Home > Uncategorized > Five from 2009 (March)

Five from 2009 (March)

I don’t cover nearly enough new music, so here’s an undertaking that I will do so at least occasionally. I have not heard the new U2 album, and I most certainly will not. The new single is just horrible “” what sort of quality control do these guys employ? “” and as for the album, I shall be guided by Mr Agreeable’s magnificent review. I think Mr Agreeable is being admirably restrained when he asks: “F***ing Bono ““ how much worse is this self-important f***ing channeller of the f***ing flatulence of Satan going to get?

I bothered to listen to Springsteen’s album only once. I found little to inspire to give it another go, and with the new M.Ward album to get familiar with (at first listen, I like it a lot) and Neko Case’s new outing deserving a few more spins, I can’t see much cause to engage much with Broooce’s latest outpourings. For my Springsteen fix, there is much in the man’s back catalogue to keep me happy.

My top five album of the first two months of 2009 draw from similar genres: the alt.country and folk-rock genre, with a bit of electronic-folk.

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Ben Kweller – Changing Horses
ben-kweller-changing-horses I’ve long followed Kweller’s career. He has been an infuriating artist: one moment he is creating songs that put me in a state of pure joy (such as Falling or In Other Words), and then undermines the album-listening experience with ill-advised throw-away tunes. Here Kweller changes style, as the title suggests. He used to do the indie-pop/singer-songwriter gig. Changing Horses is a solid alt.country offering of the kind Connor Oberst released last year (and Kweller recently performed with Oberst). It is hugely appealing, if one likes the genre (as I do), with not a poor song on the set. It is my current go-to album when I’m lost for something to play. A good shout for a top 10 placing in my year-end round-up. The Oberst influence is apparent on Fight; Sawdust Man draws from Abbey Road-era Beatles. Ben Kweller’s homepage.
Ben Kweller – Fight.mp3
Ben Kweller – Sawdust Man.mp3

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Peasant – On The Ground
peasant-on-th-ground I’m not sure I like the stage name of this singer-songwriter, Damien DeRose, who reminds me a bit of a more folkish Joshua Radin, a more upbeat Elliott Smith, a smoother Ray Lamontagne. But moniker aside, this is a very appealing album. It is soothing stuff with lovely little melodies by guy-with-guitar. If you need pre-party edge, don’t play this. If you’re looking for something soothing to play while recovering from the party, Peasant will do the trick. His utterly lovely album On The Ground came out in late January. Check out more at his MySpace.
Peasant – Raise Today.mp3
Peasant – Fine Is Fine.mp3

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Elvis Perkins – Elvis Perkins In Dearland
elvis-perkins-in-dearland Has anyone called Elvis Perkins a genius yet? If not, quite rightly so, though I can see why some might want to, in the way eccentric musicians are often called geniuses. And eccentric this is. Imagine Dylan as an indie artist, but with an appealing voice. There is a bit of an experimental edge to it, which in the wrong mood can be annoying, but exhilirating in the right mood. Elvis Perkins on Myspace.
Elvis Perkins – How’s Forever Been Baby.mp3

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Loney, Dear – Dear John
loney-dear-dear-john I was a massive fan of Loney, Dear’s previous album, Loney Noir. The Swedish multi-instrumentalist’s new album starts off in a similar vein, magical multi-layered epics which are at once orchestral and, largely thanks to the man’s voice, intimate. On Dear John, Emil Svanängen (for that is how Loney, Dear’s mom knows her boy) allows himself a more quiet moments than on the predecessor. Loney, Dear’s sound is quite unlike anything else in music. Paste magazine called it electro-folk, which is a good description. Loney, Dear homepage.
Loney, Dear – Airport Surroundings.mp3

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Marissa Nadler – Little Hells
marissa-nadler-little-hells While I wait for Mindy Smith and Rosie Thomas to release new albums, Marissa Nadler will help fill my (darker) songbird needs. Nadler’s voice is often described as “haunting”, I’d go for ethereal (reminiscent of Hope Sandoval). It’s her lyrics that are, at times, haunting. I am not acquainted with Nadler’s previous effort; apparently it is gloomier than Little Hells. Well, this one isn’t a courtjesters’ convention of heedless madcappery either. It is, however, a beautiful, hypnotic album which draws much of its inspiration from medieval, cloistered sounds. Marissa Nadler’s homepage.
Marissa Nadler – Brittle, Crushed & Torn.mp3

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And check this out from songbird Jane Herships, who goes by the name of Spider. It’s rather lovely, in a Cat Power kind of way. It’s a song from her forthcoming album Things We Liked To Hold. Spider on MySpace.
Spider – White Snake.mp3

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  1. ianbalentine
    March 8th, 2009 at 22:39 | #1

    I just posted a link to the same Mr Agreeable U2 review. Funny as hell. Thanks for the reviews, I’ll check ’em out as I too have been in a bit of a “nu-folk” kind of mood lately…

  2. Garth
    March 9th, 2009 at 02:12 | #2

    Hey Dude!

    I would agree with you for the most part about Bruce’s latest effort, however, I think “Life Itself” and “The Wrestler” stood out from an otherwise forgettable album.

  3. March 11th, 2009 at 16:04 | #3

    I’ve always hated U2, so have done my best to avoid hearing anything from their new dirge.

    New Springsteen though, I am unashamedly enjoying. It’s not up there with his best, no, but there’s still enough Bruce magic to keep me happy.

  4. aaaaa
    March 12th, 2009 at 05:30 | #4

    perkins is a genius…
    you are wrong.

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