First off, I must apologize for not updating the blog with my own original commentary in quite some time. That being said, let’s get into it!
The Felice Brothers, mountain men from upstate New York, are part of the new wave of Americana/folk revival that is happening around the country. These three brothers, along with their once traveling dice gambler, now bass player, known simply as Christmas, set out to bring back the raucous deep and dirty Americana that makes you feel as though you are in a deep south saloon sippin’ on some moonshine, tapping your spurs to every wood-creaking, washboard-raking sound. You will hear many influences, most notably their lead singer, Simone, who sounds Bob Dylan-esque, but with actual harmony (don’t chastise me). Fresh off seeing them at the Anti-Pop Music Festival here in Orlando, I will tell you, as good as this album is, their live show is what sets them apart from the rest. I was so impressed with these ‘gents, they actually out-performed and had the crowd more involved than the well respected and much more widely known Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. (Check out their impressive performance below.)
LAKE are an interesting collective. Comprised of up to nine people at any time, each of which are accomplished musicians with various solo albums attributed to each. Their new album, Oh The Places We’ll Go, clocks in at just under 28 minutes, but it leaves its catchy impression, seemingly begging to be listened to again immediately after completion. Sounding at times like a group of friends that found some of their parents old instruments and recording equipment, this album is an ode to 60’s dream-pop. The album is loose, but everything fits into place, and not a second is wasted, creating 2-3 minutes of pure pop prowess at a time, rather than offering some of the meandering dreamy landscapes like their previous self-titled album. You will find yourself coming back to this time and again.
After both Ben Curtis’ and the Deheza sister’s respective bands broke up, they came together to form School of Seven Bells, actually becoming greater than the sum of their original parts. Taking their name from a notorious pickpocketing school in Colombia (wait, what?), SoSB has an infectious brand of electro-dream pop, wandering through bassy trip-hop and even Frou Frou territory. The twin sister lead singers range from tribal vocal musings to traditional Indian vocals (like the country, not the oppressed original American inhabitants), all the while simultaneously provoking thought and unleashing their undeniable charm and grace. That’s not even mentioning the music; Ben’s beats are meticulous, providing the sisters with a beautiful pallet of sound-scape to craft this masterpiece of dream-pop. Their seemingly come-out-of-nowhere album Alpinisms is creating quite the buzz, and rightly so; the album will most definitely make my top 20 of ’08.
The Felice Brothers – Whiskey In My Whiskey (Live)…
There you have it, quite the range of musical sensibilities this week! Thoughts?