One month and 6 Days Late – Happy 2015!

As my good friend @begt likes to point out, I have been slacking in 2015. The truth is, I’ve started a new job, I’ve got a new outlook on my year, and I’ve got a beard. All these things take time and energy…but rest assured, Sandy Beats and music are still a priority for 2015.

I know it is only February, but I’ve already found a couple of my favorite bands of the year.

The first is Air Review. This Dallas based quartet found their way into my ears via Spotify when listening to a a few “suggested” bands. The song that pulled me in was “America’s Son”.

Their 2013 album Low Wishes is incredible. I definitely suggest listening if you like a more atmospheric indie folk rock vibe.

My other first favorite band of the year is Priory. I saw this band at Life Is Beautiful and I vaguely remember them as being good. Then late last year they were one of the bands on the bill for a local radio station’s holiday show. I was excited to see them again and they did not disappoint. They were definitely a stand out in that show and after giving their debut self-titled record a listen and then their new EP, I was hooked. I think  that their song with radio play, “Weekend’ is good, but it does not even begin to showcase their sound and talent.

My favorite from them is “Put ’em Up”.

So there is just a small taste of what I’ve been listening to. More is definitely to come as 2015 progresses.

Here is to more music, more shows and more fun in 2015!

Advertisements

Spring into Summer New Music

I know I owe you all a wrap up of May…but it is not over yet…and I cannot make any promises about seeing another show before the end of the month.

April and May have been great months with a lot of great music that has been released. Some of the new releases I’ve been anxiously awaiting, and some of the others I did not know where coming, or had not heard the artist until Spotify let me know.

Where to start? The month of May has brought its ups and downs and so with that, I will begin with a new melancholy favorite of mine. Sharon Van Etten is a Brooklyn, NY based singer songwriter. She saw moderate success and popularity with her third full length record, Tramp in 2012. Just two years later, she has followed it up with We Are There. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to her over the last month, and really like her more minimalist tracks that aren’t quite folk, and aren’t quite blues. The track that both introduced and hooked me on her sound is “Every Time the Sun Comes Up”.

(I hadn’t see the video until I posted it. Wow. Love this video)

Electronic duo, Plaid, was introduced to me by a friend who is a fan. This London based duo has been on the scene since the early 1990’s. From their 10th full length Reachy Prints here is “Hawkmoth”:

So I don’t want to move from electronic music from this next one. In an act of glorious cross Scandinavian collaboration, Norwegian electronic duo, Royksopp and Swedish sensation Robyn have released Do it Again which is a small collection of amazing electronic experimentation. Some are a bit more poppy than others, but it is all golden. I’ve always thought that Robyn has an amazing voice, and one t hat works well with electronic music. Royksopp, while having one real hit in the US a few years back, has quite an expansive catalog and and have worked with a variety of artists over the years.

I’ve enjoyed each of the 5 tracks on the record, my favorite of the moment is the dance track which also serves as the title of the EP, “Do It Again”.

If this doesn’t make you move a bit, you may need to visit a doctor.

Last but not least, comes Matrimony. This North Carolina based 4 piece “family band” is no stranger to Sandy Beats. They have become one of my favorite bands of the last couple of years, and I am so very happy that they just released their first proper full length record, Montibello Memories. This record features a new mix of the previously discussed “Obey Your Guns” but does not include my favorite Matrimony track, “Golden City”. This record does have a mix of bluesy, indie folk and has a much more polished sound than their previous two EPs. They are hitting the road this summer, and I am seriously considering a mid-week trip to LA to see them preform.

Here is a live version “Southern Skies” which is the first track off of their new album:

I know the summer will have lots of new tunes for us to check out, and of course, previews of LouFest now that the lineup has been released. I am looking forward to a grand summer!

April New Music

It is a Tuesday, so you know what that means? Album release day!

I’ve missed a lot of new music in April, so I thought I’d sift through some of it to provide you with some highlights.

