2008 releases artists artists to watch for in 2009 digital downloads guitar music

The War on Drugs – Arms Like Boulders

The War On Drugs
The War On Drugs has just released their EP, “Barrel of Batteries”

The consistently great Secretly Canadian label has just released a 5 track EP by the – unbelievably still little-known – band The War On Drugs, entitled “Barrel of Batteries“.

And it’s frikkin’ great.

Secretly Canadian have this habit of signing your new favourite band. And The War On Drugs are no exception. Distinctly Dylan-inspired, The War On Drugs nevertheless bring something new to the table… their delivery often recalls that of fellow bandmate, David Vandervelde, and we know how all things David Vandervelde are adored around here; so that’s a compliment of the highest order.

Anyway, the EP is currently available from their site as a .zip download, and i strongly encourage you to give it a try. The only problem with it? At only 6 tracks – 3 of them instrumentals that clock in at less than a minute long – it doesn’t give you much time to get into the band. That said, word on the band’s website is that a full-length debut, entitled “Wagonwheel Blues” should be available sometime this year, so hopefully we won’t have much longer to wait.

Listen. Love. Support.

Listen: The War On Drugs – Arms Like Boulders

2007 Releases artists artists to watch for in 2008 digital downloads guitar music

Time for a Tuesday Trio.

Sorry things have been a bit quiet lately; real life takes it’s toll, and lease renewals and rental inspections take up a bit of time. That said, let’s jump right into a Tuesday Trio.

Gomez – Chasing Ghosts with Alcohol

Gomez - Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol

While Gomez – in my eyes, at least – will always struggle to live up to their debut release, “Bring It On”, this track, from their 2006 release, “How We Operate”, is unquestionably one of my favourites.

While How We Operate seemed, at times, a fairly episodic album, Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol is by far a standout from the album; all bluesy chords accompanied by a killer slide guitar, and vocals that build to a major crescendo. Melancholic, and perfect for a rainy Tuesday, listen to it and reflect on your life. See what you find.

Listen: Gomez – Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol

David Vandervelde – Nothin’ No

David Vandervelde - Nothin’ No

This track, “Nothin’ No”, from David Vandervelde’s 2007 debut release, “The Moonstation House Band” proves that the LP was one of the year’s most criminally-underappreciated releases.

A slow burn of a song, there’s something about it that demands you bop your head along with it. The song itself seems a symbol of youth, abandon and hope. And the fact that Vandervelde was only 19 when this track was written and recorded absolutely blows me away. Easily an artist to watch for in 2008.

Listen: David Vandervelde – Nothin’ No

Toothpick – Scars for Entertainment (remix)

Toothpick - Scars For Entertainment (remix)

I first came across Toothpick with his 2004 debut release, “Time Travelin’ Couch”, and was immediately pulled in by the album’s second track, “Scars for Entertainment”. A melting-pot of different genres, it seems to blend old-school hip-hop, acoustic folk, blues and funk in an extremely exciting way. His talent for carrying a story throughout the entire song was nothing short of impressive as well.

However, even though it’s been a good few years now since the original “Scars for Entertainment” reached my ears, it’s only recently that I learnt about this remix version.

As with any remix of an original song that you love, it doesn’t quite stack up to the original with me; Toothpick’s re-recorded vocals seem less hurt, in some way, here. However… with the addition of some killer harmonica (something I thought was always lacking, in the original), this song certainly deserves a spin, particularly if you haven’t heard Toothpick before.

Listen: Toothpick – Scars For Entertainment (remix)