Archive for December 2009

don’t know if the end of the year isn’t too close

28 December 2009

I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow. an internetless week (and happy to be having one). But I’m pretty sure that means I won’t be able to finish my list before the end of 2009. I still have to pack and stuff… If I have some time left tomorrow, I’ll maybe manage.

But i don’t think so.

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End of 2009: 30 – 21

26 December 2009

I planned on finishing this before tomorrow, but I’m having not enough time to do it like I did for numers 50 – 31. So, the next texts are gonna be shorter, very short. Just a sentence and a song. Hope you don’t mind.

30. Megafaun – Gather, Form And Fly (Home Tapes)

What? Band rooted in indie country, but opening up to a whole array of genres

Megafaun – Solid Ground

29. Alec Ounsworth – Mo Beauty (ANTI-records)

What? Clap Your Hands Say Yeah-man goes solo and ‘nasals’ his way to heavy pretention pop. (but not as heavy as his other project Flashy Python)

Alec Ounsworth – Idiot in The Rain

Bonus song:

Alec Ounsworth – Wide Awake (one of my favourite songs ever, from unreleased early demos by Ounsworth)

28. Magnolia Electric Co – Josephine (Secretly Canadian)

What? Jason Molina grows a mustache and turns into a sad country-band.

Magnolia Electric Co – Whip-Poor-Will

27. Elvis Perkins – Elvis Perkins in Dearland (XL Recordings)

What? Johnny Flynn’s american twin brother didn’t impress me with his debut, but this album is an emotional joyride.

Elvis Perkins – Shampoo

26. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below (Rough Trade)

What? Not sure if this hippie stuff deserves to be so high, but the song ‘Home’ deluded me, by becoming the song i listened to the most in 2009.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home

25. M. Ward – Hold Time (Merge Records)

What? M. Ward keeps going. We keep listening.

M. Ward – For Beginners

24. Doug Paisley – Doug Paisley (No Quarter records)

What? Folky singer-songwriter makes a strong debut album and sounds timeless alltogether .

Doug Paisley – Diggin’ In the Ground

23. The Burning Hell – Baby (WEewerk Records)

What? Ukelele is the sound to base your career on. And sounding like Bill Callahan who’s trying comedy.

the Burning Hell – Everything Will Probably Be OK

22. Cotton Jones – Paranoid Cocoon (Suicide Squeeze)

What? Page France waves goodbye to indie brothers Death cab For Cutie and say hello to the sixties. Is that the Doors?

Cotton Jones – By Morning Light

21. Andrew Bird – Noble Beast (Fat Possum)

What? I hear a whistle in my ear, and a violin in my eye.

Andrew Bird  – Oh No

End of 2009: 40 – 31

23 December 2009

And the list goes on…

40. Andrew jackson Jihad – Can’t  Maintain (Asian Man Recordings)

What? Folkpunk opens their bloody doors to wider horizons.

Andrew Jackson Jihad have made my list before in 2007, cause back then they made a huge impression on me with their Fuck-in-your-face Folk punk. The songs were about murders, misantropy and other difficult words that we can’t spell properly. This year they have released at least 2 albums (but I think more), which shows progression in the musical genre. ‘Can’t Maintain’ is no longer 1.2.3 and then 2 minutes of guitar ragging, but it’s got trumpets and kazoos, and all other instruments. They seemed to have traded in some energy for empathy (i just say that because it sounds good, it does not make sense), and made a good album while doing so. Is that the Mountain Goats yelling “This is our sound!”?

Andrew Jackson Jihad – Sense, Sensibility

39.  Haruko – Wild Geese (Bracken Records)

What? The usual folky woman in my list.

I think that if you compare all my end-of-year lists, you will always find at least 1 folky woman in it. Although I can remember that I once said to one of my friends that I don’t listen to female singers that often (I really don’t), the female artist I do listen to, are mostly mesmerizing. Haruko certainly is. I must admit: I don’t know much more about her, and I haven’t listened to ‘Wild Geese’ that often, cause I only discovered it late in the year. But after a first listen, I decided that it HAD to be in the list. That doesn’t happen that often. For fans of Alela Diane, Mariee Sioux and the rest of the bunch.

