Friday, August 10, 2012

New Music and Parenthood

Yesterday, I was digging through the crates (or the internet if you will) and came across some awesome music.  Not only has my most recent additions to my collection been dead on great, but I found that I think most of it would fit great into my favorite tv show: Parenthood.

If you don't watch and wonder what is going on with the Braverman's then you can never talk to me.  That entire family tugs at your heart.  They make you sad.  They make you happy.  They make you wish they were your family.  Not that the one you have isn't great.  It's just they aren't the Bravermans.

What I love about Parenthood though, is the music.  They always find a way to have the right songs for the right moments.  I'm a firm believer in the idea of music always being a part of your life.  You need a theme song for when you wake up.  You need a song for when you work out.  (Thank you Jake Gyllenhaal and The Shoes).  You need a song for when you go for a walk.  For when you sit on the porch on a crisp Autumn night.  Music helps you get angry.  It helps you cry.  The music in Parenthood does all of that.  That is why I love watching the show and finding out what songs were used.

This brings us to a great Wed/Thurs exploration.  These are the artists and their music that I found.  Hope you enjoy them and hopefully they might just randomly get onto Parenthood.

Del Water Gap - EP

"Hailing from upstate New York, S. Holden Jaffe is a song and dance man. His solo project, Del Water Gap, launched in October of 2011 as a means by which to put music to words written over the last two years. His self-produced EP was released in May of 2012 as a compilation of songs inspired by romantic encounters and dimly lit rooms."  These are the exact words from his website.  The last sentence couldn't explain it any better.

Del Water Gap by Del Water Gap

His music is great.  The last track I heard first and I loved it the moment I heard it.  There is something very mountainess in his voice.  It makes you think of a young man singing out his emotions while living in a remote town in the hills of Montana.  You hear the harmonica and you are lost.  You've found a way to be walking in the woods and enjoying the weather.  I hope to hear more from this amazing young man.  The wonderful thing about him is that this is his first release.  While he sounds like he's been playing for years, you know that the product is new but the material is life-long.  The greatest bonus is that you can download his music free on his soundcloud page.

Bear Mountain - XO

Bear Mountain is a Vancouver, BC music group.  I found their music randomly while reading about another band.  They just released their debut LP, XO.  While they music definitely has an electronic base to it, there is something that transports you out of your house and into the wild.  The song I came across that I liked the most is called "Congo"

Congo by Bear Mountain

This song is amazing.  It makes me think what music would be now if songs like this were out 30 years ago.  Part of me thinks about Paul Simon and his music.  Part of it makes me think of Toto and that plains of Africa song.  But it makes me happy that now is when great songs like this come out.  There is a twinge of the thought that Cee-Lo is singing it, but then I realize that it's not him.  While the rest of the album has yet to sway me, this song has me hooked.  When I walk to work and I listen to this track, I soon realize that I'm walking with a little swing in my step.  It makes me smile.  And me smiling is a hard thing to do.

D I A N A - Born Again

Based out of Toronto, D I A N A is a wonderful group.  While only two singles have been released, the definite show stopper is "Born Again."  The plan to have their album drop next year.  And that is just way too long to wait when they start with such a great opener.

Born Again has a very distinct "(insert hipster adjective)-wave" sound.   While calling it chill-wave is an insult to the sound, there is something about the song that is very chill.  I feel like I'm back in the 80s listening to what music has the potential to be.  What is should be if you keep the industry and radio and business out of it.  When you let people make music how they think it should be made, this is what you get. 

Born Again by D I A N A

It's an amazing song.  "We were guilty"  Yes we were.  Thankfully music has found a way to Born Again.


Jesse Merchant, or JBM, is a Canadian singer who last album "Not Even In July" could make the cold-hardest man cry has released his newest album, "Stray Ashes."  The first thing I found upon listening to this album was how much I thought the album cover truly conveyed the music inside it.  I feel when I listen to it that I should be in the mountains.  I should be snowed it and thinking about a love lost.  I should be sad and somewhat brooding.  More importantly, I should be learning to get over it.  While "Not Even In July" makes me think a lot about a dear friend who is gone and how much I miss him, this album makes me think about how I move forward.  JBM doesn't play.  You feel a lot of emotions in his songs.  Whether they are his emotions or yours is up to you.  But you will feel them.  You'll play this album and you'll be doing whatever you are doing at the time.  Then all of the sudden you will stop and listen.  You'll move to the patio at night with your gin/whiskey/scotch/bourbon/vodka and a smoke and just stare out into the stars.  Even if you can't see them, you will stare.  Then, something that you haven't thought about for a long time will find it's way to the forefront.  You'll close your eyes and your heart will slightly heave.  Your soul will move and your head will nod forward.  You'll nod your head in agreement with your heart even though your brain will have no idea.  Your soul will find those stray ashes that you haven't truly scattered.  It's not a bad thing.  It's not a sad thing.  It's an easing thing.

JBM - Stray Ashes by western.vinyl

The Antlers - Undersea

If there was a band that could just stray chill you out anytime you put them on, this is that band.  Their newest LP is "Undersea."  I was a little disappointed when all they were releasing was a 4 track LP.  While "Hospice" is a great album, it doesn't compare to the growth and emotion that "Burst Apart" holds.  "Undersea" is truly the growth of the band, but it is also the continuation of the story the others start and provide.   While a discussion of those is for another day, I do enjoy this album.

The Antlers always seem to provide a dreamy feel to their music.  This isn't for clubbing.  This isn't for working out.  Nor is it for anything that involves anything.  If you're reading a book, this is the band for you.  You'll be transported farther into the novel than you'll ever realize.  You'll never hear their songs without reliving the pages turned.  While JBM might make you go outside and look into yourself.  This makes me just want to walk up to someone I care about and give them a hug.  To say nothing at all.  Just to hug them and let them know that, well, they'll know what I want them to know.
The Antlers - Drift Dive by antirecords


I hope you've enjoyed some of this weeks music.  Next time around, we'll probably get a little more funky.  Next time, I might just start my collection review.

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