Favorited ex.fm Songs

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Free Music Update - 2/19/2012

A bunch of really good free music has been popping up lately, so I thought I'd round some of it up into one post for people who are interested.

First, Hanalei, one of my all-time favorite artists just decided to release all of his old albums along with a new album of miscellaneous covers and alternate versions of tracks for free on a new Bandcamp page. Click here to check it out. I wrote about Hanalei a while back if you're interested in reading that. If you're looking for a place to start, "Parts and Accessories" and "We Are All Natural Disasters" are two of my favorite albums (and not just by Hanalei). The former has an alt-country feel with moments of rock interspersed. It also features some of my favorite lyrics of any album. Very few artists can't paint a picture of a time and place as well as Brian Moss does. Often the songs just feel like tiny movies that you're living inside of. "Parts and Accessories" is one of those albums that I could listen to anytime anywhere. Almost anytime I'm in the car for more than an hour or two it gets a listen. On the other hand, "We Are All Natural Disasters," Hanalei's first album, was a solo project that is a bit more in the indie pop vein. Electronic elements make it just a little bit reminiscent of The Postal Service. It was the album that originally made me fall in love with Hanalei.

Next up is Beat Radio, who a couple days ago released a free EP in anticipation of their new full-length which came out today (for the more than reasonable price of $4). The EP, which you can pickup here, features an excellent cover of "The House That Heaven Built" by The Japandroids. While The Japandroids version is a high energy anthemic romp, Beat Radio strips the song down into just acoustic guitar and vocals. While that approach would seem to risk losing the energy of the original, it works surprisingly well, instead highlighting the vocals. That cover was my first exposure to Beat Radio when I heard it a couple months ago, but it instantly turned me into a fan.

Miracles of Modern Science, a New York based orchestral pop group, has released their new EP (here) today as a "pay what you want" album. I was introduced to the band about three weeks ago by We Listen For You. Rather than your standard guitar, bass, and drums, they use mandolin, violin, cello, standup bass, and drums. At the time We Listen For You shared the track "Singularity," which was a great introduction to a band exploring what pop music beyond the usual fare. The album is worthwhile on its own merits, but the fact that their doing something different gives even more reason to check it out.

Today I also got an email that Eric and Magill, an indie folk duo originally from Wisconsin, are releasing a free EP (via Bandcamp). I know I've heard the duo's music before, but I just realized today that one of the members is from the now defunct Decibully, another band I used to listen to. I haven't given the new EP a listen, but you can't beat free, and I'm guessing it should be an enjoyable listen.

Lastly, if you haven't picked up the Hilang Child EP that I talked about last month, what are you waiting for??? The EP would almost certainly have made my top albums list last year if I had found it before the year ended. As is, it's one of my go to late night albums when I'm unwinding before bed. The Hilang Child facebook page (which is up to 152 "likes" after being under 100 last month!) has mentioned that they have a couple live acoustic videos coming up soon. I'll continue anxiously awaiting anything new to come from them.

This should be enough free music to tide those of you cash-strapped music lovers over for a little while. There is a lot to enjoy there, so hopefully everyone can find something of interest.

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