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Archive for January, 2012

Nada Alic

Laura Gibson – La Grande

Laura Gibson‘s new record, La Grande – is named after a small town in Portland that she says has a curious energy. The record, which comes out on Jan 24th via Barsuk feels like it’s from another era. The title track, “La Grande” has this sort of galloping percussion, with old Western folk elements, while Milk-Heavy, Pollen- Eyed is a drifting, delicate ballad of a woman who’s will is weak. There’s a sense of awe in her voice – the twinkling instrumentation in Lion/Lamb evoke waterfalls and lazy rivers. That song in particular is about being more fierce, a theme that permeates throughout, as she sings, “be not afraid of the fire!”. There’s power in her own meekness. Perhaps my favorite track is The Rushing Dark – with an early 30′s hum and crackling vinyl sound. It feels like her in her grandmother’s incarnation – an old spirit kind of sound.

You can stream the record over at NPR. 

Laura Gibson- The Rushing Hour 

Nada Alic

Y La Bamba – Squawk

New song from Y La Bamba entitled “Squawk” off their upcoming record “Court the Storm” produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin out on Feb. 28th via Tender Loving Empire. This track is a quick-tempo folk jam, with Luzelena’s fluttery vocals as if she’s been rejeuvenated. There’s a beautiful lightness to this – with no absense of that gypsy-folk sound that embodies the spirit of Y La Bamba. Can’t wait for the full length. Listen below.

Y La Bamba- Squawk 

Nada Alic

Lower Dens – Brains

I’ll have to thank my facebook news feed for this one as I saw multiple posts about a new Lower Dens song. I have been waiting for quite some time for some new Lower Dens. I’m a huge fan, so this is pretty exciting. Lower Dens’ second LP Nootropics is out May 1st via Ribbon Music. If this track is any indication of what to expect, it certainly feels more anxious, with rapidly cyclical waves, layered vocals and a pulsing beat. Listen below.

Lower Dens – Brains by Ribbon Music

Nada Alic

Top Girls – After Life

It’s fitting that Speaker Snacks Records final release is entitled, “After Life” because there is so much more on the horizon for Speaker Snacks and so many cool things they’ve already done. I’m so stoked to get to work with Jake in the months ahead and I’m totally blown away by his ability to cultivate a community online. His final release, by Top Girls is fantastic. It’s definitely got that 90s R&B  beat, with beautifully haunting vocals. You can grab it over here.

Nada Alic

Stone Cold Fox – The Young EP

I’ll admit when I heard the band name I wasn’t expecting this kind of music. But I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised. They’re a group out of New York and they’ve got that feel-good folk/rock sound. It’s got elements of Bombay Bicycle Club. Some really beautiful moments on there. Honestly I don’t know much more about them but you can stream their EP below and find them on facebook here.

The Young EP by STONE COLD FOX

Nada Alic

Zoo Animal – North Shore Sessions

One of my favorite bands out of Minneapolis – Zoo Animal, recently shot a North Shore Session. Holly Newsom has a uniquely textured voice – it’s got soul and it’s got heart. Watching her skate around, nearly trip up and glide along without losing her gaze directly into the camera, is totally mesmerizing. It feels so personal. If you haven’t heard their EP it’s streaming up on Soundcloud here.

Nada Alic

Bryan John Appleby – Fire On The Vine

I recently got an email about Bryan John Appleby, a Seattle-based folk artist currently out with Deep Sea Diver. His latest album Fire on the Vine was featured as Bandcamp’s “Album of the Week” and I can see why. Bryan John Appleby’s voice is strikingly similar to another favorite folk artist and friend of mine, Joel P. West. With the sweeping strings, it also sounds a little like Bowerbirds or Fionn Regan. Similar to those artists, Appleby has the ability to be both introspective and expansive at the same time.  More direct and personal lyrics accompanied with weighty percussion, keys, guitar and strings make it so. The vocals are never muddied or overwhelmed by the instrumentation – they remain the focal point, assuring listeners that storytelling is the objective. Appleby will take you somewhere, and it might be inside of yourself. It’s an exploration undefined by any sort of destination.

