Folk/Country

Unwind with Saint Lou This Weekend

Friday nights were made for whiskey drinkin' and relaxin', so why not start your Friday evening early with a few tracks from Burlington, VT's Saint Lou? The group's latest EP, The Buffalo Tapes, is a great mix of folk/blues/50s doo-wop grooves. It's the kind of stuff that makes you want to pour a glass of whiskey, kick off your shoes and soak up the weekend. The band will be on tour for a few dates in April and May, with a smattering of gigs in Vermont and NYC.

For more updates about the band and their current shows, click here.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

   

Letters to Toska Reflects Zoya's Rich Musical Background

Letters to Toska, the fourth EP from Zoya, could easily be classified as “indie-folk” or “singer-songwriter”, but none of those labels would even come close to describing what takes place on these tracks. This EP reflects a perfect blend of jazz, folk and R&B, while still finding room to inject some hints of Zoya’s South Asian heritage. These influences are prominently displayed on the track “Willows”, with its smooth guitar-work and hip-hop/soul-inspired melodies and cadences. With such a dynamic mix of inspirations, I expect Zoya’s songwriting will only continue to become more intricate and mesmerizing as she continues her musical career.

For more information about Zoya, click here.


-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)
Photo Credit: Jerome Vivino


 

 

   

Modern Melancholy with Caterwaulrus

If his music is anything to go by, Caterwaulrus is probably a nice dude to kick it with. He seems like he could be the kind that'd show up to a hang with some flowers he picked on his walk over, just for you, but who'd also be willing to tell you that he feels a bit weird about killing something pretty. That feeling of sunshine and good days with an underlying soft gloom just drips from the sound on songwriter's newest album, the just-released "Songs that Go Nowhere." That title is a bit misleading, but also a bit of the truth- these songs do float around like gentle clouds, but they're also dense and complex and there's nothing ambiguous about the way they hone in on their target tone. The album is laced with looping vocals all reverb-ed out to blissfulness, little electronic touches and pieces of beats, all of which melds together with no element ever threatening to overwhelm the rest of the track. And, despite the expansive warmth and haze in the sound, the sounds collectively bely the underlying subject of the tracks on the album, which almost all speak of Caterwaulrus' melancholy. Lyrics like "I'm so fucking picky and I over think god damn everything," or "I'm a synesthetic skeptic slowly snoozing with regret, it's not quite what mom expected" reveal a mind that is a bit worried and not always happy with itself, though it'd like to be, and that thought tunnels through the whole album. But, it's delivered in such a poppy (albeit highly experimental pop), major-key fashion, buried deep within the summer smile that is the overriding tone, that you barely notice that these aren't songs about having a good day at all. It's a modern feeling buried in a modern sound, and if you have enjoyed artists like Toro y Moi in the recent past, you might find Caterwaulrus a good fit for your modern moods. Give it a go below, and float through your own contemporary, confusing life with a friend in your ear who understands.

   

Listen-Up: Get Sh**-faced with Horse-Eyed Men

 “SFIS(A)” by Horse-Eyed Men sounds like some kind of strange country version of a Jimmy Buffet song if it were recorded in outer space--and I intend for that to be as much of a compliment as the band (and any readers) will allow. The first time I heard the song, I thought these guys were a weird bunch, but after listening to the track a few times, it has definitely grown on me. They did a great job with production on this track--the reverb on the guitars, airy backing-vocals--they certainly captured the “sh**-faced in space” idea that the chorus professes. I also liked their decision to record in a large theatre--I think that really helped give a big, open sound to the song.

 

For more information about Horse-Eyed Men, check out their Facebook page.

-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)

 

 

   

Alpenglow tours + plays Rough Trade on February 19

Having been hard at work on their new LP for the past few months, Alpenglow is getting ready to stretch their wings and debut a full set of new songs in a mini tour of the Northeast. The new album, which is being produced by Sam Cohen (of The Yellowbirds), promises for an even trippier, more insightful continuation of their lonesome-traveler, psych-folk sound, drawing from the essence and experience of perhaps one too many New England winters, and translating their move to Brooklyn into audible incentives by which to live. The psych-soul underlining of Cohen’s vision will introduce only the most effectual tonal brilliance to Alpenglow’s already established soul-searching sound. The tour stops at Rough Trade on February 19, with support from Barsuk Records’ Laura Gibson and Wild Leaves . –JP Basileo