Basia Bulat - It Can’t Be You

The beginning of April has been pretty concert heavy which is perfect for when I have to post on Saturdays.  On Thursday, I went to see The Head and the Heart.  Their opener was Basia Bulat, a Canadian folk singer-songwriter from Toronto, Ontario.  Now my friends have all told me about her beforehand and someone even sent me the albums so that I could give them a listen.  I liked it but I didn’t realize how amazing she was until I saw her live.

A relatively short blond woman got onto the stage and was accompanied by a bassist and a drummer.  No big deal.  She tuned a charango, which is a ukulele-sized 10 string instrument before beginning her first song.  And that was that.  I was in complete awe.  An amazing voice was accompanied by her amazing talent on the charango, guitar, keyboard, and even an autoharp .  Hell, I was so impressed by the autoharp, I almost posted Gold Rush simply because it featured it so much.  Instead, I picked It Can’t Be You based on her amazing work on the little instrument.  I actually read an article in where she actually learned how to play the instrument JUST for her newest album.  At one point, she stood away from the mics and performed acoustically for all of us in the packed concert hall.  Simply fantastic.

Bulat’s newest album, Tall Tall Shadowwas released in 2013 and she just finished up her Canadian tour.

I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

-Sherwin

Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting On You)

You know that voice in your head? It’s the one that doesn’t actually sound like what comes out of your mouth; you’re probably using it right now to read this. Well, I’m still waiting on confirmation but I’m fairly certain that David Bowie has invented a device that is able to record said voice. Yes, I believe that Future Islands is the first evidence of the inner voice of David Bowie. Bowie will be trying to pick an outfit and Samuel T. Herring is just crooning away inside his skull, “No, the one with the sequins, it makes you shimmer like the moon”. Now before you start speculating that I’m hearing more than one voice in my head you should probably hit play and hear it for yourself.

Future Islands is another band that I can add to my Baltimore pride list as they are now official residents. With constant themes of love, vulnerability and celestial attractions, the snyth-pop band’s latest release and fourth LP, Singles, is not only stronger but more sonorous than previous iterations. This album will be the one that thrusts them into a well deserved spotlight.

-Zach

NoFX — The Decline

It occurred to me today that it would be a nice idea to check out my old playlists, you know to remember the good ol’ days.

It never ceases to amaze me how smell, sounds and music can transport you right back at some point of your life. 

This song did this to me today, it transported me back at a random day of my adolescence; my brain remembered the smell, the colors, the feelings and mood of my past self, and I felt younger too. I looked back at the window, the sun was shining outside. Even though I was working, it didn’t feel like it. 

Today I’ve been 16 again.

I been meaning to post this one since the very beginning, as this is without a doubt one of my favorite songs by NoFX. The Decline is pure ear bliss; it was in the past, and it still is in the present. It will never get old to me. 

So do yourself a favor and press play. Hope enjoy!

-Viu.

(Source: soundboard)

The War On Drugs - An Ocean In Between The Waves

It’s odd to think of The War On Drugs as musical veterans, especially as they just released their third album in around six short years. However, their rock ‘n’ roll purist sensibilities and profound emotional resonance give the band a certain gravitas that is impossible to ignore. As soon as Red Eyes dropped last month, something was simply different. When listening to their newest release, Lost In The Dream, their commitment to growth is apparent. Only three of the album’s ten tracks clock in under five minutes (and one of those earns that distinction by a single second), as opposed to nine on Slave Ambient.

The songs on Lost In The Dream are meticulously crafted and labyrinthine; the way that each song builds is a thing of beauty. Each track’s subtleties grow and become more urgent until they, along with drums and the occasional impassioned “Woo!” by Adam Granduciel, signal an incredible emotive shift. The average track length works in their favor. With extra room to breathe and explore, Lost In The Dream is an exercise in superb sonic complexity.

