Posted tagged ‘the morning benders’

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

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2008 Galore, pt. We’re there! 10 – 1

27 December 2008

So, I’ve made two friends fight (see comments of my big contest-post), I’ve made people go berserk from the waiting, but now we’re there. The following ten albums are the best of this year, in my humble, but very advising opinion. If you haven’t heard any of them, you should keep on listening Britney Spears.

10. Chad Vangaalen – Soft Airplane (Sub Pop Records)

soft_airplane-chad_vangaalen_480

Sounds like: someone at a concert told me Neil Young, and suddenly i realized Chad Vangaalen is the Electric Neil Young for the Unwashed Yuppie generation.

Vangaalen has been on my radar for the last couple of years, and now he’s on many. Understandable, cause with his falsetto voice and his scrummy lo-fi guitar noise singer-songwriter pop whatever, he’s made one of the best albums of this year. And the third winner in a row. It’s just waiting until he gets in his gospel period before he really stinks.

Chad Vangaalen – City of Electric Light

Chad Vangaalen – Willow tree

9. The Dodos – Visiter (French Kiss records)

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Sounds Like: Hit it with your rhythm stick, hit it! hit it!

The most important thing about The Dodos’ music? The percussion. It’s this tsjakka tsjakka tsjakka sound, combined with folky folky songs, that  are catchy as hell. But still complex. It’s like the best tasting yoghurt ever, but you first seem to get the grasp of this brand new lid system. And they’ve got the refreshing taste of An Animal Collective that’s not too heavy on the acid.

The Dodos – Jodi

8.  Ladyhawk – Shots (Jagjaguwar)

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Sounds like: Testosterone melancholic rock, magnolia el. co

I’m not fond of heavy electric guitar engineering. No Black Sabbath, AC/DC or other rock bands for me. But Ladyhawk seems to pull it of. They seem to go, in a songs ohia kind of way, manage to use the electric power for their benefit, instead of making dull rock songs. And because of that i greatly honour them  with the number 8 spot.

Ladyhawk – S.T.H.D

7. Okay – Huggable Dust (Absolutely Kosher)

hugdust

Sounds like: a bug with a romantic soul.

IF there’s one band in this top 10 that you may not really dig, it’s Okay. His voice sounds like that of a dying moth, and his songs are repetitive till nuissance. But oh my god, if you just keep on listening, you’ll probably hear through this facade. And you’ll find out that this is amazingly sweet, romantic, fantastic, bloody wow.

Okay –  Beast

6. The Tallest Man on Earth – Shallow Graves (Gravitation)

shallow-graves

Sounds like: everyone says bob dylan, so i’ll say Bob Dylan too.

It’s true. The Tallest man on Earth sounds a bit like old Bawb, but he still has his own distinctive voice. And then again, when did Bob release anything worthwile for the last time? (woohoo, let the pro-old-bob front prepare to bash me!). TMOE is a bit more lo-fi, there is a bit of noise on the back, but apart from that, the songs are amazingly good. This is roadsong music. Something you listen while you drive home from a good evening with persons you love, or a bad evening in which you just had a fight. As long as it’s night and you’re behind your steering wheel basically.

The Tallest Man on Earth – I Won’t Be Found

5. Wolf Parade – At Mount Zoomer (Sub Pop)

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Sounds like: a combination of Sunset Rubdown, Handsome Furs and other great canadian indie. Heck, it is a combination!

Okay, maybe this record in the overal greatness of great albums isn’t really worth the number 5 spot, but i’m a sucker for this sort of indie music. Every Spencer Krug project let’s say. So, eerie voices, heavy indie rock and baloney music. Damn, this is good.

Wolf Parade – Call It a Ritual

4.  Ane Brun – Changing of The Seasons (DetErMine Records)

ane_brun

Sounds Like: my favourite female singer-songwriter from Sweden makes another heart-breaking record.

I’m really fond of Ane Brun. And as long as public radio doesn’t play her, i’ll keep on loving her (just joking, i don’t care about radio, cause i don’t listen to it). So, the best voice around, or one of the best and a really good talent of writing songs that hti you like a rock during national rock throwing day. You want to be hit, cause that’s the whole point. No mp3 (big label, scary!) , but a youtube link.

3. Johnny Flynn – A Larum (Vertigo Records)

johnny-flynn-a-larum-435295

sounds like: Old irish folk in a brand new 21st Century jacket.

I think this album is the one i’ve played most during the entire year, just because there doesn’t seem to be a mood not fit to listen to this. Flynn just uses an old formula, but succeeds in surprising me with it. It’s strange: i’m known as a singer-songwriter fanatic, and i’ve heard quite the lot of them, but it keeps on mesmerizing me how people can come up with new snogs that bedazzle me. that’s a lot of difficult words in one piece. Just listen will you? (By the way, also listen to his girlfriend Laura Marling. the UK Folk scene is alive and kicking)

Johnny Flynn – The Box

2. The Morning Benders – Talking Through Tin Cans (Self-Released)

the-morning-benders

Sounds like: The Shins, the Beatles, the pop, the sixties, the summer, the amazingly amazement singalong.