Haruko – Goodbye My Love, Goodbye

38. Volcano Choir – Unmap (Jagjaguwar)

What? Justin Vernon’s trip down memory lane

I wonder if ‘Unmap’ would ever had been released if Bon Iver hadn’t been so famous? It wouldn’t be completely fair, cause I’m pretty sure that this album will eventually prove to be more timeless than ‘For Emma, Ever Again’, although that could be because we’ve played that last album a time too many. Volcano Choir is too experimental for most people I guess, with songs that don’t have a chorus or just are based upon sounds, but that also means that there is much more to discover by each listen. Everytime I listen to this, it seems that it’s something I’ve never heard before, like some strange new species that looks a lot like a crane bird or a dog, but just not fits the description.

Volcano Choir – Island, Is

37. Gregory Alan Isakov – This Empty Northern Hemisphere (self-released)

What? Heartbreaking singersongwriter eternity

We’ve been doing for about a century now, or even longer, and still people can pull it off to be amazing. Just making simple songs with guitar and sparse instrumentation, and then still getting to the core of things. Gregory Alan Isakov is a name that has to be known by everyone who loves singersongwriters, because he’s one of the best out there, but no one has any clue about who he is. He doesn’t even have a label (order his cd on CD Baby). The songs are heartwarming, without ever being all that special or weird. Just songs. I like that at times.

Gregory Alan Isakov – Evelyn

36. The Cave Singers – Welcome Joy ( Matador Records)

What? Beard fights!

The beard has become a fashion statement in the indie scene. It separates the city slickers from the hippies, it separates the cool poppunk-sound from the folky-rock sound. It is probably no surprise that the Cave Singers have beards.  Next to folky songs with banjos, they have foot stomping folkrock. oh my oh my, what an amount of foot stomping I have done listening to ‘Welcome Joy’. So hard that my foot has turned into a stomp. Am I by the only one who sometimes has to think of Kings of Leon?

Cave Singers – At the Cut

35. Dent May & His Ukelele – The Good Feeling Music Of Dent May and His Ukelele (Paw tracks)

What? Melo-drama on a ukelele

Guys who play the ukelele are wussies (I play one too, so I’m allowed to say that). They are dreamers, who make cut-out hearts and spread them anonymously in the streets, hoping to find their true love this way. Dent May sounds in love. He’s actually the twin brother of Jens Lekman, who can be sooo amazingly corny that you feel ashamed in his place. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good music. Dent May is this guy who walks in the streets of Paris with Jens Lekman and Stephan Merritt. Actually, a lot of songs of this album could have been one of the 69 tracks on ’69 Lovesongs’ by Magnetic Fields. Oh, and the canary loves this the most so far.

Dent May – Oh Paris!

34. Julie Doiron – I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day (Jagjaguwar Records)

What? Great-Grandmother of female singer-songwriters waves at Kimya Dawson on the bus

Julie Doiron is special to me, but in some weird kind of way none of her previous albums was good enough to end up at my end-of-years list. But this one…oh my, there are no fillers here. It sounds all amazing. It’s especially fun to hear how she pulls out the electric guitar once in a while, to end up with a song that grabs you by the balls (and who doesn’t love that, especially if it’s Julie Doiron). She seems to sound a bit more like Kimya Dawson, with that difference that Doiron can sing. Doesn’t the song Consolation Prize by the way sound like something by Of Montreal?

Julie Doiron – Consolation Prize

33. Intelligence – Fake surfers (In The Red Records)

What? We hired a garage and made ourselves look like retards

Intelligence hired a garage and then made songs the way they have to sound when you’re making songs in a garage. Actually my first plan was to put Eat skull and Intelligence next to each other on spot 33, because of their fake feud this year, but actually ‘Fake Surfers’ was just a bit more convincing than the Eat Skull-record. So flatten your hair, put on your corduroy trousers and dance the polka, you golly fellows.

Intelligence – Moody Tower

32. Deer Tick – Born On Flag Day (Partisan Records)

What? cowboys don’t cry.

Bob Dylan made a christmas album. Fuck. Enough with that senile guy already. No matter how much people say it’s quite good, as soon as you start making christmas albums, you are off my list. Then you’ve got Richmond Fontaine, who didn’t really impress me with their newest album. Luckily there is Deer Tick, who manage to find the perfect balance between Countrysongs and Rocksongs. I guess the singer’s voice has got a lot to do with that. He sounds as if he smoked a pack of cigarettes (and by that, i mean the package instead of the cigarettes). Every album his voice gets rougher and rougher.

