A few new CD recommendations for you...
Corinne Bailey Rae: Corinne Bailey Rae
I've heard CBR songs around, but I really didn't listen until I saw her play live at the Grammys. It was beautiful. I've jumped on the bandwagon and I'm really enjoying her neo-soul music. Even when the music is upbeat it's still mellow. Check out some of her music videos at YouTube: Like a Star, Put Your Records On.
Explosions in the Sky: All of the Sudden I Miss Everyone
This is one of the only times I've ever put a CD release date in my calendar. Let me say it was a great idea. This CD is strongest when first drawing us toward silence and then dragging us into the sound, only to do it all over again. It's restraint, then power, and then restraint again. Drowned in Sound gets it right: "Most of the songs start with a flutter, work themselves into a resplendent flourish, ease back into a gentle, laying-down-in-a-field-of-warm-poppies trench, then repeat the process."
It's all music folks, no words. And it's a beautiful soundtrack for any number of things you experience. If you have gone Explosions yet, you should. Click on the albums here for a few free downloads.
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter: Like, Love, Lust & The Open Halls of the Soul
Sykes seems like an import from a few decades back, and well worth importing. From the website: "We were trying to capture some pretty ephemeral stuff on this album -- love and fragile human emotion, the 21st century's strange combination of swagger and vulnerability." Mission accomplished. This album gets beyond the music and to the heart.
From Paste Magazine: "The songs are simultaneously catchier and darker than on her earlier records, the incessant repetition on "Air is Thin" and "How Will We Know?" evoking a world of anxiety and compulsion. This album is made for cold, rainy evenings."
The Mountain Goats: Get Lonely
Ugh, this is a great CD. Like many CD's that I consider favorites, this is a fantastic, mellow-ish acoustic and emotional trip. Pitchfork: " There's nothing inspirational about Get Lonely, and there's no story-arc or clear villain-- even though every song is about one particular feeling. That feeling is a sort of existential dread, the thing that happens when the most important person in your life walks out. It's a complicated emotion; you can blame yourself or the other person but you still won't come any closer to feeling better. So Darnielle doesn't sing about anger; he sings about loss."
Watch their video on YouTube: Woke Up New.
New on the radar...
Through the Paste Magazine Culture Club podcast I found Brett Dennen. I thought he was like 14 from his photos, but heard he is through college, so, I'm really not sure how old he is. But his sound and songwriting are strangely mature. Just great acoustic, folksy sounds. Listen to him at MySpace (especially "Ain't No Reason").