When Orenda Fink‘s dog of sixteen years died it sent her on a year long personal search for meaning in death. The answers began to come to her in dreams, and were translated into song. Those songs eventually came together to become “Blue Dream”, out August 19th via Saddle Creek. And let’s take a moment and consider it – if someone is going to lead an expedition into darkness, who better than Orenda Fink? She may be leading you into some dark hollow, but she totally packed you a sweater.
You’ve seen plenty of music video cross the pages of this blog but few of them have been as beautiful as “Make Note of Every Sound” by Seven Saturdays. It’s difficult to tell a story full of brutal violence in which the true focus is quite tender and emotional, particularly when no character utters a word. And visually – it’s just gorgeous. Have a look for yourself.
Today Rozi Plain released a wonderful cover of Shirley Collins’s “Long Years Ago” via YouTube. The song was recorded in support of the current Kickstarter campaign for a documentary about the hugely influential but little known figure who, amongst many claims to notoriety, accompanied Alan Lomax in 1959 as he collected and catalogued folk music across the Deep South of America.
The campaign is quickly climbing ever-nearer to its goal but we all know that no project is safe on Kickstarter until it is fully funded. Go! Give! Get the tribute album including this song as a reward for your £15 pledge toward completing the project. And have a listen to the original while you’re at it.
You’re taking me down,
With every crease in your frown,
The folding of your skin,
Is making me feel queasy.
It was a short run for Postcard Records, but they had a real penchant for noticing talent. Though they put out a mere 8 releases in their year and half long existence they released albums by Orange Juice, Josef K, and Aztec Camera, all bands that would become hugely influential, each with a take on post-punk mixed with jangly pop.
But when they folded up shop they had more that never made it to release. Amongst those unreleased tracks was “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” by The Bluebells.
Luckily Cherry Red Records came across the collection and is releasing them on a compilation called Exile On Twee Street which will be released July 28th. Thirty years late perhaps but perhaps that just goes to show that a solid song will last the time.
There are at least two things I enjoy to an incredible degree about the Liverpudlian trio Stealing Sheep. One being simply having good reason to use the word Liverpudlian, the second being… well, their music. “Rearrange” in particular, the shifts between a poppy chorus and hauntingly mystical verses. The lovely video that accompanies it does nothing to hurt their gravitational force.
“Stumbling down a bramble track,
No turning back to where it started,
Years ago, you’d wish you’d known,
That people change, and rearrange.”
When is a song’s lyrics are very illustrative it can be hard to pair them with images. You’ve all seen the painful literal music videos that struggled and did not succeed when faced with this problem. So when Ryan Walsh went about directing the video for Marissa Nadler‘s “Firecrackers” he smartly stayed away from a pile of layered footage of fireworks. As a matter of fact he used color in a much subtler and more effecting way, slowly creeping into black and white footage filtered to look like it came from a period you might guess the song also came from.
“I know better now,
I don’t call you up at night,
‘Cause baby your ghost,
And I have changed.”
See below for a full list of upcoming tour dates.
Listening to Kemialliset ystävät‘s is a bit like tumbling through the liquified mud of a landslide in torrential rain. The experimental Finnish collective has been at it for roughly two decades now and has wasted no time while honing their sound into something wholly unique.
It may seems chaotic on the surface – it most certainly does not leave clear evidence of transitions as it evolves, swelling, and subsiding – but it is constructed in a way that we somehow intuitively know there is an order to it, something comfortable.
Oh, and you may wonder what Kemialliset ystävät translates to in English – I did. It means “Chemical Friends” and it has nothing to do with drugs.
“The drug we use when making our sound is the pee of fairies,
we gulp once in a while.”
In the infancy of this blog TOPS put out one of the dreamiest albums we’ve come across to date. What can be the fatal crux of a band so mellow and understated is that they can get stuck on a single idea. Well, we’re more than glad to see that this is certainly not the case with TOPS. They’ve managed to preserve every bit the daylight sleepiness that makes them so wonderful while continuing to grow and evolve. These folks are the real deal in a world with liberal use of the term “dream pop”.
Hold on to words,
When you are sleeping,
Words you forget in the daylight,
Words that you are speaking.
If you wrote an updated version of Huck Finn and set it in the 1980′s, you may well be writing about Crash. Waffle House breakfasts, monster truck rallies, bonfires, and stealing his mom’s car to take in the legendary music scene of New Orleans. But as we all know, that slice of Americana was interrupted in about the most violently sudden of ways and after a bit of scrambling to find a warm bed and a new city he found his way to Los Angeles where he was taken in with open arms (perhaps the most unlikely event amongst a string of them).
And knowing his story or not, you can hear it in his voice.