I can’t resist an Elliott Smith cover. And what a lovely rendition of “Between the Bars” by songstress Agnes Obel. Born and raised in Denmark, she now lives in Berlin and recently made her US debut at SXSW this year. Her simple and very beautiful voice reminds me of other emerging songbirds like Lia Ices and Laura Viers. Her debut album Philharmonics, was released earlier this year to much critical acclaim. Check it out the track “Riverside” and you’ll see what I mean.
I’m obsessed with this track from LA-based Frankel, the brain child of Michael Orendy – singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Given the celebrity centered lifestyle of that city, it’s not hard to imagine how an album and song with such a title could come to exist.
Anonymity is the New Fame, is Frankel’s sophmore release out now on Autum Tone Records. I’ve enjoyed everything he has put out so far and this is no exception. His sound is decidedly low key and easy-going, like a sunnier, happier version of Elliott Smith.
Go get it on iTunes or Autumn Tone Records and enjoy.
“I Can See The Future”:
“Somehow they all got it wrong/ and they all seem to like it that way/ I let it go on too long/ and I forgot what I really meant to say/ and it feels like I’m lying/ and I don’t even know the truth….”
No doubt about it, the Buddy EP hooked me on Iran. The combination of Kyp Malone’s (of TV on the Radio) masterful guitar work and the pathos laden lyrics of frontman Aaron Aites works for me – utterly and completely. I wouldn’t call Iran a side project however, this band is actually a pre-cursor to TVOTR. Dissolver is their third release and is fairly classic in it’s construction – catchy, melodramatic pop-tinged lyrics dragged through lots of rock swagger. Very reminiscent of Pavement, which is perhaps why I like it so much. They’re not breaking any barriers with their sound here, but the familiarity feels really, really good.
“Buddy” is certainly a stand out track for me. To say I’m obsessed with it is an understatement. “Airport ’79”, (reportedly an epilogue of sorts to John Lennon’s “Airport ’77”) is another excellent song that’s been stuck in my head all week with it’s distorted, fuzzy guitar and catchy refrain ‘you won’t know who I am/ ’cause you don’t know who I am’. Much of the album has that ballad-like quality which showcases Aaron Aites true lyrical talent. It’s lovely.
The New Pornographers melody maker, A.C. (Carl) Newman has released his second solo album, Get Guilty, on Matador Records and it’s one of the many great albums released in the past few weeks that has consistently bubbled to the top of my playlist day after day. The songs are beautifully produced, orchestral and lush without being overdone. And his powerful pop lyrics are so catchy and charming you could almost liken him a modern day Elton John. This is the kind of stuff that will get stuck in your head all day long.
But don’t let the ‘pop’ reference mislead you here, there is no shortage of craft and genius on this album. Just as with The New Pornographers, the parts of this production are as impressive as the sum. With the aid of drummers Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Mountain Goats) and Charles Burst along with Nicole Atkins and Mates of State’s Kori Gardner lending some vocals, songs like “There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve” and “The Heartbreak Rides” are transformed into pure magic.
A.C. Newman plays The Independent in San Francisco February 28.
You know how annoying it is when you diligently track new music from your favorite blogs, hear something you get excited about, then can’t find it because the album isn’t even released yet? Well, I’m sorry but I’m about to do that to you right now.
I just can’t help myself on this one though. Peasant’s, On the Ground, was a little gem sent to me from Paper Garden Records last month and I cannot stop listening to it. Unfortunately for you, it’s not available until January 27, 2009. But you can pre-order here now.
Peasant is the musical alter-ego of Damien DeRose from Doylestown, PA. And you can’t help but think Elliott Smith when you hear his beautiful lyrics and delicate acoustic arrangements float by. I’m completely obsessed with the song, ‘Birds‘.
Based upon his upcoming engagements to promote the album, it appears I’m not the only one obsessed. He just recorded studio sessions with Daytrotter (known for helping to launch emerging bands like Of Montreal, Vampire Weekend, Tokyo Police Club, Spoon, and A Place To Bury Strangers), and is scheduled to record live sessions on WOXY and LaundroMatinee as well. Oh, and let’s not forget his upcoming music placement on the new Showtime series “United States of Tara.”
So go get it already! Pre-order here.
Check out the Daytrotter recordings here.