We all know how much I love indie folk. Nashville based Apache Relay is one of the bands at the forefront of this (hopefully long lasting) revival. Today they released their self-titled follow up to the amazing American Nomad. 

Here is “Don’t Leave Me Now”, the first single off of the new record.

Switching gears a bit, singer/songwriter and general sassy pants, Ingrid Michaelson, released Lights Out, her 6th studio album earlier this month. I saw Michaelson live a few years ago when she opened up for Keane and Fran Healy (from Travis). I can tell you that what you think of her based upon the songs on the radio, is, in fact, not consistent with the show that she puts on. She was incredible live.

Here is “Over You” featuring A Great Big World (spoiler alert, this is not a happy song):

Scottish singer, Paolo Nutini, most well known for his song “New Shoes” released his third studio album Caustic Love on April 14th. This album is not available in the US yet, but an EP with some of the songs, Iron Sky, is available on iTunes and Spotify. The new album sees Nutini after a breakup with his long time girlfriend and 4 years of constant touring and performing. His sound has definitely matured as have his lyrics. The new record has a mix of soulful pop songs, and heart-wrenching break-up songs.

Here is “Scream (Funk my life up)” from Caustic Love and/or Iron Sky. I think @begt will enjoy this video as it is filmed in one of her favorite places.

If there is new music we should be listening to, please let us know in the comments.

 

The Year 2013 pt. 1

When I sat down in front of my monitor this evening, I had every intention of starting my first ever “Best of the Year” post here at Sandy Beats. However, as I put on some writing music, I was notified that today is Tuesday aka new release day. I did what any music fan would do, and clicked on the New Releases on Spotify playlist. As I scrolled down the list filled with some classics (The Velvet Underground, ZZ Top), some new music from one of hip-hop’s uncle’s  (E-40), and new stuff from everyone’s favorite motivational kink (R. Kelly), I saw what I did not realize I was looking for…Childish Gambino’s (aka Donald Glover aka Troy) new release because the internet.

I was lucky to see and hear some of these new songs at the Life is Beautiful Festival in October. While I was a fan of Childish Gambino before seeing him live (okay, I am a HUGE fan of the TV show Community and through that became a fan of CG), I now consider myself a real fan. I have listened to his first release Camp a few times, and really enjoyed it. After seeing his live show, I was lead to believe that this new record would be a bit more gritty and dark. Camp is not all rainbows and sunshine, but I do get the feeling  that because the internet is a bit darker. It has been said in the media that Glover is going through a “dark period” and he has taken a leave from Community. Everyone needs a break, and music is one of Glover’s outlets, so I am not to judge his person…however…this record is pretty incredible. I would not be able to write a Best of 2013 article without having heard this album.

After a couple listen’s my favorite track is “sweatpants”. This was also a favorite of mine from his LIB set.

The first single from this new record is “3005”. Check out the video:

Most of my 2013 has been filled with indie folk, Imagine Dragons, and bluegrass…the time is ripe for some unique beats and lyrics.

LouFest Spotlight: Trampled By Turtles

@begt and I are only two months away from LouFest and while I am not fully prepared in regards to travel arrangements or time off, I am prepared when it comes to the bands that I will be enjoying. One of those bands is Trampled By Turtles. TBT are a not quite bluegrass indie folk band from the great white north of Duluth, MN. I cannot be sure when and where I first heard of TBT (lets be real, probably Spotify) but the first song I heard from them was “Wait So Long” (see video below). I was just starting my most recent folk/bluegrass kick and instantly loved the song. I started discovering their other work, and built a strong appreciation for the music they make (or sometimes cover like the Pixies tune “Where is my mind?”).

I would say they are probably the most “bluegrassy” of the bands in the LouFest lineup, and as a recent student of the mandolin, I can tell you that I am very excited to see them perform and to watch the mandolin being played live.

Please enjoy “Walt Whitman” (as seen on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim)

and “Wait So Long”.

They are on tour this summer, so if they are coming to a nearby town, you owe it to yourself to see them in action.