We last heard from Regina Spektor in 2009, following the release of her previous album, Far. Now, the very talented chanteuse is poised for a comeback with a new LP, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, scheduled for a late spring release. Her first single, “All The Rowboats” is a dark and moody song with huge production; the piano creates a good amount of tension, adding to the track’s general darkness. With all the quirkiness and thoughtfulness that makes her so great, she sings about art being trapped in a museum: “it’s their own fault for being timeless.” Sounds like we’re in for a treat. Listen below.
I was shamefully unaware of Adam Arcuragi’s existence (despite the fact that he has three albums under his belt) until last week, when I stumbled upon “The Well”, a beautiful song from his new and aptly titled album, Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It… I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. Since then, I have gone through his music like wildfire; his Southern folk roots coupled with his passionate and poetic lyricism make for a truly beautiful listen. In “The Well”, Adam’s passionate and aching vocals feel more like desperate, jarring pleas – as if the words burned his throat: “When we ache no more/won’t it be something to see.” If you like soulful lyrics, big rousing choruses and just the right amount of foot-stomping, this album is for you. It’s early February and I’m already certain I’ll be talking about him when I make my “best of 2012″ list. Listen below.
After three long years, Andrew Bird is poised to release his sixth album and follow up to 2009′s Noble Beast. His forthcoming LP, Break It Yourself, is due March 6th via Mom+Pop. As our first taste, Bird has released “Eyeoneye”: a slow and quiet little track that soon blossoms and swells into a beautiful rock and roll piece. Also, he is back to his word-playing ways, and the lyrics reveal a bit more about the album title: “No one can break your heart/So you break it yourself.” Very, very nice. Listen below.
Santa Barbara-native, Jesse Rhodes, has been around music his entire life: from growing up with a cellist mother, to religiously practicing guitar in high school and touring with his band (Stegosaurus) until, finally, becoming a composer for film and TV soundtrack music. And now, in what seems to be a natural transition, he is giving his own music a shot. Judging from his new EP, Music From The Sun, I’m not at all surprised to see that he is obviously a man with strong musical and songwriting sensibilities. His songs are mostly acoustic, and at times have a clear 90s nostalgia quality about them; they are thoughtfully arranged and soothing in their simplicity. The lyrics are often personal, emotionally charged, and sometimes downright funny (“All the games, all the games you play/Maybe what you need is to get laid” or “I’m sniffing glue and it smells like you”), but always enjoyable. Jesse Rhodes has gone wherever the music has taken him, and he has ended up in a pretty damn good place.
Listen to “Grapefruit Pie” and “Heavy Grudge” below, and go to his Bandcamp page and download all 12 tracks for the very reasonable price of $5.50.
Death Cab For Cutie have just released the new visuals for “Underneath The Sycamore”, featured on their latest album, Codes And Keys, out now. Judging by the track’s lovey-dovey lyrics, one might reasonably expect the video to look more like their previous one. But instead, they surprised us with a fantastic animated clip (an hommage to film noir, perhaps?) about a private detective tracking a missing woman – and mysterious male companion – all across the gritty city. Watch below.
When I started watching Youth Lagoon‘s new video for “July”, I thought it would be yet another set of beautifully-shot visuals about warm and lazy summer days – anything to help us get through this dreary mid-winter afternoon. And sure enough, just like the changing of the seasons, the video changed pace, growing increasingly darker and more confusing. But then again, the video fits well with this bittersweet song about change and loss: “Five years ago, in my backyard I sang love away. Little did I know that real love had not quite yet found me.” Watch the stunning/fucked up video below.
Youth Lagoon’s impressive debut album, The Year of Hibernation, is out now. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already.
Here’s Lana Del Rey‘s latest single, “Off To The Races”, taken from her much-anticipated debut album, Born To Die, due out January 30th 2012. I have to admit, this track is far from my favorite, as it has a tad too much production for my taste, and way too many pop influences (a cross-over attempt, perhaps?); it definitely has a different feel to it, and I much prefer her earlier sounds. The themes are still the same though, troubled relationship, alcohol, blah blah blah – nothing new here. Take a listen below.
A while back, James Blake recorded a beautiful cover of “A Case of You” by the legendary and one of our all-time favorites, Joni Mitchell, for his Enough Thunder EP. And now he’s just released the video for it, featuring The Town’s Rebecca Hall. I still maintain that there are few lyrics as lovely as: “You’re in my blood like holy wine, you taste so bitter and so sweet. Oh, I could drink a case of you, darling, and I would still be on my feet. Oh, I would still be on my feet.” He definitely did this song justice. Check out the video below.
You wouldn’t expect such cute, romantic lyrics to come from this hairy and scruffy-looking dude who looks like a real-life Aldous Snow. But man, King Charles can write a fine love song. His latest track, “Ivory Road” is quirky, effortlessly catchy and just all-around lovely: “You are the fire and I’m the chimney, you’ll burn away and I’ll choke on your memory. All the words, my sense, you’re the poet to my pen.” He should definitely keep ‘em coming. Listen and watch the official video below.
Although Stars’ latest album, The Five Ghosts, was released all the way back in 2010, the Canadian band has just unveiled the video for one of the LP’s best songs, “Dead Hearts.” The video is just adorable: they took the track title (or lyrics: “Dead hearts are everywhere”) pretty literally and ran with it, with plenty of creative heart-shaped forms everywhere. The track will also be part of the Like Crazy soundtrack, due out next week. Watch below.