The By Gods. Photo by Bradley Spitzer
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
After a week of dream-folk (and unending rain, these things may be connected) I need some sunshine, and/or some aggressive guitars. Enter The By Gods, of Nashville, with On The Radio, from their upcoming record Get On Feelings.
I like this song / the record because:
The local radio stations here are, shall we say, limited, and I’ve chosen Classic Rock as the lesser of a selection of evils, but I still spend a lot of time muttering “Sweet fancy Moses, NOT RUSH AGAIN.” Sure, I can plug my phone into my car (see also: today in sentences I never expected to write) but that is kind of not the point. The By Gods are the perfect fuzzy ragged antidote to being deeply irritated by very old prog rock and super gross unfunny “morning zoo” radio programming.
All excellent: My Way (NOT a cover of the Sinatra classic of the same name) and Let Me Go.
After roughly a decade on hiatus – with one brief reconnection in 2011 – Space, of Liverpool, have returned, bearing new tunes and gearing up for a tour.
I’m trying to figure out what to say about this video and don’t quite know where to begin. Okay, let’s try a numbered list:
1) The camera close-ups highlight that these dudes are old(er) and have earned some gray hair and wrinkles. They are all the more dear for it, and I really didn’t know who they were before, uh, today.
2) There is all manner of “weird” stuff – literally, things: all kinds of dolls, vintage musical instruments, religious statuettes, rows of rusty scissors – which I’m sure was art directed within an inch of it’s collective life, but – I don’t know, I feel a certain sympathy for the magpie heart that collects that kind of thing for real.
3) The song itself is also about the – the challenge, if you will, of being the owner of that kind of magpie heart. Of being able to find home for all sorts of oddly painted creatures and uses for half-broken tools but yet being flummoxed by the sudden appearance of someone else, who might – might love you. Maybe. Of the ways that can feel like a fever dream, and a lie, but trying to believe it anyway.
Twin Limb, of Louisville, KY, are also a dream-folk band. Their sound is a hair more aggressive than Wickerbird – meatier, if you will — but still pretty mellow.
This is Don’t Even Think, from their upcoming EP Anything is Possible and Nothing Makes Sense, scheduled to be unleashed upon the world next week.
It’s a solid tune, with lovely vocals and a tempo that is just the right side of seductive; it is, in short, excellent company.
It’s been a little while since we last checked in with Wickerbird (Blake Cowan), and in that time he’s made some more music, inclding his most recent release, The Leaf Maker.
His sound is still dream-folk, but these songs seem more . . . mature, I guess. Better constructed, perhaps; the instruments blend seamlessly with the samples of birdsong and rushing water to create an atmosphere of reflective melancholy.
That makes the whole thing sound grim, doesn’t it. This is not a grim record! Sad and lovely, yes; depressing, no. It is, I think, comfort food for souls who do not especially mind being left to their own devices for extended periods of time.
For example, here’s The Coppice/A Haunting, which sounds like a late afternoon walk by a creek running high:
And Sail Cloth, which sounds like a small boat gliding through an arch of trees towards rough water:
In conclusion: Sepulchre, or, a murder of crows rises and wheels across the sky, headed out of the valley – but they’ll be back, they always are, because this is home.
Today in Things I Heard on SoundCloud While Looking for Something Else: Glitter & Gold by Barns Courtney.
I’m pretty sure this is the heaviest song I’ve ever heard that features glitter as a major motif. Mostly, though, I like the slow stomp of the beat.
Also of note: he has another song called Fire which was just selected to appear in Bradley Cooper’s new film, Burnt.