Have you heard the latest from Canadian band Slow Down Molasses? Check out “Home”, from their upcoming LP Burnt Black Cars. The band will be touring extensively late Spring/early Summer to support the new record, which will be one to check out for fans of Slowdive, Toy and My Bloody Valentine.
Don’t write off this video with your first impression, like I did initially. Wipe away the greys and put a little colour in your day. Here’s “All This Wandering Around” by Ivan & Alyosha, from the album It’s All Just Pretend (out May 4th).
“Dark Side Of The Moon” by Chris Staples, from his debut album American Soft (Barsuk Records). Just watching this video a few times, I’ve again realized how easy it is for me to miss out discovering great new artists, lost in the overflowing chaos that is my inbox.
When not touring as a backing musician for artists like J.Tillman and Telekinesis, Staples is a journeyman, working as a carpenter wherever he finds himself living. In the spring of 2014, having recently decamped to the Northwest, Staples happened to do some work on the home of Josh Rosenfeld, co-founder and head of Seattle’s renowned Barsuk Records.
One night, Rosenfeld sat down to dinner with Matthew Caws and Michael Benjamin Lerner, members of Nada Surf and Telekinesis respectively. Rosenfeld recalls, “I knew Chris from his days in Telekinesis and told Michael that he was installing a screen door at my house. He and Matthew both told me that I had to hear Chris’s new record, which, thankfully, I did.”
The two songwriters raved about the album, and insisted that Barsuk had to release it. Rosenfeld – and the entire staff of the label – agreed heartily, and American Soft became Staples’ debut Barsuk release. Continues Rosenfeld, “The hooks are great – subtle and elegant – and his voice has a soft raspy ease to it that I could listen to all day.”
Sidenote: I’ve had people ask me a lot about how bands can get signed to labels. In this case, I guess it can help if you’ve got some trade skills, but what I tend to tell artists to build relationships with other bands. People in the position to help bands (labels, publishers) trust the opinions of their own artists when doing A&R.
We heard only a snippet of “Dark Bird Is Home” in the trailer for The Tallest Man On Earth’s upcoming album (out May 12th on Dead Oceans). Today, just as I’ve started to wear out “Sagres“, we can hear title track in it’s entirety.
“Suddenly the day gets you down // but this is not the end // no, this is fine.” What starts as an intimate, comforting solo number – just Matsson and guitar, builds into a powerful full band performance.
Take a listen.
I continue to make up for my little rule, today giving you the first single from the forthcoming Folly & The Hunter album (out May 26). “Awake” caught my ear months back, when I caught the band performing at the Drake Hotel for their Toronto date. They played mostly songs off Tragic Care, with this song and another new one strategically placed throughout the set. There’s nothing better than a band you’re a fan of giving more of what you love.
Lead singer Nick Vallee said about writing the song:
“Awake” was written when I had writer’s block. The song is about creating something out of nothing and forcing yourself to wake up to find spontaneity & passion in your life.
“Awake” is available as an instant download with iTunes pre-order.