Havergal: "Crowd" / "Grant's Pass"
Havergal: "How I Do" / "My Heart"
Burd Early: "Rubberband" b/w "The Velvet Curtain"
Knife in the Water: "Slavery" / "Red Bird"
Winfoster: "Trade" / "Man's Heart"
Balmorhea: All Is Wild, All Is Silent
Austin's Balmorhea has always made beautiful music, but that pulchritude has often belied the underlying sensuality that makes their music so inviting. The band takes a giant leap forward, embracing that sensuality, on their bold and variegated new album All is Wild, All is Silent. Now a six piece, the band known for their understated simplicity and restraint has produced an album as complex as the workings of the lonely human heart.
Balmorhea: All Is Wild, All Is Silent Remixes
The idea to release the All is Wild, All is Silent Remixes evolved organically as the band asked a few of their closest friends if they'd like to remix a track. To their surprise 11 of their friends jumped at the opportunity to create remixes of these wordless narratives that have become so meaningful to them. The resulting album is distinctly more experimental than the original album, but no less joyous and haunting. Many of the tracks retain Balmorhea's uniquely American optimism, though some hardly leave a trace of the original's simplicity and restraint. Highlights include remixes by Eluvium, Peter Broderick, Tiny Vipers, Bexar Bexar, and Helios.
Goldmund: All Will Prosper
All Will Prosper, Keith Kenniff's latest album under the Goldmund moniker, is a collection of 14 traditional Civil War-era folk songs and one contemporary track "Asoken Farewell." Kenniff has always been a student of Civil War history and culture. From the Ken Burns documentary series on PBS to Bill Carothers' solo piano album The Blues and The Greys, he has studied and enjoyed the music that tied friends and families together in a time when the nation was being torn apart.
Recorded over a period of 5 years in various houses in Massachusetts, Oregon, and North Carolina, Kenniff's arrangements feel fresh and intimate, while retaining the wistful charms and timeless appeal of the originals. In part the album's intimacy is created by his recording technique. With the top of the piano left completely open, microphones were placed close enough to capture the mechanical movement of the keys being pressed and the pedals squeaking. Similarly the acoustic guitar is close-mic'd, tracing the sounds of his fingers scraping and plucking the metal strings. The result creates a rich, almost hyper-real environment, where the tiniest details are magnified and brought to the surface.
Salim Nourallah: Beautiful Noise
Since the year 2000, Salim Nourallah's music has received praise frompublications such as Time Out New York, Amplifier, Salon.com andRollingstone.com. The public's appreciation for his work was clear when heplayed SXSW 2004 to a standing room only crowd, for his debut of Polaroid.Salim?s latest release, Beautiful Noise, finds him reflecting on themes ofmortality, aging, lost love and, refreshingly, hope as an antidote todespair. His keen pop sensibilities shine through on songs like"Montreal," a McCartney-esque anthem to the joys of coupledom and "TheWorld Is Full of People?" a ballad filled with fatherly worries and love. On Beautiful Noise Salim connects with his listeners with emotional andengaging songwriting, comparable to the Beatles, Wilco, Big Star, or Beck.
Ola Podrida: Belly of the Lion
Belly of the Lion, is David Wingo's much anticipated sophomore effort under the name Ola Podrida. Chockfull of unsentimental love songs, the album pulses with the burgeoning sexuality borne of feral adolescent summers spent in the sprawling suburbs of the South. It's hard not to be wooed, as the songs gingerly lay to rest the calamities that inevitably befall an adventurous heart.
Kohn: Bruce Willis
The Bruce W. EP by Kohn is the fifth installment of the Western Vinyl portrait series, which has included Bonnie Prince Billy, Papa M, AppendixOut, and Anomoanon, and is scheduled to include others such as Robert Lippok and Mick Turner. In the portrait series, artists provide aportrait in the form of a photo, drawing, painting, etc along with two or more songs about, inspired by, or from the point of view of the individual in the portrait. Jurgen DeBlonde, aka Kohn, has a lot of love for Bruce Willis in his his musical heart and has decided to pay homage to this hero of heroes with a six song EP. The six tracks together with the artwork created by Kohn, complete his portrait of the heroic heartthrob.
Balmorhea's previous album All is Wild, All is Silent explored the freedom and isolation of settlers learning to live on an untamed frontier. It was an intensely physical album, dealing with the struggles of man on earth. By contrast, their new album Constellations shifts our focus to the cosmos and beyond, meditating solemnly on the mystical and metaphysical. For centuries humans have distilled order from the chaos of the night sky, turning a collection of bright dots into the framework for giants of myth and legend. Similarly, the tracks on Constellations serve as framework for our individual mediations on the wonders of time and space.
Christopher Tignor: Core Memory Unwound
For years Slow Six band-leader, composer, and software designer Christopher Tignor has performed with his signature software instruments alongside fellow band members, sampling and transforming their live performances in accordance with his meticulous, emotionaly-charged scores. On Core Memory Unwound, his debut under his given name, he brings his software to the forefront alongside some of his most intimate compositions for violin and piano. A record dealing with memory, both metaphorically and literally, these intimate tone poems for violin and piano are each presented in two forms, once in their original acoustic state, and then as a "memory portrait" through Tingor's live performances on his signature software instruments.
Luke Temple: Don't Act Like You Don't Care
Before the success of his group Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple worked full-time as a plasterer. At nights after work, he spent his hours crafting what would become Here We Go Magic's self-titled debut. During the days he wrote a completely different set of songs in his head. The resulting record Don't Act Like You Don't Care shines with clarity and daylight, in contrast to Here We Go Magic's hazy aquatic debut.
After recording two critically acclaimed solo records for Mill Pond (2005, 2007) Temple's work still hadn't garnered much attention from the record-buying public. Frustrated, but not defeated, he focused his creative energy into the writing of two amazing, but completely different records. Initially referred to as "The Country Record," Don't Act Like You Don't Care was shelved due to the success of Here We Go Magic's self-titled debut. Now, three years later, we're finally able to offer this incredible collection of folk-pop songs.
Gary Wilson: Electric Endicott
n 1977 Gary Wilson famously released a uniquely bizarre and personal album titled You Think You Really Know Me..., full of electro-funk, proto-new wave, noise collage, and avant-garde jazz. Despite the fact that the album's fans included Beck, Questlove from The Roots, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and many others, widespread fame and notoriety eluded Gary Wison until the 2002 re-release of his debut album. Soon after media outlets like Pitchfork, The Village Voices, and The New York Times were talking about the lecherous outsider artist, remarkable as much for his idiosyncrasies and DIY aesthetic as his edgy and creative music.
More than the perverted musings of a peeping tom, Gary's music is an honest reflection of ourselves, at least of that part of ourselves that loved our childhood pets more than we loved our parents or that worried if we'd ever make it to second base. Equal parts Prince and Pee Wee Herman, Joe Jackson and Charlie Brown, Gary's songs celebrate our inner ickiness, silliness and grooviness, the romance and randiness of born-losers from Endicott or Anywhere. Rather than alienating us with their creepiness, his songs ultimately make us feel more comfortable being who we are....more comfortable being human.