Saturday, May 4, 2024

Common Saints - lovesong, 2020

"I would have to say Pink Floyd, Grover Washinton Jr., and the Bee Gees would be immediate influences, but as the project develops the sound grows with all the new and old music I listen to."

Chloe And Shute - stacey, 2022

"Carried by whispering strings and gentle piano chords, CHLOE’s ghostly vocals echo as if inside our own heads, melancholy yet hopeful."

The Cribs - we share the same skies, 2009

"We Share the Same Skies" arrived in November 2009 as the second and final single taken from the fourth studio album by British indie rock band the Cribs. The song provided listeners with two of the stand out songs from the four-piece incarnation of the band, with the Smiths and Modest Mouse guitarist Johnny Marr an addition the year previous, which found release on fourth LP Ignore the Ignorant in September 2009."

Lloyd Cole And The Commotions - jennifer she said, 1987

"T’m taking some time away from music. I was sick on tour in Australia, I was sick on tour in Scandinavia, I’m sick again in Portugal. I have some kind of virus. This time my mental health has been impacted. I’m fine, for now, I’m on antibiotics. I have people to talk to. The plan is to get the seven Portuguese shows done. Then I’ll fly home early May. I need to address the root of the issue. I’d rather not go into details here. Honestly I don’t know exactly what’s going on but I’m pretty sure some major changes are needed in my lifestyle and work schedule. I’ll be consulting my MD and we’ll figure a plan. Most likely I’ll be in some kind of treatment facility for while, hopefully like The Magic Mountain. I’ve cancelled the US East Coast shows that were scheduled for June. I’m keeping May, June and July free to heal/recover. I look forward to some golf in Ireland in late August and then September solo shows in the Ireland and the UK. We’ll reschedule the cancelled US dates as quickly as we can. I’ll see you all in the Autumn."

This Mortal Coil - not me cover, 1984

"If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Not Me”, as covered by This Mortal Coil (1984, from the album It’ll End In Tears). This Mortal Coil wasn’t a proper band. It was more of a collective of 4AD artists. Back when Ivo Watts-Russell owned the label, and they had major focus on post-punk, goth-rock, and UK ethereal dream-pop. “They” put out three albums between 1984 and 1991. There was a revolving cast of 4AD artists, but none showed up more frequently than Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, and Simon Raymonde. Collectively, they’re Cocteau Twins, but they individually worked with other musicians a lot for the This Mortal Coil project."

Steven Cravis - through the kaleidoscope, 1995

"Cravis began taking piano lessons at the age of seven and studied piano performance at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has released several albums of peace inspiring, solo piano work including True Reflections (1992), The Sound of Light (1995), Lavender Dreams (2004), Healing Piano (2009) and Cloudwalker (2016)."

Editors - a ton of love, 2013

"A Ton of Love" is the first single from British post-punk revival band Editors from their 2013 album, The Weight of Your Love. The song first aired on 6 May 2013 on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show, with the music video being released on the same day. It was made available as a download from midnight on 6 May 2013, included in the pre-order of the album The Weight of Your Love on the iTunes Store. The single was released as a digital download on 14 June 2013, and is set to be released on 7” vinyl on 24 June 2013."

Elton John - rocket man i think it's going to be a long long time, 1972

"The song was inspired by Ray Bradbury's short story "The Rocket Man" in The Illustrated Man, about a professional astronaut whose work keeps him away from his anguished family for months at a time. It echoes the theme of David Bowie's 1969 song "Space Oddity" (both recordings were produced by Gus Dudgeon). Taupin has denied that the Bowie song was an inspiration, but has acknowledged borrowing from Pearls Before Swine's 1970 "Rocket Man", written by Tom Rapp, which was also influenced by the Bradbury story. According to an account in Elizabeth Rosenthal's book His Song: The Musical Journey of Elton John, the song was inspired by Taupin's sighting of either a shooting star or a distant aeroplane."

Commercial Pop Machine - sandy eyes, 2002

"experimental pop, folk, lofi, soft rock, vocal, Los Angeles"

The Moody Blues - tuesday afternoon alternate mix, 1967

"Stunning teen-aimed ballad picks up rhythmic punch in a development that winds up a throbbing with top forty appeal."

