More than any other question I get from friends, family and casual acquaintances who know my total obsession with music is “What are you listening to these days?” I can never come up with answers fast enough, and I always leave things out because my playlists literally change all the time. So, I decided that I’d take a cue from some other bloggers – Shelia and RadioPotato being my two biggest inspirations – and post a weekly playlist of my “Top Five” most spun songs for the week. I’ve been hesitant to do something like this until now because I hate the thought of spoiling the song surprises on the quarterly Krissie Mixes, but … this will allow me to promote a lot of other music that doesn’t make the Mix cut.
And so, without further adieu, I give you the first Sunday Funday Playlist!
1. Obey Your Guns – Matrimony
This Charlotte band is getting all sorts of talked up, for good reason – the music is just plain sick. Husband and wife Jimmy Brown and Ashlee Hardee Brown have the most incredible harmonies, and they’re backed up by a band that has serious chops. They’re new single, “Obey Your Guns,” makes me want to dance and is incredibly beautiful at the same time. It is available for free right now on their Bandcamp page.
Recommended for fans of: The Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars
2. Living Free – Josh Bray
Oh, BalconyTV, I love you so…but you’re going to make me broke. Saw this gorgeous little folk-soul singer on BalconyTV’s London channel and was instantly in love. I think my best description would be the U.K. version of Amos’ Lee, although his voice reminds me a lot of Kristian Bush. This is my favorite track from his album, Whisky & Wool, which has been on non-stop repeat for the past two days in Krissie land.
Recommended for fans of: Amos Lee, Billy Pilgrim
3. Brand New Day – Trevor Hall
I first saw Trevor on The Rock Boat back in 2009 (I think? They’re all beginning to blend together!) and was instantly mesmerized by this soft-spoken white guy pulling off reggae-ish sounds…well. And his percussionist, Chris Steele, absolutely blew me away. His songs, like Michael Franti’s but in a much calmer fashion, all have messages of peace, love and harmony, and there’s something universally appealing about that to me. Trevor, who is currently touring with Matisyahu, put out this song this week as a single and I’m loving it, and its message.
Recommended for fans of: Matisyahu, Bob Marley
4. Always Spring – I’m From Barcelona
Holy happy clapping song, Batman! I pick up music from just about anywhere…and I know what I like. So when this song was playing in the background of a “Royal Pains” episode, I managed to grab enough of the lyrics to Google it and find out what it was. This Swedish band is quite large…and by quite large I mean they have 29 members!
Recommended for fans of: Architecture in Helsinki, Walk the Moon
5. Decade of Deceit – The Influence
Anyone who knows me knows what a HUGE space this five-piece band from Virginia Beach occupies in my heart. They’re probably the hardest, darkest band that I listen to…and I absolutely LOVE them. This track was one of a handful they recently recorded at Manifold Studios in Pittsboro, NC. This is a bad ass rock song, filled with ridiculous guitar parts that will leave ANY rocker wanting more. I especially ADORE the rhythms in this ditty – Tully on bass and Collin on drums are KILLING it. And of course, as is par for the course, the vocals are insane: gorgeous five-part harmonies, despairing and angry all at the same time ; I think they are the most harmonious hard rock band I know.
Recommended for fans of: Muse, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead