Favorited ex.fm Songs

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Merge Records Round-Up

I've written on several occasions about my love for Merge Records. The label was founded in 1989 by two members of the band Superchunk. Since then, they've staked their claim as one of the best indie labels around. They've put out albums by bands like The Arcade Fire, Spoon, Conor Oberst, The Mountain Goats, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Magnetic Fields, (my personal favorite) M. Ward, and so many more. It should come as no surprise, but over the last few months they have been on fire with their releases. Below are five albums they've released this year that I've been enjoying lately.

William Tyler - Lost Colony EP

Released in April, this EP has been one of my most listened to albums this year. The album, comprised of three instrumental guitar tracks, is a perfect driving or walking album.

Reigning Sound - Shattered

This album is full of old school rock 'n roll / r&b / soul music that reminds me of JD McPherson or Nick Waterhouse a bit. This is the band's fifth album and my first introduction to them. Looks like I've got some back catalog to check out.

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights - End Times Undone

This album has a bit of a Kurt Vile feel, featuring meandering somewhat psychedelic indie rock that is a joy to listen to.  David Kilgour is another established artist that is new to me, but I really enjoy what he's doing on this album

Hiss Golden Messenger - Lateness of Dancers

William Tyler lends his helping hand (and guitar) to this excellent Dylan-esque folk album from North Carolina based Hiss Golden Messenger.

Ex Hex - Rips

This is an incredibly infectious debut album of driving indie rock / power pop. The trio, fronted by a former member of Wild Flag, has set the bar high with their debut.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Video of the Day: Conor Oberst performing Lua with First Aid Kit

Conor Oberst recently performed a live version of his track "Lua" (from the 2005 Bright Eyes release "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning") with some help from First Aid Kit and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes. I don't have a lot to add, other than to sit back and enjoy because it's already a really good song made even better by the always wonderful First Aid Kit.

Conor Oberst released an album called "Upside Down Mountain" back in May that I've enjoyed

First Aid Kit (who made my favorite album of 2012) released "Stay Gold," their third LP, in June.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bahamas Is Afie

The new album from Bahamas, "Bahamas Is Afie," has been in regular rotation for me the last couple weeks. As the album title suggests, Bahamas is the stage name for Afie Jurvanen, a Canadian folk musician. His songs are built around a soft meandering guitar and his soulful vocals, but they periodically incorporate elements from all sorts of other genres like pop, blues, gospel, soul, and country. With summer winding to a close, this album should be the perfect soundtrack to counteract the hustle and bustle of everyday life by getting you to slow down, relax, and soak in the tunes.

Below is an excellent live version of "Stronger Than That," one of my favorite tracks from the new album.

I was absolutely convinced that I had previously posted the excellent track "Okay Alright I'm Alive" from Bahamas' 2012 album "Barchords," but somehow I never got around to it, so listen to that one too!

Check Out Bahamas

Artist website

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Happy 40th Birthday Tim Kasher

Today is the 40th birthday of Tim Kasher, front man of Cursive and The Good Life. In honor, below is one of my favorite "story songs" of all time "Album of the Year," the lead track of the 2004 album of the same name, which, chronicles a year of ups and downs in a relationship through 12 tracks (one for each month of that year). The title track covers the two people's initial meeting and then summarizes the year before the remaining tracks get into more detail. It's a simultaneously beautiful and heartbreaking song with lines like "She said she'd never seen someone so lost, I said I'd never felt so found" and "I know she loved me once, but those days are done. She used to call me every day from a pay phone on her break for lunch just to say she can't wait to come home." Give it a listen and (hopefully) enjoy!

Does anyone else have any favorite "story songs"? Or perhaps a favorite The Good Life of Cursive song to help celebrate Tim Kasher's birthday? Let me know in the comments or by email.