Sheiks - tell me bird, 1966

"Paulo de Carvalho, drums; Edmundo de Brito Silva, bass; Fernando Chaby, guitar; Carlos Mendes, guitar."

The Clientele - lunar days, 2017

“Lunar Days” finds the Clientele in decidedly sharper focus than anything on their previous two releases, 2010’s mini-album Minotaur and 2009’s sepia-toned Bonfires on the Heath. It’s sprightly and gently psychedelic, recalling the pattering rhythm of the band’s early singles “This is the year that the monster will come,” MacLean sings as the chorus fades out. It feels like a message from the not-so-distant future, channeled through a song that aims to transport you there."

Tall Ships - sea of blood, 2017

"Impressions starts with ‘The Road Not Taken’ and you know you are in for a poetic journey. It’s a haunting introduction, really. Like the poem, the song addresses the difficulty of choices, regrets. Of course, ‘Nothing stays the same’ and this is a ‘Beautiful morning in another passing day.’ Other tracks also deal with the essential loneliness of existence such as ‘Will To Life’ and ‘Sea of Blood’. Our only comfort is to be drawn from family and friends. ‘Will To Life’ contains the line, ‘I’ve got a chest that burns a fearless red every time you are near.’ Sheer poetry."

Etienne Daho - bleu comme toi, 1988

"The son of a French soldier and a chemist, Daho was born in Oran on January 14, 1956 and raised by grandparents who operated a combination bar and grocery during the War of Algeria. Recordings of Sylvie Vartan and Françoise Hardy on a jukebox inspired Daho to dream of becoming a singer. Settling with his family in Rennes, France, in 1965, Daho continued to broaden his musical scope to include the British rock of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and, eventually, the experimental rock of David Bowie, Roxy Music, and the Velvet Underground. Visiting London for the first time in 1966, he became enamored of the British city's flourishing music scene."

Friday, May 3, 2024

It's Immaterial - heaven knows, 1990

"It's Immaterial were an indie pop/new wave band which formed in Liverpool, England in 1980. For most of their career, they were the duo of John Campbell (vocals) and Jarvis Whitehead (guitar). They are best known for their critically acclaimed 1986 single "Driving Away From Home (Jim's Tune)", a Top 20 hit in the United Kingdom. The band released two albums, "Life's Hard And Then You Die" (1986) and "Song" (1990), before disbanding in 1992. The band's first incarnation was formed by three former members of the power pop group Yachts: Campbell, keyboardist Henry Priestman and guitarist Martin Dempsey, along with drummer Paul Barlow. By 1984, Whitehead had joined and the band had been reduced to the duo of him and Campbell. Priestman later became a producer and keyboardist for the band The Christians, but performed on "Driving Away from Home" as a session musician."

John Zorn - prelude one the middle pillar, 2012

"The Gnostic Preludes is the fourth chapter in the mystically influenced recordings that began with In Search of the Miraculous and continued with Goddess: Music for the Ancient of Days and At the Gates of Paradise. Despite the wide range of Zorn's mystical investigations throughout his career, these four records -- thus far -- have more in common with one another than the rest of his catalog. While all have featured different groups, the one constant is vibraphonist Kenny Wollesen (who also plays bells)."

El Perro Del Mar - dog, 2006

“I am from Sweden and I received my musical calling when I was five-years-old. Although I don’t come from a musical background music was always very present in my home. I started writing songs when I was seven! My outfit name El Perro Del Mar [Spanish for the dog from the sea] came to me on a beach somewhere in Spain. It was during a crucial time in my life and this stray dog just walked up to me. There was just something very special about that moment and when I started to properly write music again, soon after, it felt very natural to name it after that meeting."

Joe Jackson - steppin' out, 1982

"This song is about the anticipation and excitement of a night out on the town. Joe Jackson wrote and recorded the Night And Day album in New York City, and the first side of the album describes various encounters with the city. "Steppin' Out" is the last song on side one, and takes us on a journey through Manhattan in a taxi."

