The Very, Very Overdue Winter Mix

I could apologize all day, but the fact of the matter is…there just aren’t enough hours in the day anymore. And I destroyed my wrist in an unfortunate slipping on the ice incident. Have I mentioned that I hate winter? Spring, please come soon.

But, wrist injury and no time aside, I finally finished the 2014-2015 Winter Mix and the notes. So please go listen. Notes here, if you are so inclined to read.

Ahh, Summer … New Music Abounds

In my opinion, there is no better season than summer…I love it.  It’s the season of drinks on the patio with friends, beach trips with my Mom, sailing with my Dad, and long, sticky days by the pool. Bring on 90 degree temps and 100% humidity, and I am a happy, happy girl!  It’s also the season of my birthday, and birthdays are a big deal to me, so … that could explain it.

This year, it seems there’s also a TON of great new music being released just in time to help celebrate my favorite season…and to be honest, this post is just as much to help me remember release dates as it is to spread the word about these phenomenal artists.  Be sure to mark your calendars to pick up these sure-to-be-fab releases!  I’ll keep updating this post as new releases get announced and pre-order or purchase information becomes available.

  • June 4 – Quiet Hounds – Megaphona (download free here | purchase on iTunes)
    My love for this artistic and masked quintet from Atlanta is well documented (see posts below.  This exceptional EP is full of lush guitar, dreamy songwriting, and even, yes, a megaphone (and perhaps a garage door?).  Check it out.  It’s free.  You have nothing to lose.
  • June 5 – The Rocketboys – Build Anyway (purchase on iTunes | Amazon)
    Great rock n’ roll from Austin, Texas with strong songwriting to back it up.  Brandon Kinder’s voice is golden, and he’s got a revamped band line up that has produced a really put-together record.
  • June 12 – The Constellations – Do It For Free (preorder on iTunes)
    Atlanta’s funkiest band, The Constellations will not let us down with this record – it will be one dance and sweat to (and that’s however you choose to sweat – running, dancing or otherwise engaged, if you catch my drift).  You can catch them on this summer’s Warped Tour.
  • June 12 – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – The Lion, The Beast & The Beat (preorder on iTunes or Amazon (CD only) | Stream on the band’s Facebook page)
    My favorite sultry songstress, I’m pretty sure that Grace Potter could sing the phone book and I’d love it.  Her smoky voice and high-energy live show are enough to make everyone love her – guys want to be with her and girls want to be her.  Her band is no joke, either…although the new bass player has yet to pass my test!
  • June 19 – Walk the Moon – Walk the Moon (no preorder yet available)
    High-energy indie pop, this way-too-skinny group of hipsters got me grooving last summer with their song “Anna Sun”…and it’s now all the rage.  In fact, you can’t even buy their previous album online anymore!  Watch for them to hit it big this summer….
  • June 26 – Mieka Pauley – The Science of Making Choices (no preorder yet available)
    Probably my favorite female artist ever, Mieka is one of the sharpest songwriters around.  With her sassy Yankee attitude, unique style and straightforward demeanor, she writes incredibly truthful songs that are heartbreaking, edgy, angry and fun.
  • June 26 – Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons – Old Believers (no preorder yet available)
    I’ve got to admit, this is probably one of the releases I’m most excited for.  Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons debut album, Death Won’t Send A Letter, was pure genius (and so critially underratted).  With his gravelly voice and bluesy Americana that is reminiscent of the best 60s and 70s folk songwriters, this Wisconsin-ite will make me a believer ANY day of the week.  You can pick up the first single, “I’ve Been Accused” already on iTunes.
  • July 3 – Jeremy Fisher – Mint Juleps (Pre-order hard copy or preview on Amazon)
    This Canadian songster won me over back in ’07 with his Goodbye Blue Monday album and catchy songs like “Jolene” and “Cigarette.”  He went a little more indie with his follow up release, but word on the street is that this new album hearkens back to his “folk roots.”  I’m pretty excited to hear it!
  • July 10 – Brendan James – Hope in Transition (Preorder hard copy CD here)
    When my bestie Christy – and the woman I have dubbed my “music dealer” – fell in love a few years ago, she grew a soft spot for romantic singer-songwriters. Having always had the penchant for them myself, it wasn’t long before she’d turned me on to Brendan’s music.  After seeing him live, I was a convert – what a talented fellow!  One listen to the whimsical “Anything for You” off his latest self-titled album and you’ll be in love, too.  (Thanks to Robin for the reminder about his new release!)
  • July 24 – The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten (Preorder packages here)
    The modern day answer to punk-infused rock n’ roll, these Jersey boys stole my heart a few years ago with their guitar-heavy sound.  I was late on the train getting switched on to them, but I tell ya what…when Bruce Springsteen gives a band a nod, I will listen.  Next generation of Jersey awesome… And if the lead single, “45” is any hint at what’s to come, Handwritten promises to be worthy of The Boss’s approval!
  • August 28 – Jackopierce – Everywhere All the Time (preview available on Noisetrade)
    If there was a band that defined college for me, it was Jackopierce.  They were probably the first “non-mainstream” band that I fell for, and any time I hear Cary and Jack’s voices, I swear I smell Chestertown and I can’t help but smile.  Emotionally-charged, pretty pop-rock songs.  Cannot wait for this new record!
  • September 4 – Matchbox 20 – North (no preorder yet available)
    First new material in 10 years from a band that was a staple in my life through most of my 20s.  Can you say “excited?”
  • September 4 – Imagine Dragons – Night Visions – (no preorder yet available)  High-energy, original, and fun as all get out.  But they’re from Vegas, so I guess we should expect that!  Imagine Dragons was all over my Best of 2011 list, and I predicted they were gonna be huge…mark my words…huge!

