Canadian singer-songwriter Toui Manikhouth’s 3 song EP, This Service, is very chill and quite elegant. His hushed vocals are barely audible over his guitar, which reminds me a bit of Elliott Smith.
Have a listen to “Flowers In Zara” (below) the standout track from the EP. This Service is available to stream/download (name your price) on his Bandcamp page. It’s very much worth a listen. Enjoy.
Toui Manikhouth – Flowers In Zara from This Service (2013)
Former Gris Gris singer, Greg Ashley’s new album (and first with Trouble In Mind) A Generation of Slaves is a smooth slab of lo-fi goodness. Mixing jazz and folk with hints of country to create 9 songs that you will find yourself revisiting over and over again.
The male/female vocals and honky-tonk piano on “Misery Again” (below) combine to make it one of the best tracks on the album. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. A Generation of Slaves is out now and available from Trouble In Mind. I suggest you get your hands on a copy as soon as you can.
Greg Ashley – Misery Again from Another Generation of Slaves (2014)
Three year removed from his last album, New York’s Small Wonder (Henry Crawford) has finally released his new album Wendy. The album feels very personal, like Crawford poured his entire soul into the writing and recording of each and every song. The emotions seem at their peak toward the end of “Until I Open My Wings” (below) when guest vocalist Susannah Cutler repeatably tries to convince Henry that she is not Wendy. I am completely fascinated by this song.
Wendy is out now digitally on Small Wonder’s Bandcamp page and on cassette soon from Father/Daughter Records. What a surprise this album has been for me. Everyone needs to hear it. Enjoy.
Small Wonder – Until I Open My Wings from Wendy (2014)
New Bums are a new band featuring Donovan Quinn (Skygreen Leopards) and Ben Chasney (Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire). Their sound is simply put, two guitars (with the occasional drums and other instruments) and two voices.
Their debut LP, Voices in a Rented Room is out now through Drag City. Album opener “Black Bough” (below) illustrates their sound perfectly. Two voices and two guitars playing nicely together, while the minimal amount of drums fill in the extra space to make this one of the standout tracks on the album. Enjoy.
New Bums – Black Bough from Voices in a Rented Room (2014)
Juan Wauters’ debut solo album, N.A.P. North-American Poetry, is very chill, quite the departure from his more rowdy garage-rock band The Beets. But it still has that edge, do you know what I mean?
Listen to “Water” (below), Juan’s voice plays well with his gentle guitar picking and is one of the standout tracks from the album. N.A.P. North-American Poetry is out now on Captured Tracks. I highly recommend it. Enjoy.
Boardwalk is the Los Angeles based duo Mike Edge and Amber Quintero. They met through mutual acquaintances in 2012 and released their debut, self-titled LP with Stones Throw in the fall of 2013.
Dreamy, fuzzed-out vocals and lo-fi instrumentations of “Crying” (below) make it one of the standout tracks on the album. Boardwalk is available in whichever media suits your fancy on Stone Throw’s site. Enjoy.
After relocating to Portland, Oregon from San Francisco, Wooden Shjips are back with their newest release Back To Land with Thrill Jockey Records. Check out the mesmerizing, fuzzy, keyboard/guitar driven, psych’d-out title track below. It’s 5 minutes of head-nodding goodness.
Back To Land is a solid release and is quickly rising up my favorite albums of 2013. I highly recommend it. You can get the album in whichever format suits you from Thrill Jockey.
Wooden Shjips – Back To Land from Back To Land (2013)
Here are 15 tracks that are sure to meet your fancy. Featuring hits from Monster Rally, The Chemical Brothers, Black Lips, The Hold Steady, Pixies, La Luz, Bill Callahan, First Base, The Limiñanas, The Velvet Underground, Epicycle, Troubadour Dali, The Undertones and Elvis Perkins In Dearland. Enjoy.
Lo-fi + surf guitar + 4 part harmonies + a bit of fuzz = Seattle’s La Luz. After putting out a single and an EP, La Luz have released their debut LP, It’s Alive on Hardly Art. Have a listen to the super cool “Big Big Blood” and “Pink Slime” below, they are sure to warm your bones during the upcoming winter months. It’s Alive is available now on Hardly Art’s site.
On a sad note, La Luz were just in a really bad accident, here is what Hardly Art has to say about it… “While on their way back to Seattle to play a sold out Neumos date, the members of La Luz were in a severe van accident that resulted in ruined gear, personal injuries, merch loss, and a totaled van. For anyone interested in making a donation to help the band get back on their feet, please click here or use the donation button below.”
Buy their new LP, you won’t regret it. If you can, send a little money their way, I’m sure they can use all the help they can get.
La Luz – Big Big Blood from It’s Alive (2013)
La Luz – Pink Slime from It’s Alive (2013)
Ted Feighan is back with Return To Paradise, his best Monster Rally release yet. Check out opening track “Orchids” (below), it’s a killer mix of old vinyl crackle, hip hop beats and pure tropical bliss. This album is solid, and does just as it’s title suggests. Return To Paradise comes out on October 29. You can get it on vinyl from Gold Robot or digitally from Monster Rally’s Bandcamp page. I highly recommend it. Enjoy.
Monster Rally – Orchids from Return To Paradise (2013)