While the implications of a faded relationship are an extremely common theme, Granduciel fuses the unstable feelings into the songs’ changing tones. Here, he delivers his last lyric that is front and center of the mix just before the song simply blows apart for another three minutes: "You’re like an ocean in between the waves". From that point on, the song is a foot slowly pushing down on the accelerator in a car chasing the sunset. 

Lost In The Dream is a can’t miss. 

-Andrew

(Source: Spotify)

Flux - Boiling Point*

I discovered Flux a couple of Saturdays ago when I sleepily walked myself under the blossoming Islington trees to the Union Chapel, where, every Saturday, they hold an inspiring showcase called Daylight Music. My first day off in a fortnight, I was exhausted and lost in my own pensive world. This band headlined the lunchtime show and transported me more completely than a band has in many months. A violin, piano, cajon, Indian flute and Indian/Spanish guitarist created a gust of sound that soared around the chapel, with brushes of Galician and Celtic folk, amongst hearty lashings of Indian melodies. I was in folk nirvana.

I immediately gave away £7 for their album, Mirror, which maybe was a bit hasty; I’m not hugely impressed by it now I have them to listen to whenever I want. They’ve severely over-done it with dramatic electric guitar licks and an obvious desperation of studio prowess-recognition. However, track 4 is this beautiful stroll with some meditative drones that set my heart alight, truly. I’m a sucker for Indian virtuosos.

Moral of the story? Try, then check out online before you buy… And live music is always the best way to serve music.

- Rosie

*Boiling Point isn’t actually the name of this song; I’ve just noticed that it’s been listed with the wrong title on Flux’s Soundcloud…

Chromeo - Jealous (I Ain’t With It)

Oh, Chromeo. A Few weeks ago I stumbled across this song (as I do) and I have been obsessed with it. Now I want to make it clear that I am not being totally hyperbolic. I’ve listened to it a lot. And on top of all that, this week it began playing regularly on the radio at work so I’m sort of being payed to marmalade to one of my favorite songs of the season (Yes, I’m still trying to make marmalade happen).

Anyway, you should definitely watch Dave 1 go all Mr. Steal Yo Girl on A$AP Ferg. Have a great week, and please resist your crime-committing urges.

Max

Reuben And The Dark - Rolling Stone

I went to a concert last night but unfortunately I have already posted Boy & Bear and Wildlife before so I opted for another choice. On Tuesday, I found myself at a concert inside a sketchy local venue.  Once again, I knew none of the bands but that was no problem since I’m always up for discovering new music live and I was in very good company.  

Reuben and the Dark played last that night and they were totally fantastic.  I picked this song because it had some serious forward movement (you know, like a rolling stone…).  The repetition in the background helps make this piece one of those songs that you gently bob your head to unsuspiciously.         

Reuben And The Dark are from Calgary, Alberta and have been around since 2011.  Their new album, Funeral Sky, will be released in late May of this year.

Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

-Sherwin

Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains - La Vérité

Hope you’ve been brushing up on your French because it’s time for your weekly French lesson. Considering I dropped French 102 in the first week, it’s fair to assume that lesson will not be from me. The only vocabulary word I remember is ‘poster’ and that’s mainly because ‘une affiche’ sounds like tuna fish. I guess answering all of the online quizzes wrong, copying the right answers and doing it again to get a 100 wasn’t the best way to learn a language. I did, however, get an A in French 101 so I’m glad to know our school systems are ***flawless.

You’ll be getting a better teacher than I had if you watch this video from Frànçois (with some help from The Atlas Mountains) where he explains a bit about the French language and how to understand some of the phrases in this song that until this point had just been coming out of my mouth like drunken slurs. Now they sound like sober slurs! I’d also been throwing a couple Voldemorts into the mix which in my defense are at least the same language. Whether or not you understand French, Piano Ombre (created with the help of Metronomy's producer Ash Workman) is a fantastic collection of artfully arranged tracks well worth your temps.

-Zach