Wednesday 11 May 2016

Track of the Day: Jaye Bartell - Tuesdays

I first heard Jaye Bartell's 'Tuesdays' a few weeks ago on NPR's ever-brilliant All Songs Considered podcast, and was instantly struck its wonderfully conversational style and it's incredibly detailed narrative. 

Both vocally and in songwriting style there are clear comparisons to Leonard Cohen as Bartell beautifully meanders his way through the mundane elements of life before it bursts to a chorus of soaring harmony of Everybody knows that every day is always the last day”.

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Track of the Day: Matt Maltese - Studio 6

Entering the dimly lit basement of Servant Jazz Quarters late last year I heard gorgeous, soft piano tones set alongside a woozy yet beautiful voice, reminiscent of Guillemots' Fyfe Dangerfield. It was the sound of the 20 year old singer-songwriter Matt Maltese; and it was truly special.

'Studio 6' is his latest single and it perfectly captures the atmosphere which I witnessed that night. It's of little surprise that he references influences such as Leonard Cohen and Francoise Hardy, as he shares their passion for detailed imagery, lived-in characters and evocative storytelling.

This track is taken from his forthcoming EP 'In A New Bed' which is due for release on 22nd April and promises an encapsulating glimpse into what looks to be a very promising future for the young talent.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Track of the Day: Max Jury - Standing On My Own

Over the past couple of years there has been one artist who has stood head and shoulders above the rest as my enduring new music crush, and that is Max Jury.

From the moment I first heard the ethereal country twang of the Iowa native's first single 'Christian Eyes' through to his most recent gospel infused track 'Numb', there has been a timeless quality to his songwriting which continues to draw me in. 

As a special B-side for the aforementioned track he has released 'Standing On My Own' with the below video which documents the young artist's influences via the medium of vinyl; from Gordon Lightfoot to Ray Charles.

With his self titled debut LP out on June 3rd on Marathon Artists I have little doubt that 2016 will be the year that Max Jury brings his beautifully wistful tales of small town America to a wider audience.

Tuesday 12 April 2016

I'M BACK! Here's my 2016 so far....

It's been a fair ol' while since I last let you guys know the nuances of which tracks have been filling my headphones on the morning commute, and I can't apologise enough for that fact. To use a valid but vastly overused and painfully emo cliché, "life got in the way". One exciting part of the aforementioned life however, is My Little Empire Records; an indie label which I started around a year ago with a friend, putting out two EP's by two brilliant acts called Easy Kill and Why We Love thus far in 2016.

Anyway, below is a selection of tracks which it's well worth you guys checking out - full disclosure both acts from our roster appear, but you know what, they are in my favourite tracks of the year, so it simply wouldn't be right to leave them out.

I'll be posting more frequently going forward (famous last words) and will obviously actually write some narrative around future tracks too - just didn't want to look forward without looking back at some of the gems which 2016 has already given us.

Monday 2 November 2015

Track of the Day: Frog - Rubbernecking

2015 has been quite a year for Frog, with the Queens-based two-piece already earning a swath of new fans with their captivating debut full length 'Kind of Blah' which was released to considerable and thoroughly deserved acclaim on the every-brilliant Audio Antihero label (read my full review of the album here).

However, prior to this LP the duo showcased their fuzzy guitar pop on a self-titled mini-album in 2013 on the now defunct Brooklyn imprint Monkfish Records. Though the release made few waves at the time (besides DiS proclaiming it "the best American guitar record of the year"), Audio Antihero saw what a rough diamond it was and off the back of the band's new cult following and upcoming UK tour decided it was well deserving of a re-release - which includes limited edition run of 50 brilliant green tapes.

Taken from this mini-album is today's Track of the Day;  the brilliantly macabre and infectiously catchy 'Rubbernecking'.

You can buy it on tape with a lossless digital download for £3 here

"Backed up down the country lane
the ambulance screams out of frame

The scent of death, it beckons as you drive away
fuck with baby just don’t tell me your name
shhh a second won’t you tell me where you came from
just a second
just a second.

The scent of death it beckons as you drive away
last night i fucking killed a man
last night i fucking killed a man
and you know it didn’t change shit
and you know it didn’t change anything.

Theres a fire in the minivan
and the gasoline stains on your little hands
its just rubbernecking, failure beckons
you go to work, and iron your shirt
and count the seconds where all your records
don’t do dirt and hike your skirt up.

It's an old black tone coming through this microphone
the melody man, i don't know the truth be told, it might be thousands of years old."

Monday 20 July 2015

Track of the Day: Max Jury - Great American Novel

There is an utterly timeless quality to Max Jury’s songwriting; a pairing of delicate vocals, narrative story-telling and outstanding ability to construct tender melodies which would sit beautifully at any point in the past 6 decades.

 “Great American Novel” is yet another example of his talents, and another stunning step in the exciting career of the young Iowa-based singer-songwriter. His debut album (which he is currently working on) is set to be one of my most hotly anticipated in recent years.

Great American Novel Lyrics: 

There’s a story in your voice
And in the way you say goodnight
Leaves me wanting more 
It lingers in my mind 
Lingers in my mind 

It was the golden age
Of being lost in love 
You wrote the perfect page 
Then you ripped it 
You ripped it up 

Now I’m waiting for a train
From New York to Boston 
It’s not supposed to be this way 
It’s not supposed to be this way 

It’s the price I have to pay 
Throw roses at the rich girls 
And I start to feel ok 
When I start to feel ok 

There’s a song inside my head
It plays on constantly 
Loud enough to wake the dead 
It’s a song for you and me 
It’s a song for you and me 

Those were the sleepless nights
Learning to make love 
And all the sunken eyes 
Of being too far apart 
Too far gone 

Now I’m waiting for a train
From New York to Boston 
It’s not supposed to be this way 
It’s not supposed to be this way 

It’s the price I have to pay 
Throw roses at the rich girls 
And I start to feel ok 
And I start to feel ok 
I start to feel ok 
It’s the price I have to pay

Thursday 9 July 2015

Track of the Day: Frog - Judy Garland

The debut full length record Kind of Blah from New York duo Frog is one of my favorite of 2015 so far (read my full review of it for London in Stereo). It was a brilliantly rough-around-the-edges exercise in catharsis and nostalgia.

This is characterised perfectly in the stunning and sentimental song and video for 'Judy Garland'. "When she died it broke the last vestige of the 1940s America that everyone deep down still loved" explained Bateman of the vaudevillian icon.

Watch the touching music video from Portland director Alex Coppola.

"excuse me darlin' to disturb you 
could you spare a bit of what the lord's left for you 
bless your solemn unending virtue 
lest your savior up desert you."