I’m trying to get my blog going again – and, by popular request, I’m returning with a new edition of my iPod obsessions, the songs that are burning up my speakers this month.
“Maxim's I” by Julia Holter: An immensely dramatic and moving song that starts with almost a minute of slowly building cymbals ---> Listen
“Royals” by Lorde: I’ve been listening to more mainstream, poppier music and this one really grabs me. I can’t believe she’s only 17! ---> Watch and listen
“That Lovin’ You Feelin’ Again” by Emmylou Harris with Roy Orbison: An old chestnut I’d forgotten about but remember when I picked up a greatest hits collection from Emmylou Harris. You can’t go wrong combining two of the best voices ever!
“The Sun Won’t Set” by Anoushka Shankar & Norah Jones: A joint effort between these half-sisters in memory of their father, Ravi Shankar, this is one of the most moving and haunting tribute songs I’ve heard. I didn’t realize a sitar could be so emotive! ---> Listen
“Silverado” by Sarah Harmer: She remains one of my favorite singer-songwriters, keeping things simple, letting her voice, carefully crafted tunes and sharply observed lyrics carry the songs. ---> Watch and listen
“Power Lines” by Telekinesis: Great power pop ---> Watch and listen
“Mother” by Said the Whale: I’ve loved these guys for 3-4 years now, just great indie pop with ridiculously catchy hooks. Great show at Brighton Music Hall a few weeks ago. ---> Listen
“Visions Of Johanna” by Bob Dylan: Sorting my iTunes library by “last played” often reveals gems I haven’t heard in awhile, including the whole Blonde on Blonde album, one of those “all-time greatest” records, of which this is my favorite song.
“Western Cowboy” by Hurray for the Riff Raff: A recommendation from a friend who’s into Americana, I saw this Louisiana band at the Sinclair a couple of weeks ago. The lead singer/songwriter is Alynda Lee Segarra and she’s just got a great, soulful voice. ---> Listen
“Heart My Heart” by Jason Molina: A friend suggested I listen to Jason Molina after hearing that he’d died earlier this year. Only 39, he died of alcohol-related organ failure. I was instantly taken by his voice, particularly on the album Autumn Bird Songs, a stark solo album he recorded a few years ago (reminds me of Nick Drake’s last album, Pink Moon) of which this is my favorite song.
“Your Life Your Call” by Junip: Jose Gonzales got his start with friends in Junip before his solo career took off. Several years later, they regrouped and put out a self-titled record that adds electronica, beats, and more rhythm to Gonzales’ unique voice and acoustic guitar work. ---> Watch and listen
“Currency of Love” by Joseph Arthur: A soulful rock song from this indie darling’s crowd-funded The Ballad of Boogie Christ (which will probably be on my top 50) ---> Watch and listen
“Wenu Wenu” by Omar Souleyman: Thanks to American label Sublime Frequencies, this Syrian legend’s music is now more widely available in the west. He sings in Arabic and occasionally Kurdish with lots of electronic touches, although at its heart it’s still traditional “dabke” music. ---> Listen
“Just Like Honey” by The Jesus and Mary Chain: Another song I hadn’t listened to in years and forgot how much I liked this noise pop group
“Sad Vacation” by the Dandy Warhols: I hadn’t listened to the Dandy Warhols previously but they were on a list of bands to check out (a list that seems to grow faster than my ability to listen!). I finally got to them and love this song from their latest album, This Machine. ---> Watch and listen
“Reflektor” by Arcade Fire: Still my favorite song from the glorious sprawling mess of an album of the same name ---> Watch and listen