Category: Singer-songwriter

Rejoice! New How to Dress Well LP Announcement – What is This Heart?

Oh, Tom Krell, you’re HTDW What is this heartsimply the best! How to Dress Well, the moniker for the beloved Chicago-Brooklyn-Berlin based soulful singer-songwriter with twinkling eyes and a magnetic stage presence has announced this morning the arrival of a new LP, What is This Heart? The album is due out June 23rd (UK, Europe)/24th (USA) via Weird World and Domino including a deluxe limited edition LP. On his blog Krell stated, “The deluxe lp is sooooo special and amazing, really excited to share it w uuuuu xoxoxoxox <3.”

Have a listen to two lovely new singles from the highly anticipated album: “Repeat Pleasure,” and “Words I Don’t Remember

What is This Heart? tracklist:
1. 2 Years On (Shame Dream)
2. What You Wanted
3. Face Again
4. See You Fall
5. Repeat Pleasure
6. Words I Don’t Remember
7. Pour Cyril
8. Precious Love
9. Childhood Faith In Love (Everything Must Change, Everything Must Stay The Same)
10. A Power
11. Very Best Friend
12. House Inside (Future Is Older Than The Past)

How to Dress Well – Repeat Pleasure

How to Dress Well – Words I Don’t Remember


New LP Release Day! Listen to Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams, Mac DeMarco – Salad Days & Pure X – Angel

Mac DeMarco, Timber Timbre, Pure XI know it’s April fool’s day and all, but I can’t be bothered to actually pull any pranks (I’m terrible at ’em anyway). I do, however, have some very real and amazing news about what else today represents: Album release day; hooray! Three very different, but talented and beloved bands, Timber Timbre, Mac DeMarco and Pure X have all released brand new LPs, Hot Dreams, Salad Days and Angel, on this fit for tricks day. Whether you’ve already been stumped, deluded and/or duped today, I bring you some refreshing musical truth:

Timber Timbre  – Hot Dreams via Arts & Crafts
Timber Timbre is a dark, beautiful, semi-spooky, and sometimes described as “swampy” Canadian folk project and trio made up of Taylor Kirk, Simon Trottier and Mika Posen. Their moniker refers to a timber-framed cabin set in the wooded outskirts of Bobcaygeon Ontario where they made an early series of recordings. Hot Dreams is their 5th (yes, 5th!) album.

Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams

Timber Timbre – Curtains?!

Mac DeMarco – Salad Days via Captured Tracks
Oh, Mac DeMarc0. He’s everyone’s favorite goofy, guitar slingin’ Canadian crooner (who’s now currently residing in Brooklyn). Since the release of his wacky LP, Rock and Roll Night Club in 2012 (technically his first album), and the blow up of his second album, Mac DeMarco 2, that soon followed after, the 23-year-old seems to be on a never-ending whirlwind tour of mischievousness. Banging out Metallica covers, smoking endless cigarettes, and playing his catchy, crooner crowd pleasers to thousands over and over again, Mac may look tired, but no one is of his music. He’s come a long way since his days of Rock and Roll Night Club. With the release of Salad Days, which touches on more personal and semi-serious tops, like the inability for his long-time girlfriend, “Kiki” to stay legally in the United States in “Let My Baby Stay,” it seems as if Mac’s all grown up… kind of.

Mac DeMarco – Passing Out Pieces

Mac DeMarc0 – Brother

Pure X – Angel via Fat Possum
Pure X is Austin, Texas’s billowy, psychedelic chillwave quartet (formerly known as Pure Ecstasy). Angel is the group’s 3rd album and according to their LP promo material, Angel was written and recorded over just 5 days in a hundred-year-old dance hall situated in a small town in central Texas. Drummer Austin Youngblood described the album as “a record for the ladies, about the ladies.” Now, who can resist?

Pure X – Starlight

Pure X – Heaven


Breakout Bands You Shouldn’t Have Slept on Pt. 1: Courtney Barnett + Speedy Ortiz + Tweens



Everyone in the music realm, particularly amongst new music fanatics and the blogosphere, loves to use the phrase, “Don’t sleep on this band.” What the hell does that mean? In layman’s terms it means, “Listen to this band right fucking now ‘cus they’re gonna be huge, and if you don’t, you’ll be sorry, you’re a sucker, and you don’t have any music credibility,” or at least, that’s how I take it.

But you know what? Sometimes you’re just too obsessed with several other breakout bands that you don’t have time to give every amazing new band equal attention. So what do you end up doing? ZZZzz… Sleeping on that band! But it’s OK, your music cred is still intact… for now. Should you have slept on that band? Nah, but we all do, ‘cus guess what? Life and other bands happen, and it’s never too late to join the music partay.