Gretchen's Wheel - you should know, 2020

"Murray began Gretchen’s Wheel as a sort of laboratory project for herself; and accordingly, she’s used each project to test ideas and play with technique. And each of those tests has paid off, rewarding both Lindsay and her fans with collections of ever more sophisticated songs. such open sky is, in that sense, a perfect encapsulation of who Murray is now – a gifted, ambitious, accomplished singer and songwriter who – remarkably – is still nowhere near the limits of her talent."

Robert Church And The Holy Community - black clouds, 2022

"Robert Church and The Holy Community are a Stockholm based band and plays an indie pop lo-fi sound with perfect pop melodies, great harmony and gentle vocals. If you like Belle and Sebastian, Sebadoh or Radio Dept. you will like them, i can even tell that they seems a bit of Rogue Wave specially on their earlier works."

Phantom Handshakes - passport how far i will be, 2022

"Passport (How Far I Will Be) is a pleasant and storytelling song, similar to the delightful dreampop sounds and creative methods we've become used to hearing from the band."

Castlebeat - change your mind, 2016

"What is the meaning behind the name CASTLEBEAT? I don’t think there’s a specific meaning behind the name, it just came to me one day. I wanted to start a lo-fi dream pop project backed by retro drum machines so I think that’s where the “beat” part came from. Castles are kind of vintage so I thought it fit well."

Thursday, May 2, 2024

The Durutti Column - sketch for summer live, 1980

"The Return of the Durutti Column is the debut studio album by English band The Durutti Column. It was released in January 1980, through record label Factory."

Death Cab For Cutie – your heart is an empty room, 2005

"Perhaps one of the more bright sounding songs in Death Cab's 1999-2010 catalog with a hint of melancholy, this song is (in my opinion) often overlooked perhaps because of its relative positivitiy being surrounded by some more dark songs on the album."

The The - uncertain smile, 1983

"It was a sweltering summer’s day and he turned up in full leathers on his vintage Norton bike so he wasn’t cool, he was sweltering somewhat. But he was very humble, very low key, very nice person. It was recorded on a nice piano and I still own it. It’s a Yamaha C3 baby grand and it was in a really good live room. Someone asked me why I chose to put a piano solo on that song and it was simply because we had such a nice sounding piano in such a nice sounding room."

The Feelies - turn back time, 2017

"Acoustic guitars naturally exude calm, but Mercer and Bill Million imbue them with a sharpness. The quick strums in the pithy “Turn Back Time” and aforementioned swayer “Stay the Course” both soothe and energize. Acoustics even tighten the otherwise placid ballad “Make It Clear.”

Galla - sparrow, 2022

"COMPOSITION & LYRICS, Adam Gallagher, Jonah Paul Smith"

Hope Sandoval - on the low, 2001

"And if they want to live in the songs a little longer than might otherwise be expected, who could blame them? After trying to do the same in a few of the tracks here, certainly not I."

Commercial Pop Machine - lightning bugz, 2022

"commercial pop machine, Los Angeles, California"

Damien Jurado - life away from the garden, 2012

"Maraqopa's first half is, indeed, cloaked in the long shadow of religion, with references to "golden crowns," stars aligning, and the spookiness of faith (and, at times, lack thereof). The spectre of belief literally haunts a few of these songs; "Life Away From the Garden" elicits chills via organ stabs and faded, childlike call-and-response backup singing, as Jurado exercises his sneaky lyrical talents with double-meaning ("There was a time/ When we were golden/ Like the sun/ We were lights in the world")."

Slowdive - blue skied an clear, 1995

"With a cascading guitar sound and ethereal vocals, Slowdive’s sonic debt to Cocteau Twins is instantly apparent, though they took the building blocks and made it their own. The band are admitted fans, especially guitarist Christian Savill who tells us his first exposure was single “Pearly Dewdrops Drops” which changed his life."

The Postal Service - sleeping in, 2003

"In August 2003, the United States Postal Service sent the band a cease and desist letter, citing the band's name as an infringement of its trademark on the phrase "postal service". After negotiations, the USPS relented, allowing the band use of the trademark in exchange for promotional efforts on behalf of the USPS and a performance at its annual National Executive Conference. Additionally, at one point the USPS website sold the band's CDs. In 2007, "Such Great Heights" appeared in the background of the "whiteboard" advertising campaign for one of the federal establishment's private competitors, the United Parcel Service."

