CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 4 Feb / 19 Feb]

 
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Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015
"Easy Mistake", the downcast and somber tune by the gravel-voiced David Corley, now has a somber black-and-white music video to complement its gruff folk sonic.

The low, ragged voice of David Corley is of the kind one would expect could only come from many years of experiencing life and putting it into song. With Corley, such a guess would be on the money. At 53, he has plenty of years to his name, and ever since he was 20 he’s been honing his songcraft into a distinctive voice. Surprisingly, however, Available Light, his recently released studio LP, marks his first full-length recording. That fact is stunning; Corley sounds like the kind of guy who’s been in the studio for decades, a consummate natural. Comparisons to songwriting greats like Tom Waits and Lou Reed aren’t far off. Tunes like Available Lights’ “Easy Mistake”, the video of which you can watch exclusively below, evoke the image of a weary songwriter looking back on all of his years in the world. His presence is a natural and authentic one, as any one of his songs evinces.


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Monday, Jan 19, 2015
The newest outing by the New Jersey singer/songwriter Ryan Hobler is a welcoming potpourri of folk stylings.

Folk music is one big tent in terms of stylistic diversity, a fact encapsulated nicely by the latest LP by the singer/songwriter Ryan Hobler. Produced by Andy Baldwin (Bjork, Saint Lucia, Wakey! Wakey!), The Elusive Yes runs the gamut of folk styles in 12 tracks. Hobler himself lists Paul Simon, Elliott Smith, and Nick Drake as formative influences on his music, but even more can be heard throughout this album, which you can stream exclusively below. “Bob vs. Jack vs. The World” takes Hobler’s affable tenor and marries it to a tune that wouldn’t sound out of place in a barn hoedown. The indie-friendly “Holding On With All Their Might” brings to mind the music of Sufjan Stevens. Best of all is the subtly brooding “See What You’re Doing to Me”, which adds a nice dash of noir to the variegated experimentation of The Elusive Yes. All in all, anyone that’s a fan of indie folk or the increasingly popular trend in acoustic music writ large will find something to like in this not-so-elusive album.


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Friday, Jan 16, 2015
With a cool percussive pattern and plinked notes juxtaposed against a windy, beautiful violin, "Miles of Skyline" is an instrumentally sophisticated number by the promising folk outfit River Whyless.

One wouldn’t be wrong in grouping the North Carolina quartet River Whyless in with many of the other so-called “folk revival” groups at the moment, but these musicians are distinctive in several key ways. Rather than focus on layered vocal harmonies (Fleet Foxes) or rousing calls to camaraderie and sentimentalism (Mumford and Sons), this group brings interesting and sophisticated musical technique to the forefront. On “Miles of Skyline”, drummer Alex McWalters lays down a knotty rhythmic foundation upon which Ryan O’Keefe plucks a pizzicato-esque guitar pattern in tandem with Halli Anderson’s rustic violin. Best of all, none of these nuanced arrangements ever get too assertive, allowing Anderson and bassist Daniel Shearin’s vocals room to breathe. In a genre that’s getting increasingly oversaturated by the day, the unique compositional style of River Whyless is a breath of fresh air.


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Friday, Jan 16, 2015
David Strange once said that “reality is inherently psychedelic." One listen to his track "Lion Tattoo" and you'll be able to see why.

On the surface, the tune “Lion Tattoo”, the closing number off of David Strange’s forthcoming self-titled EP, sounds nothing more like a graceful lullaby on fingerpicked guitar. If one listens closely, however, to both the subtle production technique and the lyrics (there’s talk of a boy with tentacles at one point), it’s easy to tell that Strange is, well, an artist that more than lives up to his name. Then again, one was probably already clued into that fact by one gander at the EP cover art—thank the heavens for strategically placed fish. Below you can stream this weird and delightful little song, which encapsulates an epigram of Strange’s: “Reality is inherently psychedelic.”


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Thursday, Jan 15, 2015
With beautiful vocals and entrancing strings, Manika Kaur's "Aukhee Gharhee" is an alluring opener to her new album, Bow to You Waheguru.

The best religious music doesn’t proselytize. Rather, it enraptures you in its beauty, showing the strength of its convictions without forcing you into its grasp—it invites you into communion with it, no matter your walk of life. The talented songwriter Manika Kaur knows this, a fact that can be heard on full display on her latest LP, Bow to You Waheguru.


The record’s press release gives some context for the LP’s lyrical explorations: “Kaur’s musical output is inseparable from her spiritual heritage. All her songs flow from her devout Sikh faith, from the songs and sacred stories her family shared as she was growing up in Australia.” As evinced by tracks such as opener “Aukhee Gharhee”, which is laced with gorgeous violin, Kaur’s ability to make her unique religious experiences feel universal in their magnanimity of feeling is a powerful one.


Stream “Aukhee Gharhee” below.


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