Seattle’s The Head and the Heart brings an indie/folk juxtaposition of joy and beauty that sticks to your ribs and forces a melody from the back of your throat into the air. Their self-titled debut was released in 2011 and I listened to it a few times, but I wasn’t hooked…that is, until I listened to the bridge in Down In The Valley about a week ago. Now, I dream of a month without work, a van, some friends, and a tent and I’ll drive across the USA, stop at every national park and monument, and blare this song the whole trek.
You’re going to love it too. Just check out the video below:
I know, I know, that song title is throwing you off (like it did to me at first). What the heck is Sarah Ruthie Bird doing writing about Demons? Well, that’s a very good question. The song “Demons” has everything to do with the British sensation, Dry The River. The five-membered band released their newest creation in April, and now at the start of June, the band’s reach has creeped across the Atlantic to saturate American playlists. My favorite tracks on the album are side-by-side (nos. 6 & 7), Demons and Bible Belt. Watch Listen Tell made a beautiful video of Bible Belt in 2010. Check it out!
When summer rolls around you need a little heartfelt, feel-good music to usher in the warm weather and I need music on iPhone to listen to as skip and twirl through NYC on my Saturday afternoon adventures. What is my pre-summer music of choice, you ask? Ben Rector’s newest album Something Like This, of course!
On Thursday night I was heading over to the BBC upfront party for work and ran into my friend Danielle on the way out. Danielle told me she was heading to the NeedToBreathe concert that evening at Webster Hall. I’m a big NeedToBreathe fan, so I made an impulsive decision to ditch the BBC party early and go to the concert. For the first time in my life I scalped a ticket off a man on the street, then walked into the venue to hear a familiar voice-not Bear Rineheart’s as I had expected-sing the last phrase of a song, “let the good time roll toniiiiight!” To my delight, it was BEN RECTOR! Obviously, I was out of the loop. I had no idea he was opening the show and I couldn’t be more excited. Ben Rector AND NeedToBreathe? Stop it!
Back in 2006 when the MySpace era was dwindling down, I fell in love with a song by Dave Barnes called Someday Sarah for obvious reasons (who doesn’t like a song that features their name?). I clicked around on Dave’s page and found a little artist by the name of Ben Rector and his song “Conversation.” Two years later (2008), I discovered that Ben had released a free sampler on NoiseTrade and there was no going back; I was hooked.
Maybe I’m not supposed to say this, but Ben is adorable and his music (just like Dave Barnes) makes a girl’s heart melt like an ice-cube in the summer sun. Seriously. I don’t know if there is a girl in the world who doesn’t want to hear Ben sing to her: “Baby, I am never gonna let you go/Baby, I am telling everyone I know/Though the storm may come or the wind may blow/Baby, I am never gonna let you go. ” in a melodic, piano-based pop-ballad.
England’s got talent-and her newest sensation, Birdy (Jasmine Van den Bogaerde), is just 15 years old! Birdy’s eponymous debut was released last November and it’s clear she has the piano-ballad and soulful vocals down. Her wispy covers are lovely, and her spunk has captivated audiences all over Europe. On her album, Birdy covers Bon Iver’s smash hit Skinny Love, Phoenix’s 1901, White Winter Hymnal by the Fleet Foxes, The Postal Service’s The District Sleeps Alone Tonight, and Young Blood by The Naked and the Famous-beautifully. Watch the video for Skinny Love below. I think she’ll be a one-hit cover wonder, but what do you think?
It was a chilly Monday morning, and I decided to take my first day off from work at my grown-up job. Taking a first vacation day is worth celebrating. It’s a monumental moment in the coming-of-age story. It’s a right of passage. This was my vacation ay, and I was ready for adventure. The wind bit through my light jacket as I walked south on 5th Avenue, and the shade made everything colder.
A street vender caught my eye. “I don’t sell anything after 1945.” The man said to me as I walked near his cart. He wouldn’t tell me his name for fear of his wife, who was sitting in the car flipping through a Japanese magazie, but he did tell me that he was from Yugoslavia originally. “I’ve been selling antiques for 18 years. I have maps for everything. I’ve had a long time to collect.”