So with that, here is part one of a series (yes a series) of mostly breakout bands from the last year (and are ready to rumble in the next) that you may have possibly slept on. You’re forgiven… once you start listening. Now enjoy:

Courtney Barnett is a Melbourne, OZ based singer/songwriter with an amazing, refreshing and interesting matter-of-fact, conversational approach to her music. Barnett’s 2012 EP, I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris, put her on the map, then her presence at the CMJ Music Marathon this last year wowed and wooed music lovers alike. Since then, her name has been sprinkled on “Musicians to watch” lists to an endless degree, and for a good reason. Barnett released a double EP this year, A Sea of Split Peas. Listen for a good time:

Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener

Speedy Ortiz is the Massachusetts hailing pop punk band everyone loves to rave about post-sleep. It’s as if Speedy Ortiz slapped us silly with their rippin’ punk rock and we were astonished with the revelation that we’ve been sans-Speedy all this time. Originally starting out as front woman Sadie Dupuis’s solo project while working at a song writing summer camp, the band has flourished into a successfully loud four-piece. And, this year has been a rockin’ one for the group indeed. They signed to Carpark Records and released a roaring full-length, Major Arcana which landed them a “Best New Music” label via Pitchfork… if you want that to mean anything. They’ve also just announced a new EP, Real Hair, on the bill for February, 2014. Can’t stop ’em now!

Speedy Ortiz – Everything’s Bigger

Speedy Ortiz – No Below

Can’t get enough punk? Meet: Tweens, the scrappy, ragin’ “trash pop” trio from Cincinnati, Ohio who want you to be mean. They have just a handful of jams, but they’re gnarly enough to land the band on several “breakout band” lists across the punk rock land. Word on the street is that they’ll have a full length LP due out early 2014. Well, that’s certainly sweet for some mean tweens:

Tweens – Be Mean

New Track + Music Video: Angel Olsen – Forgiven/Forgotten

Angel OlsenOh, Angel Olsen, how everyone adores thee. How could one not? The Chicago-hailing singer/songwriter’s unique voice and raw lyrics are the epitome of compelling.

Speaking of compelling, Olsen recently released a new single, “Forgiven/Forgotten.” The track can be found on her forthcoming album, Burn Your Fire For No Witnessout 2/18/14 via Jagjaguwar, and is a major switch up for Olsen; it’s rockin’, fuzzy and meaty compared her usual freshly wounded heart fragility. To accompany the track, Olsen’s released a music video directed by Zia Anger (Julianna Barwick and Jenny Hval).

The video’s simple, but it doesn’t take away from the impact of the jam – Keep on rockin’ on Angel! Enjoy:

Angel Olsen – Forgiven/Forgotten

NEW Beauty of a Track: Clare Maguire – Half Hearted Love

Clare MaguireIt’s amazing, crazy and sometimes a little heart wrenching when a song hits way too close to home. Clare Maguire, the young British singer-songwriter with a magnificent, smoky, Stevie Nicks-esque voice does an excellent job of creating beautiful, soulful and somber songs that relate to many.

Following her recent hype-worthy track, “Paper Thin,” Maguire has released yet another enchanting, nostalgia inspired and heart breaking track, “Half Hearted Love,” written by Jarvis Cocker. With lyrics like, “I can stand all the booze and the drugs, but not this love, this half hearted love,” the song easily, painfully yet beautifully strikes a chord in anyone.

Find Clare Maguire on SoundCloud and Facebook and stay tuned for her highly anticipated forthcoming album.

Clare Maguire – Half Hearted Love

FUNKY! Listen to New: Blood Orange – You’re Not Good Enough + Chamakay

Blood Orange

Blood Orange. Photo by Stacey Mark

Y’all, let’s get funkaay. And, that’s exactly what I’m doing with Blood Orange‘s latest release, “You’re Not Good Enough.” It’s deliciously smooth, upbeat, addictive, funktastic and heart jabbing. Some are even comparing the jam to Prince, thee man, himself. With lyrics like “I never was in love. You know you were never good enough,” it’s hard to imagine a track could be so easy to get down to. However, Devonté Hynes, the man behind the BO band never fails to produce a pop hit. He’s written for Florence and the Machine, Solange, Sky Ferreira, Kylie Minogue and is currently working with Brittany Spears on her upcoming album, after all.

You’re Not Good Enough” featuring Samantha Urbani on vocals, swiftly follows Blood Orange‘s recent release of “Chamakay,” both of which will be featured on his highly anticipated forthcoming album, Cupid Deluxe due out November 18th. We’ve all been dying to hear the new album, so join me in this mini celebration of pre-LP-release by listening to the pure funk that Blood Orange exudes:

Blood Orange – You’re Not Good Enough

Blood Orange – Chamakay

Listen to New Sexy Slow Jam: Josef Salvat – Every Night

Josef Salvat

Josef Salvat by Sam Hiscox

Ugh. Josef Salvat. The London-hailing singer/songwriter consistently releases smooth, sexy, emotionally driven slow jams, each one more addictive than the next. He’s giving sexy slow jam counterparts, Rhye, SOHN, Autre Ne Veut and How to Dress Well a serious run for their money. Luckily for us (but maybe not for them?) Josef Salvat has released yet another ‘ugh’ inducing, heart-swooning, hip swaying track.

