Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Hey, guys.

So, my corporate stalkers have returned with a vengeance, targeting my last two posts with a vengeance. So, fuck 'em. If they'll have my writing taken down without even an attempt to contact me, then they don't deserve my respect, nor my compliance. Bringer of Song will live on, but not here. Keep your eyes out... you'll find us eventually. If not, you know the email; contact me and I'll be happy to personally invite you.

If the ones who take issue with my posts would supply me, personally a list of artists they'd prefer I not post, thankyouverymuch, I will be happy to do so. Until then, though, they can keep their overhyped and overproduced crap and I'll do my best to make sure their artists are forgotten by the wallets of everyone I've ever met, including my own.

(I mean, this all started because of The Killers. Seriously. If it were a band whose output resembled music, perhaps I'd be less bitter.)

So, I'll still be out there. Listening, reviewing, and waiting for the day when the shackles of corporate major label bullshit open with a click and let music own the day, finally. Until then, you know where to look.

~ Alden


Inspired by recently posted song Travis' "Love Will Come Through", which played over the climax of the series finale of Alden-favourite TV show Wonderfalls, this roulette will focus on music that is inexorably linked to their respective TV moments. As you well know, I'm a complete TV junkie, and I love moments where the song meets the visual and combine to create an even fuller sense of emotion and story, leaving both inexorably linked in the viewer's mind. One career option I've long considered is music supervisor for a TV show, combining my two great loves. If I could construct a seminal TV moment like many of the below, I'd be a proud man.

Five such moments are below, with another post to come.

[Note that the below spoils, to varying degrees, Weeds season 2, Supernatural season 2 and Grey's Anatomy seasons 2 and 3.]

Jenny Owen Youngs - Fuck Was I [Batten the Hatches, 2005]
Weeds, "Corn Snake"

"What the fuck was I thinking?" sings Youngs on this track, set to Mary-Louise Parker's drug-dealing Nancy Botwin reeling from discovering her new beau is a DEA agent. This choice of song pulls out so many of the emotions of the scene - the fact that this was her first tryst since her husband's death and the guilt that comes with compromising his memory and her family's stability and safety because of her own loneliness. "Love grows in me like a tumor", the song warns, reminding us that we all think "maybe I'll be the lucky one that doesn't get burned". Unfortunately for Nancy, she's got plenty of trouble ahead of her.

Screaming Trees - Look At You [Dust, 1996]
Supernatural, "Heart"

When creating a montage for an 'intimate moment', a music supervisor has to choose very carefully, or else the mood of the entire scene is ruined. Luckily, Supernatural hired Alexandra Patsavas (look below for more amazing work she's done for Grey's Anatomy). This tune is sensual, haunted and fits the series rock aesthetic, while simultaneously layering the scene with a sense of unease and imbalance... Hinting at the tragic end of the story, wherein one is forced to kill the other.

Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars [Eyes Open, 2006]
Grey's Anatomy, "Losing My Religion"

The Grey's moment that gets the most press, though my only third-favourite music moment from that show, is a doozy. Using Snow Patrol's soaring anthem as a funereal tone for the weeping Izzie, as the show balances its ethical and moral questions about the sacrifices she's made for love, was remembered by fans for a long time after. The moment is scored perfectly: "If I lay here, would you lay with me and just forget the world?", as Izzie lays on the hospital bed and tries to forget the world, tries to forget that the future she'd built for herself in her head has come crashing down, and can't. Beautiful moment, and a cap to the show's best season.

Anna Nalick - Breathe [Wreck of the Day, 2005]
Grey's Anatomy, "...As We Know It"

The show had an even more intense musical moment earlier that season, however, in the second half of the riveting bomb-episode. The episode that launched Anatomy to the hit it became, part of it must have been attributed to this sequence, in which the lead character must remove her hand from a body cavity with live ammunition in it. The song's climactic moment, urging us to "breathe, just breathe" as the music swells, certainly added a great rhythm and emotion to an already pretty powerful scene. But Anatomy's stand-out musical moment:

Ingrid Michaelson - Keep Breathing [Be OK, 2008]
Grey's Anatomy, "Didn't We Almost Have It All?"

