I recently came across this cover of Bob Dylan’s classic “Lay Lady Lay” and it inspired me to go back to the original. I’ve had a hard time with Dylan since I saw him play about 8 years ago and was incredibly disappointed. He was clearly drunk or high on something, performed terribly (was barely audible) and didn’t even get through half a set. That said, he was undeniably an extraordinary talent and one of the most influential artists ever of his generation and genre. This cover by Magnet (the pseudanym of Norwegian Even Johansen) in collaboration with Gemma Hayes of Ireland really highlights the commutability of Dylan’s work.
Prolific indie dream pop group Beach House has made its mark like a storm slowly rolling to shore. The duo from Baltimore have been putting forth their hallmark lethargically epic soundscapes since 2004 but only in the past few years have gained notoriety. It could have something to do with their shift to Seattle’s Sub Pop Records for their last two albums. This is off of their most recent collection Bloom which was incidentally released a year ago today.
Husky is a four piece indie folk band from Melbourne consisting of Husky Gawenda (vocals, guitar), Gideon Preiss (keyboards, vocals), Evan Tweedie (bass, vocals) and Luke Collins (drums). They are the first Australian band to be signed to Seattle’s legendary independent label Sub Pop Records and have toured with indie heavyweights, The Shins (as well as Neil Young, Devendra Barnhart and Gotye). Their debut album Forever So was released in early 2012.
Wow, I’ve gotten pretty behind on posts. I guess it can get hard to get back into the swing of things after such a wonderful trip.
Anyways, my track for you today comes from Brooklyn based Tanlines. Tanlines consists of percussionist Jesse Cohen and vocalist/guitarist Eric Emm who has a background in avante garde production (specifically, he produced Professor Murder’s ep). Although they came together in 2008, they didn’t produce a full length album until 2012’s Mixed Emotions. They’ve played with the likes of Vampire Weekend, The xx, Yeasayer and Rick Ross and are slowly building a following. This was their first single off their album and it has a sense of build-up and theatrics that I found captivating.
I just got back from Sri Lanka yesterday and am nursing a serious vacation hangover. It’s a truly extraordinary country. Rolling hills and peaks covered with verdant tea estates, gorgeous cave temples, fascinating colonial heritage towns, delicious food and some of the most stunning palm tree lined coastlines with crystal blue water that I have ever seen (and I’ve been to beaches in Cambodia, Thailand, Bali and Greece, so that’s saying something). Its hard to not feel pangs of nostalgia just thinking about it. I would love to share some photos, but tragically my camera was lost somewhere between the Colombo, Singapore and Phnom Penh airports. Thus, other than a few pictures on an old camera and from my ipad, I mostly just have my memories.
I had this song by Lord Huron (who I already featured a month or so ago) on repeat while I was on the coast in Unawatanu and then Tangalle. Something about this track just seems to embody what I was feeling sitting on a nearly deserted beach watching the waves crash and the palm trees swaying in the wind. That is ultimately one of the things I love the most about music: the fact that individual songs can expand and deepen the texture of any given experience. So, I hope this grainy Ipad photo of Tangalle can give you at least a bit of a Sri Lankan visual to go with this track.
Tangalle Beach on the southern coast of Sri Lanka
Ahh yes, the first real rain of the hot season. Its been hitting 100 degrees every day for the past few weeks in Phnom Penh and today we finally had a real downpour. Even though I know tomorrow will likely be hot and muggy because of the extra moisture, I’m enjoying sitting on my balcony breathing in the fresh rain air and listening to this song.
Austin based quintet Tiger Waves produces infectiously fun Beach Boys-esque tracks with an Americana post-rock twist. They’ve got one EP out and a slew of singles, so fingers crossed they’ll release a full length soon.
The Shins have been a standard on my playlists since early high school. James Mercer’s voice always uplifts me and Australia is one of my personal favorites. I personally prefer this remix done by Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John. He just added a bit more of a rock edge to a formally very poppy song, and for me it works.
I love Matt & Kim. I really do. On the one hand, they represent everything about Brooklyn that makes me gag… but then their music is just so damn fun. This track came out last summer and was definitely sort of my anthem for being back in the States visiting my family. It’s one of those rare songs that genuinely puts you in a better mood.
So cheers to that.
I’ve got a double feature for you today.
Wolf Alice is a North London rock/folk quartet. The raw, bluesy sound of this track (and their latest single “Fluffy”) is reminiscent of 90s feminist lo-fi grunge. But the melody and harmony driven backbone of this song belies a more contemporary indie folk slant. “White Leather”, another track off their EP that I’ve added below, is just plain sweet and “Wednesday” is electronic infused downtempo. Clearly there’s a lack of cohesiveness on their EP, but each song individually is solid, so we’ll se where they go with a full length album.
I think this is becoming an obsession. Yes, I already featured Trails and Ways, but it must be done again. They’re just soooo good. I initially came across this track via the Wallpaper remix, but the original just perfectly exemplifies the sound of this awesome new group. Both tracks respectively kill it though, so it seemed necessary to include both here.