Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Best Of 2007

One more year is behind us. In 2007, we were witnessing a true expansion of indie music. 2007 saw many releases from already established indie bands (The Arcade Fire, The National, Spoon, Interpol, etc) and a plenty of debuts from brilliant newcomers (Pela, Los Campesinos, Mumm-Ra, etc).

Also, some new music styles have been further defined and established. One is the 'new rave' (or nu-rave) that combines the elements of electronic, disco and punk-pop music. The most important representatives of the new-rave style are Klaxons, New Young Pony Club, Simian Mobile Disco, Shitdisco, Hadouken!, Datarock and To My Boy. The second is 'dubstep' that's existing already for some years but has got it's new dimension with the latest work of Burial ('Untrue').

In the world of experimental music, the new releases from Panda Bear ('Person Pitch') and Animal Collective ('Strawberry Jam') have put this genre to a new level. Another highlight is the new album from Radiohead ('In Rainbows') that set the new standards in the work of the band. The promotion of the album and the band's decision to give it almost for free to all the fans via internet was one of the main stories of the year. How this will affect the music industry is still to be seen.

I'd like to mention some of the most overlooked albums of the year that are highly ranked on my top 2007 list. The first is Sweden's Friska Viljor with the album 'Bravo!'. It's one of the most exciting records of the year. An album of turning the sadness into the joy, an album that puts back the smile on your face if you ever feel down. Compared with some other Swedish acts who received an enormous attention from American press (who said 'Peter, Bjorn and John' :)), Friska Viljor left completely in the shadows. The true gems stay always hidden.

Another great and completely overlooked album comes from a totally American band Pela. It's 'Anytown Grafitti', an album filled with wonderfully emotive lyrics and great guitar tunes. The songs are about loneliness and love, melancholia and desperation. When delivered by Billy McCarthy’s harsh vocals they struck straight to the heart.

And finally, the best album of 2007, Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?. In a long career of this E6 collective band, Hissing Fauna presents their best work up to date. Combining the specific pop sound with elements of electro and funk, Of Montreal creates an unique music environment for telling the stories about the life and misery.