I shivered as I sifted through map, after map, after map, after map. Although the cold had numbed my fingers-and my nose-I was on a hunt for the perfect map and the nameless Yugoslavian did have maps for everything-from Africa, Asia, and Australia to Los Angeles City maps from 1939 and lithographs of Astragalus flowers. Each was beautiful; each was different. “I cut the pictures [of the maps] out. See? It’s good quality. And if you buy this map of Rome, you can cut it yourself and make it into two!”
The Yugoslavian salesman was persistent, and though he was hesitant to share his story with me, he felt free to air his complaints about the American Economy: “I would sell these maps at the flea market, but they charge us $150 a day to sell. Do you know the problem? It is rent control. Rent is always too expensive. If rent was controlled in the corporate buildings and in the home buildings, everything would be alright. But it won’t because every politician is corrupt in every country.”
Although I disagree with his economic policy, it reminds me of a funny video that shares the same sentiment:
The Antique Map Man sits on the South East side of 5th Avenue and 26th Street from 10a to 3p on Wednesdays & Fridays.
My friends Aaron and Alex Craig from We Are Films have done it again! This time they’ve created a music video for Brooklyn-based band, The Welcome Wagon, led by frontman and pastor of Resurrection Presbyterian, Vito Aiuto.
I will be sending this song to my extended family in a last-ditch attempt to force them to come out to NYC for my college graduation ceremony on May 5th.
Do you know that 27 million people in our wold are enslaved right now? As an American, I take my freedom for granted far too often. Our liberty is a gift, and the least we can do is preserve our own liberty (yes, this is a shout out to Ben Franklin), and then strive to see others liberated from bondage (thorough private efforts of course, not federal initiatives). Something that I’m thankful for is that the fight to end child sex slavery and trafficking has caught on like wildfire in the USA.
Jenny and Tyler Somers are helping to end human trafficking-and you can help too! A few weeks ago, Jenny & Tyler released a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this track directly go to organizations like Love 146, who seek to end human trafficking forever.
From cover band playing in local bars to featured artist-Andrew Belle has come a long way in a short time. You may know him from his tracks on TV shows like Gray’s Anatomy, The Real World, and the Vampire Diaries (Static Waves feat. Katie Hertzog and In My Veins) or from his 2011 tour with Ben Folds. Now he just needs to come back to New York City.
What will you’ll find in Belle’s The Daylight EP? Imagine a few hits of pop-reggae, thrown together with bold, infectious hooks, a few pinches of nuanced melodies, and a whole lot of toe-tapping, shoulder-swaying, head-bobbing rhythm. Fortunately for us, The Daylight was released at the end of February: at the perfect time for spring weather when it’s more than appropriate to be in the car with the windows rolled down, hair blowing in the wind, and music blaring.
I’ve been listening to Aqualung since early high school. I remember driving in my little white Toyota listening to The Strange and the Beautiful. The windows were rolled down and the music was loud. Of course, when Memory Man was released I listened to it as I explored Aspen groves in Southwest Colorado. As I began college in NYC, Words and Music was a constant companion for many late-night study sessions. About a year and a half ago, my computer was stolen-along with my entire music collection-so I haven’t listened to Aqualung since.
That is, until a few days ago.
I was trudging through hundreds of pages of billing at work and decided to add Brooke Fraser’s 2010 CD, Flags, to my Spotify playlist. When the first cords of “Who Are We Fooling” hit my ears, I stopped. Immediately after the song ended I played it again, then again, and again, and again, and again, and again. I heard a familiar voice join Brooke in brilliant melody. It was Matt Hales (from Aqualung) and together, their harmony wove in and out and lingered in the air (and in my head) long after the song was over. But the song’s content stood out to me the most.
It’s not often that you hear a beautiful song about married love. It’s even less frequent you hear lyrics in a bridge that praise everyday struggles; “Cause real love/ Is hard love/ It’s all we have/ It’s a break-neck/Train wreck/ It’s all we have.” And sticking it out together through the thick and the thin, because life’s struggles are the things that it is made of. “Together we’re one, but apart tell me Who are we fooling?”
File Next To: Copeland, Jon Foreman, Jeremy Enigk, Sara Bareilles, MuteMath