Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Here's another batch of excellent songs...

1. Amy Studt - Nice Boys
Album: My Paper Made Men, 2008

I've got conflicted feelings about Ms Amy Studt's new CD. The songs are impeccably produced, but the songs themselves don't always draw me in. This song highlights this exactly: It's an utter joy to listen to, but a song proclaiming the faults of 'nice boys' merely annoys me, maybe because I don't like the idea of promoting, what, mean boys? That said, I can't stop listening to it; the choir chanting, the emotion Studt projects (a couple points are particularly impressive), and just the soaring feeling of it.

2. Shearwater - Seventy Four Seventy Five
Album: Palo Santo, 2006

Heartstopping. The pounding, relentless piano diving in head first with Jonathan Meiburg's amazing vocals, rising in tension until it slams down to a sparse, quiet, rending portion with basically just vocals and subtle instrumentation before briefly slamming back into action. One of my favourite recent discoveries. I recently got their newest, "Rook", and am enjoying it very much.

3. The National - All the Wine
Album: Alligator, 2005

There's a lot a good lead singer can do for a band, and Matt Berninger does a great job for The National. The band is great, but what keeps bringing me back is the vocals, smoky and raspy at the same time. This song is especially great, a stumbling-yet-smooth tribute to being the one with 'all the wine'. The lyrics are hilarious, as Berninger makes his protagonist sound genuinely drunk - that or crazy. From the confident "I'm a perfect piece of ass," to the bizarre "I'm a birthday candle in a circle of black girls," it's an interesting song.

4. Lily Allen - Who'd Have Known
Album: Myspace Release, 2008

A nice little piece produced for her new album, Stuck on the Naughty Step, but we get it unofficially on MySpace because the lovely Lily Allen doesn't like paperwork. Allen's got a great new sound going, vulnerability and sweetness instead of venom. I loved her putdowns, but I also love the heart and soul feel, which shows that her appeal isn't just in her old sweet-attack-mode approach. This song would be spiritual cousin to Still, Alright's "Littlest Things", but this is just sweet and content where that was mournful.

And don't forget, search for more at The Hype Machine; purchase albums or mp3's at Amazon, Amazon Canada, Amie St., cdbaby, or Insound.

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