Top 150 indie albums of 2007:
The Good, The Bad And The Queen - The Good, The Bad And The Queen
149. PJ Harvey - White Chalk
148. The Hives - The Black and White Album
147. Sigur Ros – Hvarf-Heim
146. Studio - Yearbook 1
145. Angel And The Love Mongers - The Humanist Queen
144. Donny Hue And The Colors - Folkmote
143. Minus The Bear - Planet Of Ice
142. Grinderman - Grinderman
141. Biffy Clyro - Puzzle
140. The Noisettes – What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf?
139. Black Francis - Bluefinger
138. Idlewild - Make Another World
137. Holy Fuck - Holy Fuck LP
136. Mando Diao - Never Seen The Light Of Day
135. Loney Dear - Loney, Noir
134. West Indian Girl - 4th & Wall
133. The Sea And The Cake - Everybody
132. Tegan and Sara - The Con
131. VietNam - VietNam
130. Jose Gonzalez - In Our Nature
129. Daft Punk - Alive 2007
128. Voxtrot – Voxtrot
127. Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures
126. The Bravery - The Sun And The Moon
125. Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone
124. Dungen - Tio Bitar
123. Thurston Moore - Trees Outside the Academy
122. Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
121. Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight
120. The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns And Fifteen Winters
119. Little Man Tate - About What You Know
118. Good Shoes - Think Before You Speak
117. Maia Hirasawa - Thought, I'm Just Me
116. Electrelane - No Shouts No Calls
115. The Wombats - A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperstion
114. The View - Hats Off To The Buskers
113. Marnie Stern - In Advance Of The Broken Arm
112. Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
111. Black Lips - Good Bad Not Evil
110. No Age - Weirdo Rippers
109. CocoRosie - The Adventures Of Ghosthorse And Stillborn
108. Figurines - When The Dear Wore Blue
107. Stereo Total - Paris-Berlin
106. Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
105. Menomena - Friend And Foe
104. Rocky Votolato - The Brag & Cuss
103. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
102. Gravenhurst - The Western Lands
101. Justice - Cross
100. Albert Hammond Jr - Yours To Keep
99. New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom
98. Handsome Furs - Plague Park
97. Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
96. 1990s - Cookies
95. Mum - Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy
94. Dan Deacon - Spiderman Of The Rings
93. Metric - Grow Up And Blow Away
92. Papercuts - Can't Go Back
91. You Say Party! We Say Die! - Lose All Time
90. Life Without Buildings - Live At The Annadale Hotel
89. Keller Williams - Dream
88. Simian Mobile Disco - Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
87. !!! - Myth Takes
86. Manic Street Preachers - Send Away The Tigers
85. Dinosaur Jr - Beyond
84. White Rabbis - Fort Nightly
83. Anais Mitchell - The Brightness
82. Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
81. Sally Shapiro - Disco Romance
80. Jana Hunter - There's No Home
79. The Fiery Furnaces - Widow City
78. Pinback - Autumn Of The Seraphs
77. Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
76. Stars Of The Lid - And Their Refinment Of The Decline
75. The State Of Samuel - Here Come The Floods
74. Apostle Of Hustle - National Anthem Of Nowhere
73. Broken Social Scene/Kevin Drew – Spirit If…
72. Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War
71. Enon - Grass Geysers Carbon Clouds
70. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
69. Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
68. Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills
67. The Cinematic Orchestra - Ma Fleur
66. The Fratellis - Costello Music
65. Rufus Wainwright - Release The Stars
64. Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
63. Malcolm Middleton - A Brighter Beat
62. The Go! Team - Proof Of Youth
61. Björk - Volta
60. The New Pornographers - Challengers
59. The Cribs - Men Needs, Woman Needs, Whatever
58. John Vanderslice - Emerald City
57. Peter Bjorn & John - Writer's Block
56. Ravens & Chimes - Reichenbach Falls
55. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
54. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank
53. Bowerbirds - Hymns For A Dark Horse
52. The Clientele - God Save The Clientele
51. Taken By Trees - Open Field
50. Club 8 - The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Dreaming
49. Winterpills - The Light Divides
48. Liars - Liars
47. A Place To Bury Strangers - A Place To Bury Strangers
46. Low - Drums And Guns
45. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
44. Blonde Redhead - 23
43. Art Brut – It’s A Bit Complicated
42. Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
41. David Vandervelde - The Moonstation House Band
40. The Field - From Here We Go Sublime
39. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
38. Marissa Nadler - Songs III: Bird On The Water
37. James Blackshaw - The Cloud Of Unknowing
36. Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future
35. The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
34. Phosphorescent - Pride
33. The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes
32. Interpol - Our Love To Admire
31. Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City
30. The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
29. The National - Boxer
28. Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
27. Deerhoof - Friend Opportunity
26. Caribou - Andorra
25. Babyshambles - Shotter's Nation
24. Dirty Projectors - Rise Above
23. Editors - An End Has A Start
22. Old Time Relijun - Catharsis In Crisis
21. LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
20. Bishop Allen - Broken Strings
19. Band Of Horses - Cease To Begin
18. Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends
17. The Films - Don't Dance Rattlesnake
16. Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
15. Radiohead - In Rainbows
14. Burial - Untrue
13. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
12. Feist - The Reminder
11. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

10. Cloud Cult - The Meaning Of 8

09. The Besnard Lakes - Are The Dark Horse

08. Battles - Mirrored

07. Okkervil River - The Stage Names

06. St. Vincent - Marry Me

05. Mumm-Ra - These Things Move In Threes

04. Pela - Anytown Grafitti

03. Panda Bear - Person Pitch

02. Friska Viljor - Bravo!

01. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

Top 15 Hip-Hop/Rap albums of 2007:
15. Timbaland - Presents Shock Value
14. Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
13. Brother Ali - The Undisputed Truth
12. Freeway - Free At Last
11. Cunninlynguists - Dirty Acres
10. El-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead
09. Talib Kweli - Eardrum
08. Pharoahe Monch - Desire
07. Common - Finding Forever
06. Wu-Tang Clan - 8 Diagrams
05. Ghostface Killah - The Big Doe Rehab
04. Lil Wayne - Da Drought 3
03. Jay-Z - American Gangster
02. Kanye West - Graduation
01. M.I.A. - Kala

