Two Songs From: Violet Days


So the first thing I have to tell you is before my first listen to Screaming Colors I misread “Violet Days” as “Violent Days” and was expecting something a lot meaner and thrashier. That said, once I had clicked play, I was surprised, but not disappointed. Lina Hansson has a beautiful voice and they collectively have a solid grasp of how to build a pop song. Here’s Screaming Colors, to help you grab your Monday by the throat: And So Dope, which is for anyone who has had a relationship that was awesome, until it was terrible, to which you would return any time:

braeyden jae, botched communion

Painting by Andrew Alba

Among the many benefits of being subscribed to Warren Ellis‘ newsletter is that sometimes he includes a music section. It was there, this week, that I found botched communion, by braeyden jae, and on listening to it, wanted to share it with y’all. There are only two songs. Closed Visions features soothing church-organ and church bells as a background to guitars so fuzzed out they almost sound like chainsaws; this song goes on for 10 full minutes and is awesome. botched communion by braeyden jae Cannot Reach has slightly brighter, cleaner tones winding through the buzzsaws, and is also delightful. botched communion by braeyden jae

My Dear Mother, David C. Clements


There are certain metaphors I abuse. Most of them are nautical. One is lepidopterological: I tend to think of musicians in the studio as caterpillars in a chrysalis, or, more accurately, in a cocoon. And fans as the tenders of these cocoons, sitting outside, waiting for a sparkly wing to emerge. David C. Clements has been in a cocoon for a very long time, and yesterday, a delicate wing popped out: My Dear Mother, his first EP in two years. Four songs, two new (My Dear Mother, When We Go), one alternate version of an earlier tune (On The Border), one interpretation of a Neil Young tune (Philadelphia), all collectively a teaser for a record coming early next year. The whole thing is awesome – the new/old version of On the Border is slower, but more expansive; there’s some muscle to it, now – but here are the two new ones: My Dear Mother, the title track, and an excellent introduction to his style, i.e. catchy shuffle-sway beat, sing-along chorus, lyrics that will tear at you. (Front rows of Norther Ireland: if you aren’t dancing to this, I’m giving you some serious squinch-face.) My Dear Mother EP by David C … Continue reading

The By Gods, On the Radio

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.

Twin Limb, Don’t Even Think


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.

Wickerbird, The Leaf Maker


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: The Leaf Maker by Wickerbird And Sail Cloth, which sounds like a small boat gliding through an arch of trees towards rough water: The Leaf Maker by Wickerbird 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. The Leaf Maker by Wickerbird

Barns Courtney, Glitter & Gold


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.

The Dirty Nil, No Weaknesses

The Dirty Nil - Photo Credit: Yoshi Cooper

The Dirty Nil (scrappy little band of my heart, Frozen North division) have been busy lately. First they went out on Warped Tour for the summer, which is not so much as tour as it is an endurance test, and now they are releasing more new music. The first single out of the gate is No Weaknesses, below – a cover of Fugazi’s Provisional is the B-side – and there’s a full record coming early next year. I’m super excited and looking forward to all of it. Previously on NTSIB, with The Dirty Nil: Luke Bentham talks A Good Read, A Good Listen and a Good Drink.

El Xicano, La Grande Paura


The last time we heard from El Xicano was approximately this time last year, when he joined us for an installment of A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink. His long-awaited EP La Grande Paura (The Great Fear) has at long last been turned loose upon the world, and it is just as delightful as I remembered. By delightful I mean: Perfect for a rainy day just on the edge of chilly, as it is here. You could probably also sort Halloween candy to this music. Or carve a pumpkin. Perhaps work on the final touches of your costume. Check it out:

Three Songs from: Sea Legs


HEY Y’ALL. I’m more or less settled in Mississippi now (translation: I’ve unpacked half my books) and I’m coming to you today with music from Australia because of the MAGIC of TECHNOLOGY. I love the internet sometimes, I really do. Specifically, I am bringing you three songs from Sea Legs, who are from Bateau Bay, Australia (Central Coast, north of Sydney) which I like because they are either uncomplicated fun, making interesting use of shimmer and fuzz, or both. Why Don’t We Go Out Tonight, from their upcoming EP Daddy’s Girl, is exactly what it says on the tin: an invitation to conjugate the verb “to party,” and is the kind of thing suited for driving up coast roads with the top down while wearing obnoxious sunglasses and/or dancing around your room while refining your Party Look. The guitars are satisfyingly propulsive and crunchy, as well, which I always enjoy. A++ would add to a roadtrip playlist. Christopher Strong, is not as lightweight as Why Don’t We Go Out Tonight, but I’m still very fond of it. Based on a TRUE STORY, i.e. Sea Legs’ frontman Byron Knight’s chance encounter with Katherine Hepburn while traveling in America in 1998, the … Continue reading