Posted tagged ‘deer tick’

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

2008 Galore!, part 3: Best Promising Artists for the future

18 November 2008

Well, this is quite the Osar-category i know, but it’s just a way for me to talk about 10 artists that i like, but just don’t seem to fit in the top 50-list that is coming up after this post. (well, not immediately after it, somewhere this week). The albums of these people have their flaws, but they are promising enough to make me look forward excitedly to when they release their next album. So, without no further ado, here they are.

DISCLAIMER: ok, first add this. The songs I add aren’t necessarily my favourite of the record, because i’m planning to keep those mp3’s for a big 50 best songs at the end of all these lists. So you’ll get twice the goodies!

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10. Pwrfl Power – PWRFL Power (EP) (Catbird Records)

what? Crazy Japanese guy makes antifolk songs

I wrote something about this crazy Japanese American here, so i’m not gonna keep on blabbing about it. He’s Japanese, naïve, and has released 2 albums this year. His full album – also named PWRFL Power  – was a bit too long and tends to get boring, but the small EP was just the right size. From one of the coolest small Indielabels in town, Catbird Records. Too bad it’s sold out!

PWRFL Power – Alma Song

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9. Liam The Younger – Clear Skies over Black Water (Self-released)

What? An early acoustic Bright Eyes without the emo-stuff

Everytime I hear this guy, it makes me think of the first time I heard Bright Eyes. The year was 1999 (or maybe not, i really don’t remember), and Conor Oberst still made homerecordings. The only difference he sometimes had the urge to start screaming instead of singing (what i really liked as a teenager), whereas Liam The Younger just keeps on singing in his own voice. You need to be in the mood for this though, cause it can get quite monotonous if you’re looking for exciting music. But on quiet nights, when you’re looking for something acoustic that resembles Mt. Eerie, Bright Eyes and other indiestuff (i know that this is really really very broad), you can always listen Liam The Younger. Oh I forgot to mention the cool part: you can download the entire album for free here. Don’t worry, he provided the link himself on his Myspace-page. (together with other albums that i haven’t heard yet!)  Thank You Liam!

Liam The Younger – Walking

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8. Wavves – Wavves  (Fuck It Tapes)

What? Sunny Californian Lo-fi Noise

2008 was the year of the return of the Noise pop. Bands like No Age, Times New Viking and many more were suddenly considered cool by Pitchfork and others. And franktly, i like them too. The time when people passed tapes around i missed by just an inch (let’s say 10 years), but it seems all to be coming back. I made noise once too (you can listen to the result here), but Wavves is much better. This release is only available on cassette until now, but it well get re-released on LP by Fuck it Tapes. And his next album will be on De Stijl which isn’t a very small label. I’m really looking forward to that!

Wavves – Wavves

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7. Jayber Crow – Two Short Stories (Self-released)

What? Indie folk, very reminiscent of The Decemberists

Is it a crime to sound like a big well-known indie-singer? Especially if that guy’s voice is quite recognizable. I guess the guys from Jayber Crow don’t do it on purpose, but everytime i hear their album, it’s like hearing an early tape of Colin Meloy from Decemberists-fame. The only difference that Jayber Crow is less pompous, more direct. I must admit not all songs appeal to me, but the ones that do, do it really good. You can buy their album on their website (by PayPal)

Jayber Crow – Saint Anthony

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6. The Wind Whistles – Window Sills (Aaaah Records)

What? Singalong Folk, moldy peaches reference in their own bio isn’t entirely accurate, but accurate enough

Another band i’ve blogged about in the past. And another album that you can download entirely for free. It’s amazing how many great albums get released for free every year. Radiohead isn’t the only one. You should try this, cause this music makes you feel happy. I had a rough day at work today, I put on my Mp3-player and found myself singing along out loud (not based on a true story, but it’s just for the dramatic effect). Really enjoyable music.

The Wind Whistles – Man By Name Of Denver

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5. Michael Rault – Crash! Boom Bang!

What? It’s rock-‘n-roll!

Michael Rault is retro. So retro that his albums sounds as if it’s been recorded during the late fifties, early sixties. It seems as if one has found an album that has been lying between your father’s record collection for over 40 years now.  This brings you back to times you probably have never experienced but really wish you were part of. It makes me feel at least a little rebel. You can buy his album at CD Baby. (knowing that this bloke is 20 or so, makes it even more fantastic!)

Michael Rault – Pretty Thing

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4. Entire Cities –  Deep River

What? Canadian Indie, with really solid songs.

Ok, it’s hard for me to give a very appealing description of Entire Cities. The songs are just really good, the voice has this great grunt in it (it’s not metal). It’s perhaps a bit alt. country, but then the rockier version. God, this isn’t making any sense at all. Let’s start over again: Entire cities has made a bloody good album with Deep River and instead of reading this, you should listen it. (Their site seems to be offline for now, but i guess you can order the album there.)

Entire Cities – Talkers

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3. James Yuill – Turning Down Water For Air (Moshi Moshi Records)

What? Indie electronics, The Postal Service is no longer needed! (Styrofoam, meet your competitor)

James Yuill was on my wishlist for over 2,5 years. I once listened to a song of his and then planned on buying his debut album. That was 2005, and then I forgot. Sometimes i remembered his name or found this mp3 I had and thought of looking for it again, but it’s only with this album that I really got to know the guy. He’s responsible for one of the top 5 songs this year (which i won’t offer for download YET, excitement!), and has brought out an album that makes me forget that The Postal Service had planned on releasing an album this year and didn’t. I don’t listen to indietronica that often, but this one made me feel really happy. Thanks James. (On his website you can download some of his remixes.)  His album can be found at all good record stores, normally.

James Yuill –  No Surprise

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2.  The Ivy League – This is Ivy League (self-released)

What? Kings of Convenience with a pinch of typicall Swedish Sounds and the zombies or something like that.

Every year there is at least one album somewhere in my lists that sound a bit Swedish. You know, the sound that bands like Jens Lekman, Suburban Kids with Biblical Names and Irene have. It’s this bittersweet sound, with a lot of trumpets and stuff. Now these guys are from New York, but they sounds as Swedish as Sm°orrebr°odt. Next to that, they seem to pick up the sound that Kings of Convenience have left (what happened to those guys, well, to the Not Erlend Oye-guy). Really enjoyable sweet romantic. One but though. Guys, if you ever end up here reading these words of praise: make your album not only available on iTunes store. Many people aren’t fan of that (well, i’m not). More distribution canals would be really cool.

The Ivy League – Impossible Love

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1. Mumford And Sons – Mumford And Sons (EP)/ Love your Ground (EP)

What? Incredibly Sounding Young New Indie Folk in the tradition of bands Like Deer Tick

Okay, if you think that these are just too many tips for you, and can’t handle all that music, then ignore everything I have said until now. Last year, my number one on this list was Bon Iver (if I remember it as well) and he really boomed. Well, let me say you one thing: Next year is gonna be the year of Mumford And Sons. They have a really incredible sounds, and surely, they should be in the big list, but i realized that i would give them more credit by putting them on a number one spot. Everybody GO OUT AND LISTEN THIS . (And now if someone can tell me where i can buy a copy of both ep’s and when they will release their debut album, i can end this piece in peace)

Mumford And Sons – Little Lion Man