Though following up from a season full of questionable plot elements, the series moved towards a crescendo in its finale, tying together all of the character's various arcs and destroying their hopes, one-by-one. The song, emulating the rhythm of deep breaths with its violin while keeping a quick pace via piano, underscored the climactic moment wherein a character, who had boxed away more and more of herself in order to become a 'bride' and appease the man she loved, found herself alone and begging her best friend to cut her out of her restrictive wedding dress. As the song rises and rises in emotion, she breaks down and exclaims the mystifying statement that she's finally free. Combining the visuals of the dress and her need to breathe with the song, which moves faster and faster until the viewer feels as if they, too, need more air. Perfect synthesis of song and visual, combining to create a greater sense of the story.

I'll post part two soon, with moments from Battlestar Galactica and How I Met Your Mother, among others. If I remember/uncover more, part three will follow soon enough, no doubt. Now, I'm sure everyone has one or two of these moments in their mental vault. What are the greatest TV/music moments in recent history for you?

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.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Happy new year!

It's two weeks into 2009, and you guys haven't heard from me since the New Year hit. Sadly, between school, work and technical difficulties, much of what I wanted to do that was tBoS-related has come up against walls so far. I still carry the flame in my heart, however, and I want to tell you guys my plans for the immediate future.

1) Finish the Top 100 Tracks of 2008 By January 31st: In 2007, by far my most popular feature was my Top 100 of 2008 list. I've got it written up... in another city, on a format this computer can't read. But, damn it, I'm going to have them all posted with my fancy download links and write-ups if it kills me. Or at least faster than last year, where it bled into March.

2) Review at least 2 albums per month: Besides being a good exercise in 'music journalism', rather than 'whatever the hell I feel like writing', it's also the think that tends to draw people's interest. One of my best-known posts still seems to be my in-depth Flavors of Entanglement review, after all, even though the general public seems to have declared Alanis Morissette on the verge of being a has-been. I'm not necessarily going to keep to just-released albums, as I find my reviews half-baked without some steeping time, but they'll happen. I've been listening a lot to Franz Ferdinand's Tonight and Morissey's Years of Refusal, plus some older stuff I still haven't shared with you guys, so hopefully I'll get a start on that soon.

3) Set up '': Yes, my good friends, I already own courtesy of a great Xmas gift. Once I get the technical aspect down, tBoS will be a whole new ball game. Except, really, the same old ball game. Just better.

4) Write at least one showcase/discovery a month: These are almost always my favourite posts, and yet I haven't written many in the past months. Next in the pipeline is most likely Travis, as they've had a storied career that doesn't get half the notice it should.

5) Hone my skills: I'm still developing in this arena, as though I don't know music I like to think I've got a decent knowledge of human feeling. This year, I'd like to learn a little bit more about music and how to 'read' it. I also want to deepen and widen my music knowledge by digging into music before my birth, and since it; I know that delving into the 90's has given me a couple of great listens like Radiohead.

So, that's the plan for the immediate future. And, to keep you guys interested, here's my current favourite from Franz Ferdinand:

Franz Ferdinand - No You Girls [Tonight, 2008]

Thursday, January 1, 2009


"All I know is, there's something new this year. All I know's there's something new real near..."

So, 2008 has now ended and 2009 has begun! I have to say, I'm immensely excited to see what the new year brings. Most of tBoS' life so far was in 2008, and I know that just having it pushed me deeper and deeper into music than I'd been before. I wanna thank everyone - long-time (ha!) readers, one-hit wonders, the works, because it's for you guys (and for myself) that I keep this thing up. This has been great, and there's some pretty huge things happening on the blog in the near future, including my second annual Top 100 Songs list. I've been working like mad on it, and I plan on having the first couple posts out by the end of the first week of January. Plus, an even bigger announcement to come...

Happy new year!

Hello Saferide - 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


"Take this sinking boat and point it home, we've still got time..."