Every Night” is one of two tracks that’ll be released on a double-single, due out December 9th via Fingers & Thumbs. Have a listen and I dare you not to melt:

Josef Salvat – Every Night

Music or Misery? Listen to New: Clare Maguire, Haim, Rudimental, Judson Claiborne & GEMS

Clare Maguire

Clare Maguire

What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?- High Fidelity

Clare Maguire, the young British singer-songwriter with a voice reminiscent of Stevie Nicks has released a new single, “Paper Thin.” It’s a brooding, somber, soulful and beautiful gem laced with keys and Maguire’s delicate, enchanting sound – An excellent track if your misery needs company:

Clare Maguire – Paper Thin

The LA-based sisters that make up Haim have done it again – Released yet another ridiculously catchy pop song you just can’t hate. I’m still debating what the lyrics actually mean. Did she cheat on him? Regardless, the “new” single (the track has been around for a while, but they finally created a fine-tuned studio version) is already blowing up blogosphere, and it’s well-deserving. the The trio have yet to release a full-length album, but each new single creates even more hype than the last. Enjoy:

Haim – The Wire

UK dance quartet Rudimental has been giving electro-pop brothers, Disclosure a healthy dose of competition. The group released their album, Home in the UK earlier this year and it’ll soon be hitting US streets in August via Big Beat Records. According to BrooklynVegan, Rudimental has collaborated with “choice vocalists like Sinead Harnett, and even more interestingly, Angel Haze, they’ve also got a track with Internet Explorer commercial soundtracking dude Alex Clare,” and of course Ella Eyre as heard below in the upbeat and infectious track, “Waiting All Night.” Have a listen …and tell me that you want me:

Rudimental – Waiting All Night ft. Ella Eyre

Judson Claiborne is an indie-rock-pop-folk band hailing from Chicago. They’ve been compared to Beck, Rufus Wainwright, and on someone tagged their music: “makes good goddamn hibiscus rose hip tea.” So, you know, it’s gotta be good. “Neo-Pagan Lovesong” is a romantic new number that can be found on their recently released LP, We have Not Doors You Need Not Keys.

Judson Claiborne – Neo-Pagan Lovesong

GEMS, the Washington D.C. based couple who’ve been taking the dream-pop spotlight by storm (and filling the hole in your heart you have reserved for ‘old’ Beach House sounds) has released yet another “gem.” “Sinking Stone” is a dreamy and nostalgic track, one in which front woman Lindsay Pitts delicately and somberly coos the chorus, “Could you ever love me again? I need to know…” successfully crushing your heart.

GEMS – Sinking Stone

New, Magnetic & Provocative Tracks: Jenny Hval – Innocence is Kinky

Jenny Hval - Innocence is Kinky

Jenny Hval. Photograph: Kristine Jakobsen

I woke up this morning with a heavy heart. Uneasiness and uncertainty were oozing from my pores like booze after a liquor drenched bender. However, the undeniable and surprising cure-all that stopped my anxiousness dead in its tracks was the unusual, breath-taking and magnetic sound, voice and lyrics of artist, Jenny Hval.

The Norwegian singer-songwriter just released her fourth album, Innocence is Kinky, produced by longtime PJ Harvey collaborator, John Parish. The boundaries Hval pushes in her latest album lyrically and musically, especially with her lightening-quick voice transformations is all-consuming.

In an interview with The Guardian, Hval explains her lyrics for Innocence is Kinky “draw on a dark pool of influences, from the crimes of Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik to Paris Hilton… In her songs, the female body gets lost, burned, chucked out to sea – anything to break it free of the media or male gaze. ‘When you listen to this and to these lyrics, the body could be anything, anywhere.'”

On her site, Hval states that Innocence is Kinky was also heavily influenced by her artistry, as it’s also the name of her 25 minute long sound and light installation. She channeled her desire to play more abrasively in comparison to her 2011 album, Viscera. “I found myself getting more and more aggressive on stage with this material, wanting to play louder instead of working with acoustic, hushed soundscapes, but I didn’t know how. I wanted to sing louder, channel this energy, sharpen all edges, loosen the structures… I was drawn to music very much exploring that position – particularly Nick CaveBlixa Bargeld and Michael Gira. To work with these powerful expressions – and failing miserably with my voice and body – was creating a specific energy I found necessary for the album.”

Innocence is Kinky is out now via Rune Grammofon. Have a listen two magnetic tracks from the album:

Jenny Hval – The Seer

Jenny Hval – Mephisto in the Water

Watch Playful New Music Video for: Cat Power – Manhattan

Cat Power - ManhattanCat Power may have graced our ears with her latest LP, Sun back in September, but today, she’s gifted us with an airy, playful music video for the beautiful, hypnotic and slightly somber track, “Manhattan,” (my personal favorite from Sun).

In a stunning, brisk urban scene, Chan Marshall aka Cat Power is seen traversing and dancing (backwards) through the beautiful NYC cityscape, participating in playful subway antics, and kickin’ it with the people who make NYC so magical.

The video was directed by Greg Hunt and Chan Marshall herself. Enjoy: