Tuesday, October 28, 2008


"Who'd have known, who'd have known, that when you flash up on my phone I'd no longer feel alone?"

A quick roulette this time...

Lily Allen - Who'd Have Known (MySpace Release, 2008)

Aaron Thomas - Far From Home (Follow the Elephants, 2008)

Plajia - Beautiful Explosion (Beautiful Explosion, 2008)

Gregory and the Hawk - Doubtful (Moenie and Kitchie, 2008)

Micah P. Hinson - Yard of Blonde Girls (Dream Brother, 2008)

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.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


"I made a fist and not a plan; just call me a reckless wrecking ball."

Now, it's a bit early for a showcase; usually I do those for bands with a bit of history, a few albums I know and love under their belts. So, introducing (kind of) 'Discovery' - mini-showcases for bands I've just discovered or don't have enough material to have a proper Showcase.

This time round, we're meeting Mother Mother, whose new album O My Heart has captured my own heart, though I'm still digging into the album. That said, though, they are immediately impressive, both rocking and being ridiculously cute and funny, something almost no band can pull off credibly. Take "Hayloft", which is led by childish vocals, and somehow manages to fuse creepy and cute in a bizarre way. Or "Arms Tonite", about a lover dying and trying to get back to their lover. Or the lovely "Ghosting", or the sweetly aggressive and self-deprecating "Wrecking Ball"

Mother Mother have my heart, and my ears, because they make great music that just cheers me up, and that is a type of music I want to see more of.

Mother Mother - Hayloft
Mother Mother - Wrecking Ball

IF YOU LIKE: Los Campesinos - You! Me! Dancing | Boney M - Hooray! Hooray! | Cloud Cult - Everybody Here is a Cloud

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.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


"I can't get around the bends in your brain, and your elaborate pain makes me tired..."

Yet another roulette, from your favourite blogger...

Sarah Blasko - Always On This Line [What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Take, 2006]

These past few days, I've been rediscovering the joy of Australian Sarah Blasko's last album, the stunning What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Take. I underrate this album terribly, and while I may go gaga over the Begin to Hopes and Yes, Virginias of this world, I can't forget the downright amazing, but less replayable, work Blasko does. Her work is so heavy, with such substance, that her music often doesn't get the plays others' do, and that's a shame. She's got an amazing voice, and her lyrics are superb. This song is a standout on a stellar album.

Annie - What Do You Want (The Breakfast Song) [Don't Stop, 2008]

Annie's sophomore album is probably the singularly most disappointing release of 2008 so far. The entire album doesn't have half the heart of "Heartbeat" or "Me Plus One", and that is epitomized in "What Do You Want (The Breakfast Song)", quite possibly the most banal, irritating song I have ever had the displeasure of encountering. I have never made it to the end of this song. After the first two attempts, I just gave up.

Cloud Cult - Journey of the Featherless [Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornados), 2008]

In stark contrast to the above disappointment, finding this gem was mostly by accident. I knew I liked the Cult from "Everybody Here is a Cloud", but I hadn't yet heard this extremely charming little tale. It's just so delightful, a tale of a simple soul trying to find his way to heaven and getting lost amongst the clouds. It's wonderful.

Yoav - Adore Adore [Charmed & Strange, 2008]

An evocative, almost seductive song from London-based Yoav, who croons a dark tale from the point of our favourite Lucifer. What could come off as a cliche actually comes off as well-done; Yoav's devil is a charming brute, with a wink in his eye as he leads you into the darkness.

Lisa Hannigan - Teeth [Sea Sew, 2008]

Lisa Hannigan, Damien Rice's better half (musically, kids, not romantically), recently split with the Irish heartthrob to make her own music. I've long been a fan of this quirky, waifish singer (see my praise of the fantastic "Sea Song" demo) and Sea Sew was one of my most anticipated releases before it was confirmed to even exist. Does it live up to the hype? Well, nothing could, but we've got a beautiful album here that is still in the process of growing on me. One standout is the melancholic "Teeth", an epic, beautiful showcase. (Longtime fans of Hannigan's should recognise it as the song once known as "The Bottle")

Sara Lov - My Body is a Cage (Arcade Fire Cover) [Young Eyes EP, 2008]

A cover of one of my secret favourites from Arcade Fire's repertoire, it takes their full organ church sound and translates it to piano, strings and Sara Lov's surprisingly vulnerable voice. While Win Butler infused the original with chain-shaking agony and unfulfilled rage, Lov seems to be singing as a caged bird with a quiet strength; two cages, two prisoners, both as interesting as one another.

Alanis Morissette - Not As We [Flavors of Entanglement, 2008]

One of Canada's best exports, the lovely Alanis Morissette released her seventh album, and somehow made it better than most of her output over the years. One of the standouts was this track, a song of rebirth and recovery after her public separation with actor Ryan Reynolds. I've heard the end of a serious romantic relationship can sometimes be likened to mourning a death, and Alanis is in full mourning garb here, trying to understand a world as an 'I' and 'not as we' for the first time in recent memory.

2008, though I've been a little hard on it before, has been a damn good year for music. Though it was missing heavy hitters like Andrew Bird or Tegan and Sara, there's amazing solo work being done from old favourites (Amanda Palmer and the above Lisa Hannigan), and plenty of fantastic new discoveries (Why?, Emily Wells, Caroline Herring, Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip) that have made this a surprisingly good music.

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.