This is the kind of record you’re going to want to listen to, cross legged in your living room – preferrably a few feet away from Appleby himself. And once I saw the artwork, I immediately thought – this is a worthy candidate for one my favorite Tumblr’s, “Things Organized Neatly” and not surprisingly, it was totally up there. Check it out at the jump. Continue Reading »

Nada Alic

Weekend Watching : PressPausePlay

PressPausePlay from House of Radon on Vimeo.

This is one of those times where I wish I wasn’t always so hyperbolic about everything. Allow me to just say, no really, I’m serious about this one. My friend Andrea sent over this film called PressPausePlay, at first I was just going to skim through it and then I found myself dropping everything and watching it in it’s entirety. If you have a couple hours to spare this weekend, I suggest you do the same. It’s not a novel idea anymore to debate and discuss the state of music and art in the digital age – but I’ve never seen it done so thoroughly and from so many different perspectives.

It got me really excited to be apart of this. To get to witness and take part in this evolution in my lifetime. Sometimes I get so caught up in the day-to-day that I don’t get to see what’s actually unfolding before me. This film does an excellent job investigating the democratization of art, the transforming art economy, and technology’s extraordinary role in changing the game. There are competing viewpoints, but I have always been one to champion the freedom that technology allows for anyone to express themselves creatively. I totally understand Moby’s “grey goop” theory of a cultural landscape reduced to accepting mediocrity, and have felt the weight of sifting through endless piles of emails from people who decided to record an album on their laptop one day, wedged between major label artists. But I love that the playing field has been leveled. I love independent artists. That’s why I do this.

The most human representation of this is the story of Olafur Arnalds, a modern composer/musician/producer that gets to perform one of his pieces with a classically trained orchestra. The collision of both worlds is fascinating, and the final piece at the end is a gorgeous connection between new/old artforms. The film features interviews with Moby (totally on point), Sean Parker, Seth Godin, Lykke Li, Robyn, Lena Dunham and more.

If you have some time, I highly suggest checking this film out.
Ólafur Arnalds – Poland by erasedtapes

Nada Alic

The Mixtape Series: Tasseomancy / Mix 22

Tasseomancy put together a mix for FWBA and that’s exciting for a lot of reasons. Mainly, because they are the first ladies to contribute to the series, and because their mix is fantastic. I’ve been listening to it all morning. I really want to keep the series going this year, it gives me the opportunity to put all these National Geographic scans to good use!

The ladies included tracks from Carly Simon and Kate Bush among others – it seemed to reflect their aesthetic perfectly: otherworldy, synth pop beats, and earthy folk harmonies. If you haven’t yet – pick up their album Ulalume on vinyl and purchase a candle set while you’re at it. Grab the mix at the link below.

Tracklist

01. Mrs. Jumbo – Baby of Mine
02. Lesley Duncan – Love Song
03. Moondog – Bird’s Lament
04. Robbie Basho – Blue Crystal Fire 05. Forest – Graveyard
06. Kate Bush – Suspended in Gaffa
07. Klaus Nomi – Lightning Strikes
08. Carly Simon – Why
09. Antena – Achilles
10. Selda Bagcan – Yaz Gazeteci Yaz
11. Enya – Storms in Africa
12. Philip Glass & Uakti – Metamorphosis
13. Popol Vuh – Kyrie

Download link:

TASSEO MIX

Nada Alic

Sharon Van Etten / i-N Session

My friend Derrick is quickly becoming my definitive guide to good music/sweet stuff online. He’s like my human Pitchfork. Another great video from Ms Sharon Van Etten for i-D online. So I’m wondering why they call it i-N? Anyway, this song is fantastic, can’t wait for Tramp, is it February 7th yet?

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