Album Review: Javelin – ‘Canyon Candy’

While Canyon Candy is a far cry from the hip-hop electro Javelin has bestowed upon us previously, it’s not something to miss. Inspired by the rolling tumble weeds and red clay encrusted jeans of the Wild West this brief album brings back snippets of that the Frontier used to be.  Word is that this is the future soundtrack of an upcoming epic of the same name, directed by Mike Anderson.  Previous fans of Javelin may be turned off by this album, it’s not electronically inclined and if anything, sounds vintage.  However, Javelin’s master-sampling and melody-making skills were not missed.  The album maintained a melodic sway the whole time, with twangy steel guitars and wavering vocals in replacement of synthesizers and funk samples.  With most of the songs finishing between one and a half to two and a half minutes, one of this album’s qualities is certainly brevity.  As soon as one song begins it suddenly seems to end, sometimes a bit too quickly.  The use of samples in tracks such as “Strawberry Roan” and “Trembler” creates an authentic western sound, and adds to the overall reminiscent feel of the album.  At the same time, tracks like “Colorado Trail,” and even “Strawberry Roan,” incorporate a little more of the beat that Javelin is known for.  Javelin incorporated some western instruments too, I’m pretty sure I detected a steel guitar, and did I hear a jaw harp in “Love Gulch?”  Standouts on this short album are “Estavez,” “Colorado Trail,” and “Streets of Laredo.”  If you’re a Javelin fan who is open to an album unlike any of its predecessors, pick this album up.  You’ll be amazed by their versatility and willingness to experiment. Available April 16th, 2011.

Dustin Edge To Releases New EP

After two prior releases that ventured into bluegrass and up-tempo Eastern European influences, Dustin Edge just put out his new acoustic folk EP, Calm, on January 25th. This new EP takes a whole new turn from his previous recordings and couldn’t be more appropriately named: listening to the soft and poised songs Edge crafted immediately fills you with a sense of calm. Take a listen below:

 

The Everyday Visuals Astound with New Album

The Everyday Visuals are more than just a band that hails from Boston, but they can also be viewed as a ‘listening experience’. Recently recieving a copy of their newest self titled record, ‘The Everyday Visuals’,I was immediatly drawn to what they were selling. This album blew away any expectations I had going into it.

The record starts off with ‘Intro (Morning Star)’  which is a nice soft start to what is about to come. It hits you with a ‘bang’ but not in the way you would expect it to. It feels a bit like Fleet Foxes at first, but The Everyday Visuals certainly make this sound their own. Taking it up a notch is ‘Limb From Limb’ that will have listeners out of their seat dancing. ‘ Florence Foster Jensen’ contains the most beautiful harmonies that I’ve heard in quite a long time. They are literally flawless.  The members voices are meant to go together. Its obvious.

 ‘I Can’t Stop You’ is a nice ballad that seems like it would be the perfect Sunday morning song. ‘Heal Me’ which has quickly become my favorite song on the record really brings out the  beauty in singer’s Christoper Pappa’s voice, which adds to the overall depth of the record. ‘I’ll Take it All in Stride’ puts emphasis on everything The Everyday Visuals are about. Amazing vocals and harmonies, infectious guitar sounds and smooth keyboard playing which I wish there was more of in this world.

‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ is a song that will catch your attention immediately. I think the title really explains it all. Mixing indie with folk,this song is perfect. ‘Restless Heart’ reminds me of an old Ryan Adams song which is an extremely good thing to remind someone of.  The overall vibe of the song and  with Pappa’s voice coming in and out is beautiful and well crafted. The same goes for ‘Daydream Ghosts’ which is another song that can only be described as perfect. ‘Driving’ is a lovely soft song that brings out more silky vocals and acoustic guitar picking. ‘Peers’  will have your foot tapping for sure, ‘Its too much to bare’ sings Pappas as his voice fades into the distance. The album ends with ‘It’s All I Can Do’,  a sweet little acoustic song that makes for a brilliant ending to a more than astonishing record. In all honesty, if I put together my ‘Top 10 of 2009’ right now, The Everyday Visuals would be the number 1 spot.  This record is filled with brilliant melodies and catchy tunes that only get better with every listen.

Listen to The Everyday Visuals at their MYSPACE

Watch The Everyday Visuals Video for ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’

Sufjan Stevens Sings About Sofia Coppola

Over the weekend Sufjan Stevens shared with the world that he is very nostalgic. Stevens came across a few old demo tapes of his from college and decided to share one of them with the world. The title? ‘Sofia’s Song’,  which is literally a song about Sofia Coppola. This borders on flattering and weird, but you can already tell that he was brewing something special. Equipped with banjo he came up with the song claiming that Sofia was his ‘imaginary confident’ when writing songs in his early days. I guess everyone needs to be inspired by something. The tale of his name and early music career was posted along with the song on his label, Asthamatic Kitty, along about the journey of his songwriting process. This is a great listen and read for any Sufjan fan, obsessive or otherwise.

Download ‘Sofia’s Song’

Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom….in Film (?)

The freak folk explosion is still in existance, it just lives a little more underground now. This doesn’t stop Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom from being in a documentry together. The two will be featured in the new Kevin Barker (of Currituck Co.) film called ‘The Family Jams’. Yes we guess the family does jam but we’re hoping it doesn’t become a family tragedy.

Barker is also a member of the band Vetiver, who toured with Banhart and Newsom in the summer of 2004, which is when he shot his footage.

Judging from the trailer the film looks really interesting. It chronicles the artists  mainly from their ‘smaller’ days of clubs and art galleries and vans. There seems that there will be some specatacular live footage in the fil,m as well. The Sarasota Film Festival will show the film first on April 2nd and 3rd.

Watch the trailer for ‘The Family Jams’  HERE