Indie-folk is a growing (and still underrated) genre. It’s mellow, calming, inspiring, rootsy, and has just enough twang to make your heart melt. Enter Boston-based Darlingside. With a flair for folk, this quartet bring four very different musical styles to the table, melding influences and instruments in their latest split-EP, Woodstock. The EP combines the works of Darlingside and Heather Maloney with two originals from each, and one cover song”but this isn’t your average split. It’s a collaboration, with each act performing on the other’s tunes, making for an intriguing mix. Download the album below. (more…)
2013 was definitely a year of reunions, and 2014 is shaping up to be pretty similar, with many a hiatus being ended. And when it’s a band like The Decemberists coming back from a multi-year silence, it’s welcome news. Reuniting in Portland, Oregon on May 30th for the V is for Victory benefit concert, the band hopes to raise money for the Victory Academy, a public school that caters to children with Autism. They’ll perform Castaways and Cutouts in full, along with a few other tracks, and possibly even newer material. Check out the show poster with more details below, and grab tickets beginning March 7th at 12:00 p.m. PST here. (more…)
Despite their name, there’s something absolutely grounding about Paper Bird‘s music. Their sound is easygoing and direct, with a folksy vibe that only a banjo and harmonica can create. And with seven members, one can imagine that touring is no easy task, making it all the more exciting when this Colorado band hits the road. Luckily for those of you on the West Coast, Paper Bird will be in your neck of the woods in no time, with dates in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho this March 18th-23rd with support from The Americans and Head For The Hills. Check out the full list of dates below. (more…)
Since its debut, the Folgers Jingle has been transformed into country, gospel, jazz, R & B, folk, Celtic, and a cappella versions. Over the years, many artists have put their own spin on the classic tune.
Now it’s your turn. Remix your very own version of the classic Jingle and enter this year’s Folgers Jingle Contest before March 6th, 2013 for a chance to win $25,000! Ten finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges and featured on Folgers.com for public voting between May 15th and June 19th, 2013. Only one will become the Grand Prize Winner “ do you have what it takes?
Writing a sophomore album is a tricky prospect, especially when a band has received a massive amount of buzz and critical praise in relation to their relatively short lifespan. Groups crumble all the time under the weight of these expectations “ whether from themselves or from the media “ and often are unable to recapture the magic of their first major release: the one that they had their entire lives to conjure, instead of just a few months between tours and promotion. The rapid pace of the blogosphere has magnified the effect of this pressure, churning out new acts by the day that are effective sonic replacements for any formerly beloved group that has failed to pass muster on a new release. Add in the democratic and anonymous nature of the Internet, which emboldens the opinionated to release the type of caustic criticism that most would hide in person, and it is understandable why many bands today would have some trepidation regarding the release of new material.
Local Natives seem like they may be aware of, if not certainly reactive to, these perils. In part, because their second release Hummingbird does not stray far stylistically from Gorilla Manor, the debut album that put the Los Angeles group on the map in 2010. The band’s chiming guitar parts and multi-part harmonies remain, as do their intricate percussion lines that often form the focal points of their studio compositions and their energetic live shows. For some bands, the re-creation of a uniform sonic profile reminiscent of a past release could be interpreted as an insurance against loss, a way to satisfy those listeners who are expecting more of the same from a band they already enjoy. For other groups, the preservation of the same style could simply signify their love of that particular sound, and their desire to wring it dry for all of its latent value.
Since 1998, Matt Pond has been releasing perfectly crafted indie rock albums under the moniker Matt Pond PA, but with his most recent release The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand, Pond has dropped the “PA,” indicating a definite shift in tone. We caught up with Pond to chat about the songwriting for the new record, what he loves about being on the road, and the allure of a career in academia “ were he not to be in a relentlessly touring rock band.
OS: The loss of the PA from your name signals some type of change in mentality or style. How would you compare your upcoming album to [2010’s] The Dark Leaves?
Matt Pond: I finish every album with some kind of staggering realization. It’s not the objective, but it always happens. As we worked on the album, each member slipped away. So that by the end, it was just me and Chris Hansen. Incidentally, Chris is my best friend and the best musician I’ve ever played with. And that’s not hyperbole. I guess The Dark Leaves was about acceptance and The Lives is about defiance. Because of this, I couldn’t hold onto the “PA” anymore. I don’t know if I was fired or promoted, but I definitely feel different. (more…)