Top 20 EPs of 2007:
20. High Places - High Places
19. The Harlem Shakes - Burning Birthdays
18. Junior Boys - Dead Horse
17. Animal Collective - People
16. New Young Pony Club - New Young Pony Club
15. SoKo - Not SoKute
14. Joanna Newsom - And The Ys Street Band
13. The Tuss - Rushup Edge
12. Deerhunter - Flourescent Grey
11. Why? - The Hollows
10. Ra Ra Riot - Ra Ra Riot
09. Bright Eyes - Four Winds
08. Beirut - Lon Gisland
07. Grizzly Bear - Friend
06. Cut Off Your Hands - Shaky Hands
05. Of Montreal - Icons, Abstract Thee
04. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Is Is
03. The Black Kids - Wizzard Of Ahhhs
02. The Draytones - Forever On
01. Los Campesinos! - Sticking Fingers Into Sockets

Top failures of 2007 (or 'do it better next time' list):
10. The Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist
09. KT Tunstall - Drastic Fantastic
08. Angels & Airwaves - I-Empire
07. Brett Anderson - Brett Anderson
06. James Blunt - All The Lost Souls
05. Ian Brown - The World Is Yours
04. Athlete - Beyond The Neighbourhood
03. Stereophonics - Pull The Pin
02. She Wants Revenge - This Is Forever
01. Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion

Top mainstream:
Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
Bruce Springsteen - Magic
Led Zeppelin - Mothership

Note: This will be the last post in 2007. Hopefully, I'll continue posting in the second week of 2008. I hope you've enjoyed Indie Surfer in 2007. I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Take Care and Have Fun!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Free album... Okkervil River

Okkervil River's founding members became friends in high school in Meriden, New Hampshire, and after parting ways for college moved to Austin, Texas to live together and start a band. The band consisted of songwriter Will Sheff, Zach Thomas on bass and mandolin, and Seth Warren on drums.

In 1998, the group self-released their first disc, Bedroom EP. Over the course of two weekends in the summer of 1999, they recorded a seven song self-released album titled Stars Too Small to Use, with recording engineer Jeff Hoskins.

The band met recording engineer and producer Brian Beattie at their SXSW showcase on March 18, 2000 and soon agreed to make a record together. They spent much of the rest of that year working on Don't Fall in Love with Everyone You See. Warren moved to Berkeley, California in December and was replaced on drums by Mark Pedini.

By the time of that year's SXSW festival, Okkervil River had received interest in their new record from the Bloomington, Indiana-based record label Jagjaguwar. The record was released on Jagjaguwar on January 22, 2002.

One year later the band traveled to San Francisco and reunited with Warren to record their third album at indie studio Tiny Telephone with engineer Scott Solter at the console. Jagjaguwar released Down the River of Golden Dreams on September 2, 2003.

In August 2004, the band began recording with Beattie again, finally putting the finishing touches on their third full-length album, Black Sheep Boy in November. It was released on April 5, 2005. As a result of the album's overwhelming success, Okkervil River followed up with an EP entitled Black Sheep Boy Appendix on November 22, 2005. The Stage Names, their fourth full-length studio album (produced again by Beattie), was released on August 7, 2007.

Okkervil River has posted a mixtape for free download on the band's website, which includes primarily covers recorded at live shows, radio sessions, etc. over the past couple of years. It's Okkervil River's Christmas present for you. Enjoy! Highly Recommended!

Okkervil River - Golden Opportunities Mixtape (free album)
Okkervil River @ MySpace

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Free Album... The Silent Years

