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Archive for January, 2012

Illustration by Jess Ruliffson

Spirit Family Reunion was without question, one of the best bands I discovered last year.  I was completely blown away when they played for us at SXSW and have been listening to their record ever since they handed us a homemade cd. Since then I’ve taken every opportunity to sing their praises. Taking inspiration from the early folk, with that Southern foot stomping- hand clapping, whiskey drinking kind of vibe. Rather than emulating an era, they embody it superbly. You feel the authenticity in their full band instrumentation, dusty overalls and powerful harmonies. There’s not much kitsch or presentation, it’s just beautifully loud (enough for them to project their voices on street corners and farmers markets).

There’s a spirit to the band that sounds largely inspired by Southern Baptist church music, with hollering “Hallelujahs” they sound fit for pews and communion. So naturally, the theme for this mixtape is “unity” and is filled with hymns and songs of freedom. They explain below:

Here are ten songs of unity as their underlying theme. While they are mostly old gospel tunes or devoutly inspired creations they exemplify the power of song to bring unity to a people, with or without religious overtones. Perhaps you can recall a time, place, or event when you were assembled for a particular purpose and felt included in something bigger than any one individual there that day. Righteousness needs no leader, no figurehead or agenda, and so whether it’s layin’ your burden’s down, singing out for glory, or letting your hammer ring, your cri de coeur is never singular no matter how lonesome it may sound. 
Ready? Come along!
TRACKLIST 
Join the Band
He Got Better Things For You
Shine On Me
Hammer, Ring
This Little Light
Stand By Me
Since I Laid My Burden Down
Tryin’ to Get Home
Righteous Blues
I Belong To The Band
Download here:
Nada Alic

The Dø Cover Janelle Monaé

French/Finnish Duo – The Dø recently covered Janelle Monae’s Tightrope and brought that unique primitive yelping sound to it. It moves to a slow groove, Olivia Merilahti sings with vocals that sometimes have a life of their own. This is a fantastic cover.

Tightrope (Janelle Monáe Cover) by The Dø

Nada Alic

Grouper – Demona (Dead Moon Cover)

Have you been noticing a trend? That I only seem to be posting about female artists these days? It’s my subconscious telling me to pick up a guitar and fulfill my childhood girl band dreams. I know it. Anyway, Grouper isn’t something I’d typically dig, but there’s something spooky and muffled about her that really gets to me. She recently covered Dead Moon’s “Demona” for the latest issue of Yeti Magazine which includes a 7″ which you can grab here. And listen, below.

Grouper – Demona (Dead Moon) 

Nada Alic

Little Scream for L Magazine

I fell in love with Little Scream after I saw her open for Sharon Van Etten in San Diego. The Golden Record affirmed that initial infatuation and I’ve grown to deeply love that record over the last year. So when I saw this interview with her for L Magazine I was excited to find that she’s authentic and has overcome a lot. She’s a powerful woman who works outside of the limitations of what a song could be and for that, I’m a fan. Check out some more videos here.

Nada Alic

Zoo Animal – Laying and Lying

Zoo Animal – “Laying and Lying” Music Video from Northern Outpost on Vimeo.

If I were to come up with a visual representation of this song, it would be this video. Holly Newsom of Zoo Animal has a way of making you feel uncomfortable. In the way that gazing into someone’s eyes can feel uncomfortable, or revealing your true feelings – it’s the moment when you admit you’re human and wait to be accepted. And this dance of awkward movements between this couple feels like exactly that. Combined with Newsom’s ability to use quiet spaces between singing as a device to communicate the tension in the room, this is one of the more real-feeling videos I’ve seen in a long while. Kudos to Northern Outpost for putting this one together. You can watch more of their videos here.

Nada Alic

Cate Le Bon – CYRK

Cate Le Bon‘s sophomore CYRK is a brilliant follow-up to her whimsical Me Oh My. There are so many interesting moments in this record, Greta trails along to the final sounds of a trumpet and a marching band beat, Falcon Eyed is a punky up-beat jam, The Man I Wanted is a lazy rock lullaby, Ploughing Out 2 is the most removed – with a muffled vocal effect and jangly percussion – she’s definitely grown in confidence with more of that full band sound. She’s most certainly detached herself from any comparison to Nico, Cate Le Bon is becoming a sound all her own. Watch her video for Fold the Cloth, below.

Cate Le Bon – Falcon Eyed

Brandon Tauszik

DOZENS – FORGET ME

“Forget Me” is the new single from Chicago’s Dozens. These synthpop scientists have acquired every ingredient to a romance song and masterfully concocted “Forget Me” for all of us belt aloud. If I had a girlfriend, I would break up with her just so I could live this song. – Brandon

Nada Alic

Tennis / Young & Old

Tennis is set to drop their Young & Old LP on Vday through Fat Possum. It seems as though their sound has been steadily evolving since their days at sea – will be cool to see how much they’ve grown (or not). It also marks the one year anniversary? (for lack of a better word) of my work trip to Vegas. Yes, I spent last Valentine’s Day in Vegas with my two bro co-worker friends, and received quite the spa treatment thanks to my boyfriend’s sneaky schemes. This year, I’m going to stay as far away from Vegas as possible. This is totally off topic and only a funny story to me. Listen to their track Origins, below.

Tracklist

1. It All Feels The Same
2. Origins
3. My Better Self
4. Traveling
5. Petition
6. Robin
7. High Road
8. Dreaming
9. Take Me To Heaven
10. Never To Part

Tennis- Origins

Nada Alic

Julianna Barwick – Never Change

New track from the beautiful Julianna Barwick. She’s the ultimate sleeping pill, and I mean that in the bath salts and candles kind of way. Totally divine. My friend Derrick (who you will be hearing quite a lot from very soon) will be travelling with her to Iceland, because that’s a totally real scenario and not just a dream sequence. What a jerk!

Julianna Barwick – Never Change

Working in music the last few years, I’ve had the chance to collaborate with really incredible people behind the scenes: filmmakers, engineers, graphic designers, writers – those individual’s whose art it is to facilitate art. I’ve often wondered how they got to where they were. I had the opportunity to sit down with La Blogotheque filmmaker Derrick Belcham before he sets off en route to make a La Blogotheque HQ in New York. We met in a Toronto diner to discuss how he got to be where he’s at, what Jeff Tweedy smelled like up close (ok, not really), the myth of the “moon man”. Derrick emerged from the corporate film world, returned to his experimental roots and swapped handsome paychecks to invade the personal space of many of our favorite artists, he’s credited with filming the likes of: Wilco, Thurston Moore, Megafaun, Little Scream and many more. I quickly realized that Derrick’s success can be attributed to a specific ethos: always be curious, always be in awe, and always be grateful. It’s a sentiment that permeated throughout his stories. His liberal use of adjectives will attest to it. He makes me feel like there is still life in these mediums, yet.  Continue Reading »

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