sick friend: “cottages”

Sick Friend - Cottages

Think Matt & Kim without all the cutesy bullshit. That’s what you’ll be getting on Sick Friend‘s “Cottages”, the opening track from their debut album The Draft Dodger. Take a listen above.

If you like it, download it and cherish it deeply for all of time! If you love it, maybe you should marry it… Or pick up Sick Friend’s debut album The Draft Dodger when it drops on February 14. The choice is up to you, my friends! Let’s just hope, for your sake, that person-to-song marriage is legalized in the near future.

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annie williams: midnight window

Annie Williams - Nevermind

Midnight Window came out back in November, as a double release with Annie Williams‘ other EP This Mountain. It’s taken me this long to write about it, because I am a terrible person. Just kidding! I was moving into a new house and stuff and… Also, um, I sort of forgot about it?

Oh no! That was a harsh way of putting it. Let’s just say, it took a while for the music to find me…

Picture it. Beverly, MA. December 2011. I’m rushing to the train on a particularly chilly day, shivering with every damn footstep, and then a song called “Cold” pops up on my iPod. I stop dead in my tracks. There was something about this singer’s voice that spoke to my soul. It said, “Hey soul, what’s up!?!? I’m going to speak to you right now.”

It’s always nice, in a post-American Idol world, to come across a vocalist who doesn’t need to belt/wail/shout to convey his or her emotions. Williams has remarkable control over her pipes, allowing her to projects a certain vulnerability which truly brings her tracks to life.

“Nevermind” is a personal favorite of mine. It reminds me a bit of Jenny LewisRabbit Furcoat album, with particular nods to the light country stomp of “The Charging Sky”.

If that last sentence made no sense to you, listen above anyways! Then, if you hate it, you can speak to my soul and say, “Hey soul, what’s up!?!? That thing that spoke to you didn’t speak to me. You’re the worst soul ever… J/Kzzz! I’m not trying to be rudeI love you like a love song.”

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woodpigeon: for paolo

Woodpigeon - For Paolo

“For Woodpigeon songwriter Mark Andrew Hamilton, For Paolo was inspired by his parents, the cassette tapes they played on long, family drives across the prairies of Canada.”

This is such a beautiful concept to build an EP around. As common as it is for musicians to refer to their parents’ old records as inspiration, there’s something refreshing about building a project around the music you were forced to listen to, whether you enjoyed it or not.

Most folks within my generation have been in that position where we’ve rolled our eyes at our mother or father, as they popped one of their “oldies” tapes into the cassette deck. Those drives would be torturous! You’d find yourself sitting there in the backseat, listening to something “lame” by Carole King, Fleetwood Mac or any variety of girly one-hit wonders (all of which are listed as influences for this release).

Yet, once you hit adulthood, each of these songs took on a different meaning. They transformed from oldies into “classics”. They served as a reminder to the carefree days of your childhood. They, as Hamilton puts it, became a part of your “musical DNA”.

For this reason in particular, Woodpigeon‘s For Paolo struck a chord with me. Though I’m reluctant to project my own family’s soundtrack onto it, I can’t help myself from hearing bits of Simon & Garfunkel or Guns ‘N’ Roses “November Rain” within this set. I’m fully aware that nobody else would hear these things. Nobody. However, this EP is so deeply routed in nostalgia that, if you give it a chance, you’ll find yourself doing the same thing.

Check out the title track “For Paolo” above, or listen to the full project on Bandcamp.

Photo credit: Grateful Grapefruit