It’s been in style to dress in the garb of past eras for a while now. Sure, media attention might be paid to different fashions one at a time (Get the Betty Draper look – this Spring it’s all about floral circle skirts! ), but in reality one could pull together an outfit from any of the past four or five decades and still look hip. Or hipster.
In music though, we seem to be having a flashback to one specific decade. One could argue that the sound of the 1990s have had a resurgence with bands like Yuck and The Walkmen, but I’m going to say that I’ve been hearing more flower children out there than any others. I’m talking about the 1960s. Whether because of production value, a catchy hook, or psychedelic guitar jam breaks, every one of the bands below I could imagine at Woodstock, The Original.
It seems like Seattle sextet, The Head and The Heart have been everywhere in 2011. In fact, I have it on good authority that by the end of the year they will have played over 250 shows. Pretty mind boggling. After self-releasing their debut album in June 2010, it eventually caught the attention of indie label Sub Pop who signed the band and then re-mastered and re-released it in January with a couple new tracks. Since then they have been all over the world charming audiences with their warm, rowdy alt-country energy, compelling songwriting and rich harmonies. NPR named them as one of “Five Artists You Should Have Known In 2010,” and they made it onto several “Best of 2010” year end lists, including I Am Fuel, You Are Friends and, well, Tadpole Audio, to name a couple. I’ve reviewed their live show twice, once for SXSW 2011 and most recently for the 2011 Treasure Island Music Festival. In the wake of their success, several other 5+ member groups that all excel in resonant, melodic folk have emerged equally deserving of attention.
I’ll admit, for most of my collegiate first few post-grad years, when I first moved to Los Angeles, my musical knowledge was very limited. It wasn’t because I didn’t love music, I just viewed the world of music much like I still do Sephora: vast and overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start.
When I first started dating my current boyfriend, one of the first artists I remember hearing in his car was The Avett Brothers. It was right around when I And Love And You came out, and I was transfixed. I listened to it so much that I was actually able to learn the words to most of the songs (something I am terrible at). This was the kind of music I liked. (more…)
RIYL Mixtapes: Because sometimes the best way to get to know a new artist is to use them in a sentence.
I’ve decided to do RIYL Mixtapes a little differently. The first one started with an excellent new band and put them in a playlist with more known names, but then I realized that it’s probably a better idea to start with an artist people are more familiar with and go from there.
RIYL: Laura Veirs
This mixtape begins with Colorado native, Laura Veirs. Her latest effort July Flame landed her on many Best of 2010 lists, including NPR, Paste, American Songwriter, and a slew of other blogs (including this one). The album is quiet and organic. Veirs draws you into such an intimate listening experience with her pure voice that, when finished, you can’t help feel woken from a beautiful trance. Since the album is an ode to the fleeting sweetness of the summer, it seemed appropriate to introduce several other songstresses and artists in a play on that theme, specifically, summer love: exciting, hot, and often fading with the season itself. Mixtape below.