So, you want an album that you can listen to while barbecuing your veggie burgers? You need something that can serve as a soundtrack for that great summer where you will write a novel about in the future? The Morning Benders debut album is the one you need. They ended high in my promising artists list last year, and they amazingly met the expectations. This is heartwarming summer breeze pop for when you love the shins, but hate their popularity.

The Morning Bender s- Heavy Hearts

1. Why? – Alopecia (Anticon)

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Sounds like: Anthems of a indie generation.

I don’t think most people realize how amazingly good this album is.  On the level of lyrics, there is nothing better released… it’s funny, witty, street poetry. But also musically it’s soo well organised that it even beats Chinese Government drills. There isn’t a sound out of place,. Those two stuff combined, together with the overal quality of the songs, makes this the album of the year for me.

Why? – Fatalist Palmistry

Thanks for your attention. Maybe there is more stuff coming up tomorrow, otherwise i’ll be gone until at least 3d of January. And then i’ll try to be a regular blogger again.

Am I Nostradamus? The Results of the Jury

20 November 2008

how_to_predict_the_future_bg

I didn’t have a blog last year, but i did have all these end-of-year lists, including the 2007 Young Talents list. I posted them on Last.fm.

Now, i thought it would’ve been a fun idea to see whether i have good prophecying skills. To put it differently: how did those bands do this year? Did they live up to my expectations, or did they just sit on their lazy ass all time

Well, lets’s see!

9. Imadethismistake .. I’ve blogged about them before. As far as I know (and their myspace doesn’t really help), they haven’t released new songs, although he stepped away from teh acoustic path and started to go electric (maybe he was electric all the time, but i just focused my opinion on that one album i knew). Anyway, still like the songs on his myspace. Mr. Kylewilliam Capol, if you read this, you can always let me know what you’re doing! Still looking forward to this.

8. French Quarter: Well, on his website you can read that there will appear an album in January 2009, which we are all extremely looking forward too!

7.  Begushkin: They released a proper debut album this year, called King’s Curse, which you can order here. He stepped away from sounding like Will Oldham’s little nephew, and now is sort of a nick cave thing. It’s a pretty weird album (well it’s got this strange atmosphere. I’m not sure what to think of it)

a song from the new album: Begushkin – Refugee And the Hag

and one from the EP: Begushkin – Nightly Things

6. The Morning Benders: Well, just wait and see how high their debut album ‘Talking Through Tin Cans’ is in my list. (it’s high, i can tell you that). In the meanwhile, do yourself a favor and download their Bedroom Covers album for free. Not as good as the album, but pretty good.

5. Randall of Nazareth: Complete Silence

4. BeatBeat Whisper. They Also released a proper debut album, which sounds very nice (but will not be in my list) and is called ‘Wonder Continental’. Buy it at their website. Beware, only 70 copies left!  I also found out that the guy has released a soloalbum under the moniker ‘That Blasted Hound’, which you can freely download here. Some nice singer-songwriterstuff. Ayla Nereo, his sister, also has a solo-album, but that’s a bit older i think (too lazy to look it up, can you imagine that?)

3.  David Vandervelde: Well, he’s perhaps the biggest disappointment on my list. His second album ‘Waiting For The Sunrise’ was quite boring. I’m quite fond of 70’s like singersongwriters, but this was just kind of dull.

Just check it out for yourself:

David Vandervelde – I will be fine (from Waiting For The Sunrise)

DAvid Vandervelde – Jacket (From Last years Moonstation house band)

2. Kid Harpoon: I only recently found out that he had a second EP (called the Second EP), which unfortunately didn’t really live up to my expectations. He sent me (and all the other people on his mailinglist, not an unimportant detail) a mail. Next week, he will upload video’s on his site in which he covers a song, and we could do suggestions. I made following list.

1. M.Ward – Sad Song
2. Bonnie PRince Billy – I See A Darkness
3. Something By Andrew Bird
4. Ane Brun – Tree House
5. Something by Bob Dylan (Desolation Row let’s say)
6. A Daniel Johnston Song
7. Fionn Regan – Put A Penny In The Slot
8. Herman Düne – Sunny Sunny Cold Cold Day
9. Iron & Wine – NAked As WE Came
10. Something by nick drake

I wonder if anythign of that will be up there, especially after I’ve just said that his second EP was not that good. Sorry Kid Harpoon! Anyway, keep an eye on his website. You do need to register, but that’s just a formality, so don’t let that stop you!

1. Bon Iver: Well, i get 10,000 points for this don’t I? In Belgium the biggest hype since Elvis. No, not really, but Bon Iver got some spins on national radio, got invited to this talkshow in Belgium (on National tv), and people repeatedly told me to check out this guy called Bon Iver. I just bragged about how i knew him before everyone else, cause i’m like that sometimes.

Let’s see, that’s a 3 out of 9.

That sucks.