Deer Tick – Hell On Earth

31. Phosphorescent – To Willie (Dead Oceans)

What? Even more cowboys!

A Willie Nelson coveralbum! Yihaaa! Phosphorescent turned away from multilayered melancholy and made this album inbetween. You know how cowboys sound. I went to see their show in Antwerp last year, and ran into a colleague there. Then the show started and a couple of days later, the colleague came to me and said “what the hell was that? I felt like I ended up in a redneck bar”. He didn’t enjoy that, but well, he enjoyed the awful opening act (that’s the reason he was there even), so I didn’t take him all that serious. This album is fun.

Phosphorescent – Reasons To Quit

End of 2009: 50 – 41

22 December 2009

There are so many lists out there, that I don’t have the pretention that mine will be anymore outstanding than all those others. Still, for personal benefit and glory, and for you people who can’t get enough of lists or are constantly looking for new musical tips, I present you my list. It’s got probably some obscure names, so you can brag about it with friends.

50. Boat – Setting The Paces (Magic Marker Records)

What? More of the same  poppy madness

If I would be a poet, I’d say that Boat is the ship to party island, where we would dance with monkeys on wheels, and drink liquor with coconut flavour. Their previous album ended way higher in my list, but I think that their 50 spot (which is still good knowing that there was A lot of competition) mainly has to do with the surprise element missing. Still, the album is like confetti canons blown in your face. Awesome!

Boat – Lately (I’ve been on my Back)

49. Vetiver – Tight Knit (Sub Pop)

What? Slowly turning into the great wise uncle of the modern indie folk movement

Now that  Devendra Banhart is turning into something we didn’t really ask for (at least I didn’t), his buddy Andy Cabic is almost the only one left from the indie folk bands that appeared a couple of years ago en masse, that keeps making albums on a high level. Is it surprising music? No, it’s not. Is it good? It is. Heartwarming is actually the word that applies best to this wonderful folky pop tunes. We hear a lot of albums like these in a year, but most of them miss the glue. Vetiver however is superglue. It sticks and won’t let go, not even after surgery.

Vetiver – Everyday

48. Built To Spill – There is No Enemy (Warner Bros Records)

What? Why is this on a major label?

I’m constantly striving for the total annihilation of all the major labels, so I hope that Built To Spill will soon make the jump to a smaller label. I guess they’re still there because no one knows they have been making the guitar rock-based indie pop in which they excell. The suits who run the business will be surprised the day they find out that this band is still on their roster, thinking ‘Built To Spill’ was just a marketing expression they used among each others. Anyway, Doug Martsch and hsi band have been on a constant high level – even though the first three times I ever heard them (somewhere around 2004 I guess) I wasn’t that convinced. But since then, they’ve been slowly creeping up my veins.

Still, to show I have principles: no mp3 (they don’t offer one on their site, so I can’t link to that one) and no link to the label. Fuck them.

47. The Leisure Society – The Sleeper (Full Time Hobby)

What? Britain’s answer to the Shins

The Shins ‘Chutes Too Narrow’ is probably number one on my list of ‘Albums which i can singalong with from A to Z, though I have no idea what the lyrics are all about’ and also on the list of most played albums ever. (though it doesn’t beat Nick Drake). The Leisure Society reminds me a bit of James Mercer’s project, although it fits the new upcoming folky pop movement in Great Britain perfectly too (think of Mumford And Sons, Noah & The Whale, and all those banjo & Ukelele-playing bands).  It never gets really up-up-tempo or rock-slashy-fuck-raaaahww!, but it’s that mellowness I can really enjoy at times. 

The Leisure Society –  A Short Weekend Begins With Longing

46.  Aidan Moffat & The Best-Offs – How to Get to Heaven From Scotland (Chemikal Underground)

What? Hear Ye, Hear Ye! World’s Worst Singer makes Best Of List! … Or: Scottish Man Drinks himself to Dead and makes album about it.

