Youtube is letting me down this month! Ahh! So there’s quite a lot of soundcloud embeds floating around instead. I’ve got quite a mix for you this month, everything from hard rock to quiet folk.
Session #2 playlist
Parachute – EP
Released: May 29, 2012
Catchy, bouncy, and fairly expansive—for a four song ep, every tune has its own flavor and style. At least musically. Lyrically, they’re all pretty grounded in sex. Ya know. (Oh, grab a free new track on his site).
Starred: 1998, Parachute.
Released: Jun 09, 2012
Yes. Yes. Yes. They’ve apparently already sold over 50 million and for excellent reason—this whole album’s solid, perfect repeat material. After skimming Minutes to Midnight, and skipping A Thousand Suns entirely, Living Things brings front and center everything I love (and have loved) of Linkin Park’s style without trying to rewind the clock or skate by on past success.
Starred: Burn It Down, Castle of Glass, I’ll Be Gone.
Future Like Snow
Released: Jun 19, 2012
On an entirely different note comes Trent Dabbs—slower, measured, quiet and often acoustic, Dabbs reminds me a little of Andrew Belle. A little harder to appreciate on first listen, but offering something new every repeat. My favorite track (by far) is Hoping for Home, which winds under the skin hot, sticky, and unshed.
Starred: One Last Look, Hoping for Home, Better Off Now.
Writing playlist tip: for quieter/more depressing sections, load a list with Belle, Greg Laswell, Dabbs, and have at it.
Bottom of the River
Released: May 04, 2012
Alternative, on the folk side
The full album, Carry the Fire came out this June, which I can’t quit commit myself to buy. Maybe someday. Until then, I live with Bottom of the River on repeat. The heavy drums and vocals style build like an old spiritual, holding a universe full of secrets and sins.
Matt & Kim
Released: Jun 25, 2012
Matt & Kim personify off-beat pop, and this single is very much them—which is what makes it great. I love their particular bounciness, a mix of vocals and piano, sidewalks and skateboards.
The Circle in the Square
Released: Jun 26, 2012
I can’t call myself a Flobots groupie, since I tend to sample their albums instead of listening to them complete. But the songs I sample I love with epic groupieness and include in 70% of my playlists. They’re different and not afraid to be exactly that. For which I think people tend to dismiss them out of hand—and that’s a mistake.
High For This (free on Soundcloud)
Released: Jun 2012
It’s Ellie, it’s a cover and it’s free. What more do you need to know?
Caught a Ghost
CAG Mixtape (EP)
Jan 2011 / alternative
Yes, it’s a year and a half old. Yes, there’s only three songs, and one’s only ok. But the other two—the other two could move mountains if they felt like it. No Sugar in my Coffee and Time Go are completely dissimilar and completely wonderful.
For No One
Feb 2012 / singer songwriter
Poetic and unhurried, sometimes veering sometimes into folk and sometimes alternative, AKW offers songs that build on themselves almost like story arcs—beast popping up unexpectedly and yet always in perfect sync with the overarching note. (Can’t find a youtube video, but you can hear my favorite single on soundcloud.)
Starred: Bury the Hatchett, Little Room, Who to Tell.
Apr 2012 / electronic, dance
A solid electronic album, with some great singles and a good flow (ie, some diversity). Not Morgan Page, but good writing music. When skipping songs, when Lux’s come on I always tend to stop—which is a higher praise than it sounds.
Starred: Burning, All I Ever Wanted, Wildheart.