Tag Archives: singer-songwriter

meet your new love: brooklyn’s atlantic/pacific

28 Oct

Brooklyn’s Atlantic/Pacific include Garrett Klahn of Texas Is The Reason and John Herguth of House & Parish), with production and instrumentation help from Ian Love (Rival Schools). This week they released their full length debut Meet Your New Love on No Sleep Records. The hushed sentimentality of the album is perfect for Sunday mornings (coming down), late-nights, or the back porch dusk chill.Sort of reminds me of American Music Club, Fleet Foxes, the Association and the CSN record with “Shadow Captain” on it. From start to finish, the album is filled with understated, beautifully melodic songs, warm playing and such friendly singing. The band play Philly at Kung Fu Necktie on November 11th. Check out the band’s feature as part of the World Cafe: Next series, and download this terrific indie-bossa-folk-rock tune below.

Download: Patterns – Atlantic/Pacific via Magnet

Photo by Ben Pinon

The Rustic Stylings of Doug Paisley’s Alt-Country/Not Alt-Country

2 Oct

Toronto singer-songwriter Doug Paisley starts a North American trek on October 10th that begins in BK NYC with a stop on Philly on Wednesday Oct 13th at the Highwire Gallery. Doug’s new album, Constant Companion on No Quarter Records is filled with understated, hauntingly laid back songs; it’s a distant cousin to early gems from The Band, Townes Van Zandt and Fleetwood Mac, and the wonderful simplicity of songs like “You And I” by Wilco and Neil Young’s “Helpless.” To fold Paisley into the alt-country category would be a disservice, although he has been lumped in to that genre. What Paisley professes is a rustic, roots-folk matter of song fact thing, and it’s a think he does quite well. And speaking of Wilco and The Band, Paisley’s album features a handful of guests including Feist (who sings on Wilco’s “You And I”) and Garth Hudson of The Band. Grab a couple songs below; once he’s finished on the East he’s bound for Louvulle and Chitown, then hits the trail in Canada.

Download: What About Us – Doug Paisley
Download: What I Saw – Doug Paisley (w/ Leslie Feist)

New Justin Townes Earle

23 Sep

The dude’s got some serious music in his genes. Justin Townes Earle recently released his new album Harlem River Blues on Bloodshot Records. If you don’t know, Justin’s dad is Steve Earle; the Townes is for his dad’s musical hero Townes Van Zandt. On his new album Justin continues to take great musical steps forward and continues to showcase his ever maturing songwriting and production.  A current tour was recently postponed as it was announced on his web site that Justin was entering into rehab; we wish him well. Download the title song to Justin’s new album and right below that is a song called “Mama’s Eyes” from Justin’s 2009 release Midnight Movies.

Download something new:

Harlem River Blues – Justin Townes Earle

Download something a little older:

Mama’s Eyes – Justin Townes Earle

New Sharon Van Etten

16 Sep

Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten really hit my radar when she became the first musician chosen to launch WXPN’s and Weathervane Music’s music incubation partnership Shaking Through. The song she cut for that session, “Love More” is included on her new album Epic on Ba Da Bing Records.
Believe it or not, as gorgeous and as haunting as that song is, there are others as equally as good on the album. The song ‘Don’t Do It,” which has quickly climbed to the top of the SVB charts, is an absolute stunner. While I love the more intimate side of Sharon’s songs, she’s outdone herself on “Don’t Do It.” It builds in a haze of rockness and then just completely takes off. And the whole “do it/don’t do it” love plot line is aching and sad yet liberating at the same time. We’ve all been there and Sharon completely captures that “thing.” The song has also got one big fat hook that I dare you not to be able to get out of your head after just one listen. Extra points for dedicating the record to Fleetwood Mac.

Download Don’t Do It – Sharon Van Etten

Here’s the song she cut for Shaking Through that is also on her new album.
Download: Love More – Sharon Van Etten

New J. Tillman

14 Sep

Singer-songwriter J. Tillman has a new album called Singing Ax out on Western Vinyl. Recorded in three days with Steve Albini, the Fleet Foxes drummer continues to pump up the massively great slo-core jams.

Download: Diamondback – J. Tillman

Download: Three Sisters – J. Tillman

Megafun w/ Megafaun

14 Sep

I’m digging this new record from the North Carolina trio Megafaun have a new album out on Hometapes Records called Heretofore. It’s some rad kind of down home countrified indierock. Before they were Megafaun, brothers Brad and Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund were in a band called DeYarmond Edison which included Justin Vernon (AKA Bon Iver). They split up in 2006, Justin went his own way and Megafaun released their first album in 2007. If you’re a fan of The Avetts, Monsters of Folk. earlier Wilco and campground rock then Megafaun are for you.