Scotland is a land. Scotland is a land with people. Scotland is a land with people that drink. Scotland is a land with people that drink and sing. Scotland is a land with people that drink and sing as if they’re drunk. Scotland is a land with people that drink and sing as if they’re drunk, like e.g. Arab strap. Arab strap was Malcolm Middleton and Aidan John Moffat. Arab STrap is dead. Malcolm Middleton is a man that drinks and sings. Aidan John Moffat is a man that drinks and sings as if he’s drunk. Scotland is Aidan John Moffat.

Aidan John Moffat & The Best-Offs – Oh Men!

45. Dead Man’s Bones – S/T (Anti-records)

What? a bit heavy on the halloween theme, even using children choirs.

Let’s scare the hell out of people, that’s what Ryan Gosling (the actor that I had to look up on IMDB) and Zach Shields must have thought when they teamed up as Dead Man’s Bones and made this halloweeny album. They hired a children’s choir (that can sometimes turn out to be scary as hell), and managed to make an album that’s about death and whatever, but can be listened to everytime throughout the year. It’s indie music basically, a bit surfing on the waves of other indie drama queens like the Arcade Fire. Not sure if this will survive the years to come, but for now it turned out to be one of the nicest albums of the year.

Dead Man’s Bones -Dead Man’s Bones

44. The Dodos – Time To Die (French Kiss Records)

What? Keep up the rhythm guys

Ok, I must admit that the new Dodos album wasn’t nearly as catchy as the previous one, but still. It’s good.  I think the main point of concern is that the unique interaction between drums and acoustic guitar is being replaced by a more adult sound, and adults are boring. Adults are children who everyone hates. But anyway, on this album it’s still good (otherwise they wouldn’t have made the list). STill, Watch the future guys. The Minimalism of ‘Visiter’ is what made you stand out.

The Dodos –  The STrums

43. Woods – Songs of Shame (Woodsist Records)

What? What did the campfire smoke that day?

‘At Rear House’ was my number one record in 2007. Back then, no one had heard of Woods, but the sheer energy with which they made this weird psychedelic folk album absolutely mesmerized me. In the meanwhile they’ve climbed the letter of fame a little, though they still keep sounding like the campfire band you don’t want to have at your lounge party with campfire because vice Magazine said that was trendy. Their sound has become a bit more standard – you can recognize more songs – but the extreme falsetto is still not something you give to your parents for Christmas. the band is by the way responsible for the weirdest concert of the year.

Woods – Rain On

42. Wavves – Wavvves (Fat Possum)

What? Prototype for a Noise pop-revival that I’m getting tired of already

Wavves was on my Young Talent-list last year, and surely filled in expectations, but I must say I’ve quite had enough of it. The Noise pop explosion that followed in his tracks, with millions of bands popping up, and all doing the same shit. Okay, so you’re lo-fi and you rock, but stop it. LEt’s try something else next year. STill, The debut album by Wavves was the perfect soundtrack for a sunday morning waking up in your own vomit.

Wavves – Gun In The Sun

41. The Avett Brothers – i And Love And You (Columbia)

What? Major label doesn’t completely spoil the alt.country fun.

Aaargh, another major label relase. How stupid. Oh well, that means no mp3-linking (their own fault). Anyway, The Avett Brothers make fun bluegrass-styled music, but get a bit more mainstream on this album. But because they were a lot of fun, they are still a lot of fun, only slightly less. I’m not gonna say much more, cause major labels don’t like blogs merchandising their stuff (otherwise they would provide mp3’s or not sue people). So  all I can say is that the album is good, but that if you want to check it out, it’s at your own risk. I’m also happy to annoucne that I got this shit illegally. Ha!

On a Sidenote

21 December 2009

Fuck Fileden.

as you will see, some of the mp3’s on my Young Talents List are uploaded on Fileden, others on Mediafire. That’s because ****** Fileden is one of the lousiest sites out there. I’m going looking for alternatives with Direct Linking (Cause Mediafire lacks that unfortunate), maybe something I pay a small amount for. Stupid Internet.

To know why my opinion on Fileden is so awful: it took me 3 hours to upload 3 songs. In 21st century gigabith Ethernet flip flap that’s just not enough.

End of 2009: Young Talents

21 December 2009

So, after a lot of procrastination and seeing a LOT of other lists, I finally took up the courage to start sharing my list with you guys. It’s always a lot of work, but in the end very fulfilling.

