Posts tagged ‘Singer Songwriter’

June 24, 2022

Friday 5×5

Friday 5×5 is our segment where we give you five new tracks to check out and give ourselves the challenge of describing said tracks in only five words.

Behold! Our 55th installment of the Friday 5×5! We’re five fiving it up today with new music from Twin River, East Mane, Vargen, The Dirigibles and Low For High. Check it out after the jump.

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June 16, 2022

The B-Side: Mike Legere

It’s easy for a song to kick it’s way into our hearts with a big hook, punk energy, singular uniqueness or avant-garde weirdness, but let’s not forget the sublime and sneaky ones that creep in and take up residence without knocking the door off the hinges. “Dawson City” by Mike Legere is such a creeper, the kind of song on first listen you think “this is pretty good” and by the third listen you realize “no, this is perfection.” Hitting the same melancholic sweet spot as the Connells classic “74-75” (one of our all time favorite songs), Legere rides the line between disillusionment and hope in a way that feels so natural it feels less like lyrics and more like your own inner thoughts.

June 9, 2022

The B-Side: Ryan Cassata w/ Hello Noon

Happy Pride Month to all who celebrate, which really should be everyone when you think about it. What kind of person wouldn’t celebrate people celebrating all the things that make them beautiful? Of course the answer is quite a few right wing politicians, who have once again mounted a hate filled push to strip some of their fellow Americans of rights, safety and dignity. So what better time than now for singer-songwriter and long time LGBTQ rights activist Ryan Cassata (with assistance from Hello Noon) to drop a modern day anthem in “Hold On, You Belong (People Like Us).” Like Baez, Seeger, Ferrick and Bragg before them; Cassata recognizes the best protest song is one with a chorus designed for an impassioned sing along, and one that acts not so much like a molotov cocktail to the powers that be (although those are always good too) as an uplifting mantra. Like “We Shall Overcome” and “Blowin In The Wind” the focus of “Hold On” is on the strength and resilience of the oppressed and the assurance that no one is alone in the fight.

April 19, 2022

Tuesday Tip-Off: Eyal Zuzman & Amir Lev

There’s a distinct pleasure in listening to music in another language, your brain and ears deprived of lyrical meaning are allowed to focus on and hear things they might otherwise not notice. The way all the other parts, including vocal melody, fit and fight with one another. The push and pull and dance of the music and voice free from the analyzation and judgement that we usually run songs through so that it rests in a very different space inside of us. “One Stork” by Eyal Zuzman and Amir Lev lands not only lands in that space, but sets up shop there. A quietly driving number that blends acoustic instruments and percussion with a restrained drum loop and female backing vocals for a vibe that feels a bit like modernized Leonard Cohen. It’s a beautiful ride, even if we don’t know what the conductor is saying.

April 14, 2022

Thursdays With J.R. – Vincent Coomans

Thursdays with J.R. is our new weekly column from lifelong musician and lifelong-er music fan J.R. McIntire, drummer of Arctic Char and multi-instrumentalist on more projects than we have bandwidth to list.

I usually don’t look for this type of music, but it often hits my plate whether I seek it or destroy it.  I couldn’t have been happier this week when “Must I Always” by Vincent Coomans hit the submission box.  Coomans hails from Belgium and is often compared to Sufjan Stevens.  I am not one for comparisons but the warm coronet lacking highs and washing over you as the song starts doesn’t hurt as it sounds straight off Illinois by the said Stevens.  Coomans’ music tends to have themes of distance, grief and desire as his bio proclaims, bringing him closer in the musical ether to such musicians as Elliot Smith, Bill Ryder or even Damien Jurado.  Coomans sets himself apart I would say with his own “sound” only pulling slightly from said influences.  I knew within seconds I wanted to review this as the ambient sound alone takes you to somewhere that you aren’t quite sure of, even as the tune dissipates upon completion.  The warm brass floods you with what sounds to be a ride cymbal slowly being washed across with mallets.  I could be way off but that’s what I hear.  It almost washes into a low note resembling a far away alert or warning siren.  Droning a far-away familiarity only lending to the alien environment.  Hopeful piano starts to fall from the fingers as Vincent’s voice trickles out ever slightly but with weight.  The vocal part brings you into the room we’ve been in sonically the whole time the walls just felt bigger before his vocal presence.  He immediately plays with space, jumping between notes like landing on stones poking their dry heads from a creek bed, keeping our ears as dry as they can be, all the while moving progressively downstream.  His lyrics talk about ropes holding him down, fights in the car and an all-around troubled life all the while they beg for what to do while ever asking in finalization “Must I Always”?  His falsetto in what I would call the “chorus” combats the frequency the coronet occupied once more, and they ride beautifully together in their vocal canoe.  The song builds with strings again sounding like a siren blaring on a radio in a far off room down the corridor.  He begs again but slowly “at least for a little while”.  I want to be in that car, in that relationship, what happened?  Really simple yet atmosphere heavy tune.  I immediately ran out to his page and started absorbing all I could get my ears on.  His bio says he performs as a trio as well, which is always fun to see live, and I would love to do so.  I quite enjoyed this music and am glad to be back at it.  