There's something exciting about falling in love with something you didn't even notice the first time around, isn't there? When I first listened to The Frames' The Cost, I didn't pay attention, didn't even notice their lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Glen Hansard. After watching half of his turn in indie movie "Once" (stopping only due to a crappy DVD player) with the fantastic Markéta Irglová, though, I'm going back to his output and listening to it in a complete new light.

Why am I so excited about these two? Both can hold a great well of emotion in their voice, and their writing (best when together, in fact) is some of the best I've heard in a while, drawing out a lot of emotion.

Both worked together to create "Falling Slowly", so beautiful it managed to score its own Oscar for Best Original Song. It's delicate, supported by both vocals, as well as guitar and piano. Perhaps even better than "Falling Slowly", however, is Hansard's amazing work on "Lies", a defiant accusation of betrayal. The sadness is wonderfully executed, and Hansard's writing keeps it from crossing the line to sappy or whining. At its core, it feels true in a way a lot of music doesn't. Markéta Irglová shows off her own chops in "If You Want Me", creating a haunting, echoing piece like a siren in the mists. Her sound here is similar to my beloved Lisa Hannigan, but perhaps shows an even stronger power despite Irglová's youth. Hansard proves himself as able to support as to lead here, as well.

Enjoy a smattering of tracks from "Once", as well as a track from Hansard's latest release with The Frames.

Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová - Falling Slowly (Once OST, 2007)
Glen Hansard - Lies (Once OST, 2007)
Markéta Irglová and Glen Hansard - If You Want Me (Once OST, 2007)
The Frames - True (The Cost, 2006)

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, December 13, 2008


So, in order to qualify for Hype's zeitgeist this year, my Top 10 albums have to be decided by Monday. Any ideas, even so late in the game, would help me out loads. Either way, you guys will be getting, at the very least, a skeletal version of the list come Monday.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I've written about Belle's Wake in the past, but only in passing. Since naming them one of 2008's most promising newcomers, I've neglected to mention them despite keeping tabs on their progress from afa When better to properly revisit them than as 2008 draws to a close?

So, who are they? A four-piece band whose style makes me think of ancient, abandoned castles and elegant rundown graveyards. 'Gothic' is a tragically overused word, thrown at everyone from Amy Lee to Amanda Palmer, but here it really is relevant. From the Macbeth-inspired "Toil and Trouble" to the haunting ghost story "Penelope", these songs always seem to touch on hints of the supernatural and the ghostly.

As for the music itself, it's sublime. The band's use of strings and piano are particularly well done, and both lead singers Andrew (who takes the lead on tracks like "Wild Creatures of Doubt") and Ashley ("Penelope" and "Persephone", as well as their cover of Joanna Newsome's "Balloons and Bridges") have extraordinary, distinctive voices.

The production isn't as glossy as much of the music making the rounds, mostly because this gang is still working on a smaller scale than the typical Hype Machine darlings, but they have something special. Though they haven't completed a full new release for 2008, a handful of strong tracks have been recorded and released that have got me pretty excited to hear more.

Belle's Wake recorded their The Nature of the Ground EP last year, which they've offered up for free download here, and are now working on The Riot Sessions.

Belle's Wake - Wild Creatures of Doubt [The Nature of the Ground EP, 2007]
Belle's Wake - Penelope [The Riot Sessions, 2007]
Belle's Wake - A Fevered Dream [The Riot Sessions, 2007]

Thursday, November 27, 2008


"I don't believe we can believe anymore..."

A song from Norwegian electro-pop band Briskeby, this is the one song from their discography that haunts me long after I moved on to other artists. It's beautiful, hazy, and cutting, as it tears apart the building superficiality of society. The above line is the core of the song, a reaction to the shallowness of the cult of 'beauty' and the advancing of so-called 'progress', while losing anything deep or real about our lives.

Wonderful stuff, worthy of recognition.

Briskeby - The Asphalt Beach [Jeans For Onassis, 2001]

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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Hey guys!

So, I've added a feature to the blog where you can give me a positive or negative reaction to a post without even commenting. I hope you guys will take advantage of it, because I love knowing what you guys think.

