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Showing posts from February, 2015

America - First Aid Kit

from the EP America (2015)

Sometimes when I listen to Simon & Garfunkel, I simply sit in awe of them as songwriters and performers.  However, I find myself listening to them increasingly less over the years.  Music rolls on.

Hearing the First Aid Kit cover of their classic tune America serves as a powerful reminder of just how great the poet and the one man band truly were.

The lyrics contain countless visual images that combine to capture time & place & youth with chilling artfulness.  "Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike".  "The man in the gaberdine suit was really a spy".  "Toss me a cigarette, I think there's one in my raincoat."  "Cathy I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburg."

Fantastic.

Not to be forgotten are the beautiful descending chord progression, vocal arrangements, and melody line.

Thank you to First Aid Kit for capturing all these qualities in this thoughtful reproduction.  Its newness reminds us al…

Midnight - Tor Miller

from the EP Headlights (2015)

There is nothing I dig more than a well written song.  Particularly songs with lyrics that create lasting visual images.

I also dig songs about New York City, my ancestral home.

The song Midnight by Tor Miller contains all of these things.

The music is magnificent.  A well recorded piano serves as the central instrument.  It plays sustained chords early on, allowing you to synchronize yourself with their progression and appreciate the lyrics, vocals, and melody line.  Drums and bass soon enter, along with other accompaniment.

The music intertwines with the vocals.  Together they leverage to create a series of powerful crescendos.  The vocals are stellar.

Then there is my favorite part: the visual imagery centered on "the lonely hours of midnight."  Dive bars, car fumes, angry drunks, rumbling concrete, two stumbling lovers, someone buying a loosie, the Holland Tunnel.  They all take me back to that fine metropolis.

Great to hear such a well craf…

American Beauty - Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

from the album Medicine (2015)

American Beauty is a beautifully subtle song.

I dig the tone of the guitar.  It is clean and crisp, with a rounded sound to the strings that adds a warmth that I find appealing.  The song also contains space that allows the melodic rhythms and musical intricacies to evolve.

This music is the perfect complement to Drew Holcomb's vocals, which are pure with an underlaying vulnerability.

Together the vocals and music make each other stronger and more rugged, much like the American Beauty rose.

The lyrics are also thoughtful and tender:

With her wayfarers on
In the summer sun
Her touch felt like a loaded gun
Wish I had held her longer
Wish I had held her longer

A sweet song for mellower times.

Click Here to watch the official video to American Beauty.