2011 releases

William Fitzsimmons – Beautiful Girl [VIDEO]

William Fitzsimmons

It’s been over two years since I first wrote about William Fitzsimmons on this blog, and in the intervening time it’s been a wonderful, wonderful relationship.

In all that time, William’s bared his soul numerous times. But I think this tune, “Beautiful Girl”, from his latest album, “Gold in the Shadow” (out last month) is possibly the most fragile I’ve ever heard him. And it’s simply… well, beautiful.

William Fitzsimmons – Beautiful Girl by Vicente P. EDPMC

live songs music videos

New Ryan Adams songs! [VIDEOS]

Ryan Adams & Glyn Johns "Mixing"

For a while now, Ryan’s been teasing us fans with images from the studio of his forthcoming album, produced by Glyn Johns (see the above image for just a taste, and view the rest in his Facebook album here).

Although the images were tantalising enough, I’ve been craving a bit more, and it looks like it’s just arrived. Just two nights ago, Ryan performed a surprise solo acoustic set at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre, opening for his friend and “Oh My Sweet Carolina” duet partner Emmylou Harris… and we might just have got our first glimpse of some of the new material possibly set for the forthcoming LP. Not only did he revisit the aforementioned Heartbreaker single — alongside Harris of course — but he also unveiled at least four new songs that made their way online in the small hours of the night. How much do we love Youtube right now?

Below, you can watch Adams perform “Dirty Rain”, as well as three more heartbreaking new songs alongside the Emmylou duet.

Dirty Rain

New Song

New Song

New Song

Oh My Sweet Carolina (with Emmylou Harris)

2011 releases

Hotels & Highways – Lost River

Hotels & Highways - Lost River

A while back, I wrote a fairly honest post detailing my history with Syd, and his new project, Hotels and Highways. I had this amazing bromance with his music when I first heard it, but then somewhere along the way our paths diverged, and I was – to be honest – often frustrated with his newer stuff.

The thing is, I have so much respect for the dude, that I was just really hoping on hope that his next album would be something I could get into again. So when I popped Lost River into my player, a smile spread right from ear to ear; because I knew that this was the album Syd and his compatriots, Patrick Thomas and Lisa Piccirillo, were meant to make. Finally.

Right from the very first track (the foot-tap inducing “Train Whistle”), Lost River is an album that you can’t help but connect with. Syd, Patrick and Lisa bring so many different facets to it, I’d be amazed if there weren’t at least two tracks on here that you didn’t feel were written by someone just like you (except maybe smarter).

I won’t let this become a track-by-track type review, because too many of these songs personally connect with me, and it would be a silly kind of review (in fact, in my view “Figueroa” is the only misstep of the 12 tracks on the album). Suffice to say though, that I really, really like this album. And it’s like your favourite band shirt that only becomes more comfortable with each wear… it’s that kind of album.

I’ve embedded two tracks below, and if you like what you hear, then head on over to their bandcamp page where you can purchase the full thing.

Listen. Love. Support.

Also, just as a sign of how friggin’ cool these people are… while playing out at SxSW this year, dude took some time out to send a postcard, all the way to Australia, to say thanks. How many bands take the time these days to do something that awesome? Not many. So thanks, Syd, Patrick and Lisa… you put a smile on my face, and some tunes in my bones. Here’s to a long relationship ahead.

sad news

For Gerard…

2011 releases

51 seconds was all it took…

51 seconds was all it took for Justin Vernon and Co to excite me about the new Bon Iver album.
Due out in June, I simply can’t wait. Listen to 51 seconds of pure anticipation below.

2010 releases music videos

Owl Eyes – Faces [VIDEO]

Hot on the heels of me announcing Maggie Eckford as my new musical crush, please welcome Melbourne-based Owl Eyes (aka Brooke Addamo) to that list. The below track, Faces, is the title-track from Brooke’s recently released 5-track EP, and damned if it isn’t hypnotising to the extreme.

covers music videos

Birdy – Skinny Love (Bon Iver Cover) [VIDEO]

Seriously, how do you have so much understanding of this song at just 14 years of age? Still blown away by this girl.

2011 releases

The Middle East – Land of the Bloody Unknown & Deep Water

Back in 2009, I first wrote about Townsville band, The Middle East, on these pages. At the time, their EP, “Recordings of The Middle East” – and in particular, their tune “The Darkest Side” – was one of the most exciting releases I had heard… especially from a band without even a full release under their belts.

Fast-forward to 2011, and after much anticipation, that debut full-length studio album has finally arrived.

I Want That You Are Always Happy is the debut album from The Middle East: a collection of songs recorded between Townsville, Texas & Cairns while the band toured internationally in 2010. Just released this week, it’s still early days with it, but after only a few spins, I can pretty much guarantee this will have a space on my “Best of 2011” list.

The release may not be what everyone is expecting, considering their earlier EP work. There’s definitely a lot more experimentation with out-and-out indie tunes, along with the chamber-pop, ethereal folk stuff that you would have expected. But it all works. Seriously. This is an album you have to listen to in its entirety, or you aren’t doing it right. From haunting, achingly beautiful sombre stuff, to upbeat melodies, this album is a journey more than anything else. And the journey’s more important than the destination.

Below is one of my favourite tracks off the album, “Land of the Bloody Unknown”, and below that you can stream “Deep Water”, 8 minutes of pure bliss that closes the album.

Listen. Love. Support.

Listen: The Middle East – Land of the Bloody Unknown

Listen: The Middle East – Deep Water