Tag Archives: willis earl beal

I Really Want A Record Player

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I’ll warn you straight up this is a majorly self indulgent blog post. I really want a record player. GASP. I don’t have one already? No, I’ve been strongly aligned to the humble CD for the past decade, I like that they are more stackable (there I said it) and I don’t have to stand up to flip sides. I know the sounds better on vinyl yada yada, the real reason I’m changing now is there are some many less collectable releases on CD, and no download codes when you purchase. Itunes is no longer my friend, following a change in it’s privacy terms it won’t recognise new items. Typing it in song by song would make my soul cry. So music lovers that’s it, now I really want a record player and ideally your help in choosing one. Old or new? What to look for? Does it matter?  In return here are the first three things I’d like to buy on vinyl…

Rodriguez ‘Cold Fact’

I cried watching documentary Searching for Sugarman on the plane to Thailand. I love that someone could be so humble in the face of so much new found fame. This song in particular makes me really happy.

Devendra Banhart ‘Mala’

I like this latest release from Devendra Banhart a lot. That’s all.

Willis Earl Beal ‘Wavering Lines’

Beaaaaaautiful.

PS – if there are adverts below they are nothing to do with me, it’s a new WordPress thing I believe meaning you have to pay to keep things ad free.

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Records to Remind You…

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It’s December! And I hands down love this month, it’s even now virtually snowing as I’m typing on wordpress. A post on Christmas songs is coming soon,  if you’re keen to get in the mood my top songs on 2011 on tumblr,  including Withered Hand, Olympic Swimmers and Slow Club.

In the meantime screeds of  top album lists have been flying around so I’ve been taking stock of some exceptional releases which I almost missed this year. Found through the labels and blogs I follow, or by happy coincidence, here are some things to treasure.

Records to Remind you…

About the Importance of Discovery

Willis Earl BealAcousmatic Sorcery

Hailing from Chicago Willis Earl Beal materialised in the music world after he flyered the city with illustrations of himself, listing his likeable character traits and song singing ability, in the hope of finding friends and/or a girlfriend. FOUND magazine uncovered his enigmatic story and a 17 track album lying completed. Now titled Acousmatic Sorcery it was released on Hot Charity earlier this year. A powerful display of talent, Beal’s unusually pitched voice combines with minimal and delicate backing to create a straightforwardly beautiful collection: simple, heartfelt, significant songs.

A screen test for ‘Wavering Lines’

‘Monotony’

‘Evening’s Kiss’

Of Simple Things

Bonnie Prince Billy – Now Here’s My Plan EP 

Will Oldham’s Bonnie Prince Billy material has long since fused the best of musical things: an Americana premise, themes of love and lovers, heartache and betrayal and a deep, gruff vocal.

Released back in August ‘Now Here’s My Plan’ is a collection of six artfully rearranged tracks, which see Oldham and his cohorts demonstrate a rare ability to cocoon the listener in honest, fervent music.  Shifting from the freewheeling country of ‘I Don’t Belong to Anyone’ to the heartfelt notes of ‘Beast For Thee’ and yearning ‘After I Make Love to You’ it’s charged, weighty music which does something rare: transports you somewhere completely different. For me that place is a dimly lit Texan bar, where there’s the type of band you want to slow dance to, the odd brawl and plenty of whisky drinking.

Going through his old songbook I found his first single, released under Palace Music, a crackly folkish tune Ohio River Boat Song…

About Happiness

School of Seven BellsPut Your Sad Down EP

This newly released five track EP from the New York dream pop band School of Seven Bells almost slipped right past me. It does however do exactly what you’d expect from the title, all swooshing, hazy melodies, ethereal vocal, synths and plucked beats.

Listen and be happy!