song, it just might break - that’s how delicate it is.
Night Beds are a band based in Tennessee, consisting of Winston Yellen, Ben Kaufman, Aly Holland, Ryan Ellis, Joe Hutchinson, Taylor Zachry. This track surfaced a few months back in November and admittingly, I completely forgot about it until hearing it again recently. The timing could not be riper, as Night Beds are due to release their first full length album after ten years of making music together and a slew of EPs. Keep an ear out if you like what you hear, as Country Sleep came out of February 5th.
Fans of Bon Iver, Youth Lagoon and Jeff Pianki are sure to find pleasure in this tender, minimalist, falsetto-laden lullaby.
Download - Even If We Try (control-click & save as)
Local Natives - Ceilings
Since the Local Natives’ new album Hummingbird leaked two days ago, things have been pretty quiet on the blog front. I’m going to write about one of my favourite tracks on the LP and hope that Frenchkiss Records don’t hunt me down over this one.
Ceilings is an absolute gift from start to finish. The balanced concoction of guitar and synth combined with dreamy riffs and harmonies makes it approachable, replayable and remedial all in one.
Remember that Hummingbird is officially released on January 26th and I would strongly recommend purchasing that album if you like what you hear. It is well worth the purchase.
I haven’t done this in a while, but I think I’ll share the lyrics of Ceilings with you.
“Haven’t stopped your smoking yet
So I’ll share your cigarette
Just to feel it in my fingers
Walk around ‘til 3 am
Tell me what I know again
To keep myself from second guessing
All my silver dreams bring me to you
Hold the summer in your hands
‘Til the summer turns to sand
We were staring at our ceilings
Thinking of what we’d give to have one more day of sun,
One day of sun
Silver dreams bring me to you [x3]”
Gregory And The Hawk
Gregory And The Hawk - Sleeping States
Lately, I have been unable to stop listening to Gregory And The Hawk’s new album Come, Now.
Sleeping States is the lead single from the new LP and it is an easy listen that revolves around a catchy chorus and Meredith Godreau’s sweet vocals. Meredith’s voice is hard to resist and she has a definite skill for songwriting. Her bedroom recordings are hardly lo-fi and Come, Now is definitely a CD worth purchasing.
Recommended for fans of Emma Lousie and Stars
The April Maze - And We Danced
Purity seems to be a mythical ideal as you grow older, more cynical and less naïeve. It becomes more obsolete than a flitting memory from your childhood but it is no less important.
The reason for my lamentations on purity can be traced back to this beautiful track from Melbourne-based husband and wife duo The April Maze and their unique sound that seems to capture that whimsical idea so vividly.
The sentiment is simple, the production basic, but the sound of the harmonised vocals and melody makes for an extremely enjoyable listen with definite playback value.
Since my dad showed me this flattering article of the group last weekend I haven’t been able to stop listening to And We Danced and the song has strengthened my faith in the capacity for amazing musicians to gain the recognition that they deserve from mainstream media sources.