Thursday, November 29, 2007


Hey! I kind of disappeared off the face of the earth this past week, mostly due to the crushing blow of Real Life, which made music-blogging feel very alien indeed. That said, I'm re-invigorated about introducing you guys to the music love and have another way of introducing it to you.

Similar to the roulette, the Awesome Playlist is a collection of songs, but instead of being random they're the ones that, for some reason or other, I've been listening to a lot lately. I don't know why, but on different weeks different songs just seem to 'click' with me, and for the time being these are those songs.

The Grand Archives - Sleepdriving (Sendspace link)
This group, headlined by former guitarist and vocalist for Carissa's Wierd and former guitarist for Band of Horses Matt Brooke, is pretty damn new. The only available songs are three demos they've recently released while they work on their debut. That said, the demos are excellent, and 'Sleepdriving' is the best of the trilogy. It's the kind of music that might play in the background of a dream, a melancholy, ethereal piece of music that I just love. Download this, as I expect these Archives will be one I raid from muchly in the future.

Andrew Bird - Why? (live) (Sendspace link)
You guys should know my intense love of all things Andrew Bird, if only because I've peppered his music through this blog. The only reason I haven't posted a showcase is that I'd need quite a bit of preparation to do him justice. Anyway, this song was originally released by his band, Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire, but their style sadly irritate me to no end. He later included a solo performance of the song on Fingerlings, the first of his live-only albums. The song itself is a typical Andrew Bird song in its atypical tone and focus: A man who is angered by his partner by his refusing to be riled up and fight, with the chorus including the line: "Damn you for being so easy-going." The idea of a relationship where conflict is promoted is an intriguing one, and it reminds that the real opposite of love isn't hate but indifference.

Scala & Kolacny Brothers - Heartbeats (The Knife) (Sendspace link)
Another group begging for a showcase, here's a taste of Scala, the intriguing Belgian youth girls' choir whose repertoire consists mainly of recognisable North American songs, and their conductors the Kolacny brothers. I've never heard the original song, but that doesn't matter much as Scala's version is a beautiful, piano-driven masterpiece. The choral treatment doesn't render it inaccessible; indeed, it makes it more universal, strangely enough.

Sufjan Stevens - Romulus (Sendspace link)
Sufjan seems to be the indie king, grabbing accolades and praise everywhere for his deep and heavily-researched albums, two of which are themed around American states. Romulus is from one of these albums (Michigan), and derives its title not from the mythical founder of Rome but from a Michigan city, where the song's protagonist lives. It's a story of shame, about an absent mother who buggers off to make a new family, leaving her other children in care of their grandfather. One of these children, the song's narrator, talks about their contempt of her, and how they would love to just avoid seeing her ever again. It's an interesting tale, one I'm curious whether there are real-life connections for Stevens or not. It seems intensely real.

And the one I cannot find to upload for the life of me, so you'll have to search it out for yourselves...

Brandston - Earthquakes and Sharks
Formed way back in 1996, Brandston seem to be a different creature than the Grand Archives. Seem, I'd say, because I only have this one song of theirs, and it rocks. A song with a fantastic beat that just dares you to not bounce around to it, it tells the story of a guy who slowly learns that Mexico and California are not the safest places for the uninitiated. The chorus is an amusing listing off of the dangers, while the rest of the song is his specific experiences with a number of these things.

BUY: Amazon, Amazon Canada, InSound

Those are the songs that have been on pretty heavy rotation on my iPod lately. Not 100 listens, but they're much dearer to my heart now than they once were. Enjoy!