Here’s a couple songs from their new record:

Download: Carolina Days – Megafaun

Download: Volunteers – Megafaun

Deer Tick share another song, head out for Fall tour

25 Aug

Deer Tick announced a Fall tour that starts early October and goes through November 3rd right here in Philly at the First Unitarian Church. Tickets are on sale now. Here’s a song from their recent album The Black Dirt Sessions

Piece By Piece, Frame By Frame – Deer Tick

A hungry moment with Robyn Hitchcock

19 Aug

Here’s a new 45 from the always deliriously creative Robyn Hitchcock as part of his Phantom 45 series. Get it while you can (for free) from this new project he’s put together called The Hungry Moment – a new “psyche ‘n’ western” group that includes Abigail Washburn on banjo and vocals and Rayna Gellerd on vocal and fiddle.

Side A: Thankyou Time Girl – Robyn Hitchcock/The Hungry Moment
Side B: Violet Rain – Robyn Hitchcock/The Hungry Moment

Peter Himmelman’s Fantastic Furious World

5 Aug

Peter Himmelman is a singer-songwriter’s singer-songwriter. I know: That’s sort of a cliche and a term thrown around all too freely. But for Peter, it’s a truth. He’s an experienced troubadour who has managed to successfully cross the digital bridge to the great new media divide by expanding in all areas of his imagination and creativity. Many musicians I meet are walking around trying to figure out what to do now that the music business has sort of gone to shit, but not Peter. Quite simply, he’s always been just talented beyond most mortals. Since his 1986 debut, continuing with his fantastic releases on Epic Records throughout the 90’s and then post-majorlabeldom, he’s always made great records filled with something to say, excellent playing and lasting musical and spiritual impact. I say spiritual because many folks look to music to get them throug good times, bad times and in between times, and throughout his work Peter’s lyrics (not too many “baby, baby, I love you’s) have always touched on a variety of different matters of the human condition.

I first met Peter back when he released his now classic Strength To Strength in 1991. At the time I was producing the the show World Cafe and he came by to perform and do an interview with Cafe host David Dye. I was in mad love with that record, especially the songs “Impermanent Things” and “Woman With The Stength of 10,000 Men,” which today remain a couple of my favorite songs of his. While I knew the words to 10,000 Men I never really knew what it was about until he told the story that was based on an encounter he had with an ALS survivor who could communicate only with her eyebrows. All of sudden Himmelman’s music came in to clear focus for me. I know that his many fans feel the same; that Peter has this incredible talent to turn specific experiences into broader stories, applicable to many real world kinds of situations. There’s a universality and empathy to his work that has always been and continues to be at the center of his songs and his message.

Like the greatest artists & musicians, life post-major label deal became a period of intense introspection and creativity for Peter. He came out on the other side doing TV and film (his latest is Scoundrels on ABC). He’s released award winning kids records, and has rocked it out as a successful visual artist. And for the last couple years, Himmelman has been rocking it up with his band merry mirthmakers as the host of Furious World a weekly live web show (disclosure: I have been a guest) that’s always entertaining and sometimes serious and sometimes ridiculously funny and he gets to keep his chops and interviewing skills sharp. Like Richard Thompson, John Haitt,& Joe Henry, Himmelman’s got a keen eye for detail and storytelling.

So – all this to say that Peter’s fans (and of course me) are absolutely stoked that his new album The Mystery And The Hum is coming out on September 14th on his own label, Himmasongs Records. It’ll be available digitally, on CD, on vinyl and I am trying to convince him to release it on cassette. Himmelman threatened to release this record for a couple years now, but he always told me “the time had to be right.” So I guess the time is right now. And a good thing for us (and you). Songs like “Raining Down From Satellite,” “Ever So Slightly,” and “The Heart Of The Midnight Sun” all shimmer with that special glow in an excellent collection of songs recorded in less than a month in a studio in his birthplace of Minnesota (did you know that Peter and Alexander O’Neal were once in a band together?).

Take a listen to this song and hopefully you’ll hear what I hear; Himmelman still powerful, still uplifting, still a songwriter in his prime. Unlike many of his peers who all sort of came up together in the early-90’s singer-songwriter signing boon and who are still pretty much making the same record, Himmelman is still in some fantastic place.

Download: This Lifeboat’s On Fire – Peter Himmelman


27 Jul

The fabulously talented Lissie is releasing her debut album Catching A Tiger on Fat Possum Records on August 18th. In November of last year the Rock Island singer-songwriter released her wonderful debut EP Why You Runnin’, a five song collection bordering on Americana rock and blues that hinted the potential of a grander sound due to the fact that her voice is so remarkably rapturous and confident. Who would have though that her debut full length would more than deliver on what one expects from a new singer-songwriter who doesn’t necessarily sound like every other Lilith wannabe or Lady Gaga (no offense, Lady).

Lissie’s debut more than rocks it up and while the delicacy and charm of her EP does show up on the record, it’s the big songs that set the tone and take complete control of your senses. This is one helluva of an album filled with big hooks, just-slick-enough production and of course, Lissie’s voice that’s big and bold. Seriously, there are times during the record when she just belts it out Stevie Nicks style on songs like “When I’m Alone” and “In Sleep” and she manages tender and emotional Dusty Springfield-esque moments on the previously released on-the-EP songs like “Little Lovin,” and the anthemic “Oh Mississippi.”

Stellar stuff. Bravo, bravo.

Download: Bully – Lissie

Check out Lissie on World Cafe w/ David Dye