i just had to let you know that Carrie & Lowell, the new album by Sufjan Stevens, is streaming right now over at NPR, The Guardian and Pitchfork. it is a wonderful, wonderful album – i have already played it twice today.
i must apologise for dropping the ball on Mid Week Distraction this week, it pained me to do it – but things have been too crazy round here. there are only 7 working days left of the year in my personal calendar, and of course EVERYONE wants their projects finished before people go on leave. not to mention social commitments like seeing family and friends and attending christmas parties (and buying gifts!) and the whole toot. so needless to say i haven’t even glanced over the internet this past week, so there are actually no distractions to be had…
i know it’s not August YET. but on friday it will be, and today i can’t stop thinking about it. August. A U G U S T. so, here’s a music mix to celebrate!
today i discovered the music of London based Italian-English singer Valentina. i know literally nothing about her (google has failed me, i guess) but you can buy her EP Wolves, which is out now on iTunes, and also listen to snippets of it on her label’s soundcloud page. watch the videos for Wolves and Ladders below, and don’t tell me you’re not entranced.
well i promised that i would be sharing more music on this here blog (still contemplating those music mixes…) so let me introduce you to London Grammar, if you haven’t heard of them already. they are a trio from London with the amazing Hannah on vocals. there are only have two tracks out so far, but you can pre-order their debut Metal & Dust which is actually releasing next week. based on these two songs that’s something you’re going to be wanting to do right away.
it seems fitting that my first music post of the year is about a newish South African band called Al Bairre. these guys are based in Cape Town too, so I suppose that makes it doubly awesome. Al Bairre is made up of 5 talented youngsters – Tom Kotze, Julia Johnson, Tessa Johnson, Nicholas Preen and Kyle Davis – who combine cello, violins, guitars, ukelele’s and drums to create what they call Symphonic Indie Rock.
Aggressively unfancy band from the mother city. We have nice hair and like ugly things. Drawing influence from bands such as Arcade Fire, Ra Ra Riot, Vampire Weekend and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, the goal was to take an indie band and turn it into an “ice cream of orchestral sounds”
listen to the rest of the EP at their Soundcloud page.
Rose Blake is a brilliant illustrator whose new portfolio website i was perusing when i noticed a link inviting you to buy her paintings, leading me to a little project she calls Playlist / Painting. basically Rose makes a painting and then also compiles a playlist to go along with it. unfortunately for me Spotify is not available in South Africa, but most of you will probably be able to go have a good listen to her cool playlists while looking at some rad paintings.
Rose also has another side project called Studio Music that ‘provides an insight into the creative process of visual practitioners, through the music that they listen to whilst working.’ each person contributes a playlist which you can listen to. what a GREAT idea.
a wonderful reader, Heather, put me onto to Brooklyn based songstress Sydney Wayser, whose new album Bell Choir Coast is, simply put, track after track of RAD. have a listen to Potions below (the video premiered on Time entertainment last week) and be sure to buy her entire album here.
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The Parlour Suite sent me an email to tell me about their new album Everyone’s Looking which is dropping this coming weekend. i can’t tell you how flattered i am to be approached by talented people making good music.
The Parlour Suite is the surf-pop project, formed by Mpls (Minneapolis) husband-wife team, Joel and Inga Roberts, and supported on drums by Joshua Perez. The stories in the album are reflective of the cityscapes & sun soaked beaches that our tours have brought us to. Skateboarding on the boardwalk in Venice Beach & flipping thru CD’s at Earwax Records in Brooklyn. The songs are a bit of an escape from the winters in Mpls. We are set to hit the road with the album in April… bringing the songs back to the cities & places that are woven throughout the record.
a lovely album to listen to on a spring day – since the northern hemisphere is starting to thaw and flowers are beginning to bloom… i’m sure you guys are going to enjoy this. listen to it here or press play below.
couldn’t find a great pic of them so i just made this up
continuing with my music sharing, i thought i’d introduce you to Beatenberg – a band from good ol’ Cape Town, South Africa. if you’re a local you have probably heard of these guys and may have been lucky enough to see them live. if you are one of my international readers perhaps you haven’t heard of them, in which case – enjoy. if you’re into a paul simonesque / vampire weekendy / john mayerish (minus the douchebaginess) sorta sound then this is for you.
[for those of you reading via RSS there are some tunes embedded below. click through to listen]
okay, it’s official, i have found my favourite website in the world. Simon Foster is a designer and former DJ who has rolled his love of design and music into the magically epic Decorated Playlists. i have already made my way through Run For Cover Part One and Part Two featuring cover songs 99% of which i didn’t even know existed. not only is the music selection superb (and highly educational) – the site is an absolute dream to use.
i have to thank everyone for all your wonderful emails, comments and tweets in the past month regarding the music mixes. i didn’t realise how much they meant to so many of you (a fact that makes my heart explode in double rainbows) and i’m really happy to know that the playlists encouraged you to go out and buy albums, see concerts and support the artists who you came to love just from hearing a couple of their songs.
so – here it is. a new music mix that’s been one month in the making. thanks for waiting! there are some treats in here for you, including new songs from beirut, best coast, dent may, clap your hands say yeah and the middle east, as well as my favourite track from the new bon iver album. caveman is also an exciting new band who i’m keen to hear more from.
i hope this sets off your weekend on a good note. have a great one.
Wild Horses. playlist:
- Atlas Genius – Trojans
- Beirut – East Harlem
- Best Coast – Gone Again
- Dent May – Fun
- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Same Mistake
- Caveman – December 25th
- Bon Iver – Towers
- The Middle East – Hunger Song
- Mister Heavenly – Pineapple Girl
- Holiday Shores – Spells
- Light Vibes – Wish We Had
- High Highs – Open Season
- Wintercoats – Windmill
all music is for sampling purposes only – please go out and buy the artists’ records & support them at their shows!
i admittedly don’t know anything about kiki dee apart from the fact that she makes up the other half in elton john’s fabulous don’t go breaking my heart. yep, fabulous. i’m unsure how to explain why this was happening in the first place… but today i was going down a weird rabbit hole of elton john image search results in google (some of which are horrifying by the way) and happened upon these press photos of miss dee looking like a fox.
in lieu of the fact that the music mixes are currently on hiatus i thought it would be a good idea to share some tunes with you that have been making my happy lately. nothing new here though, folks. i’ve only been entertaining the oldies.
PS: i can’t believe i haven’t included a Queen track in any of the mixes yet. i loved Queen so much growing up that my best friend and i staged a musical performing our favourite songs to our parents… i think they loved it (or they were just being really polite). you’re my best friend is a particular favourite because i always used to sing along to it in my mom’s car (it was the only cassette tape she had in there) and whenever it comes on now i feel like a 10 year old again.
elton john is another one of those dudes whose music makes me so happy, even though so many of his songs are rather bittersweet. the fact that i can sing along to them at the top of my voice probably does it for me.
(love how he dances at 1:10)