Any suggestions for a more specific reactions set?

And to keep you happy, a track from the excellent new album from the Pale Young Gentlemen.

Pale Young Gentlemen - Wedding Guest

EDIT: Technical difficulties. I can't seem to get it to work... sorry, guys. Will keep working on it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


"You play the victim perfectly, holding your beating heart..."

I've been horribly truant as of late, with the post count of the past two months being absolutely dismal. Sincere apologies, all; university sucks. That said, here's a smattering of songs from this year that I've been enjoying in the past few days. When time clears up a little, you'll get posts of a bit deeper quality, I promise.

Sia - Electric Bird [Some People Have Real Problems, 2008]

Calexico - Victor Jara's Hands
[Carried to Dust, 2008]

David Byrne and Brian Eno - One Fine Day
[Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, 2008]

Songdog - Likes of You and Me [Wretched Sinner's Song, 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.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


The Bringer of Song is now one year old!

In the past year, I've posted 126 times, shared at least twice that many songs, and oftentimes got comments that proved your gratitude. I've been picked up by Hype Machine, I've seen my daily hits go from 20-somethings to 200+ a day. I've been in contact with actual bands, as well as promoters, agents, managers. I've had an amazing time.

I have to say, I'm extremely pleased and a little shocked this little blog has made it so far. I love this blog as much, if not more, than I did when just starting out, which is shocking because I never would have pegged me to commit to something for this long. Usually it's six months then split.... which means this blog really is something very special to me.

The ability to share music with the rest of the world, to help others find something they can listen to, and just an outlet for my unending opinions, this blog has been such a boon to my mental stability. Just being able to say what I want, no apologies and all support, has made this year really, really great.

I wanna thank all the artists who have sent me music, even those whose tunes I haven't yet had time to listen properly to; The Hype Machine for putting this little blog on the map, my family, a few of whom are regular readers of this blog (and one of whom a contributor), and you guys. It's because of you, and the fact that I'm actually helping people find music they like, that this was possible in the first place. I hope you've enjoyed what I've shared so far, and that you continue to for many years to come!

Also, I want to that all those who participated in the contest, including our three winners Gincss, John, and fellow blogger The Impressionable Youth (of The Impressionable Youth). You'll each be getting an email from me soon, and your prizes should be shipped off (hopefully) within a week.

The Smiths - Unhappy Birthday

I liked this song as a child, before I bothered listening to lyrics. Now, though, I still love it. Is it odd that such a generally happy person loved such a miserable song? I'll be back with more music within the next few days, when I'm home where all my music is.

Thanks again to everyone who participated! And hurrah!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


"If I could just see straight, I'd probably head straight for the door..."

Coldplay - Viva La Vida [Viva La Vida, 2008]

I should not like this song. For a long time, I've despised Coldplay, after a moment of realisation that their lyrics were downright embarrassing. But though the whole album hasn't warmed to me, the lead single from it is much more impressive than almost all of their previous output. This isn't inane attempts at cuteness or shallow imitations of depth, but a song capturing a specific feeling via an extended metaphor: the loss of power with the loss of love, working as both literal story of a fallen king and metaphorical tale of a modern-day romantic with a broken heart. I'm honestly impressed, and I hope they keep it up.

Ben Folds - Cologne [Way to Normal, 2008]

Hearkening back to some of his older work, "Cologne" is a piece about letting go. Folds is well and truly vulnerable here, at his best, filling the song with the tiny details. There's something very touching about the countdown and the idea of both wishing for a connection ("in my hotel room I'm wondering if you read that story too, and if we might be having the same imaginary conversation...") and trying to disconnect ("I'm letting you go."). The piano and subtle strings works wonders to make this a frail, emotional piece.

Carissa's Wierd - One Night Stand [I Before E, 2004]

I've been so immersed in this year's offerings, I sometimes forget to listen to old favourites. Favourites like this bizarre tale of broken people, the type of song Carissa's Wierd does best. The male/female harmony adds to the feeling of disorientation and haziness of the titular one night stand, while adding a universal quality to the proceedings. It happens to everyone, male or female. The strings and guitars mourn in the background. Beautiful.

