1.27.2009

apparently I am in Georgia in my mind....

finally, people! i have found so much music! and most of it is from the south... here are my recent listens...

1. Peter Bradley Adams: Leavetaking
sounds like: William Fitzsimmons, Steve Tannen, James Taylor
listen here

Adams has a way of combining some folky, bordering on country style guitar, with a deep, soulful voice. His songs are underwritten with mysterious tones and well versed in some seriously good lyrics. I would recommend this CD for a rainy day.

2. Tim be Told: Getting By
sounds like: Matthew West, Bebo Norman
listen here

Usually I shy away from Christian pop. I don't like to mix my music with my religion. But The lead singer, Tim (aptly named) Ouyang has such a smooth, amazing voice that I was immediately captivated. Plus most of the songs are so uplifting and happy, it's easy to see the true message. I can live with that. The very clear piano melodies and underlying rhythmic guitar add for a rich, not overly produced sound. plus, there's a gospel choir in "Steady On"! And, according to Ellen, nothing is better than a gospel choir for saying, well, anything.


3. Andy Davis: Let the Woman
sounds like: Jon Mclaughlin (before he went pop)
listen here

According to Davis's myspace, he is "alternative pop". I would go with "singer/songwriter". Davis's voice is raw and not always flowing and super smooth, but that's what makes it so original and raw! I have yet to notice any outstanding lyrics, but for those of us who lose the singer songwriter genre... here you go. Pandora's already found him.

4. The Benjy Davis Project: Dust
sounds like: Pat McGee Band (currently on tour together!)
listen here

I seem to have developed quite an affinity for "Southern pop"- the genre BDP lists on their myspace. I find lead singer Benjy Davis (again, aptly named) 's voice a perfect match for the band's music. On the softer side, but still every song has a story to tell, which is what draws me to this genre of music. Plus, you can hear the clear emotional pain and rebuilding through the lyrics and vocals. I especially like the build up of instrumentals in "Tell Myself"; and my absolute favorite is "Green and Blue".

5. Fiction Family: Fiction Family
sounds like: Ben Folds, Guster in the Parachute days (circa 1996), Nickel Creek
listen here

Best for last, by far. This EP is the beautiful child of Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) and Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek). It's so fresh and different, definitely not any midpoint between the two aforementioned bands. Every song has its own flavor and character (I mean, compare "Elements Combined", which sounds a lot like 1996 Guster, versus "Out of Order", which sounds more like, I don't know, Death Cab?). I especially love "Elements Combined, which doesn't follow the typical recipe of any song, and integrates The Nickel Creek esque country guitar.

1.14.2009

fresh from myspace...

my picks of the week, friends. new to me, new to you...

1. Matthew Mayfield: The Fire EP
listen here
sounds like: Bright Eyes

Given that I just bought this EP today, but after one listen, I gotta say, it's pretty good. Although I notice a lot of similar chord changes throughout the songs, I particularly am fond of "Dead to You". It's the only one that really picks up as the song goes along. But this EP is definitely worth a try for a quiet music day. Lots of acoustic guitar and singer singwriter-y feel, unlike Mayfield's old band, Moses Mayfield.

2. Tyler Hilton: The Tracks of Tyler Hilton
listen here
sounds like: Ryan Cabrera

I've been a fan of Hilton's cover of "Missing You" since it first made its way onto Pandora. I also have been a long time fan of "You'll Ask for Me", an entirely acoustic song that apparently was featured on One Tree Hill. Some of the songs from this album are a bit polished, and I definitely favor the more raw songs; but let's be honest, I think Hilton bridges the acoustic songwriter/ cute crooning boyband frontman gap well. My latest favorite song from this album is "Kiss On". (Hilton is also much less poppy than Ryan Cabrera, which makes me like him so much more...)


3. needtobreathe: Daylight, The Heat
listen here
sounds like: Coldplay infused with christian rock and minus the weird chords

I wish I could hate needtobreathe due to their emo-esque choice of name. Lead singer Bear Rinehart has an incredibly moving voice that manages to convey the evangelical sentiment of "Washed by the Water" to the upbeat and catchy( and my new workout song), "Shine On". And then there's my absolute, not-to-be-topped favorite "More Time", which combines the soft acoustic guitar and rhythmic piano I love so much. What I particularly love about this CD (which I've listened to more than any of the others featured here) is the variety of songs. They're acoustic, rock, fast, slow, and not (gasp!) all lyrics about a girl. Something fresh, so listen.

4. Pat McGee Band: Live from the Southland
listen here
sounds like: Train, Virginia Coalition, Stephen Kellogg

My friend Pat finally has released live versions of songs from his band's latest CD,These Days (The Virginia Sessions) . Although this is Pat's third (or so) live release, this live version is so much better than say Vintage Stages. Why? This CD opens up the heart of a PMB experience- the acoustic, raw quality that you definitely lose in a studio or a polished live version. My favorite? "Elizabeth" -written about his daughter's learning to ride a bike- at least buy the single, it's completely different than the studio version.

5. Ingram Hill: Cold in California
listen here
sounds like: Rascall Flatts, Better than Ezra

I've been a fan of Ingram Hill since 2005, when the song "Closer" jumped out at me. The trio has produced a disc which one reviewer called "contemporary country music"- probably a more accurate description than I could have come up with. Nevertheless, most of the songs on this album, while not terribly original, are pretty catchy. My personal favorites are "I Hear Goodnight" and "Four Letter Word", which boasts probably the best lyrics on the CD. Looking for a more acoustic sound? try their "Unplugged" EP.

1.11.2009

who knew...

that evan and jaron (remember that song "crazy for this girl"?) were a legit band? they're a lot more acoustic, and less poppy, than i imagined. I guess last year they had a "52 new songs" project, where every sunday they released a new song via myspace. I can't believe I missed it. Evan apparently is a huge blogger, however, and so he can pass my time instead.

Also, I am a little mad at Schuyler Fisk for releasing songs on her myspace that can't be found ANYWHERE ELSE! what? they're good songs nonetheless. She has a very soulful, yet still folky, voice. check it out, kids.

1.10.2009

a fruitful winter break

hm, so I started this blog to share my wonderful findings on my endless Internet searches(ahem, used CD stores) for new music. I realize that I enjoy finding new music much more than most people- I don't know, it's the satisfaction of knowing you've discovered something- and although the precious few receieve well crafted mix CDs, I believe it is time for something more.


okay. so after a long and music happy winter break, I am happy to share with you my recent (but now well listened to) music finds.

1. Jason Mraz: we sing we dance we steal things DELUX
yes, mraz fans, aren't we all sad that "i'm yours" hit the radio? This EP keeps the true love intact.Mraz presents 12 of his songs as they started out, raw and uncut, just him and the guitar (okay, and occasionally there's some backup singers). My favorites are "live high" and "if it kills me"- both sound like they are straight from a jam that happened to be recorded. There's none of the poppy, highly polished stuff from the actual album (what is WITH the voice recordings at the beginning of "details in the fabric" and "if it kills me"? it kills the song, jason.) Anyway, aside from the rant, Mraz doesn't fail to impress with his always witty and fresh lyrics and smooth, swaying vocals.

2. Virginia Coalition: Home This Year
sounds like: Pat Mcgee Band, Train, Stephen Kellogg
listen here
I rarely enjoy entire albums- I always find one song that I refuse to listen to, but there are none of these on this CD. My favorite song is "Stars Align", which one friend aptly put "sounds like the Jungle Book". the rhythmic piano is vibrant and light, and this is a feel good album with some great lyrics.

3. Jay Clifford: Driving Blind
sounds like: howie day, any male acoustic singer/songwriter
listen here
Interestingly, I found Jay while reading Zach Braff's blog (because I secretly wish Zach and I were friends so we could trade music) and apparently Zach directed Jay's new(ish) video, "Know When to Walk Away". I am more a fan of songs such as "Mexico" and "Don't Be Fooled". Let's be honest, I don't see anything in Jay that makes him stand out (YET),but one review described him as "tender, poetic lyrics; gorgeous melodies; and sophisticated harmonies".

oh, did i mention he was the lead singer for Jump (Little Children)? Yeah.

4. Pete Schmidt: No Safe Bet
listen here
I can't really tell you what Pete Schmidt sounds like because his voice makes him so different from most crooning male singer songwriters. It's not a brilliant voice, but just edgier and more raw. His music spans a wide genre from sappy ("Just So You Know") to a little poppy ("Graduation") to "romantically apologetic"("I Will Make it Up to You") If you like the singer songwriter, try him out before he gets too big.

5. Eric Hutchinson: Sounds Like This
listen here
sounds like: gavin degraw
Eric has developed a sound all his own. He's moved a little to the polished, studio versions (I have a version of "Rock and Roll" dating back to 2005), but nonethe less, his music is fun, and definitely doesn't fit the 145, 4 chord progression of the typical music I listen to. "Rock and Roll" is a pretty fun song, as is "All Over Now" and "Oh!". His music is refreshingly not sappy, romantic, regretful; just fun. I also recommend the song "Subtitles", though not on this CD. Watch out though, he's touring with OAR (boo), so he may get big soon.

other songs to watch out for:
lift you down- the turning
four letter word- ingram hill
rains in asia- jump little children
done hangin on maybe- evan and jaron
the swimmer- christopher jak
the longer i run- peter bradley adams
forget about you- graham colton band