Wilsen‘s new single, “Dusk,” has been in the queue for a few weeks now, but it’s a good thing we waited, as today brings the perfect pairing for that dream-folk gem. The NYC group’s hushed take on “Oblivion” also marks a second Grimes cover of note this week, following yesterday’s impressive take from Katie and Allison Crutchfield. Both of these do Claire Boucher’s 2012 tune justice in decidedly different ways: the Crutchfield sisters reimagine it as a raw and jangly garage-rock jam, while Tamsin Wilson & Co. numb its edges into a calming bedtime lullaby. A single for the original cut arrives on June 10th — hear the B-side above and A-side below:
Ray Manzarek, the iconic keyboardist and co-founder of the Doors, died today at 74. “I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate,” guitarist Robby Krieger said. “I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.”
Upon hearing the news, my thoughts kept coming back to two places: Manzarek’s great ’00 interview on Fresh Air, when he recounted (with piano soundtrack) Jim Morrison’s 1969 arrest for indecency in Florida, and — perhaps because he’s one of the best keys players around — Benmont Tench. As it turned out, Benmont reacted on Twitter: “Ray Manzarek. His playing showed me the path to, and the joy of, improvisation. Indescribably important. Rest well. Rest well…”
This clip on the jazz behind “Light My Fire” audio-illustrates the latter beautifully.
We took a break from effusive praise of the new Laura Marling record last week with her Bruce Springsteen duet cover, but back to 2013′s first-half topic at hand: Once I Was An Eagleis now streaming in full – complete with “Master Hunter,” that opening 4-song medley, and a cohesive journey characteristic of any Ethan Johns-produced LP. First impression: this is her best record to date, covering indelible simple numbers, sprawling character studies, and more. Take it from start to finish here or below:
We’ve heard Kristian and Amanda Hollingby Matsson duet before, namely live onstage for the Tallest Man on Earth’s “Thrown Right At Me” and for an intimate cover tune on Swedish television. But this collaboration is a little different: “Heart is Like a River” finds the pair co-writing an original on their first film soundtrack project, setting respective stage names aside for Once A Year (En gång om året in Swedish). Featuring 7 compositions from the Matssons, director Gorki Glaser-Müller’s romantic drama about a couple’s annual trysts over 30 years opens Friday night in Sweden with an international (and hopeful OST release) forthcoming. With thanks to producer Kristofer Henell, we’ve got the premiere of this lovely recording above.
“As I Roved Out” — a standout cut on Sam Amidon’s new record, Bright Sunny South – just arrived with excellent visual treatment from director John Hardwick. For a simple, banjo-backed tune on the surface, there’s something haunting, off-kilter even, that he brings to this old Irish folk tune. The video starts off simple, too, with Amidon introducing the song’s narrative alone in a wooded clearing:
This song is about how you might be out on a cold winter’s night — maybe you’d bring a bottle of wine — and head out into the woods, into the mountains ’cause maybe you’re trying to find some sort of inspiration. You look around, but at a certain point as you get out there, the sun goes down and the shapes of the trees start to emerge. They start to remind you of people you were trying to remember… or people you were trying to forget about. It’s full of inspiration you weren’t intending.
Before long, drummer Chris Vatalaro shows up along with disorienting hints of stop-motion surrealism. Watch it above. Meanwhile, Amidon recently played a live Pocket Show rendition worth checking out: Continue →
Camera Obscura shared another track off their upcoming Desire Lines LP today, following last month’s rousing “Do It Again” with a somber, pre-breakup slow dance called “Fifth In Line To The Throne.” Somehow this consistent Glasgow quintet keep finding a charming fine line between lamenting lost love and their own brand of bittersweet optimism. ”If you want me to leave, then I’ll go,” Tracyanne Campbell understates on the refrain, tired of a romance caught in limbo. “If you want me to stay, let it show.” A soundtrack to Scotland’s gloaming at its finest, stream/download the song above.
A half-dozen new original tunes, music videos, and that Shakespeare adaptation aren’t all Laura Marling has up her sleeve in the run-up to her forthcoming LP: today brings “Dancing in the Dark,” a duet take on the Bruce Springsteen classic with Southern California songwriter Eddie Berman. Recorded live from a studio in Marling’s new homebase of Los Angeles, the pair reworked the Boss’ ’80s stadium anthem into a lovely, laid-back folk rendition, backed by acoustic guitar, violin and a light accordion drone. The way she plays with the melody in the harmonies hits home the most, as she strays from the original just subtly enough to offer the cut a bittersweet melancholic aftertaste. Watch it above (via The Lab). Meanwhile, an official studio version of this track appears on Berman’s new Blood & Rust EP. Here’s a stream from the set: