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’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.
Shovels and Rope are a country folk duo from Charleston, South Caroline made up of married couple Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. Both musicians in their own rights working on separate projects, they only began working together after they got married. They’ve been compared to Johnny Cash and June Carter and have reportedly been pegged to tour with Jack White. Their debut album O’ Be Joyful has made some serious waves with a raw, unadulterated sound and I would not be surprised if Shovels and Rope are a household name within the next few years.