Eartheater, also known as Alexandra Drewchin, describes her music as “MEDIEVAL▲ CYBORG▲ FOLK” and that means a few things to me. Cheif amongst them – psych. And it absolutely is that but while it doesn’t leave you wanting for accessibility “Coal Dust” isn’t some slight variation on a 50 year old theme. There is some quality at its heart that just feels like it was born post internet. And that’s an interesting thought to ruminate on.
I’m more than pleased to announce that today is the official start to a new series of monthly video sessions performed live for Mouser. We’ve teamed up with some very talented and passionate folks who are in this entirely for the sake of making something awesome to share. Take note of the names in the credits and if you see one of them in a bar buy them a drink.
To set things off we got Only You into the studio to record what was a very unusual and wonderful arrangement of three songs; trading in their electric guitars for acoustic, upright bass, and lap steel. You’ll find it hard to track down a voice like Rachel Fannan’s and in this session it really shines.
You can catch Only You playing this same arrangement live for the very first time this Friday in Santa Monica. More info on that here. And I’ll also be playing a set to open up the show. My first live performance in over a year. Hope you can make it out!
If ever there was a soundtrack the the week I’ve been having here in LA, with a complete lack of air conditioning, it is “Red Sex” by Vessel. Mechanic dissonance and melting horns, it feels as if with each step on the hot pavement the sole of your shoe sticks, leaving a trail of molten, gummy rubber behind you.
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.
“I’ve heard them cry, babies,
All my life.
But now I hear,
Them saying much more.”
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.