History has shown us that occasionally there are people born in the same time and place whose collective existence seems more than coincidental. The Silent Years as a band name explicates the dynamics of the band before they could even speak. You see, Josh, Jonathan, Jeremy and Pat grew up in the same small neighborhood in suburban Detroit. During nursery school, their teachers were constantly scolding Jeremy for banging on tables and chairs. Jonathan, although quiet and reserved, spent all of his time sneaking into the music room and playing every instrument he could find. Patrick was seldom interested in what the teachers were talking about, and could be found attaching strings to the top of the swing set and recording what are now recognized as his first bass lines on to a cassette boom box. Josh was the real troublemaker of the class, always jumping on tables and singing into a pencil as the teachers rushed him off to the principal's office. The boys eventually went their separate ways in pursuit of specified knowledge. Josh went away to study poetry and literature, Patric studied audio engineering, and Jon and Jeremy pursued music. But each one of them had the group's best interest in mind, and returned to assemble The Silent Years. In early 2007,Michael Majewski and Cassandra Verras two of the most talented musicians in Detroit entered The Silent Years. With the addition of these old friends, The Silent Years has experienced a rebirth, and is making their most interesting and creative music to date. Throughout the band's long and complex history, there is a collective understanding that the journey has only just begun...

Christmas-- a time for eggnog, good cheer, and the only time of year that could get Fred Flintstone to willingly share his "Yummy fruity pebbles" with Barney Rubble. This Christmas, in keeping with the spirit of the season, The Silent Years are making their debut album a free download and you can download it from the link below.

The Silent Years are currently holed up in a studio from 5 pm until 7 am daily mixing their new album, "The Globe" with Chris Coady (TV on the Radio, Grizzly Bear, Blonde Redhead). Highly Recommended!

The Silent Years - The Silent Years (free album download)
The Silent Years @ MySpace

The Silent Years - Someone To Keep Us Warm

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Arthur & Yu

Leaving childhood memories behind can be a troublesome thing, whether it’s a cherished object, a dream, or just playing around with friends. Given that their name is derived from childhood nicknames, it would be fair to say that Arthur & Yu know a thing or two about the process. Comprised of Seattle residents Grant Olsen and Sonya Westcott, Arthur & Yu have made an album that grapples with the idea of growing up and of letting go, creating a small space in which to drift away. With soft, layered vocals that float over textural acoustics, In Camera is an audible effigy of a time past, and an album made for forgetting and remembering.

Drawing sonic inspiration from the Velvet Underground as well as the studio experimentation of Lee Hazlewood, each track is a study in expansion, centered loosely around chiming guitars and swirling melodies. Olsen’s hazy croon is lifted by the smooth harmonies of Westcott, and both reel in the influence of Nancy Sinatra between the familiar crash of a tambourine and layers of guitar. “Come to View (Song for Neil Young)” forms the pinnacle of this sentiment, while the sultry “Lion’s Mouth” is a study in refined understatement, with Olsen’s songwriting skills reveling in the spotlight. Westcott, who recently contributed vocals to a Jimmy Figurine album, takes the lead on “There are too Many Birds” – a fluidly tranquil ode to home and place.

Each track is a carefully crafted thing, meticulously realized and reminiscent of another time, filtered through perpetual memory. Continually cascading and building, the final result is the sound of a band realizing itself, or perhaps just growing up a bit. Built upon nostalgia and exuding a certain warmth that is undeniably earnest, In Camera is their debut, and the first release for Hardly Art. Recommended!

Arthur & Yu - Come To View (A Song For Neil Young)
Arthur & Yu @ MySpace

Arthur & Yu - Afterglow

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The band Hjaltalín began, two years ago, as a one-act thing in the music scene of MH, a Reykjavik gymnasium that is renowned for harbouring musicians. Things have evolved since then, personell changed, and the band has actually changed course regarding musical styles in the meantime, although the band is certainly hard to categorize with influences ranging from modern indie rock to 60’s pop music to classical music.

The group is comprised of Axel Haraldsson (drums), Guðmundur Óskar Guðmundsson (bass, guitar, vocals), Hjörtur Ingvi Jóhannsson (keyboards, guitar) and Högni Egilsson (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Sigríður Thorlacius (vocals, percussioun), Viktor Orri Árnason(violin), Rebekka Bryndís Björndsóttir (bassoon), Þorgbjörg Daphne Hall (cello), Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson (guitar).

Recent projects include the making of a christmas album distributed to friends and family, opening for the Icelandic reggae-band Hjálmar, gigs in some of the more renowned bars in Reykjavík and record-making. Also, the song “The trees don’t like the smoke” aired in Kastljósið, the prime time program which is aired after the evening news.