Cal In Red - replay lounge, 2022

"Cal in Red is made up of brothers Connor and Kendall Wright who decided to name their musical project after their younger brother Cal and his obsession at one time with red t-shirts. Formed in 2019, the twosome have garnered acclaim with Spotify and Apple often being added to major playlists as well as touring across the country to a fervent fanbase."

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Clube Naval - salva-vidas mistura muito rica, 1983

"Ricardo Camacho. Portuguese composer, keyboard player, guitarist and producer. He was also a clinical investigator in the AIDS area. Ricardo Camacho helped to found the label Fundação Atlântica in the 80's."

Laurent Voulzy - yesterday once more cover, 2006

"Now & Then, was named by the duo's mother, Agnes. It contained Sesame Street's signature song "Sing", featuring the Jimmy Joice Children's Choir, which was released as a single, reaching No. 3 on the Hot 100. The album also included a Leon Russell composition, "This Masquerade", and the ambitious "Yesterday Once More", a side-long tribute to oldies radio which incorporated renditions of eight hit songs from previous decades into a faux oldies radio program. The single version of the latter became their biggest hit in the United Kingdom, holding the No. 2 spot for two weeks, and became the Carpenters' biggest worldwide hit."

Neil Young And Crazy Horse - psychedelic pill, 2012

"Some of the songs are edited down from their full performances. Young describes the process in his book, Special Deluxe: "I did a lot of work on these tracks with Johnny Hausmann and Jeff Pinn, my two engineers. Work went on for over a month to make the tracks as great as they could be. Most of the time was spent on editing the long instrumental passages, balancing the numerous vocal parts, and preserving the feeling and vibe of each song. Part of the process called for my co-producer, John Hanlon, to come in and do a final pass of all the mixes with fresh ears. Sometimes this can greatly improve the original passes."

Kitchens Of Distinction - i wish it would snow, 2013

"Fitzgerald is as direct as can be on the poppy “I Wish It Would Snow”, giving voice to a sentiment we all understand (“I wish it would snow / And close the roads / So I couldn’t go / And we could stay in bed all day”) over shimmering guitars and tambourines."

Tall Ships - road not taken, 2017

"Impressions is an album about choices. It presents you on that scenario that has you wonder what the right path is to travel down on your journey through life. The slowburning starting track 'Road Not Taken' explores the path you don't take and all its possibilities. The song slowly becomes more and more energetic, becoming more graceful at the end as the full band kicks in, the lyrics reassuring that every decision you've made has built you own unique experience and life that makes its worth living. The possibilities may be daunting, but the ones you've made are yours to own."

The Mountain Goats - younger, 2019

"So I started basing the song using my present-day skill set on this old riff. And then the lyrics were informed by the fact that I was dredging something up from when I lived in a studio apartment in employee housing at a state psychiatric hospital."

Peter Bjorn And John - do-si-do, 2016

"Peter, Bjorn & John had a major hit in 2006 with their song 'Young Folks', a perky little indie-folk ditty that has since been used on tonnes of TV ads. The trio released three albums after they scored their biggest hit - the most recent being 2011's 'Gimme Some' - although none have replicated the success of the catchy whistle-led number."

Johnny Nash - i can see clearly now, 1972

"After Nash wrote and composed the original version, he recorded it in London with members of the Fabulous Five Inc., and produced it himself. The song's arrangements and style are both heavily laced with reggae influences, as Nash had earlier collaborated with Bob Marley and his approach drew strongly from Marley's reggae style."

Hotel Decor - grand theft auto, 2022

"The energy is beautiful and it’s one of the best projects we’ve heard in months. Hotel Decor’s musical style is different, he has an amazing passion for his music and masters this art perfectly. The atmosphere of this project is unique and the production style is creative, distinctive and brought this EP to a whole new level. We listened to these tracks several times, and we still can’t find the right words to describe them. The atmosphere is unique and the melodies are beautifully catchy. The lyrics are original, well written and will get stuck in your head for a long time. You may find yourself singing them by the next morning. Hotel Decor has impressive musical skills and his vocal performance is always captivating. He has one of the richest voices we’ve heard in months and this project shows off all the melodic tones of his stunning voice and shows how talented he is in writing songs. The instrumentals of these tracks are amazing and really some good stuff to listen to all day long."