What new music are you guys and gals looking forward to downloading/buying this summer?

Friday Awesomeness: Imagine Dragons, “On Top of the World”

Imagine Dragons - Continued Silence EP Artwork

Deliriously infectious new music from Imagine Dragons.

Me and my family have had a really crappy couple of weeks.  I definitely need a positive boost of energy right now…and luckily, my favorite little Vegas/Provo, UT band, Imagine Dragons, has it for me. This sizzling five-piece is just so smokin’ hot…their sound is alternately hypnotic and infectious, and more addictive than a bag of M&Ms.  Last Tuesday, they released a six-song EP, Continued Silence, that is absolutely break-out material.  This band is going to be a household name very soon, especially after they showcase at SXSW next month.

While “It’s Time,” clearly the single, is a carryover from their last effort, the five other songs are new.  I’m loving “Radioactive,” but am utterly OBSESSED with “On Top of the World.”  I played it 23 times on my drive back to NC from NJ the other day, and that is not an exaggeration.  It is full of snaps, claps and whistles and is “pure gold,” as Stephen, keyboardist for Saints of Valory, summed up nicely.  It is perfectly awesome and perfectly appropriate for a 70+ degree day in Charlotte.

This is only a 1.5 minute snippet that’s available on SoundCloud…but I highly recommend picking up the entire Continued Silence EP at Amazon or iTunes.

More Imagine Dragons: Website | Facebook | Twitter

The New Music Drought Is Over

Is it just me, or is spring in the air?

I’m sitting in New Jersey right now, looking outside at a beautiful sunny day, and the weather folks are promising temperatures in the 50s today. Winter is definitely in the rearview mirror…And I could not be happier!  Bring on sunshine!  Bring on 80 degrees!

Meteorologists are the only one with bright forecasts these days.  Seems like there’s beaucoup de new music on the horizon in my world.  Lots of my old and new favorites are putting out new music this spring.  Because I love ’em, I’m just going to make a short list here of the new music that’s come out recently or that IS coming out soon… So go pre-order and get your hands on some hot new stuff for spring!

The Sunday Funday Playlist – January 22, 2011

First week in awhile I’ve had to really sit down and listen to some new music…of course, a lot of it is by some of my old favorites, but there’s a few new voices that have snuck in.

1. “Walking Shoes” – Red Wanting Blue

I am totally in love with Red Wanting Blue’s new album, The Vanishing Point.  It’s half love song to a person, half love song to being in a band.  This is my favorite of the latter songs, and possibly my favorite on the album, catchy as all get out.  And the first line is so awesome…”I am the blurred out background spot in that photo on your wall.”

2.  “Brother” – Matt Corby

Apparently, this fella won Australian Idol a few years ago or something…but I am digging his voice in a big way.  That throaty chorus gets to my bones.  Of course, you can’t buy anything here in the States.  So frustrating.  Luckily, this song was available for free download on a few websites.  Side note:  Passenger fans, Matt sang on Passenger’s latest release, Flight of the Crow.

3.  Foy Vance – Be the Song

When I was in Ireland, I had a conversation with Christy’s very hot podiatrist (don’t ask – long story) about Irish/local music and he told me I should check out Foy Vance.  I downloaded a few of his older albums and have been loving them.  Then, noticed he had recorded a Daytrotter session in Decemeber, and downloaded that, too.  The three-song session is AMAZING, and this might be my favorite.  Love, love, love.

4. “Tokyo” – Imagine Dragons

I bought Imagine Dragons It’s Time this past summer, but for the past couple of weeks, I’ve had it on repeat.  I just love this song…It’s so…FUN.  You MUST check out the video.  It will make you laugh, and want to dance around your living room.

5.  “We Take Care of Our Own” – Bruce Springsteen

An unexpected surprise this week…Bruce releases a single and announces the much anticipated new album release date.  Not as much of a surprise, the song has a very “Born In the USA”-esque type theme to it.  A questioning, “What are we doing to help each other get through in hard times” kind of song.  “Where are the hearts that run over with mercy,” strikes me as the most poignant line. A challenge, almost, for people to reinvigorate the American spirit.  And damn, it sounds so good at top volume in the car!