First start with my young talents list. Last year, I predicted a bright future for Mumford and Sons, and I turned out to be a visionary man (The year before Bon Iver was my number 1). I must admit that I’m not that sure about this year’s artists or this year’s number one. there aren’t any artists that will go into indie mainstream, which doesn’t mean that they aren’t as great. In my entire list (including my top 50), there is one artist who I think will be spoken of a lot next year. I will tell you if we get to the artist.

But enough blah blah. my top 10 promising artists!

10. The Awful Truth – Object Permanence (The Orchid Collective)

What? Twenties anxiety in songs

Most artists start making music in their teen years, when they are full of teenage angst, screaming to become an adult cause their growing brains are killin’ them. As soon as they’re 18, they realize how stupid their grieving was, and they will put aside their instrument to chase a life full of disappointment. But what do you do with the cynicism or regrets when you’re in your twenties? I guess you would make albums like The Awful truth. It sounds like songs from a grown-up, but not yet adult enough to believe that this is well-thought of. It seems to deal with growing pains, but not in the “fuck man, i wanna kill myself” kind of way. The voice sounds a bit like Destroyer, Thanksgiving and Adam Lipman. And maybe a little bit of Love Letter Band. This could end up to be a great promsie, but ‘Object Permanence’ is already charming enough to deserve your attention.

The Awful Truth – Growin’ Old

9. The Daredevil Christopher Wright – In Deference To A Broken Back (Amble Down Records)

What? Stretch those vocal chords and join the circus

Daredevil Christopher wright is not an androgynous man singing about his days at the circus, although you could think that after a first listen. After closer inspection it turns out to be a trio, with vocal cords being stretched like it’s a carnival act. Especially when he’s doing the falsetto thing, you could – this is gonna be a very bad joke and i’m apologizing already – think someone is juggling his balls. (told you it was bad). The music is kind of like a circus too, cause it bounces around like elephants on little tiny bikes that are bouncing around in big circus tents. If I wouldn’t be feeling the urge of talking about circuses, I’d call the music on ‘In Deference to A Broken Back’ theatre. Well-orchestrated stuff, if you know what i mean. There are quite some references to christian things, and having seen the documentary on Danielson just this weekend, i’m kind of eager to use that band as a reference, although it’s not that extreme.

The Daredevil Christopher Wright – The East Coast

8. The Love Language – The Love Language (Bladen Country Records)

What? Cucumber bubblegum chewed by Lo-fi afficionados

I can imagine you reading the description, and really wondering how cucumber bubblegum tastes. I think it’s kind of edgy. And bubblegum is catchy. This means that The Love Language is catchy edgy music, and with a lo-fi feel. Woohoo, it matches my definition of great music. This debut album gives me the happy wave your hands in the meadows on a hot summer day- feel. It’s hard to come up with comparisons, but some of the songs remind me of what Swedish pop people like Jens Lekman & Suburban Kids with Biblical Names would make if they had to live in a basement. I also saw Wavves & No Age pop up as reference, but this is not even close to their kind of lo-fi noisyness. No, this just has a smile your head off while being shot at on a carnival ride-feel. Boat, they’ve got a bit of Boat. And some band I can’t come up with right now.

The Love Language – Sparxxx

7. DM Stith – Heavy Ghost (Asthmatic Kitty)

What? Cabaret is this year’s trend

We’re four bands far in my year list, and I’m already starting to repeat myself. But well, DM Stith is kind of theater as well. He is the arty farty street performer, who can bring ghouls back to life. How that musically can be defined? Well, you all like Grizzly Bear don’t you? It’s like them, but then more  Department of eagles. It makes you dance in a weird standing still kind of way, falling in between the layers of the songs, and then finding out that your name doesn’t have to be Alice to get in Wonderland. You don’t need drugs to see big toads talking to you. A bit of DM Stith will do the trick.

DM Stith – Pity Dance

6. Caddywhompus – EP (Self-released)

What? Morning Benders and Animal Collective have a Love Baby

While Indie kids are jerking off on Animal Collective and other too cool for fools-bands, I tend to take the time to go out there in the digital jungle to find what’s gonna be hot next. It’s not always easy, swimming in a pool of endless music sources, and drowning because the music at the bottom of the pool is pulling you down. But once in a while you find these bands that look like bubbles. You can inhale them, so that you can swim on for another 15 seconds before Game Over appears on the Screen. Caddywhompus, that sounds like a rough version of “Band that is gonna be big next year because they signed to a bigger indie label” Morning Benders. We’ll see them in 2 years, next to Jumbling Towers. Thank Aninsideoutsock for the early Adopter-opportunities. You can tell your friend you knew bands before they were cool, and call them a fool! Oh, and this EP is downloadable for free on their website!

