Tag Archives: damien jurado

Songs of the Year: 2013

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Right now it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m up, thinking about all the music that meant a lot to me this year. Personally it’s been a year of flux and over the last few months I haven’t been able to keep up writing as I would have liked, let alone include so many of the great year end releases. So to round things off in a semi-reasonable fashion – and  before we plunge into January – here are a few of the songs I’ve loved along the way…some old, some new, all worth a listen.

Videos included at the bottom and there’s a Spotify playlist here with some more tracks

  • Dark Dark Dark ‘Patsy Cline’ 2013 was the year I discovered the stirring, intense folk of US band Dark Dark Dark. Lyrically their songs are stunning. This one resonated on a personal level, it’s poignant without being self-pitying and I’ll always remember it. 
  • Damien Jurado ‘Yuma Arizona’ I posted this song for my friends on their wedding day, it’s an older track but so incredibly pretty. I think I heard it covered live, one of my favourite ways to discover sometimes overlooked or forgotten tracks. 
  • Low ‘So Blue’ The first time I heard this song, from ‘The Invisible Way’, I was sucked in to how insanely powerful it was…for that reason it stayed with me
  • Frightened Rabbit ‘The Oil Slick’ When it comes to Frabbits I’m a massive fan girl. This is my favourite track on their 2013 release ‘Pedestrian Verse’ 
  • Melt Yourself Down ‘Fix My Life’ This is song is completely crazy, an erratic blend between gypsy jazz and dance – synths, brass and whoops all the way. It never fails to cheer me.
  • James Brown ‘I’ll Go Crazy’ I love James Brown but I’d never heard this song. It is INCREDIBLE. 
  • Fleetwood Mac ‘Go Your Own Way’ – Fleetwood Mac are a band I go back to time and time again, I beliver this song to be one of the greats.
  • Bob Dylan ‘Hurricane’/Daft Punk ‘Get Lucky’ – An unlikely combination I’ve included both of these because my friend plays them on guitar and we all sing. Those moments are the best, I wish I could bottle them. 
  • Mogwai/Explosions in the Sky/Yo La Tengo – I’m not going to choose anything in particular from these three, except to say they make for the best studying/working music I’ve ever found.
  • Lau ‘Throwing Pennies’ – Oh how I love Lau. The Scottish folk trio fuse traditional folk influences with an Orcadian beautiful vocal, original melodies and experimentation. 
  • Hiss Golden Messenger ‘Drum’ – I got this on my ipod about a month ago, such a sweet and uplifting song.
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra ‘Swim and Sleep Like a Shark’ – Eeeek I like this band a lot.  It reminds me of sitting with my very good friend, saying very little.

That’s what’s in my mind right now…happy new year when it comes!

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The Weekend Edition

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AroarA

AroarA is the work of husband and wife musicians Andrew Whiteman (Broken Social Scene) and chanteuse Aerial Engle, if you’re curious about appearance the cute pair are permanently dancing on their website. Their affectionate In the Pines EP recently featured on famous music blog Said the Gramophone and I’ve since discovered the duo have been on the SXSW trail this year. Very well made, stirring music which I’d bet you’ll like.

Jason Molina

Hugely sad news that lauded singer songwriter died at only 39 this week, personally I wasn’t that familiar with his material but have since been hearing some beautiful songs. You can stream his entire back catalogue for a limited time at http://live.magnoliaelectricco.com

Damien Jurado – Yuma Arizona

This is an older song from Damien Jurado, Yuma Arizona. I’m putting it on here for my very good friends who are getting married today (in a matter of hours I’ll be sipping champers in their honour) because it’s really, really beautiful.

Songs for Your Soul

As we hurtle towards the end of the year I’ve been getting returning to listen to things I really loved over the last twelve months. It’s not quite a best of list as I find it hard to narrow things down that far, rather just a rundown of great songs…Merry Christmas Eve!

 Scottish & Sublime

Meursault – Dull Spark/Flittin’

These tracks are both from Neil Pennycook’s alternative folk band Meursault’s stunning 2012 album Something For the Weakened. Amongst a number of accolades it’s received it just topped the Scottish BAMS, an award set up by the great Peenko blog and voted for by Scottish bloggers including me, you can read the full list of winners here.

