Even in a world where new genre names seem to arise ex nihilo each day, one wouldn’t think that the phrase “Danish cowboy noir” would ever actually be an existing sound. Lo and behold, then, the murky little ditty that is “Lonesome Town”, a track off of Danish composer/songwriter Emil Friis’ new LP Sand in Your Eyes. As a regular composer of film music, Friis knows how to conjure a vivid environment, even one quite distinct from his native Denmark. “Lonesome Town”, as its name implies, evokes the scent of barroom whiskey and the pitter-patter of tumbleweed across an arid desert.
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Rock & Roll Is A Beautiful Thing, indeed. As a part of this year’s Record Store Day, the Alive Naturalsound label will release a limited colored vinyl under that name, which includes 21 tracks of previously unreleased material, original album cuts, and cover songs. The artists represented include the Black Keys, Radio Moscow, T-Model Ford, the Bloodhounds, and as you can hear exclusively below, Buffalo Killers.
That Ohio rock group—whose second Alive Naturalsound outing, 2008’s Let it Ride, was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys—has offered up a cover of the Nerves’ “Stand Back and Take a Good Look” for this 2LP collection. In doing so, the band highlights their presence amongst a fine roster of blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and psych outfits, all the while paying tribute to a classic band.
The New York indie folk outfit Fireships, according to their own description, “patrol the foggy edges of American music”. Headed up by Andrew Vladeck (of the Honey Brothers fame), the group is set to release their self-titled debut this spring. Leading up to the release you can stream “Come Back to Me” below, a track that sounds something like an indie campfire jam, with a sing-along chorus and a convivial mood making it an ideal invitation for the Fireships LP. Existing somewhere between indie rock and folk revival, Fireships have offered up a promising start with “Come Back to Me”.
With a near operatic sweep and the grandeur of Florence and the Machine, Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands’ “Fall of the Seraph” is a dramatic number that proves a powerful portent to the North Carolina group’s upcoming full-length, The Absolute Elsewhere. On its Bandcamp page, the group describes itself thusly: “This is what it would sound like if Kate Bush were to genetically fuse with Danny Elfman and Dresden Dolls in some strange biological experiment.” Given Bright’s incredibly powerful vocals, the Bush comparison isn’t far off, and overall the melange of artists mentioned in that quotation is a fair representation of the stylistic diversity the band purveys in. Bright herself is an anthropologist and an ethnomusicologist, which no doubt colors the creative songwriting of her and the Silver Hands.
“Fall of the Seraph”, like the rest of the music on The Absolute Elsewhere, drew heavily from the inspiring work of a certain photographer. For more on this, stream the track below and read Bright’s explanation for its genesis.
Last September, PopMatters premiered the new album by the Brazilian dream-pop artist SILVA, Ocean View, which would later go on to be named the album of the year by iTunes Brazil. With these songs still fresh in the mind, SILVA will take to Austin, Texas, for the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) music and film festival, where he will bring his catchy, almost tropical pop to the dry heat of Texas.
Below you can stream the Tom Bailey (of the Thompson Twins fame) remix of SILVA’s “Vista Pro Mar”, which exudes an island vibe that’s perfect foreshadowing for your next summer vacation.
// Notes from the Road
"Co-presented by the World Music Institute, the 92Y hosted a rare and mesmerizing performance from India's violin virtuoso L. Subramaniam.READ the article