Caddywhompus –  Untitled #4708

5. Lee Baggett (or lee Gull?)- Burn’r (RAD Records through Marriage Records)

What? Electric guitar slacking on the front porch

Is it weird to find out that Lee Baggett is part of Little Wings? Not really. He’s got that strange charming monotony that only real music lovers love, cause other people think it’s deadly boring (that’s what some of my friends would say). I think Baggett recorded this album while he sat on the front porch, a long extension chord coming from his amp inside. And while watching the sun setting and the three-legged dog slumping to his drinking bowl filled with multiple layers of dust, he just starts jamming and singin’ with his friend.  And without even knowing it, ends up with extremely catchy songs. (Though next time, keep low on the solo instrumentals).

NOTE: he doesn’t seem to have a MySpace. I guess he was too busy jammin’.

Lee Gull – Clover Hill

4. Au – Versions (EP) (Aagoo Records)

What? Experimental is a dirty word if you don’t wash it.

I’ve kept the experimental segment of my musical journey low this year. That has got to do with most indie music becoming more experimental already, and realizing that it’s stuff i just don’t listen to that often, even though I enjoy it. Question is if Au is really that weird and trippy. It’s a bit more offbeat than Animal Collective or Akron/family, but e.g. ‘Ida Walked Away’ is quite standard. Au only tends to freak out once in a while, but does it in a standardly awesome way. If standardly is not a word, It fits a description of Au perfectly. Akron/Family: watch your steps.

Au – Ida Walked Away

3. A Paper Cup Band – Detroit Vs Farming (Anti-Civ Records)

What? I never heard of a band that calls himself after some weird dead object..It’s like calling yourself Pavement, stupid!

Ok, I guess no one will get the What-description, though it means nothing more than that ‘A Paper Cup Band’ sounds like Pavement. But that’s only in one song. In another they sound like The Donkeys, and in another they sound like Of Montreal, and then they sound like a honky Tonky band. It’s as if they’ve been drinking from a glass of spit from all the indie that’s out there, and then tried to guess whose spit they tasted. Actually that’s a rather good concept for an album. Then again, a title like Detroit Vs Farming puts it very well as well. city versus countryside. Pyjama versus sleeping naked.

A paper cup Band – Drunks And Poets

2. Gregory Pepper & his Problems –  with Trumpets Flaring (Fake Four Inc)

What? Someone’s gotta to be the new Unicorns

You know who I hate? Nick Thornburn. For not fully admitting that he wants to make catchy pop songs and instead comes up with artsy fartsy disastrous albums (and some good side projects, okay okay). But from now on, there is no reason for despair anylonger, cause Gregory Pepper & His Problems are here! He’s Canadian, he looks a bit like Thornburn. We can all turn away from Thornburn now and listen to Pepper’s catchiness. Like Peppermint catchy. It’s not his first album, so I’m not sure whether he sounded like the Unicorns on his first album and this is his debut as Islands, but I hopen ot, cause that would mean that his next album would be awful. Still, Pepper is the way to go for now. Go Pepper go.

Gregory Pepper & His Problems – Drop The Plot

1. Squanto – Go Go Gadget Grass Stains (Self-released)

What ? Bedroom robots singing about their home planet

It’s sad to say, but I’m pretty sure that by the end of next year almost no one will know Squanto. That’s because Squanto is untouchable for most people. The music is a ghost with a shadow that no one can see. You only get a hint of something going on there. Layered music in a lo-fi setting, like Mount Eerie makes 23034 cd’s a year. This is perfect competition for the best Of-compilation of that album. I don’t know what it is that Squanto does with me, but I know it’s something I wanna feel flowing through my veins more in my life. That’s worth a number one spot. The album can be completely streamed at Virb, and downloaded for Free at the Collective, whose catalogue keeps to amaze me!

Squanto  – Gumballs, The Fountain Of Truth