Sleepdrunk Seasons is Hjaltalín's first album. The album has been described as one of the best albums of the year and been awaited by critics and fans alike, especially after a glorious performance on Airwaves'07. Sleepdrunk Seasons was produced by Icelandic “indie” heavyweights, Benni Hemm Hemm and Gunnar Tynes (múm). Recommended!

Hjaltalín @ MySpace

Hjaltalín - Stay In Touch (Sprengjuhöllin Cover)

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pattern Is Movement

Andrew Thiboldeaux and Chris Ward embody Pattern is Movement and the music that's been a long time building, rising out of the ether of evangelical childhoods, best friendship, and life in Philadelphia. The two met at the ages of 13 and 14 --- as part of a Christian hip hop group. Raised in strict Pentecostal households and schools (see Jesus Camp), both Andrew and Chris found refuge in their shared love for Dr. Dre's The Chronic --- and a friendship born out of secular escape turned into a creative collaboration. In high school, hand-me-down church sound equipment and a weekend obsession with making and recording music provided the means for what became Pattern is Movement.

Following their first three records, endless shows and tours (among them dates with friends St. Vincent, David Bazan, and The Forms), and the transition from four-to-three-to-two members, Pattern is Movement turned themselves inside out and made the record we've all been waiting for: All Together. All Together will be released on Hometapes on April 1, 2008. A sneak preview was released this Fall, a limited edition clear-vinyl 7" single featuring album track "Right Away" and the total-reason-for-getting-your-hands-on-the-vinyl, "Korea." Recommended!

Pattern Is Movement - Right Away
Pattern Is Movement /Scott Solter - Blanched And Threshed
Pattern Is Movement @ MySpace

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Friday, December 07, 2007

The Films

One lives in a creepy punk rock room splattered with red, black and white paint. Another lives in a cabin-style room with a cow’s skull. A third claims that the theme for his room is “smooth jazz - its minty green”. If David Lynch had directed ‘Help!’ he might have envisioned The Beatles living together in something like the Brooklyn home of The Films.

All part of the spirit of community that drew the various members of The Films from their hometown of Denver to Charleston, South Carolina in 2003, keen to swap their “shitty” Denver bands for a more vibrant small-town rock scene. Charleston is a cobble stoned living museum of archaic 20’s Americana, but here Kenneth, Michael and drummer Adam … (who’d made the leap from Denver together) discovered a wriggling rock python of a scene prowling its gutters. So, within a year of moving, they called up their Denver bassist mate Jake …, then living in LA, and talked him into moving down to Charleston, forming The Films with them to play “dirty Kinks” and setting out on a tour across the US South.

Throughout 2004, between gigging everywhere from Atlanta to Nashville to Birmingham and back, The Films holed up in Charleston hosting scene parties where Libertines records would always end up on the stereo, playing three hour sets of Beatles, Kinks and Zombies covers in downtown wine bars to pay the rent.

The Films were signed to Warner Brothers a mere four days before they moved out to their Brooklyn rock warehouse in 2005. At which point they scrapped all their previous songs and wrote an entire new album in the time it takes most bands to skin up properly.

Anyway, the Films emerged from that cartoon hell playing fast and loose, silly and sleazy raunch'n'roll. Someone's got to do it, and they do it well. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it'll get you from A to B. The band want to "do an Elvis Costello" and issue their first three albums in quick succession, but we're quite happy with the four tracks above. But that's us: easily pleased.

Recorded in early months of 2006, trading their southern comforts for northern winter at The Loft studios in eastern Michigan, with a tireless schedule, held up on the floor of a dirty lake house The Films conceived their debut album Don’t Dance Rattlesnake. Recommended!

The Films - Black Shoes
The Films @ MySpace

The Films - Belt Loops

The Films - Black Shoes

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

These New Puritans

These New Puritans (sometimes abbreviated to TNPS) are a four-piece band from Southend-on-sea, consisting of Jack Barnett (vocals, guitar, computer, sound), his twin brother George Barnett (drums, tapes, percussion), Thomas Hein (bass guitar, sampler, backing vocals, percussion) and Sophie Sleigh-Johnson (synthesizers). Their powerful live performances, strong image and literature inspired lyrics have made them favourites of the cutting edge cultural magazines. George Barnett was featured in the NME's 2006 Cool List and GQ Magazine 50 Best Dressed 2007.