Living Hour - seagull, 2016

"Living Hour is a dream pop quintet from Winnipeg. They got together and started writing songs that were inspired by the frost-bitten Canadian prairies and the expansive Manitoban sky. In April of this year, they released a very limited edition self-titled cassette album via the Indiana label Tree Machine Records. That album will get a proper release on February 19, 2016 via Lefse Records. I don’t know anything else about this band, but I got something in the mailbag about this, and it’s been getting a lot of press elsewhere. I immediately loved this song, and everything else I’ve heard from them. This song is certainly very heavy on the dreamgaze vibe, while other songs have just a hint of country twang mixed in. And that’s fine, too."

Commercial Pop Machine - accidental dose, 2022

"soft rock tape loop cut copy vocal songs inspired by karen carpenter and the pop music genre"

Caraml - chasing a sound, 2022

"They are a duo formed from “opposites sides of the earth:” South Africa (Stephan Kreussel) and Lithuania (Dominykas Morkūnas), but their collaboration is seamless; when it came to creating Seasons, Kreussel and Morkunas rented a house next to a lake and set up a recording studio, where they were inspired by solitude and nature."

The Feelies - make it clear, 2017

“The songs seemed to require that approach but that also stemmed from the demos we made. We liked the feel and that inspired us to record at my place. We really wanted to get the same feel from those sessions onto the record. Part of it’s the technique and part of it’s the vibe of being in a room you’re familiar with. We’ve rehearsed here since the late ‘80s, so we’re not looking at the clock, thinking, ‘Oh, we just spent $100 just working on this one part.'”

Bee Gees - first of may, 1969

"First of May" is a song by the Bee Gees with lead vocals by Barry Gibb, released as a single from their 1969 double album Odessa. Its B-side was "Lamplight". It also featured as the B-side of "Melody Fair" when that song was released as a single in the Far East in 1971 as well as in 1976 and 1980 on RSO Records. It was the first Bee Gees single to be released after lead guitarist Vince Melouney had left the group."

Mint Julep - daydream, 2022

"Daydream came together like a dream. Keith was rearranging his drums in the basement, and I asked if he would start a new song, even though we already have several MJ songs in mid-progress – some dating back as far as a few years ago (and that one that we somehow misplaced and can’t locate, even though it was almost done and which I still hope to recreate someday!!)."

Sea Power - open the door, 2008

"Sea Power, previously known as British Sea Power and initially as British Air Powers, are an English alternative rock band. The group's original lineup consisted of Jan Scott Wilkinson, known as Yan; Martin Noble, known as Noble; and Alison Cotton. By the time the band had begun its recording career, Cotton had departed, and two new members had joined: Neil Hamilton Wilkinson, known as Hamilton, and Matthew Wood, known as Woody. Eamon Hamilton joined the band in autumn 2002. He left in 2006 and was replaced by Phil Sumner, with Abi Fry joining the band in 2008."

REM - texarkana, 1991

"Easily a top 10 REM song for me. Maybe top 5."

Belle And Sebastian - another sunny day, 2006

"Belle and Sebastian had been toying with R&B, glam, and funk for much of their existence, but by the time the group recorded The Life Pursuit, their musical chops had finally caught up with the quality and ambition of Stuart Murdoch’s songwriting."

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Black Box Recorder - seasons in the sun cover, 1998

"Seasons in the Sun" is an English-language adaptation of the 1961 Belgian song "Le Moribond" ("The Dying Man") by singer-songwriter Jacques Brel with lyrics rewritten in 1963 by singer-poet Rod McKuen portraying a dying man's farewell to his loved ones. It became a worldwide hit in 1974 for singer Terry Jacks and became a Christmas number one in the UK in 1999 for Westlife."

Johnny Marr - walk into the sea, 2018

“It’s set in the not-too-distant future and is mostly concerned with the idea of an alternative society. The characters in the songs are searching for a new idealism, although there are some personal songs in there too. It’s something that people like me can relate to.”

Damien Jurado - birds tricked into the trees, 2020

“I got rid of almost everything I owned. It was almost like I had died, honestly. You know that feeling when someone dies and you have to clear out their apartment or their house? That’s what I did. It was as if I had died, even though I was still living. I donated five of my guitars to a thrift shop.”