 

Lament For a Teenage Millionaire

 

Adam StaffordVanishing Tanks/Russian Glass 

Both of the these tracks from Falkirk musician Adam Stafford’s spilt single, released on independent label Gerry Loves Records are so well crafted I’ve listened to them many times.

 

Human Don’t Be Angry –  1985 

I bought Malcolm Middleton’s first Human Don’t Be Angry album on CD in Inverness, because it was playing in the shop and even though I had it on download it sounded too good not to own. Stunning instrumental guitar…

 

Three Blind Wolves – Sound of The Storm 

Having first seen Glasgow four piece Three Blind Wolves live in May, I then listened to their joyous, country rooted album ‘Sound of the Storm’ on repeat for many weeks after.

Dream A Little Dream Pop For Me

Tennis – It All Feels The Same 

Husband and wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley released ‘Young and Old’ in February, blissful sugar pop to make you happy.

Beach House – Myth

The first track which was released from the band’s album Bloom, it’s a beauty.

New American Idols

Sharon Van Etten – Leonard

An album which is amongst the best releases of the year (and has indeed appeared near the top of many tastemaker album lists) US singer-songwriter Van Etten’s Tramp is sublime. This is the video for ‘Leonard’…get to listening!

Loch LomondWhite Dresses

The most poignant and unusual kind of chamber folk from the Oregon ensemble Loch Lomond, this is the title track from a European EP produced exclusively for Chemikal Underground. It’s a tearjerker.

 

Father John MistyHollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

For ex Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tilman his 2012 album ‘Fear Fun’ is likely to define the point where people had begun to listen to his solo work. This is the first track I heard from it…

Damien Jurado – Maraqopa

Watch this video and I’d defy you not fall in love with Damien Jurado’s latest record.

 Magical Music

The Dirty Three – Towards The Low Sun

Australian prog-instrumental rock trio The Dirty Three just seem to get better and more distinctive, their quivering instruments conjuring a rugged, turbulent landscape.

 

The Tallest Man  on Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

If you like properly old fashioned song writing, this release from Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson is just plain good.

 

Francois Atlas & The Mountains – Gold Mountain (Slow Club Cover)

Two excellent bands, one reworked song.

Discovered Discoveries

For non regular readers Play a Song For Me is mostly about asking musicians and people involved in music for their suggestions on something which is great, new or rare. Of all the great submissions I’ve had this year there were a couple which really stuck out for me, I hope if you haven’t heard them already please click on the link!

John Knox Sex Club: Submitted by The Last Battle

Six track ‘album’ Raise Ravens came out from the Glasgow folk-rockers in September, check it out….

Tommy Johnson: Submitted by Adam Stafford 

Blues legend Tommy Johnson, whose songs are timeless.

Miss Irenie Rose: Submitted by Rachel Sermanni 

A young, supremely talented Scottish singer

The Son(s) Play…Tim Weary and Richard Swift

The Son(s) recommend Richard Swift and Tim Weary

I first heard of The Son(s) late last year when they got in touch with me via soundcloud for my tumblr site – one of those days that made me glad to be writing about music. The track sent was Underneath The Arbor, a fragile, captivating and beautiful song: in short an absolute gem of a discovery. As musicians go, K.P. son also couldn’t be nicer, hence why I asked them to give me a musical suggestion…

Play a Song for Me: The Son(s)!

“I’ve been listening to a lot of new music so far this year; RM Hubbert’s new album, Maraqopa by Damien Jurado and Heart Heart and the Simple Folk radio session by Withered Hand. But two songs which have been stuck in my head almost constantly are:

Looking Back I Should Have Been Home More by Richard Swift (who also had a large hand in Maraqopa) which is a song from some years back…

Begin Again by Tim Weary (of The Weary Band) which is on their new album (but I like this version slightly better).”

The Son(s) new EP Leviathan is released on 7th May via Olive Grove Records.