In common with their music, These New Puritans' influences are eclectic, and for the most part literary. In a recent interview with The Cuckoo Press Magazine, Jack said that "Wu Tang Clan are massively influential. "'Spitting the code', as Roots Manuva puts it, is what I do". While The Guardian said that "These New Puritans make stern threatening punk inspired by The Fall, Franz Kafka and Elizabethan magician John Dee". However, Jack tends not to use the word "influence" lightly, often stating that he really doesn't think much about influences.

TNPS have been involved with Hedi Slimane making music ("Navigate, Navigate") for the Dior Homme Show 2007. Both the music and the clothes received positive reviews. Interestingly, the band uses the chorus of "Navigate, Navigate" in the single "Colours" from their upcoming album Beat Pyramid. A similar approach is apparent in live versions of "Swords of Truth," in which the band integrates a section of their song "C16" from the Now Pluvial EP. They were also involved with the Junk Club in Southend, where their friends, The Horrors, also frequently played. Nowadays, Jack is involved in the Experimental Circle Club. He has also produced music for South-London-based group Sunni-Geini (June 2007). Recommended!

These New Puritans - Elvis
These New Puritans - Sword Of Truth
These New Puritans @ MySpace

These New Puritans - Elvis

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cherry Ghost

Cherry Ghost is an English indie rock band led by Simon Aldred (born September 1975 in Bolton). Cherry Ghost began in Bolton in 2005, first as an alias for Simon as a solo artist, then slowly morphing into a full band. They currently enjoy considerable airplay on BBC Radio 2. Their debut album, Thirst For Romance, entered the UK album charts at #7.

The band has supported Amy Winehouse, Polytechnic, Fields, The Spinto Band, and more recently announced Manic Street Preachers on tour. In September 2007, Cherry Ghost was nominated for "best new act" in the 2007 Q Awards, although they lost to the Coventry, England-based band The Enemy.

On October 22, 2007, Simon stated on the band's MySpace page that they will begin recording their second album in Berlin, Germany in 2008.

The music on the debut album he’s recorded under the name Cherry Ghost reflects a kaleidoscope of musical influences from far beyond the North West: the Cherry Ghost name comes from a line in a Wilco song, and, in quick succession, he namechecks gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kelis, Sparklehorse, “the really shameless melodies” of 80s pop, Smog, old soul, and the importance of the album’s producer, Dan Austin, who has a day-job as part of the Massive Attack collective. But the lyrics are shot through with individuals and situations inspired by Aldred’s hometown. Recommended!

Cherry Ghost - Mathematics
Cherry Ghost @ MySpace

Cherry Ghost - People Help People

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Bon Iver

Justin Vernon moved to a remote cabin in the woods of Northwestern Wisconsin at the onset of winter. Tailing from the swirling breakup of his long time band, he escaped to the property and surround himself with simple work, quiet and space. He lived there alone for three months, filling his days with wood splitting and other chores around the land. This special time slowly began feeding a bold, uninhibited new musical focus.

The days slowly evolved into days filled with twelve-hour recording blocks, breaking only for trips on the tractor into the pines to saw and haul firewood, or for frozen sunrises high up a deer stand. All of his personal trouble, lack of perspective, heartache, longing, love, loss and guilt that had been stock piled over the course of the past six years, was suddenly purged into the form of song. The end result is, For Emma, Forever Ago, a nine-song album comprised of what's been dubbed by those most familiar with his music: Vernon's best work to date.

Bon Iver (pronounced: bohn eevair; French for "good winter" and spelled wrong on purpose) is a greeting, a celebration and a sentiment. It is a new statement of an artist moving on and establishing the groundwork for a lasting career. For Emma, Forever Ago is the debut of this lineage of songs. As a whole, the record is entirely cohesive throughout and remains centered around a particular esthetic, prompted by the time and place for which it was recorded. Vernon seems to have tested his boundaries to the maximum, and in doing so has managed to break free form any pre-cursing or finished forms. Highly Recommended!

Bon Iver - Skinny Love
Bon Iver @MySpace

Bon Iver - Skinny Love (Live)

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