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FEATURED ALBUM: Volume 2 – She & Him

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Fantabulous news! indie city. has, over the course of the last year or so, amassed over 17,000 views! WOW!
I can’t tell you how grateful I am, and I hope that you’ll continue to read the blog. One new difference: due to the changes in, well, trends, I’ve decided to omit the link to artists’ Myspace pages from this point on. I’ll still include their Wikipedia and last.fm sites, as well as an actual artist site when it is available. I hope this won’t cause any inconvenience, and please let me know if you have any thoughts on the matter or even a suggestion for a replacement.
Now, on to the music!

Volume TwoShe & Him. (2010.)

Goth rockers, metal heads, and general moody listeners of the emo persuasion: this is not the album for you.
I can’t think of any duo in music today that inspires sunniness and optimism more than She & Him. A collaboration of M. Ward (whose solo career is something amazing in itself) and actress Zooey Deschanel, this is the album you want to play in headphones while lounging in the grass, that strangely sweet smell of honey and heat in the air.
Volume Two is the sequel to 2008’s Volume One, where the world realized that Zooey Deschanel had more of a range than the shower in Elf. As an aspiring hipster myself, I’ve spent many a day wishing I could be her. (Marrying Ben Gibbard didn’t help matters.) And I’m not alone. The hoards of fedora-wearing bike riders out there will be putting this on their summer playlists, and now you can too.

wikipedia /  last.fm
buy Volume Two on amazon
If You Can’t Sleep
Ridin’ In My Car
In the Sun

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FEATURED ALBUM: Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down – Noah and the Whale.

April 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Peaceful, the World Lays Me DownNoah and the Whale. (2008.)

Noah and the Whale

What lovely music. The band cites both punk rock and folk as their influences, and while more of the latter is at first seen in their songs, the former peeks its way through in unexpected ways. Laura Marling is considered a member of this group, even though they switch out female singers, and so both this album and her solo work have some intertwining themes.
If you’re looking for something dark and visceral, you won’t find it here. However, you will find something beautiful. The lyrics themselves are like dirty pools left over after rain: sure, they’re a bit filthy, but they’re fun to jump in, and oh, how they shine in the sun!

wikipediamyspacelast.fm
buy Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down on amazon
“2 Atoms In a Molecule”
“Do What You Do”

FEATURED ALBUM: Cigarettes & Gasoline – Emerson Hart.

April 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Cigarettes & Gasoline Emerson Hart. (2007.)

Emerson Hart

Emerson Hart is poppy. I’m just going to come right out and say it. You may know him from his band in the nineties, Tonic, which gained notoriety with their single “If You Could Only See,” which is still being played on those generic “adult alternative” stations my parents are always listening to. I’m a sucker for that song, to be sure, but this is about his solo album in 2007. The album features one of my favorite songs that year, called “If You’re Gonna Leave,” as well as a few other gems. What strikes this man apart from other acts is his way of handling the song delicately, yet with an experience that shows in the well-worn quality of the songs. Just need some good ‘ol better-than-the-stuff-on-the-radio kind of music? Look no further.

wikipediamyspacelast.fm
buy Cigarettes & Gasoline on amazon
“I Wish the Best for You”
“If You’re Gonna Leave”

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FEATURED ALBUM: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel.

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel. (1998.)

Neutral Milk Hotel

Neutral Milk Hotel was an American indie rock band formed by singer, guitarist and songwriter Jeff Mangum in the early 1990s. The band was noted for its experimental sound, obscure lyrics, and eclectic instrumentation. Neutral Milk Hotel released In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in 1998, which became their most well-known and critically acclaimed album. Although the album did not meet commercial success at the time of release, it has gone on to sell over 100,000 copies and was selected as the fourth best album of the nineties by Pitchfork. Despite growing popularity, the group disbanded in 1999 after Mangum became disenchanted with touring and the music press, later having a nervous breakdown. (wikipedia)

The album really is pure genius. The first time I listened, I had no idea as to the time it was made and thought I was listening to a recent release. It is just as relevant and intelligent now as it was in the nineties, perhaps even more so due to its survival over the years. The lyrics still twist and twine in the most eloquent of ways, and the melodies still float over your head. If you’ve yet to become acquainted, you’re welcome.

websitelast.fm
buy In the Aeroplane Over the Sea on amazon
“King of Carrot Flowers, Part 1”
“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”

FEATURED ALBUM: Saltbreakers – Laura Veirs.

SaltbreakersLaura Veirs. (2007.)

Laura Veirs

“Veirs’ songs qualify as poems: careful, word-conscious, narrative, neither foggy nor overwritten, and tend to give you a take on regular life experience that you don’t quite expect.” The New York Times.

When I first listened, Laura Veirs’ voice shocked me. I’m not exactly sure why, as there is nothing outrightly stunning about it. But it’s an antithesis to the smoky-voiced girls permeating our musical society; she keeps a child-like voice with her lyrics, making more of an impact than most “mature” voices hope to.

myspacelast.fm
buy Saltbreakers on amazon
“Pink Light”
“Wrecking”

Categories: laura veirs Tags:

FEATURED ALBUM: The Sparrow & the Crow – William Fitzsimmons.

March 25, 2009 Leave a comment

The Sparrow & the Crow – William Fitzsimmons (2008).

William Fitzsimmons

(biography off artist’s website)
“William Fitzsimmons is one of the oddest people you will ever meet. Born the youngest child of two blind parents, William was raised in the outskirts of the steel city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Due to the family’s inability to communicate through normal visual means, William’s childhood home was filled with a myriad of sounds to replace what eyes could not see. The house was suffused with pianos, guitars, trombones, talking birds, classical records, family sing-a-longs, bedtime stories, and the bellowing of a pipe organ, which his father built into the house with his own hands. When his father’s orchestral records were not resonating through the walls, his mother would educate him on the folk stylings of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Simon & Garfunkel.”

With a beard like that, you’d expect William Fitzsimmons to exude prairie music, folk stylings that speak of dry countrysides and worlds away from the common modernity we’ve grown accustomed to. But don’t pigeonhole him quite yet. Instead of something orchestrated in a meadow, Fitzsimmons highlights the lesser-expressed happy counterparts that make him unique. Instead of a stereotypical experience, you get something different and enjoyable. Embrace the folk.

wikipediamyspacelast.fm
buy The Sparrow & the Crow on amazon (available April 7th, 2009)
“After Afterall”
“If You Would Come Back Home”

FEATURED ALBUM: Alas I Cannot Swim – Laura Marling

March 19, 2009 1 comment

Alas I Cannot SwimLaura Marling. (2008.)

Laura Marling

Laura Marling (born 1 February 1990), is a folk-pop, singer-songwriter from Hampshire, England. Marling has toured with a number of well-known indie artists in the UK and beyond including Adam Green and Jamie T, who invited her on tour with him in 2006 after he attended her second-ever gig. (wikipedia)

Laura Marling is close to my age, so I’m in awe of her talents. Her voice carries maturity with it, so without knowing one would assume she sings of a lifetime of experience. She does, however, carry a girlish sensibility rarely found in those still not grasping at the sprouts of youth. Either way, she is confident, shy, vulnerable, assertive, and beautiful. And I’m only talking about her music.

myspace
last.fm
(buy Alas I Cannot Swim on amazon)
“Ghosts”
“Shine”

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