Posts tagged devendra banhart

Michael CeraRuth

"Ruth" by Michael Cera // True That (Available Now via Bandcamp)

Last night, Michael Cera dropped a surprise album entitled True That. Yep, that Michael Cera. It’s not a total surprise, I suppose as Cera has long dabbled in music and music related projects, but this is his solo debut and it’s surprisingly solid. The 18 tracks that make up True That are generally sweet, lo-fi, bedroom pop in the vein of Coconut Records and Mimicking Birds. Still not sold/? Check out one of the album highlights, “Ruth” - a gentle acoustic number that sounds like a cool autumn evening feels. 

Sufjan Stevens - A Little Lost

"A Little Lost" by Sufjan Stevens // Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell (Out 10.21.14 via Yep Roc)

I got caught sleeping on this one. Last week, Yep Roc released the first taste of the forthcoming Arthur Russell tribute album that is being put together by The Red Hot Organization. For years, Red Hot has been doing tremendous work raising funds and awareness for AIDS research through their pop culture benefits. In the past they’ve worked with a huge number of tremendous artists in creating compilations set to benefit particular charities dedicated to AIDS/HIV research and education. This year, they’ve gathered a stellar collection of musicians ranging from Washed Out to Robyn to Twin Shadow to Devendra Banhart and many more - all of whom will be covering the works of the immensely talented experimental folk artist, Arthur Russell, who passed away in 1992 from AIDS. The first taste of this forthcoming compilation has been released in the form of Sufjan Stevens' lovely take on “A Little Lost”, which finds Stevens hitting a sweet spot between his earlier work in orchestral chamber pop and his latter work in electronics. Check out Red Hot. It’s a wonderful organization and the end result is sure to be stunning. 

Prism Song by Julie Byrne

"Prism Song" by Julie Byrne // Rooms with Walls and Windows (Out 1.21.14 via Orindale)

I’m unfamiliar with Julie Byrne's work, but I'm pretty sure that I'll be on the lookout from here on out. “Prism Song” is a gently flowing acoustic beauty that deals in fairy tale imagery and melancholic personal heartache. It's a piece of music that feels lived in and worn in all of the right places - like your favorite sweater, left to keep you warm under cold blue stars. It's a wonderful song from an artist to watch for in 2014. Check out more at Byrne's Soundcloud page. Highly recommended for fans of Sharon Van Etten, Devendra Banhart, and Mountain Man

mutual benefitStrong Swimmer

"Strong Swimmer" by Mutual Benefit // Love’s Crushing Diamond (Out Now via Bandcamp)


It’s almost feels strange to stumble upon something that feels as warm and lived in as “Love’s Crushing Diamond”. Seven or eight years ago, not so strange - but in a year where everything feels like it’s some post-internet-post-instrument-post-post discovery that is some hip-hop-metal-twee amalgamation, I find myself kind of infatuated with the lo-fi beauty of a Boston band named Mutual Benefit. By no means am I decrying any artists who are reaching for new sounds and exploring unheard soundscapes for the betterment of us all, that’s not what this is at all. What I’m saying is that sometimes its nice to hear an album that brings out a sense of nostalgia within, when the sounds are new to you. It’s almost like talking with someone who grew up in the same town as you. There’s a shorthand to the sounds, that though unfamiliar, welcome you into it’s orbit and take you to a place that you may know, but haven’t visited in a while. There are a handful of bookmarks that catch my ears - sounds like the first Fleet Foxes record, or Sufjan Stevens' early work, or even some of the first albums of Devendra Banhart, but Mutual Benefit is not repeating the work of those artists in the least - they just come from a similar place and the result is equally admirable. Hearing a little less, brings out a little more. 

BeckI Only Have Eyes For You

"I Only Have Eyes For You" by Beck // Originally by Harry Warren & Al Dubin

There are songs from the past that just never age. “I Only Have Eyes for You” is one of those songs for me. It was originally recorded in 1934, but found like again in 50’s and 60’s through covers from Peggy Lee and later The Flamingos (the most popular version). In the late 90’s it was featured in one of my personal favorite episodes of Joss Whedon's “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and now it's being featured in Doug Aitken “Song 1” art installation for the Hirshhorn Museum in which he’s asked 6 artists to contribute covers of the song. Beck, being the most notable of those artists (others inclube No Age, Devendra Banhart, and High Places), also turns in the most traditional, and in turn, gorgeous, cover. Give it a spin (or head over to Pitchfork to hear all six) and get lost in the haunting, gorgeous, doo wop, pop gem that still feels fresh, but also lost in time. Highest recommendation. 

north american halloween prevention initiative - DO THEY KNOW IT’S HALLOWE’EN?

Why are there not more awesome Halloween novelty songs for good songs? Sure, getting this group of people together was sort of like lightning striking a bolt of lightning that was wearing lightning shoes, but still. And for those of you who missed it the past five years, the N.A.H.P.I. is made up of:

Win & Regine from Arcade Fire, Karen O, Beck, David Cross, Buck 65, Devendra Banhart, Feist, Peaches, Jenny Lewis, Blake Sennett, Roky Erickson, Thurston Moore, Dan & Spencer from Wolf Parade, and many others…

So yeah. Halloween city.