April 12, 2022

Tuesday Tip-Off: The Lied To’s

Fun fact for you gentle reader, Postcard Editor loves the Tom Waits song “Time” so much he has one of the lines tattooed on his body. “Time” by Pink Floyd? Another all time classic. We can now add to that short list of Time songs that are in their own stubbornly contradictory way timeless the song “Time” by The Lied To’s. Despite it sounding like the name of a political hardcore band, The Lied To’s is actually singer-songwriters Susan Levine and Doug Kwartler and with this one they lay it down with the utmost tastefulness. That restrained tasteful approach puts the entire focus on the song’s narrative which balances a simple poetic lyricism and a wistful understanding on the back of Levine’s divine vocals for stellar results. A lot of time songs like this can be too straight forward, too on the nose, but The Lied To’s have created something here that is both plainspoken and profound, and that’s what makes this a new classic.

April 1, 2022

Week Ender – Jonivan Jones

The Omega to the Week Starter Alpha, Week Ender is the song we want to send you into the weekend with.

Spring still springs forth, despite the ongoing awfulness of most things these days, and in all that cyclical action we are reminded that eventually the light will break through – and with it a promise of better days, or at least a brief respite. What a perfect song for such times “Across The River” by Jonivan Jones is. A Lanegan-esque dark and smoky croak starts the song, but before too long Jones’ voice has opened up like the storm clouds dissipating at dawn. The song tells the story of an inmate working on prison farms but whose spirit and connection to life cannot be taken from them. It works not only as a classic story song but also as metaphor and a new “keep your head up” anthem.

March 7, 2022

Mike’s Monday Muse – Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster

Mike’s Monday Muse is where friend of the blog, roots DJ, house show organizer, Bloomington Music Expo czar and all around nice guy Mike McAfee picks one song a week to share with the people.

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster wrote, produced, played, sang, recorded and mixed all the music on this superb rock-n-roll record, No Tongue Can Tell. “Is It Lost,” “Mama’s Cash,” and “Daisies Never Tell” are #1 hit tunes in my car. JPKS is one of my very favorite artists and I recommend all his solo work as well as Marie/Lepanto, Water Liars, Theodore, or anything he releases through his Constant Stranger label.

February 14, 2022

Mike’s Monday Muse – Elephant Micah

Mike’s Monday Muse is where friend of the blog, roots DJ, house show organizer, Bloomington Music Expo czar and all around nice guy Mike McAfee picks one song a week to share with the people.

I had the privilege of seeing Kate Long perform her gorgeous cover of Elephant Micah‘s “Dentist/Drummer” exactly twice recently and it slammed my face into an Elephant Micah rabbit hole. Vague Tidings, Globe Rush Progressions, and Where In Our Woods remain on repeat mode. Nothing is ever wrong with reminding me of Jason Molina and Will Johnson. Me digs this live video of “By The Canal” with Jason Groth on guitar .

January 31, 2022

Mike’s Monday Muse – Jason Wilber

Mike’s Monday Muse is where friend of the blog, roots DJ, house show organizer, Bloomington Music Expo czar and all around nice guy Mike McAfee picks one song a week to share with the people.

“I just read this ole’ book. On phil-os-ophy. The nature of man. His will to be free. And now I can’t sleep. I just lie awake and worry all night.” Jason is a genius songwriter and guitar player and more people need to be paying attention. I’m humbled he’s headlining plus Postcard Editor is coming back to emcee the Bloomington Music Expo #3 on February 5th in Bloomington, IN. The expo is free for everyone. This shameless plug for bloomingtonmusicexpo.com is proudly provided to you by me. Delete your Spotify account and come buy some records.

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