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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This Music Crept By Me Upon the Waters

This music crept by me upon the waters,
Allaying both their fury and my passion
With its sweet air: thence I have follow'd it,
Or it hath drawn me rather. But 'tis gone.
No, it begins again.
-The Tempest

Of Monsters and Men, My Head is an Animal

There's something about Iceland; about the Nordic countries in general.  Cold, cruel, sparse, and terrifyingly beautiful.  Just ask Bon Iver, who's Holocene video was filmed entirely in Iceland.  That video is unreal (moment of silence).
I've always been fascinated by Nordic folklore, with images that are haunted with powerful female creatures, water spirits, invisibility, and enchanted places or Álagablettur.  
There's certainly enchantment in this music; but there's also some sort of light darkness, and of course monsters - which always make for good art and music.

Jam on: Little Talks
Repeat: Love, Love, Love

Lower Lights Burning, Coming Back

I'm a complete sucker for bands from the Northwest.  I survived the 90's in Seattle (or outskirts of, I should rightly state), and now I'm delighted to see that the angst and teen spirit that got us through that phase has transformed itself decades later into something equally as cathartic but graceful and softly provoking.
I was first drawn to this band after seeing their Coming Back video.  A tribute to sea, to song.  It feels more like Homer than Cobain.  It feels good.  No offense grunge, we had a good time together...

Jam on: Coming Back
Repeat:  Samson

Gregory Alan Isakov, This Empty Northern Hemisphere

Ideally, I should have kept these albums to those released in 2011.  However...I seriously can't stop listening to this album, which was released in 2009.  It's like a sickness.  These words; this quiet, still, strong sound echoes everywhere.  And I can't get enough.  I'll let it speak for itself.

Jam on: That Moon Song
Repeat: Seriously, the whole album.

City and Colour, Little Hell

My dearest friend first exposed me to Dallas Green years ago in the depths of Canada, appropriately enough.  I really enjoyed it, but it didn't quite set-in until I happened upon a live acoustic performance of As Much as I Ever Could.  Whoa.  This year Little Hell was released and I think it's a quite striking album and highly overlooked.  There's a fresh, fuller sound here on tracks like Fragile Bird and Weightless, and of course that familiar sound and lyric quality I'm so drawn to in Northern Wind and Sorrowing Man.  Hope for Now will archive itself in my memory without ever being played again.  "Oh, and I sing."   His voice is truly haunting and its refreshing to hear a solo guitarist sing honest, pointed  lyrics about love and loss and sorrow without screaming infidelities..if you know what I mean.

Jam On: Little Hell
Repeat: Grand Optimist

Brothers of End, Mount Inside

Back to the Northern Hemisphere we go.  This album is weirdly delicious.  The album itself unfolds like a story; ephemeral, almost creepy and at times upbeat; it's certainly a journey from beginning to finish.  Give a few listens, and you'll find that sounds are reminiscent of those as varied as Sigur Rós, a touch of Midlake, The Amazing, a bit of Simon & Garfunkel if you dare.  I know it sounds crazy.  It's a ride people, get on it.

Jam on: Daybreak
Repeat: Valinge Träsk

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