Aug 31, 2011

Love The Way You Walk Away-Blitzen Trapper

Brilliant new slice of Americana from the new album from Blitzen Trapper.

Aug 24, 2011

Come To The City-The War On Drugs

I'll get straight to the point. The new album from The War On Drugs, "Slave Ambient", is amazingly good. I stone cold modern classic. Here is a great new video for one of the stand out tracks in "Come To The City". Just listen to that drumming!

Aug 21, 2011

Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped-Moonface

It's there in the title. It is what it is and yet it's not. It's so much more. Spencer Krug (as Moonface) has crafted a gem of an album, one built on constant lines and pulsing builds. It all seems so simple, yet it unfolds and explodes with never ending delight. This 5 song cycle is proof yet again, if it was ever needed, that there are few musicians or songwriters on this very earth that can touch the talents that Spencer Krug possesses.

"Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped" was singularly written and recorded by Krug, with the mixing done by Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes) at his Breakglass Studios in Montreal. The vocals are all Krug's, bar for help from Camilla Wynne Ingr on "Fast Peter". All five songs are between 6 and 8 minutes long, they are patient songs with slow build ups and long burning fuses. They are hypnotic and even somewhat drone like in parts. But they are also melodic and finely tuned. Like all Krug compositions there is an underlying darker tone and also a cryptic nature. There is poetry and beauty, even if it is melancholy and slightly disturbed. But hey, that's probably the best kind. Opening song "Return To The Violence Of The Ocean Floor" is a trembling, quivering, stalking beast of a song. Little organ flourishes keep raising the stakes as Spencer sings of his crumbling and disappearing spirit. The theme of aquatics resumes in "Whale Song (Song Instead Of A Kiss), an ominous tune that begins darkly and gets darker. The lyrics are dark as well, but truly poetic. "And I could see you've made a garden from the flowers growing out of my remains". When the organ goes into overdrive at around the 6 minute mark my heart skips a beat. Middle song "Fast Peter" is not only the most pop friendly song on the album it is also the least cryptic lyrically. It apparently was taken directly from a conversation Spencer had with a friend named Peter who was leaving town to pursue the girl he loves. It's basically a love story and a true one at that. "Shit-Hawk In The Snow" ups the tempo with a jet propelled melodic line that is both trance like and compelling. "Watching seagulls in the blizzard makes me see how much I miss her". We close with "Loose Heart=Loose Plan", a slow combustible song that establishes a groove and doesn't let go until the end. This is quite simply, a great record. All five songs are compelling and deserve your undivided attention. There is heart and beauty here. I advise you to explore.

Aug 20, 2011

Australian Goodness

Last month saw the release of "Rain On The Humming Wire", the new album from The Panics. I'm still digesting it and getting to know it better, but I absolutely love the opening track.
"Majesty" is aptly titled, a slice of greatness.

Next week sees the release of "Yearlings", album number two from Sydney's Dead Letter Chorus. Here is their brand new single and video for "All Mine". It's wonderful.

Aug 18, 2011

Taller Than You Then-The Paper Scissors

OK, right now, without doubt my favourite Australian album of 2011 is "In Loving Memory" by Sydney's very wonderful The Paper Scissors. It's an exciting, revelatory, pulsating jumble of a record. It rocks and it fuses soul and funk with great creativity. Here is a live version of one of the stand out tracks from the album. "Taller Than You Then", a cranking number from a great album. I highly recommend you buy this record!

Aug 17, 2011

So American-Portugal. The Man

I'm really enjoying the brand new album from Portugal. The Man. "In The Mountain In The Cloud" is groovy and felicious. Here is an acoustic version of the wonderful opening track in "So American". Please enjoy!

Aug 13, 2011

New Song From Feist

It's been a while coming. Four years really. But October 4 will see the release of "Metals", the new album from Feist. Today featured the premiere of the first song from the album. "How Come You Never Go There". It's delicious!
How Come You Never Go There by Feist

Aug 12, 2011

I Guess We Lost-Okkervil River

Far From Home Ep#17 Okkervil River "I Guess We Lost" from Into The Woods on Vimeo.