Monday, April 29, 2024

Roger Waters - hello in there cover, 2015

"Since the great songwriter John Prine died in April — and even since before Prine’s death, when the news came out that he was suffering from COVID-19 — other musicians have been showing their appreciation by covering his songs. Among Prine’s many songs, “Hello In There” has taken on a special weight. Prine wrote the song from the perspective of an old man who’s longing for any kind of connection, and he included it on his self-titled debut album in 1971. Jason Isbell coincidentally released his “Hello In There” cover just before the news of Prine’s diagnosis came out. Joan Baez, who’d released her cover of “Hello In There” in 1975, shared a video of herself singing “Hello In There” before Prine’s death. And now Roger Waters has covered it too."

The Postal Service - such great heights, 2003

“Such Great Heights” is a warm, tender love song wrapped inside cold, digital electronica; the meaning behind the lyrics evokes both tenderness and coldness. The narrator expresses his love onto an answering machine. From the outside, the relationship looks ideal. But the couple chooses to stay where they are—everything looks perfect from far away. Though distance may be an elixir for this relationship, with a partner on tour, the narrator is left feeling lonely. He misses her and hopes she hears the song on the radio—guiding her home."

Tracey Thorn - new opened eyes, 1982

"This record, musically understated as it is, provides a quiet and necessary counterpart to some of the choices of listening we’ve had. We’ve lived so long with melodrama that we’ve forgotten there are other ways of showing passion."

Coldplay - viva la vida live, 2017

"She went through a lot of pain, of course, and then she started a big painting in her house that said 'Viva la Vida', I just loved the boldness of it."

Belle And Sebastian - fiction, 2002

"It's a pleasant enough melody"

Sufjan Stevens - all of me wants all of you, 2015

"The love that throbs in Stevens’s soul as “All of Me Wants All of You” comes to a quiet finish can only come from one source: “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Love is only able to triumph through brokenness if we are first loved by God. In many ways, Manelich the simple shepherd is a picture of Jesus. He came down from the mountain to be heart-broken, and though his bride remained distant and unwilling to believe that unconditional love could actually exist, he slew the worldly wolf who ravaged her every night. In the shadow of his love, the Church’s hope is rekindled. In a world where each of us is a crestfallen Manelich or an ashamed Marta, Christ’s cross demonstrates what it means to say, “All of me wants all of you…”

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Paul McCartney - junior’s farm, 1974

"It was such a relief to get out of those business meetings with people in suits, who were so serious all the time, and go off to Scotland and be able just to sit around in a T-shirt and corduroys. I was very much in that mindset when I wrote this song. The basic message is, let’s get out of here. You might say it's my post-Beatles getting-out-of-town song."

The Chameleons - in answer, 1986

"...I'd forgotten how much this album meant to me. It came out in '86. I was 19!! I've been listening to it every day since and I have to say it's blown my mind...again! It must have influenced my early years as a song writer because I can hear ME in it everywhere!!..."

The Decemberists - the sporting life, 2005

"I spoke with Petra briefly while she was on the road with The Decemberists."

Belle And Sebastian - the power of three, 2015

"The doctrine of the Trinity was first formulated among the early Christians and fathers of the Church as they attempted to understand the relationship between Jesus and God in their scriptural documents and prior traditions."

The Moody Blues - twilight time alternate vocal mix, 1967

“Twilight Time (Alternate Vocal Mix)” by The Moody Blues was written by Ray Thomas."

D4RKSTAR - lead me astray live, 2022

"Live recording of Lead Me Astray, filmed in my living room."

Semiwestern - velvet sea, 2022

"In November 2022, like a delicate shot across the bow, California’s redoubtable Spirit Goth Records released “Velvet Sea.” I naturally believed this was new music. It was, in fact, a remix of a song recorded by Semiwestern’s members ten years earlier as The Vliets. Before we go any further, listen to the updated “Velvet Sea” to understand how I swooned over this atmospheric, Luna-inflected recording. It was my #1 or #2 favorite song of the entire year. Since, then, I have listened to “Velvet Sea” approximately one billion times."