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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Well, president-elect or whatever, at least. Hurrah! Hurrah! I'm a Canadian, but I'm much happier now knowing we're sharing our border with this guy.

Muke - Barack Obama!!!!



Forgive Durden's new album, Razia's Shadow: A Musical is an interesting creature. Originally envisioned as a side project for lead singer Thomas Dutton, it became his square focus when the band's three other members left the band suddenly. This rather charming and bizarre experiment is a full-on fantasy musical released solely as an album, with a multitude of strong guest singers and some very nice songwriting.

The story follows events in a fantasy world, chronicling two stories: the creation and division of the world into darkness and light, and the romance that would redeem the world and return it to its former glory. While hitting a number of typical cliches in these types of stories, the lyrical style here is very interesting, with some great work done by Dutton.

The first five tracks follow the creation and the rebellion of Ahrima (Thomas Dutton) that leads the world into darkness, and features Dutton, Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter, Lizzie Huffman of Man in the Blue Van, Max Bemis of Say Anything, and Chris Conley of Saves the Day. I'm not familiar with any of the guest talent in the first half, but they all do fine work, particularly Bemis in the role of the dastardly spider Barayas, who precipitates the climax of this portion.

The last eight tracks are devoted to the bigger story, of redemption and love. This one features Dutton again in the lead role, this time as a character named Adakias. This stronger half features Danny Stevens of The Audition, Dan Young of This Providence, John Baldwin Gourley of Portugal. The Man, Kris Anaya of An Angle, Brandon Urie of Panic at the Disco, Greta Salpeter of The Hush Sound, Nic Newsham of Gatsbys American Dream, and Shawn Harris of The Matches. Again, of this half the only contributor I am familiar with is Urie, as I'm a big fan of his band.

It's in this second half where the album really takes off. Dutton's character isn't particularly memorable, considering how much he shares with most fantasy heroes, but luckily the guest cast carry this story well, though I wish all of the more memorable players had gotten more voice time. The plotting anc characterization is weak, and it relies on the singers themselves to infuse their characters with something extra, and many of the contributers do just that. Brandon Urie as the hero's devilish brother demands the role with relish, adding a swagger and making sure the character wasn't pure caricature; Shawn Harris' King is very enjoyable as the princess' bastard father; Greta Salpeter elevates the everyprincess role here with a beautiful voice with a kindness to it that would otherwise be completely lightweight; and Shawn Harris creates a fantastic voice for the bonkers doctor charged with saving the princess' life as the story moves towards its final climax. Also deserving of praise was Adam Weiss of mewithoutyou, whose narration is really the lead voice here, despite Dutton's lead role.

You can tell this was inspired by Moulin Rouge and classic Disney musical movies, as Dutton mentioned in an interview with Alternative Press. The story and production feel very much inspired, and it adds a real sense of nostalgia to the proceedings. There's something just calming about recognising much of what's here, even if it undercuts some of the drama (especially in the climax). There's a real epic feeling to the proceedings, and quite a few of the lyrical choices are just plain inspired.

An excellent album, especially anyone who loves musicals and/or old musical Disney flicks. Perhaps not for everyone, but something I can't stop listening to anyhow. Seek it out.

Forgive Durden - Meet the King (feat. Nic Newsham and Greta Salpeter) [The Shadow of Razia: A Musical, 2008]

Forgive Durden - Doctor Doctor (feat. Shawn Harris) [The Shadow of Razia: A Musical, 2008]

Forgive Durden - Holy the Sea (feat. John Gourley and Kris Anaya) [The Shadow of Razia: A Musical, 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.

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,, 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.

Friday, September 26, 2008


"Half underwater, I'm half my mother's daughter..."

A Fine Frenzy - Hope For the Hopeless (One Cell in the Sea, 2007)

Klaxons - Isle of Her (Myths of the Near Future, 2007)

The Dresden Dolls - Half Jack (The Dresden Dolls, 2003)

Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal (Fleet Foxes, 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.