Friday, October 10, 2008


(The reason posts have been sparse this past month or so is because of internet issues, not with any flagging interest in blogging, so tBoS will be around, hopefully, for a long and healthy future. In fact, I've spent a (probably literally) crazy amount of listening to tracks to prep for my annual Best 100 Tracks list. And this...)

A year ago this November, this blog came into existence. I posted 'The Debut of Alden', tBoS' very first post. Some of you found it early in its life, and many of you did so after Hype picked us up. Heck, I'm betting one or two of you reading right now have never seen this blog before. A year is a pretty big milestone, and we're gonna celebrate in style.

On November 15, 2007, tBoS came into existence.

On November 15, 2008, three tBoS readers will become very happy.

Now, I announce the The Bringer of Song Happy Birthday Contest!

As a music blogger, this past year I have had contact with some amazing artists who don't get half the attention they deserve. Three such artists have agreed to help me out with our little birthday shindig. First off, what is this contest?

It's simple. Answer one question via email (to our brand spanking new email, thebringerofsong@hotmail.com), and the three best answers, chosen by yours truly, will receive one of the prize packs we have available. The question?

What is your favourite musical discovery you found on The Bringer of Song, and why do you like it so much? It can be an artist, an album, a song, a remix, whatever you can convince me is a 'musical discovery'!


What is the best musical discovery you've made this year? What makes it so special?

Those who gave the three best answers will be responded to with a request for a shipping address, where we will send their prize. What prizes are up to be won?


A copy of Helen Lawson's Crossing the Bridge EP!

SAMPLE TRACK: Helen Lawson - Something in the Wine

This British artist is one of my own favourite discoveries this year. When I was first offered the EP, I was hesitant - until I heard her song "Something in the Wine", which frankly blew me away. There was just something so fresh and beautiful about it, so unexpectedly, that it quickly ended up on heavy rotation. The rest of the EP is just as enjoyable, especially "Slipping".


A copy of Helen Lawson's Crossing the Bridge EP, as well as a copy of Plajia's Beautiful Explosion album!

SAMPLE TRACK: Plajia - Beautiful Explosion

Plajia are a Montreal-based band I showcased back in July, working magic with what can only be termed 'trip rock'. Their music swings through a variety of styles, with bizarre yet intriguing lyrics. But I hate to repeat myself, so check out what I originally said about them at their Showcase.


A copy of Helen Lawson's Crossing the Bridge EP, a copy of Plajia's Beautiful Explosion album, and a copy of Muke's stunning debut, Shutterspeed Lullabies!

SAMPLE TRACK: Muke - Swingsets

When I first heard Oregon-based band Muke, I couldn't stop smiling. Their music is just so fuzzy and warm, so utterly loveable, that I was blown away. I reviewed their album back in August, and I'm still very happy to say that they've got great things coming to them if they keep working at it. They nail the feeling of fuzzy reminiscence in "Swingsets", and ramp up the charm to the max in the simple-but-ridiculously-cute "The Hamburger Waltz".

Included with each prize will be a typed response to the individual winner's email, written by me, just for them. I'd hand write it, but I'd prefer if you guys could read it... I don't know how long it will be, but you'll have first-hand proof that I am genuinely thankful for you guys.

I'll be accepting submissions until November 14th, 2008, and the contest ends at 12:00 midnight. That's Eastern Time, US and Canada for you international readers. The winners will be announced here on November 15, 2008 and shipped shortly thereafter.

Anyhow, no matter who wins, I just want to thank all of tBoS's readers, whether regular readers, first-timers, and anyone in between. I'd also like to thank Helen Lawson, Maddie Liebowitz, Luke Kuzava and the members of Plajia for their help in putting this thing together, and all the other artists, managers, promoters etc. who send me more music than I could ever listen to!

Ready, set, go!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


"Make your peace and stop haunting me..."

I know 2008 is getting older, and in a few months will be on its way out, but the magic of music is that it keeps coming out no matter what! I thought I'd solidified my Best 100 Tracks list for this year, but a couple new acquisitions are threatening to take spots...

Travis - Broken Mirror (Ode to J. Smith, 2008)

Yes, Ode to J. Smith is Travis' second album in two years, and seems to continue the high quality of last year's The Boy With No Name. "Broken Mirror" is a bit darker than their usual output, with quiet, forceful guitar supporting Fran Healy's quiet, almost paranoid vocals. Very nice offering, one that bodes well for the rest of the album.

Belle's Wake - Penelope (The Riot Sessions, 2008)

One of my favourite lesser-known bands, Belle's Wake are beginning to record new music, including this gorgeous piano-led piece. It's quite different to their previous releases, but there's still that inherent darkness and sadness that fueled their previous work, mixed with a little bit of hope and wonder. This band deserves more notice than they're getting, and I honestly think that soon, they're gonna be getting it. Wait and see.

Hello Saferide - 2008 (More Modern Short Stories From Hello Saferide, 2008)

One of my favourite artists from years past is back with a new album, and this one's quite subdued compared to Introducing..., but just as promising. I'm enjoying it so far, though without an iPod I haven't been able to listen to it half as much as I'd like. This song's got a nice, hopeful feeling to it that makes me smile.

Ben Folds - Free Coffee (Way to Normal, 2008)

This song has a dream-like quality, but never leaves the realm of Ben Folds' typical cynicism, as he talks about going off and becoming rich, and how he feels about his life. There's a great, bleepy electronic style here that I don't believe Folds has tackled before, and it' s quite interesting to listen to.

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.