Saturday, December 01, 2007

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

Why?, "The Hollows"

It's not often that I listen to a song and think "Man, that singer sounds like a bad-ass". Let's be honest--with most of the music I listen to, I might be more likely to think something like "Man, that singer sounds like a light wind could blow him over" or "I wonder if the O.C. ever played this song." With this song, though, I really got a down-on-his-luck, been around the block too many times kind of feel. Though it does make me laugh when he says he's been hiding behind a mustache.


Due to the extreme gravitas of Why?, their hair is in a constant state of flux

Ravens and Chimes, "January"

I love the piano in this and the melody is absolutely habit-forming. The guy sounds a little like Win Butler from Arcade Fire, and a little like some dude from the 60's I think was named Tiny Tim (or was that a dream I had?) The singer wraps the song with a kind of carnivalesque vocal style that consciously punches each note, articulating each syllable so that every moment feels absolutely real, absolutely immediate, as if the song is being re-lived every time it's played.

Label Site

Ravens and Chimes look like a close-knit group

Di Johnston
"Epilogue"(mp3) from "Reimagined"

This song is so quiet, so slight that you might not hear it if you don't have the volume all the way up. You might barely detect the shimmering tones and think maybe your brain integrated the music you heard last time you were at the masseuse. Or, you may think that you died and this is the music you hear when you're crossing over. If you turn the volume up, though, you'll realize that this is a flesh-and-blood song, made by a (I presume) flesh-and-blood person who really knows how to have a calming influence. She reminds me of Enya in her most quietest moments--you know, when she's not blasting in Latin or Gaelic with the sound of a storm ripping the background apart (I love you, Enya).

(Undercover Culture Music)


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Di Johnston has eyes for you (or for herself, or really, I guess, for the mirror)

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