Neat Tracks / Feist “Undiscovered First”

By Amanda DK

It’s no secret that Feist’s Metals is a solid album. The fifth release by the Canadian songstress received glowing reviews when it was first released in October. Rolling Stone named it as one of their picks for best albums of 2011. While her vocals are as lyrical and lovely as ever, the album has a vast, rustic quality, as though it captured a bit of the energy of Big Sur, California, where it was recorded. None of the tracks are as saccharine and catchy as “1234,” instead Metals reveals a more experimental, powerful side of the artist. Even mystical.


Neat Tracks / J. Irvin Dally “Salt Water”

By Amanda DK

Photo Credit: Austin Conroy and Eric Weiner

Jordan Irvin Dally is going to have a big year.  It’s about time.  In April of 2010 the 22-year-old Los Angeleno garnered reverential buzz for his self-released Despistado EP, a collection of experimental folk songs, soaked with the kind of soulful wanderlust that must have been left over from his upbringing in Illinois, Colorado and Spain.  This year again the blogosphere took notice when he released Sun Room / Teething as a vinyl 7” and digitally on his bandcamp page, a lighter turn for the artist, with a brighter, island sway to his music rather than the sparseness of Despistado.

RIYL Mixtape / Laura Veirs :: Summer Love

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.


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