Happy warm weather days! It’s the perfect day to sit outside, go for a bike ride, lounge in the park, and listen to some music. I’m pretty happy with the new music that is coming out lately, but it’s been hard for me to hold back on albums that aren’t fully released yet. Hope you like what I’ve got for you this month. Can’t wait until everyone gets vaccinated (please go get vaccinated!) and we can all meet up and listen to these together! Life’s a garden, dig it!
BELLA WHITE – JUST LIKE LEAVING
If you do anything today, please go listen to the track “Just Like Leaving”. I’ve basically had it on repeat for the last month. Even if you aren’t a fan of bluegrass/folky music I think this will appeal to you. This 20 year old, Calgary, AB born and raised gal is just a pleasure to listen to. Her voice is soothing with just the right amount of twang to it. I’m a sucker for harmonizing and she does this perfectly in the chorus with her bandmate. Jacey Fossum, if you’re reading, this one is right in your wheelhouse! With the likes of Colter Wall, Belle Plaine, Kacey & Clayton, Bella White, and many more, I would argue that Western Canadian artists are leading the world in this americana/folk/bluegrass genre. And if you missed it the first time, she’s only 20 years young! There will be much more where this came from in the coming years!
PUNCH BROTHERS – THE PHOSPHORESCENT BLUES
Listening to Bella White also spun me back into some other bluegrassy things I used to listen to. One of the main ones was the Punch Brothers. Anyone ever watched the movie “Inside Llewyn Davis”? It’s a movie starring Oscar Isaac based around a folk singer trying to make his way in the world and navigate the changing popular music scene. The sound track is a mix of old folk songs and new stuff written for the film. It features Oscar Isaac himself, but also Marcus Mumford, the Avett Brothers, and the Punch Brothers. This is where I became familiar with this band. There are Youtube videos of a soundtrack concert where they sing an a cappella version of an old Irish folk song called “The Auld Triangle”, which I love (linked below). If Hoja or Streetnix would have performed this in the Climax School Gym in elementary school my head might have exploded (It’s hilarious how often I connect with people over having had Hoja and Streetnix perform at my school growing up! haha). My other two favourite songs are linked below as well. If nothing else, stick around to hear Chris Thile play the mandolin. Again, even if you don’t like bluegrass music, this is simply amazing musicianship.
BRISTON MARONEY – SUNFLOWER
Switching gears now and getting right into some upbeat alt-pop in my list this month. I stumbled across this album in my regular iTunes browsing and I’m happy I did. Supposedly this guy was on American Idol in 2013, which surprised me a little based on how indie this sounds to me. Now you can all pretend to be Randy Jackson and give it a “that’s gonna be a yes/no from me, dawg!” This is good weather music. “Sinkin’” is my current song for leaving work.
THE BLACK KEYS – DELTA KREAM
I was going to put girl in red – “if I could make you go quiet” in this spot, but the more I listened to her lyrics I felt like I couldn’t relate to the sexual problems of a 22 year old Norweigan gal. So instead, I settled on something right back in my wheelhouse. This one is hot off the press so I haven’t had a tonne of time to digest it yet, but I can assure you this will be heavy in the rotation over the next while. I had the pleasure of seeing these guys at Lollapalloza in 2012 with my friends Fossum and Shaun. It was one of the most memorable concert experiences I’ve had thus far. I thought it was cool how Patrick Carney, the drummer, was positioned right at the front of the stage beside Dan Auerbach, not at the back where the drummer normally sits. I loved how this gave me a better view and appreciation of what he was doing (The Rural Alberta Advantage does this set up as well and their drummer, Paul Banwatt, is incredible to watch). This will be a great summer time bluesy soundtrack for everyone. Turn it up!
BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN – BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN
Let’s keep rolling with our regularly scheduled programming. A suggestion to me from the music guru, Eric Anderson. After casually forming this “supergroup” at a music festival run by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National), Bonny Light Horseman decided to formally join forces and record a full album together this past year. Anybody else wondering what the hell a bonny light horseman is? After a quick search I found that it formally refers to the nimblest, most handsome rider in the cavalry (put that one in the Jeopardy memory bank!). It is also the name of an age-old folk song from the 1800’s, which is track #1 on the album. I’m a sucker for beautiful vocals, simple acoustic guitar, and some piano. I think this one is a slam dunk for most people.
MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA – THE MILLION MASKS OF GOD
I mentioned this album in my last post, but it is now released in its entirety. Please go back to it and listen to the rest of the songs! Also, watch the music video for “Telepath” below. How beautiful/sad is that? It has a similar theme to Jason Isbell’s “If We Were Vampires”. I love how the characters dance from start to finish and that it is filmed as one continuous shot. Creativity at its finest.
- BELLA WHITE – JUST LIKE LEAVING
- PUNCH BROTHERS – THE PHOSPHORESCENT BLUES
- BRISTON MARONEY – SUNFLOWER
- THE BLACK KEYS – DELTA KREAM
- BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN – BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN