12.10.2009

katie left the country, please leave a message.

okay, so I've been away an awful long time, what with exploring Europe and learning Spanish and trying not to hit children, yadda yadda. Since I can't send mix CDs here, here is a long list of my recent tunes: new artists or new CDs, it's all good.

1. John Mayer, Battle Studies
sounds like: John Mayer, please.
listen here

okay, so John Mayer gets a lot of crap. Some hate him, some like only his mad sweet guitar skillz, but I sadly admit I do really like most of his stuff. This CD sounds a lot like Heavier Things or Continuum, and nothing like the John Mayer Trio. If you like chill music with electric guitar, you've got it.
Recommend: Heartbreak Warfare

2. Howie Day, Sound the Alarm
sounds like: Graham Colton
listen here

Okay, so Howie Day as a person is kind of a DB. I liked his first two CDs, Austrailia and Stop All the World Now, way back in 2004, but i like to thing my music taste has matured since then. The new stuff is still a little dark, a little acoustic, with a few up-beat, studio numbers.
Recommend: Be There

3. Colin Hay
sounds like: Mike Doughty
listen here

Colin Hay doesn't have a listed labum because I don't one, and in general I've decided I just appreciate his quirky music. I was watching an old episode of Scrubs one day when Colin Hay appeared singing "Overkill", and I thought, who is that guy? anyway, he's a cute musician, take a listen.
Recommended: Beautiful World, Overkill

4. Milow, The Bigger Picture
sounds like: Stephen Speaks, any acoustic popster
listen here

Milow does an amazing cover of "Ayo Technology". I mean, it rivals the original (did i mention I recently started liking pop music? don't tell anyone.). Anyway, I torrented the rest of the album, and it's pretty good. There are a lot of cute acoustic songs, some studio versions, 'but Milow covers enough minor chordage in "You Don't Know" to make his stuff unique.
Recommend: Excuse to Try

5. Allie Moss, Passerby
sounds like: Ingrid Michaelson, Missy Higgins, Priscilla Ahn
listen here

If you like music that's played on Grey's Anatomy, and/or you like Ingrid Michaelson, you'll like Allie. Her voice is uniquely different than Ingrid but it's the same feel of music: acoustic, well thought and cute lyrics that make you think.
Recommend: Corner

6. Landon Pigg, The Boy Who Never
sounds like: Pete Yorn, Matt Hires
listen here

I had a hard time picking Pigg's sound-alikes. itunes genius had to help me. His stuff is pretty chill, studio cut, not acoustic, a little poppy, but generally likeable. On his earlier Album I was a pretty big fan of "Can't Let Go".
Recommend: This Far

7. The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America
sounds like: The New Pornographers, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Okkervil River
listen here

Duh, Katie, where have you been? The Hold Steady have been a mainstream-hipster favorite for awhile now. I really liked "Stuck Between Stations" when I heard it in 2006, but the rest of the album is a good mix of stuff as well. There's a couple acoustic songs, some roch-out songs, and the lyrics are provoking (I'll let you be the judge of that).
Recommend: Party Pit

8. Bess Rogers, Travel Back
sounds like: ~The Paper Raincoat, Erin McCarley
listen here

Bess Rogers, also featured on Grey's, is still in the acoustic-cute female singer genre, but she's on the rockier side. Everything is studio, and you can hear the acoustic guitar, but she's got something to say, and she's saying it.
Recommend: Everything to Lose

9. Brandi Carlile, Give Up the Ghost
sounds like: KT Tunstall, ~Indigo Girls
listen here

Brandi definitely has got the indie acoustic thing going. I liked "Story" and "Closer to You" a lot from her previous album. If you like the less studio, woodsy-ier sound, this is probably for you.
Recommend: Touching the Ground

10. Greg Laswell, Three Flights to Alto Nido, Off I Go EP
sounds like: Jon McLaughlin
listen here

Greg Laswell kind of borders on indie pop. He's got this really soothing and relaxing coupled with acoustic piano... it's dreamy. However, he manages to make some of his songs relatively upbeat regardless.
Reommend: Off I Go

11. Imogen Heap, Live Session iTunes Exclusive
sounds like: there is nothing like imogen heap.
listen here

Christ, if you haven't heard "Hide and Seek" by now, or at least the sample from "Whatchu Say", you've been stuck in your ipod too long. Imogen Heap is a style all her own. I really like Headlock when I saw it performed at TDC a few years ago, but the iTunes exclusive is so stripped down it's worth a download. (If you didnt know, iTunes has the artist make a stripped version of their best hits.) If you like techno backbeats mixed with an acoustic style lyricist and singer (think Postal Service) you'll like Imogen Heap.
Recommend: Goodnight and Go

12. Ingrid Michaelson, Everybody
sounds like: A Fine Frenzy, Erin McCarley, Regina Spektor
listen here

This is NOT to introduce Ingrid, she is a staple in my music diet. This is only to inform yáll of her newest CD, which came out in the summer. Her music has evolved a lot since Slow the Rain, it's become a little more poppy (think the evolution of Matt Nathanson). It's a little more studio but still provoking in almost every sense.
Recommend: All Love, Everybody, Turn to Stone

13. Kate Havnevik, Melankton
sounds like: A Fine Frenzy, Erin McCarley, Imogen Heap
listen here

I can't figure out the album title? Is it a weird derivative of plankton? I don't know. Anyway, Kate Havnevik is pretty well know, I guess, she's been on Grey's a bunch of times, etc. She's got a good mix going, upbeat and slow, poppy and sad. The sad stuff reminds me of Imogen Heap a little. Nothing is too original, nothing grabbed me, but I pretty much liked all of it.
Recommend: So:Lo

14. Katie Herzig, Live in Studio
sounds like: Yael Naim, Brett Dennen, Ingrid Michaelson
listen here

I just started listen to Katie Herzig, and I can't decide what to make of her voice. It reminds me about how I felt when I first heard Bright Eyes. Love it or hate it? Anyway, Katie is on the edge of the cute-acoustic-female-singer genre. She's not so poppy as those listed above, but she does have a few close-friend-of-pop songs, but also some kind of weirder ones. If you're into mainstream but also off the beaten track type stuff you'll probably like this.
Recommend: Charlie Chaplin

15. Unkle Bob, Sugar & Spite
sounds like: a less gloomy Howie Day
listen here

This dude keeps popping up on iTunes Genius, so, forced into submission by corporate media, I downloaded a couple tunes. This is pretty standard chill music, but I still liked it...
Reommend:

16. Mika, The Boy Who Knew Too Much
sounds like: Ferras, a less dirty Lady Gaga, a modern Queen
listen

On a completely different note, Mika is the music you listen to when it's sunny and you're having a blast. I heard this song in H&M, if that's any indication. However, like Ferras (who's that? Remember the one-hit-wonder "Hollywood's Not America"?), he's got too sides, fun and acoustic piano. Luckily his fun stuff became famous ("Grace Kelly")
Recommend: We Are Golden

17. Owl City, Maybe I'm Dreaming
sounds like: Postal Service
listen here

best for last: I love owl city! I already "reviewed" his hit album, Ocean Eyes, last time, but the older one is great too. Owl City makes fun, treadmillworthy music. But it's more than that. The lyrics are art within themselves; descriptive and colorful and with a separate life. If you would like to have fun but not at the expense of dumbing yourself down to listen to ClearChannel Radio, Owl City is for you.
Recommend: Panda Bear

other new artists or EPs I've been into:
Ryan Cabrera, Radiohead, Nick Drake, Nickel Creek, Vampire Weekend, Across the Universe Soundtrack

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