Singer-songwriter Dar Williams released her latest album Many Great Companions last week via Razor & Tie. She offers up instantly memorable tunes rooted in the great Americana folk-pop tradition. This time around Williams re-recorded 12 of her classic songs with a number of notable musicians on the new record, including Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Patty Larkin. In this new video for “As Cool As I Am”, she pairs with the Jayhawks’ Gary Louris.
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L.A. based Best Coast is serving up some much needed sun soaked pop with the video for their latest single, “Boyfriend”. The video, directed by award-winning filmmaker Tyler Cohen, features the band playing a Quinceañera, a Mexican 15th birthday tradition. The video highlights the indie trio’s love for the West Coast, documenting the significant occasion on the kind of golden day California is known for. To support this new single the band has extended their tour dates (after the jump) and will now be performing through mid November.
France’s El Boy Die constructs his tunes like a film composer, creating expansive, cinematic music that evokes mood and imagery in equal measure. For his new album, Black Hawk Ladies & Tambourins, releasing 26 October on Semprini Records El Boy Die decamped to Montreal to work with the likes of Herman Dune, Yeti Lane, Cyann & Ben, Zombie Zombie, and Valleys. It’s all part of his attempt to deconstruct psych-folk and the results are intriguing to say the least. Today, we present the premiere of the first single, “Dead Kings,” from Black Hawk Ladies & Tambourins. Check out the mesmerizing, tribalesque drumming.
Out of focus more than in, this video starts out with Close Encounters tones and then proceeds to circle around video pixelated images, reflections of faces, obscured shadows, and disfigured animation of the members of PVT nee Pivot. Quite a good tune with convulsive percussive fits and pointed low-end sine wave propelling a song that’s the kind of hard-edged synth-driven pop music that all but disappeared from this culture after the crash and burn of industrial at the end of the previous millenium. PVT are releasing a digital remix EP for the track with versions by Nathan Fake, Seekae, Dorian Concept, and Danimals.
In some ways, Nellie McKay is the quintessential New Yorker. She has the insouciance of the sophisticate and the naïveté of the innocent all wrapped up in an exuberant package. One can easily imagine her as the model of that lady standing in the harbor beckoning the huddled masses to greener pastures. Judy Holiday would have played McKay in the movies, if McKay would have been born 50 years ago.
Therefore McKay’s appearance on WNYC’s Greene Space radio program on a Tuesday afternoon to an appreciative crowd of mostly metropolitan denizens made the audience feel like they were right at home. She even brought her mother along. McKay sang three songs from her most recent release, Home Sweet Mobile Home, with a three piece band and accompanied herself on both ukulele and piano. She explained the reason behind the title of her album to the radio emcee, who said as a New Yorker, he was mostly unfamiliar with trailer living. (The Mobile of the title refers to Mobile, Alabama as well as a transportable abode.) McKay charmed the radio audience with her combination of wit and straight talk, in true Gotham wiseacre style that bespoke an authentic personality whose art comes directly from her heart and mind. Luckily, the show was recorded.