Functionally Sane: A Playlist.

A sampling of what I’ve been listening to today – in other words, what is keeping me ‘functionally sane’ on this Monday.

 

FYI: You should really go listen to The Orwells entire Disgraceland album (which just came out a few weeks ago), and Eagulls entire self-titled album, and…Actually, just go listen to everything you can find by every, single artist on this playlist.They are all more than worth the time.

Jezebel Stomp.

A short while ago, as I was listening to my Reignwolf station on Spotify, a song by a band I hadn’t heard of before came up. That song was “You’re Not The Only One” by Black Pistol Fire.

I loved it, so of course I had to go and add their entire catalog to my “new stuff” playlist. I loved the second song I heard, but it was the third song, “Jezebel Stomp” that really sealed the deal for me.

The more that I listen to these two, the more I love their music. I’m dying to see them live, especially after watching their performance on KEXP. I have no doubts it would be a fantastic show. (And I just missed my chance! They were in Tulsa with Wolfmother last week!) Here is a sampling of tracks that I’m partial to right now, though I highly recommend demand you go listen to everything they have.

At this point, I think it’s safe to say these two Austin-based Canadians have officially made it onto my Obsessions list. Lucky them – it’s a prestigious place to be.

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Blak & Blu.

I’m a big Gary Clark Jr. fan, and I can’t believe I haven’t really blogged about him before. This Austin native is crazy talented. His debut album, Blak and Blu, is a great record–top to bottom–and if you haven’t listened to it, then I highly suggest remedying that ASAP. My favorite song from the album changes (though I’m always partial to “Numb” and “Travis County” and “Bright Lights,” though I prefer the earlier EP version), but lately it’s “You Saved Me.” It’s a beautiful combination of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll. I can’t get enough of it right now, which is evidenced by the fact that I have been listening to it on repeat for almost an hour and half – switching between the album version and various live performances.

Seriously, go listen to Blak and Blu, you won’t be sorry!

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Let the light in.

It’s days like today that I REALLY love Twitter.

Because I incessantly tweet about music and follow artists, indie labels, management accounts, etc., I get followed by new artists (and labels, etc.) nearly every day, and I get suggestions of new artists to follow constantly. And I love it. It’s exciting, and I have found countless new artists whose music I’ve fallen for because of it. And today was no exception. As I was going thru my emails this morning, randomly choosing a few to go listen to, I happened upon two artists that I immediately got pretty excited about.

First up, I made my way to listen to Amber Run, an Indie folk/pop/rock band from Nottingham, UK. The first song I heard, their latest single “Spark,” was all it took to get me interested. 

I immediately mixed them into my current playlist on Spotify this morning. And as everything shuffled around, and I got to hear all of the tracks available, these two tracks in particular, from their Noah EP, stuck out.

You would never think by listening to these guys that they have been a band for less than two years.

After getting so fortunate with Amber Run, I wasn’t expecting the same instant hook from the next artist I listened to. I was wrong. I made my way over to Joel Baker‘s SoundCloud & hit play on his latest song “Every Vessel Every Vein.”

It took maybe 20 seconds for me to fall in love. MAYBE. I actually don’t even think it took that long. Joel, also from Nottingham oddly enough, is more folk-sounding, and very soulful. I started listening to his EP, Long Sleeves. The entire EP is beautiful, a sad & melancholy kind of beautiful that I am exceedingly partial too. I was only going to include a song or two off the EP, but I just can’t choose. Please, please listen to them all. 

As I got to the bottom of the page, there were three covers, two of which I must admit I questioned, seeing as they were covers of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” and Kanye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” Shame on me for jumping to conclusions. You can hear the Kanye cover below, as well as the aforementioned third track, a cover of Kings of Leon’s “Mulled Wine in Manhattan.”

I think I’ve given you guys enough music for today. Enjoy the ear-candy!

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One more for the stars.

Let’s get this out of the way: St. Paddy’s Day celebrations were pretty awesome…a little too awesome. Someone, I won’t say who, but someone, had to leave work after only an hour yesterday because he/she was so sick from the night before. (Like second-worst-hangover-ever sick…apparently.) Here’s a little lesson for you: if you are going to spend the whole night bar-hoping & drinking, EAT SOMETHING FIRST! Eat an actual meal, not just a few cheese fries and a bunch of pickles (use your imagination). Alcohol on a practically empty stomach does not end well, or so I’m told. I pray that this person has learned his/her lesson after the second time with this particular experience.

Music time! I just came across these three bands (two last week & one just today), and I am really liking all of them. First up is Farewell Flight, an Indie-Rock band based in Nashville. Check out their EP I Was A Ghost below. I’m particularly fond of “Scarecrow” and “Everything Changed,” but honestly, the whole thing is pretty good straight-thru. Catchy. But good catchy, not stupid-song-that-you-hate-and-is-now-stuck-in-your-head catchy. 🙂

Next up is a band called The Wild Feathers. These guys started things off in Austin (one of them is actually a fellow Okie from Oolagah), then relocated to Nashville (and opened for Bob Dylan). There sound is kind of Americana/Indie/Rock, I think that’s the best way to put it. Call it what you will, more I listen to them, the more I like them. Check out the video of them playing what thus far is my favorite of their tunes, “Left My Woman.” After that, there’s a few songs off of their debut.

Last but certainly not least is Bearheart, an Americana/Folk group based in Nashville. There EP sounds like a porch jam session, which is always a good thing if you ask me. You can stream their self-titled 5-track EP here. And check out a live performance of my favorite track, “Living Out My Dreams.”

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Cast-iron soul.

First things first: thank you to our office manager for laughing & letting me leave work this morning & go to Starbucks, because I was out of K-cups & in desperate need of a serious caffeine fix. You have saved my life. By the way, Starbucks’ Tribute Blend – I like.

I have officially developed a new obsession as of approximately 7:30 this very morning!

I sat down on my couch to do my make-up, watching music videos on Palladia…what I do every morning while getting ready for work. And then a song came on…a song that I knew I’d heard (and really liked), but I couldn’t place it and I didn’t know who sang it. That song was “California (Cast Iron Soul).” And something must have clicked. The spark flamed into existence & quickly engulfed my musical soul. The obsession is in full-swing now!

Say hello to Jonathan Clay & Zach Chance, collectively known as Jamestown Revival.The long-time friends describe their music as “back-porch-folk-rock” which I think is very fitting. Regardless of what you call it, it’s simply really, really good music. REALLY good. You can check out their entire debut album, Utah, below.

One last thing before I go today: does anyone recall the picture of Sherkhanberbatch the Dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch for the uninformed) photobombing U2 at the Oscars? Well, there’s a video of it now. This is one of those time where I really love the internet. By the way, your welcome.

Have a great weekend! And get outside & enjoy some nature!

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