The very wonderful, and very busy, Okkervil River, peforming "I Guess We Lost" in Portland in June. Very excited to see them again in October!

Aug 10, 2011


I haven't been a big fan of Girls in the past, but I am really enjoying this great song off their forthcoming album.

Aug 6, 2011

Dead Letter Chorus News (Album and Tour Dates)

It's not far away now peoples. Sydney's Dead Letter Chorus have album number two due for release this month. August 26 to be exact. "Yearlings" was recorded over 8 months beginning in May 2010 with Canadian producer Les Cooper. You have probably already heard the singles released over the preceding months in "Covered By Snow", "Run Wild" (the one on the Toyota ads) and "Yellow House". All bouncing with melody and passion. Soon now you will have the album. I have been listening to the album recently and it's pretty great. I particularly love the the two closing tracks on the record. Both brimming with soul and fire. Further to that, the band have announced some tour dates to help you enjoy it in the live arena. I strongly recommend you see them live. They are always great!

Yearlings Track Listing
1 Covered By Snow
2 All Mine
3 Run Wild
4 I Belong To You
5 Underdog
6 Yellow House
7 The Changing Tides
8 Gently Weeping
9 The Poet and the Thief
10 Edge of Town

Tour Dates
September 16, Speakeasy, Perth
September 30, Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
October 1, Kings X Cross Hotel, Sydney
October 6, Old Museum, Brisbane

Aug 5, 2011

Spacetime-Gardens & Villa

"Spacetime" by Gardens & Villa from Secretly Jag on Vimeo.

I'm really enjoying the debut self titled album from Gardens & Villa. Here is a video from the album for the song "Spacetime".

Aug 3, 2011

Grouplove @ Oxford Art Factory

Fun with a capital F! That was Wednesday night at the Oxford Art Factory. Los Angeles 5 piece Grouplove were on their maiden voyage to Australia. It was a short trip and this was their last night. But they made the most of it. A hour of power packed pop, enjoyed by all and seemingly the very band itself. They were smiling and laughing, bouncing and dancing through out. Totally appreciative of the rapturous reception they were receiving. The band has only one record out, a 5 song EP they released last year. But their debut album "Never Trust A Happy Song" is due out in September. So they gave us a taste of both and it tasted so good.

Grouplove write melodic songs filled with bounce and charisma. Their music is happy but not light. It is not terribly complicated, but it is spot on through out. I could compare them to Cloud Control, but with a lot more energy and variety. So, yes better. Boy do they have energy. And spirit. Lead singer Christian Zucconi is a pulsing effort in motion, whilst keyboardist Hannah Hooper is shiny and happy to the extreme. For a young band they are very tight and muscular. Highlights were the delectable "Naked Kids" and new robust songs in "Itchin' on a Photograph" and "Spun". Of course the major stand out was the encore song, the 'hit'. "Colours" is a furious whirlwind of a song. Its taut rhythm and driving melody blowing up the venue. I look forward to the new album and their future career. Burning brightly.

Set List
Don't Say Oh Well
Lovely Cup
Itchin' on a Photograph
Love Will Save Your Soul
Gold Coast
Naked Kids
Betty's a Bombshell
Tongue Tied


Support was provided by another California five piece. Young the Giant. I didn't have big expectations, but they were actually very enjoyable. Good melodies and a similar level of enjoyable energy. Good stuff.

Aug 2, 2011

Roadside Graves

Roadside Graves are from New Jersey. Their music feeds the soul. Recently Autumn Tone released album number 4 from the band in the shape of "We Can Take Care Of Ourselves". It was inspired by S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders" and was recorded in Brooklyn and New Jersey. It is a real touchstone of American soulful rock. Pure and honest.
Please enjoy a track from the album.

MP3: Double Feature-Roadside Graves