Archive for category Folk

New Music Preview: Michael Kiwanuka | y/y | Snowmine | Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes

Here is some more awesome new music…

Michael Kiwanuka has two EPs out in 2011, and has been compared to Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Otis Redding

I’m Getting Ready by MichaelKiwanuka


The Brooklyn based y/y reminds me of Fourtet mixed with Animal Collective.

PlayPlay by yyband


Check out Snowmine on Shaking Through with free mp3 download.

Snowmine – Curfews by wvmusic


The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ founder, Justin Robinson is starting a new project called Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes.




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Piers Faccini: “Tribe”

Piers Faccini was born in the UK, raised in France, and made his name in London as part of the English music scene in the early 2000’s. Faccini earned himself a recording contract in America with his unique brand of strummed guitar-folk music. In his more subdued vocal moments, Faccini sounds like Andrew Bird to me, particularly on “Tribe,” the single we’re offering here. But his voice is a bit grittier, less polished than Bird’s, in a really alluring way.  There’s some really interesting guitar work here by Faccini, who released his most recent LP My Wilderness last month on Six Degrees Records. That’s an apt title for the record, because “Tribe” sounds as though it could be the soundtrack to some face-painted, dance-around-the-bonfire party somewhere deep in the steamy wilderness. The sing-along background vocals only add to that sort of communal groove feeling. Stream “Tribe” below.

Tribe by Emcee Artist Management

Download “Tribe” here.

[Facebook]  [Twitter]  [Official Site]


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Dry The River: “Weights & Measures”

Gosh this is gorgeous music. London-based five-piece Dry The River pack a real emotional punch on “Weights & Measures,” the title track from their forthcoming EP. With just the gentle strum and buzz of guitar and some strained-in-all-the-right-places vocals, this song builds to an aching crescendo, and the release — with its strings and bombast and heartache —  is just as beautiful. There’s bits and pieces here from other bands who make their hay by tugging at your heart strings: Fleet Foxes. Elbow. Even Frightened Rabbit.

Dry The River recently wrapped up a stint touring in support of Bombay Bicycle Club, and the Weights & Measures EP is out next week. Check out “Weights & Measures” below.

Dry the River – “Weights & Measures” by Dry the River

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Forest Mountain Hymnal: “Buckeye Jim” (Burl Ives Cover)


We of the music writing and commenting arena love gimmicks.  Whether it be a background story, or a nifty band characteristic, we seem to latch on and push those features up as if they’re the most important thing about the people behind the songs.  It’s a problem and we acknowledge it.  So when we met husband and wife duo Forest Mountain Hymnal via submission, we were already weak and vulnerable.  Together, Jonathan and Rebecca Moody croon and harmonize the best of the old folk songs and weave and spin new yarns of their own.  Our very favorite is their rendition of Burl Ive’s children’s classic, “Buckeye Jim”.  Whistles, Claw hammer banjo, flitting flautists, and joined voices at the perfect moments will have you addicted.  The song is the lead off their When You And I Shall Marry EP, the first of a slew of great covers.

Forest Mountain Hymnal are adepts at the small touches, allowing the song to take the path it will, and following it diligently.

Buckeye Jim by Forest Mountain Hymnal

And the Nashville couple recently moved to Nantes, France, where the air and spirit of the country is clearly affecting them in all the best ways.  On their brand new collection entitled Fitcher’s Bird and Other Tales of the Macabre, their instrumentation has grown, and so has the couple, indulging in call and response and harmonizing whenever they can.

Fitcher’s Bird and Other Tales of the Macabre by Forest Mountain Hymnal

Visit the Forest Mountain Hymnal’s BandCamp page to stream and purchase all of their music!

[BandCamp] [SoundCloud] [Tumblr]


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Video: The Staves – “Mexico”

Crank up the resolution if your rig allows it, because as simple as the video is, it’s best served with the clarity directors Benji Davies and Jim Field of Frater intended.  The Staves have a matching style of elegance and simplicity to their music, pairing harmonies with one or two guitars.  Those harmonies however, are thrice layered and perfect; imagine if three Laura Marlings harmonized (pleasant sighhhhhhh).  And those guitars are deceptively hidden and expertly restrained.  Together, the trio of English sisters make music that is peaceful, beautiful and addicting.  On the new video for EP lead “Mexico”, the guys at Frater measured and sketched the lines of a room to within an inch of their lives, until they had the dimensions just so.  The result is a dance of light and shape that lets a bit of magic live in real time around the performing siblings.  Simple, but elegant.  And wonderful.

The new Mexico EP also features two unreleased songs; “Icarus” and “I Try”.  The former builds and twirls.  The latter prophesizes and imparts.  Listen to all three tracks of the short player below.
Mexico by The Staves

Icarus by The Staves

I Try by The Staves

artworks-000013525832-sz051a-crop(The Mexico EP is available internationally 12/11/11)

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Moment of Verse: Johnny Flynn – “The Wrote and The Writ”

joe grimaldi

Johnny Flynn – The Wrote And The Writ by The Green Bird Heard

They’re taking pictures of the man from God
I hope his cassock’s clean
The burden of being our holy fellas
Your halo’d better gleam, better gleam

What of all those wayward priests?
The ones who like to drink
Do you suppose they’d swap their blood for wine
Like you swapped yours for ink, for ink

You wrote me, oh so many letters
And all of them seemed true
Promises look good on paper
Especially from you, from you

The weight of all those willing words
I carried all alone
You wouldn’t put your pen to bed
When we hadn’t found our own, our own

Your sentences rose high at night
And circled round my head
The circle’s since been broken
Like the priest before me is breaking bread

I’m being asked to drink the blood of Christ
And soon I’ll eat his flesh
I’m alone again before the altar
Shedding all my old regrets

The last of which I’ll tell you now
As it flies down the sink
I never knew a part of you
You didn’t set in ink, in ink

The letters that you left behind
No longer shall I read
Your blood’s between the pages
And I can’t stand to see you bleed

And I’ll soon forget what was never there
Your words are ash and dust
All that’s left is the song I’ve sung
The breath I’ve taken and the one I must

If you’re born with a love for the wrote and the writ
People of letters your warning stands clear
Pay heed to your heart and not to your wit
Don’t say in a letter what you can’t in my ear

Johnny Flynn

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The Lower 48: “The End”

I have never been to Portland, Oregon. But I imagine that there’s music spilling from every shop and tavern, and that talented, endearing bands like The Lower 48 stand on street corners or walk through neighborhoods playing delightful songs like “The End,” the first single from Where All Maps End, the trio’s first-ever full-length. Is that too idealized? Who knows. But this song, with its irresistible male-female vocal pairing, its guitar-and-tambourine jangling and its lovely twinge of melancholy, would be a welcome greeting coming around any bend in the road.

The Lower 48 are transplants to Portland, having originated in another city I want to visit but never have, Minneapolis. But they — Ben Braden, Sarah Parson and Nicholas Sadler — found inspiration in their new home, and will unveil the fire started by that spark on December 13 via self-release. They’ll be celebrating with friends and fans on December 29 in Portland. What a wonderful way to end the year, huh? Download “The End” below!

The Lower 48 – The End by The Wounded Jukebox

[Facebook]  [Bandcamp]  [Official Site]


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