Season Changes

I want to write something profound, but my creativity juices have not been flowing as much as they. Perhaps it is because I’ve been getting more sleep and taking a bit more care of myself…which means fewer late restless nights.

I love Fall. It is my favorite season. Las Vegas does not have much of a Fall, but that does not mean I cannot celebrate. I don’t really have “Fall” music, unless it is Halloween music or bands like Oingo Boingo and Bauhaus (WHO ARE BACK TOGETHER), but as I finished school late in the summer, I have been listening to more music. I am also taking a break from drinking this month, so music will be a pretty big stress reliever and constant companion.

For this post I will highlight a couple artists I am really enjoying.

Josh Ritter is an Americana singer songwriter from Idaho, though listening to his newest record, Fever Breaks (which is produced by Jason Isbell), you would swear he was from the Southern US. This year he has had two significant releases for me. The first is his newest album and the second was his cover of “Old Old Fashioned” on Tiny Changes the record celebrating the 10th anniversary of Frightened Rabbit’s Midnight Organ Fight.  I love the original by the Frabbits, but his cover is one of my current favorite songs.

Ritter’s Fever Breaks is a very political record. My favorite of those songs is “All Some Kind of Dream” where he comments on the current state of affairs in the US.

“I saw my country in the hungry eyes
Of a million refugees
Between the rocks and the rising tide
As they were tossed across the sea
There was a time when we were them
Just as now they all are we
Was there an hour when we took them in?
Or was it all some kind of dream?”

Oddly enough, the band I listen to the most in the last two years has only received one post here. Penny and Sparrow  are folk/American duo with Texas & Alabama roots. They have a religious tone that flows through their songs without being overt, which is probably one of my favorite things about them. Their lyrics are always heartfelt, and often full of sadness. Their newest record Finch is probably their least sad and contains one of my favorite love songs of all time “Don’t wanna be without ya”. The video is also incredible as it includes scenes from some of the best Romantic Comedies of all time.

On a different note, their record Let a Lover Drown You from 2016 is full of heartache. They are pretty active both touring and recording as they’ve released 3 records since 2016. I am excited as I get to see them later this year. Here is “Gold”.

 

Tow’rs is an indie folk family band from Flagstaff, AZ. Like Penny & Sparrow they have songs that have a very spiritual tone running through them. They just released an incredible album New Nostalgia which shows how the band has matured over the years, but their sound is still pretty unmistakable. One of my favorites off of the new record is “Pink Confetti”.

It is tough to pick a favorite song from Tow’rs, but this version of “Girl in Calico” from Grey Fidelity may be my favorite.

As the season progresses, I am sure I will find some more artists to enjoy!

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Spring Heavy Rotation

There have been so many new albums released over past few months that have captured my ears. Mixed in with bands that are old favorites are a couple new discoveries and new found appreciation for bands I did not give much time too in the past.

The National is a band that I should like because they are often quiet and sad. I do like some of their songs, and very much appreciate their influences on bands like Frightened Rabbit. Their newest record I Am Easy To Find is filled with such great melancholy that I really have no choice but to embrace it. My favorite song off the album is “Light Years”.

Speaking of Frightened Rabbit, through an online group of Frabbits I found out about an up & coming Scottish band called Wrest. Wrest can easily fit in a set with Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks. They recently released their debut album Coward of Us All. I love each song on the record, but my favorite is most definitely “Human”. I really hope for big things from this band. Their insightful (and melancholy) lyrics really hit the spot.

Sandy Beats favorites Of Monsters and Men will be coming out with a new album later this year, and will also be performing at Life Is Beautiful (!!!). From the sound of their first single “Alligator” off the upcoming record Fever Dream that they may be a bit less folky… that is definitely okay with me. I am excited to see them live again and to hear more new music.

My most anticipated album for the first half of 2019 was definitely Living Mirage from The Head and the Heart. The album does not disappoint. I like it just as much as their sophomore release Let’s be Still. Each new THaTH record has a new favorite song…this time it was “See You Through My Eyes”…I cannot wait to hear this song live. The first single off the record is “Missed Connection” and is another incredible song.

Another album that I was anxiously awaiting during the first half of 2019, Bear’s Den’s So That You Might Hear Me brought another hefty dose of English melancholy and introspection into my world. I am pretty sure its the album I’ve listened to the most this year (with Wrest and THaTH coming in tied for second). I love each song on this record, but have two favorites: “Crow” and “Hiding Bottles”. The video for “Crow” gets me every time.

The last song is not new, but the version most definitely is. While the band Penny & Sparrow does have new music coming out this year (Finch), this song is a John Denver original. “Annie’s Song” will always remind me of parents. Apparently my uncle performed this at their wedding (I have heard a couple different stories regarding this)…but whether or not this song was at their wedding, it is their song to me. I love the John Denver version and it will always be my favorite, but this version is just so perfect as well.

There is no better way to end a post than with this beautiful song.