Friday, October 11, 2013

Listening as of Late

It's officially Fall.

Did you know that?

I know I'm a little late with my official declaration, but I've been caught up in a whirlwind of cranial nerves, face and neck muscles, white coats, etc.

Oh, but I noticed.

Even in my med school-induced haze, I've been breathing in the smell of falling leaves, consuming pumpkin EVERYTHING, and just enjoying my favorite season.

And with a new season, comes, of course (my go-to writing topic) new music.

There have been a lot of new releases lately that I have very quickly become obsessed with. I love how the music released at this time of year just feels autumn-y, you know what I mean? Or just me?

Okay. First up:

The Paper Kites - States

Remember these guys? One EP and two whimsical music videos and I was smitten. Another EP, another smile-inducing video, completely hooked.

Well, the long-awaited (at least for me) LP (and, quite possibly, my favorite music video of all word: Bubbles) was finally released in the US and I am officially head-over-heels in love.

The songs on States has a wider range than the two EP's partly because a few songs (Cold Kind Hand, In Reverie) feature Christina Lacy on lead vocals. While some songs, such as Tenenbaum, St. Clarity, and Young are as dreamy and soothing as ever, songs like A Lesson from Mr. Gray are a bit of a deviation from their up-to-now style (think: more guitar, less banjo), but still so good. (Side Note: Does anyone else hear a similarity to I Am The Walrus? Just me again?)

This whole album deserves a listen. It is seriously the perfect thing to listen to on a crisp (probably rainy) fall Sunday as you drink hot apple cider and read anatomy textbooks...whoops, that's just me again. Feel free to leave out the anatomy textbooks.

Agnes Obel - Aventine

Here's another new release from an old Fall-favorite!

Agnes Obel is back with her second album, Aventine, and it is just as gloomy and haunting and beautiful as her first.

So perfect for October. Her album artwork always look like movie posters for scary psychological thrillers. And her songs would then be the creepy underlying soundtrack. But, like a good creepy. Just maybe not listen at night, by yourself, in the dark. Whoops.

(Added 5 minutes later: So. Remember that so-called scary psychological thriller I was talking about? Apparently, it's her music video below. Again, don't watch by yourself, at 1 in the morning, in the dark. You've been warned)

Haim - Days Are Gone

Switching gears to more sunny-Fall-day music, this is another highly anticipated (by many people) first-release LP.

These three wacky sisters are crazy-talented, and have been getting a lot of well-deserved attention as of late. They have a very unique sound (Fleetwood Mac plus 80's-90's synth, with a little R&B thrown in for good measure) that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

Echosmith - Talking Dreams

Okay guys. Let's stop, take a minute, and just watch (or only listen, if you must) to the video below:

Okay, now I can tell you that these three fellows and one gal that make up Echosmith are siblings and...wait for it... all under the age of 18. Craziness I tell you.

If you don't check out iTunes' weekly free (!) Single of the Week, you really should...they have been hitting it out of the park lately in my personal opinion. And guess what this week's is?!

Which means, that up until a few days ago, if you asked me who Echosmith was I probably would have come up with some really terrible joke about a guy who lives in the mountains crafting echoes...

But today, if you said "Echosmith" I would echo (no more corny jokes after this, I swear) back: "Obsessed".

If you listened to the two above songs, some of you may be thinking: "They sound kind of pop-punk synth-y, and I've been too cool for that since, like, 2005". And you may very well be right, but, trust me, this is another album that has a lot of range with different sounds for different tastes. Even if you hate it, then you at least have to have a lot of respect for this troupe of siblings, just sayin'.

My favorite:

The Vernons - Volume I EP

Here is another recent free download I stumbled across (no longer available) that I instantly loved.

The Vernons are an Australian band that just released their debut EP in September. Blues-y rock, so good. Especially for Fall.

Arcade Fire - Reflektor

Dude. Arcade Fire has a new song. And if you listen closely you can hear David Bowie. And they have a whole new album coming out October 29. This is just awesome on so many levels.

And the music video is so weird and so beautiful in a way that only Arcade Fire can pull of.

The Head and The Heart - Let's Be Still

Guess who else has a new album out in a few days?! These guys (meaning The Head and The Heart...if you couldn't tell from above)!

I was excited to see how they followed up their debut self-titled album since each song was different from each other, but all lovely, and then when the first single was released, I got REALLY excited.

Based on this, I could tell that we were still going to get the same sound that we knew and loved (both playful and sorrowful indie folk), just kicked up a notch further.

Don't feel like waiting until next week to give the whole album a listen? Me neither!

Here you go! (Yes, that is a link to where you can stream the album in it's entirety for free)


Great new(ish) albums to listen to for Fall that I don't have time to go into more detail about:

Here are a few honorable mentions of songs that have been on rotation on my iPod lately:

WE ARE TWIN  - The Way We Touch

A good song to help get you going in the morning. And, no, they're not actually twins, bummer. (Another free Single of the Week...seriously, check them out...they're free).

City and Colour - Unthinkable (I'm Ready)

One of my absolute favorite artists just released the third EP in his series of cover songs, and this Alicia Keys cover is addicting.

Ou Est Le Swimming Pool - Dance the Way I Feel

Best. Band Name. Ever.

And then, because, you just have to when it's Fall:


Let's hope that we can get through October this year without some kind of Frankenstorm/Hurricane/Snow & Ice Storm playlist having to be made.