S. Carey has followed up his recent video for “Fire-scene” with another single, this time one you can stream via Jagjaguwar’s soundcloud page. The new track, “Crown the Pines” is a lesson in angelic overlapping vocal harmonies and swelling strings — ultimately creating a lush, dark wintry track that’s somewhere in that arena of a musician like J. Tillman, Bon Iver (where Carey is the percussionist), and Andrew Bird. The song is from S. Carey’s upcoming LP release, “Range of Light”, out April 1 (March 31 in UK) via Jagjaguwar and by special pre-order packages at CSDistribution. You can follow S. Carey at facebook and twitter. Note: All you Midwesterns can see him play live at one of my favorite music festivals, Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City on April 3rd (the festival lasts from April 1-6th), which also includes artists like Philip Glass and Jason Isbell. – David D. Robbins Jr.
This is the first track I’ve posted from Berkley’s imaginative Dan Casey (aka Yalls) in a couple of years, and it was well worth the wait. The single, “Warlords”, which sounds a bit like David Bowie (breathy, stylish vocals), is a song off “United”, the first proper full-length album by Yalls. There’s a cool combination of arcade-sounding electronics set to a slick synth and pop rhythm. You can follow Yalls at facebook. – David D. Robbins Jr.
The meditative single, “Stranger”, is a calming, reflective song from an artist who goes by the moniker Arrange. It’s the single off of “Their Bodies in a Fog”, which contains 11 tracks recorded between 2012 and 2014, and which gets an official full release today via Orchid Tapes. If you order the cassette tape at the label, it comes with some fun and interesting goodies: you’ll also receive a label sticker, a personal thanks from the artist, a photo, guava candy, and an Oolong tea bag. – David D. Robbins Jr.
I’m loving this first Sharon Van Etten single, “Taking Chances”, off her forthcoming new 11-track record “Are We There”, out May 27th via Jagjaguwar. It opens with this irresistibly smooth and intimate combo of guitar and percussion (like some kind of Sade beat) before SVE begins her first verses. She’ll be kicking off a tour May 8th, beginning in Northampton, Mass. at the Iron Horse Music Hall. You can pre-order the record here. Follow SVE at facebook and twitter. – David D. Robbins Jr.
These are the contemplative, lovesick opening verses of Home Alone’s new song, “Interstates & Stuff”: “Waiting on my ride / It’s just driving away / Hoping that she’ll come back at the end of the day / Come back to me / Right back to me.” This slow-motion song is paced so beautifully, graceful like underwater aquatics, pinging synth like sonar, moody resonating guitar, vocals delicate and vulnerable. It’s all about lightness of touch. This is the first track off Home Alone’s (aka Thomas Mazurkiewicz of Mississauga, Ontario) upcoming eight-song release, “There’s a Light Coming Through”, available March 15th via a Their Bated Breath favorite, BEKO online digital label. – David D. Robbins Jr.
U.K. duo Babe Heaven is streaming a new track, “Friday Sky”, a light, romantic piece of dream pop with beautiful vocal melodies and lovelorn lyricism: “I’m fallin’ for you now / Tell me if you feel it too / ‘Cuz I’m at peace when I’m with you, you, you …” There’s nothing complicated about this song, and that’s a large part of its charm. Echoing guitar strumming blends into soft percussion and calming vocals, making for an elegant track. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Brazilian producer singer-songwriter Rodrigo Amarante is officially releasing his solo record, “Cavalo”, on May 6th in the U.S. and Canada via I-Tunes and Easy Sound Recording Company. He’s posted a single called “Hourlgass”, a hyperkenetic groove about the passage of time. I’ve read about his involvement with a group, Little Joy, and Devendra Banhart, but the first I’d heard of his music was via a Take Out show thanks to the French website La Blogothèque. But since then I ran into this track, “Hourglass”, on soundcloud, and it made me immediately think of Arto Lindsay’s more interesting modern pieces, even before I found out Amarante is Brazilian. Listening to “Hourglass” made me curious, so I read more about Amarante being part of a band named Orquestra Imperial that features Caetano Veloso’s son, Moreno. This six-degrees-of-separation might not make much sense to you, but for me it says it all. Here’s a musician that not only plays his own brand of modern music, but also has deeper connections to the past. He’s surrounded by musicians who value craft, which says a lot about Amarante, and it’s evident in this stylish, idiosyncratic single. Follow Rodrigo Amarante on facebook. Note: Photo from artist’s facebook page, taken by Elliot Lee Hazel. – David D. Robbins Jr.