Monthly Residency: Secret Mountains (Week 4)
For November’s Monthly Residency, Jeffrey Silverstein of Baltimore’s Secret Mountains will be contributing a journal piece every Thursday.
Ramblings pt. 4
I am already overwhelmed with end of the year lists and it isn’t even December yet. I figured the best way to cope would be to make my own as my last installment for Portals this month. Here goes nothin’:
1. Matthew E. White – Big Inner (Spacebomb/Hometapes)
The first thing I heard from Matthew E. White was his Aquarium Drunkard ‘Laginappe Sessions‘. His cover of Randy Newman’s “I’ll Be Home” had me on board right away. Picked up Big Inner and haven’t gone back since. Was lucky enough to catch him when we played Hopscotch Festival back in September where he performed the entire album with a 30-piece band. He was in an all white suit looking like a modern day George Harrison playing the Concert for Bangladesh. If nothing else, at least listen to the album closer, Brazos. Unreal. As I’m reading this he is premiering a video on Pitchfork and signing to Domino Records for an international release. Sheesh.
2. Angel Olsen – Half Way Home (Bathetic)
My old roommate Caleb from Lands & Peoples in Baltimore showed me a video of Angel Olsen over a year ago of her playing ‘Always Half Strange‘ live on KDHX on a pink guitar and wearing pigtails. Her voice, my god. I am lucky to have the opportunity to hear music this beautiful in my life. I was limited to youtube videos and a few singles online until this year’s phenomenal Half Way Home. An incredibly understated performed, she spoke all of three words to a silenced packed house at Glasslands not too long ago and I went home to fall in love with the record all over again. Lyrically and vocally a flawless record.
3. Father John Misty – Fear Fun (Sub Pop)
I didn’t think it could get any better than J. Tillman records. His voice crushes me. I probably listened to the first single from Fear Fun, ‘Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings’ more than any other song this year. Glad to see him having so much fun. Seems like he was always mean to be a front man, rather than sitting behind a drumkit for Fleet Foxes. Another great one all the way through.
4. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp (jagjaguwar)
Was hooked on Sharon’s music ever since the first episode of Shaking Through came out. She is unstoppable at this point. Tramp is haunting, pure, and puts her in front of a full band for the first time. Heartbreaking if nothing else.
5. Colossal Gospel - Circles (Autumn Tone)
Caught wind of these fellas via Aquarium Drunkard as well. Instantly reminded me of everything I loved about Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House. Great songwriting, harmonies and a perfect fall soundtrack. Definitely one of the most over-looked records of the year. Excited to see where this guys end up in 2013.
6. Daughn Gibson – All Hell (White Denim)
This guys interview and story on Pitchfork was too good for me to not check out his music. Stoner rock dude turned truck driver turned electronic music composer. I had never heard anyone weave country music so well into a completely other genre. I almost felt it was untouchable in terms of sampling. This record proved me wrong. Really nice to zone out to with headphones on. Have a feeling his next one will be the record to get him such much deserved recognition.
7. Daniel Bachman - Seven Pines (Tompkins Square)
I’ve known Daniel for a while and saw a couple shows of his under the Sacred Harp moniker. He is one of the most stand up dudes making music currently. He even played at one of my best friends weddings recently. His Out of Town Films session might be the best thing you see/hear all year. The record speaks for itself. Pure, raw talent. You will be hearing a lot more about Daniel really soon.
8. Chelsea Wolfe – Unknown Rooms (Sargent House)
I was so happy to see Chelsea sign with Sargent House, one of the most exciting labels putting out records. This collection of acoustic songs and b-sides shows off Chelsea’s enormous potential. She can do no wrong.
9. Tame Impala - Lonerism (Modular)
The bass line to ‘feels like we only goes backwards’. Done and done. This record has taken me a few more listens than their previous efforts but I love it just the same. It is imperfect, warm, and is best to walk through crowded streets with headphones on. What’s with all these amazing bands from Australia recently?
10. King Tuff – King Tuff (Sub Pop)
King Tuffy does it again. This dude is bad ass. With one of the best videos of the year for ‘Keep on Movin‘ in 3D, King Tuff is a beast.
Honorable Mentions :
Natural Child – Hard in Heaven
Bowerbirds – The Clearing
Melody’s Echo Chamber – Melody’s Echo Chamber