Friday, March 30, 2007

New email address

We now have a single email address to send stuff to that both Beth and I can view - lonesomemusic at gmail dot com. If you have sent email in the past and have the old address added to a list somewhere please change it. Thanks.

The Acorn - Brokered Heart

Howdy all,

Now then, I picked this up somewhere along my internet travels over the past month or so and just haven’t stopped playing it.

Handclaps! Harmonies! Really complicated guitar bits! And layers and layers of acoustic loveliness. Surely there’s gadgetry at work here somewhere? It’s a bit folky, it’s a bit Teenage Fanclub, it’s a bit Mountain Goats. And that's got to be a good recipe to welcome in the weekend.

Howard tells me that he thinks this song is clever. I’ll believe him. I just think it’s lovely.

Listen: The Acorn - Brokered Heart

Buy from Paper Bag Records

More info and songs to download on their MyBleedingSpace site.

The Acorn released their Tin Fist EP at the end of last year and they have now embarked on the superbly named Tin Fisting tour – dates and more information on their official site.

Our friends over at Speed of Dark posted about this lot last year – the links are still up – go and get more tunes here. I can recommend Plates and Saucers just for its mad crockery percussion. See what they did there?

Footnote: When I first heard this, I thought they were Irish. This is probably because I’ve been listening to a lot of Duke Special and watching far too much Hollyoaks. My ears are probably seeking it out. It turns out that they are from Ottawa and might just be young Canada's 'hottest new band'. Fancy.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Roadside Graves

I posted about this lot a while back in January, but they've got an album out soon called No one will know where you've been. This is the last track on the album, and when thinking about which track to post here was the number one choice, if this doesn't induce melancholy nothing will.

The album itself suffers from a very close sounding mix, making me want to hear the songs in a live context even more. The songs are strong and the arrangements sympathetic, but maybe my stereo just doesn't do it justice. Let me know what you think.

Listen: The Roadside Graves - Oh Boy, It's a girl

Buy it

Monday, March 26, 2007

John St Field - Soft Lowland Tongue

Taken from the rather hard to get hold of 1975 album Control, I admit to knowing next to nothing about the artist (actually called Jackie Leven) apart from I've been playing this album on repeat over the last few days. The album's mix of early/mid 70s British folk (he's scottish and there's jazz flute aplenty) and CSN&Y harmonies mix beautifully to create a gently turbulent listening experience. Check it out and let me know if you have any further info.

Listen: John St. Field - soft lowland tongue



Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Christian Williams

Christian Williams describes his mixture of acoustic guitar, banjo and storytelling with a dark side as Gothic country music.The Gothic here meaning songs that paint a similarly parched vision (unless there's a flood) to Two Gallants (without the surplus verses), Nick Cave (sans piano) and also Johnny Cash's American series.

Listen: Christian Williams - Red
Listen: Christian Williams - Something like love


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reeltime Travelers

It's not that often you can just read the name of a band and know that it will fit in just fine with the Lonesomemusic's ethos of a little bit folk, a little bit country, a whole lot of sadness. I can't even remember how I came across them, I just saw the name and sought them out. They didn't disappoint either, it's mostly instrumental hoe-down music that gathers speed in a whirl of fiddle and mandolin. It's a funny kind of maudlin, a mix of nostalgia and moonshine.

Listen: Reeltime Travelers - little johnny brown
Listen: Reeltime Travelers - eyes like cherries

Official with a whole load more mp3s!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Very belated post - songs of 2006

Hello everyone,

Huge apologies for the prolonged absence. Life at the Northern HQ of Lonesome has been somewhat all-encompassing of late and I've had technical (read: Blogger) issues. So, nearly three months late, here are my favourite tunes of 2006. I've decided not to call it a 'best of' because I don't think that's an accurate title; instead these are songs that have stayed with me over the course of 2006's ups and downs. Moreover, I don’t think I’m qualified to write about albums of the year – after all, I struggle to buy an album that was released more recently than, say, 1972. Besides, I would probably only replicate a lot of Howard's list a few posts back. This is probably the first year that I’ve been fully immersed in downloading from other blogs and it’s interesting to see the influence that that has had on my choices. So - here they are.

The Lonesome Sisters – It’s Better to be Alone. Now you know how I feel about this lot. In fact, they were one of the very first bands that we posted about way back in August 2004. This is more oldey-timey bluegrass with a tinge of gospel about the vocals – I can’t recommend the album Follow Me Down highly enough. (buy it)

Glen Phillips – Released. This creeps up on you, pretending to tread the all too familiar male singer/songwriter path, before changing into something that is really quite lovely by the time the chorus, steel guitar and military drums kick in. (ouchio on amazon)

Cat Power - The Greatest. Okay, so I know that this song has more media coverage than is probably decent, although interestingly not much airtime, but it is still a great song. I swooned when I first heard it last year and I still do. The indie ‘Moon River’. (buy it)

Micah P Hinson – Jackeyed. This is woozy and off kilter, with a disarming charm to it. It reminds me a little bit of Palace Music (Christmas Time in the Mountains-era) but don’t let that put you off. It’s a bit sing-song, the dual vocals mess with your mind through headphones and the instrumentation is never less than surprising (check out the brass section).(buy it)

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – The False Husband. I bought this album on impulse to take with me on the Lonesome jaunt to Barcelona . Tiger Bay-St Etienne meets the Tindersticks. In Twin Peaks.(buy it)

Sarah Harmer - I am Aglow. I saw Sarah Harmer support Kelly Joe Phelps last autumn and this was the stand out track for me – cute girly folky americana to dance around the kitchen to. (Warning: Sarah also played a song that sounded like a Simpson’s spoof on saving the planet. Leeds laughed out loud, but she was serious. Try to avoid it. Unless you want a laugh).(buy it)

The Twilight Singers – Sublime. No-one is more surprised than me that I like this. Honestly, just listen to it. As components, it just shouldn’t work. The cheesy guitar is vile . The 80s drums are awful. It brings up memories of Afghan Whigs, for God’s sake. But still, but still. The sheer swagger of this song made me stop and take note whenever it came on. Heart over head maybe? Moving swiftly on… (buy it)

Peter, Bjorn and John - Young Folks. Best whistling I’ve heard for ages. Fantastic percussion and clever boy/girl lyrics about aging indie kids finding each other on a night out (well, in my mind, or am I just projecting?). Best song on the album by a mile.(buy it)

The Mountain Goats – Woke Up New. This whole album (Get Lonely) is a heartbreaker and this song in particular. The honesty of the lyrics is unflinching and brutal – it tells the tale of the first morning after a break up, waking up alone for the first time, making two cups of coffee out of habit. Then masochistically drinking them both “because you hate it when I let things go to waste.” How’s that for lonesome? (buy it)