My favorite new discovery of the year is actually an album that came out last fall by a band called The Dø (pronounced "dough"). After months of living beneath a massive pile of other CDs, it finally surfaced a couple of weeks ago and blew me away. It's called Both Ways Open Jaws and it's an epic listen: beautiful but gritty, unpredictable, unsettling and full of mystery.
Last month, we started a new feature called "Heavy Rotation" where we asked public radio DJs from around the country to tell us about the best new music on their playlist. The response was overwhelming, so we've decided to make it a monthly sampler.
Originally from Sweden, Anders Osborne left his home in Uddevalla at 16 to hitchhike through Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Eventually finding his way to the U.S., the singer-songwriter and guitarist settled in New Orleans in 1984. The Crescent City clearly came to inspire Osborne's music, which ranges from muddy backwater blues to upbeat country-rock, and fills in many of the gaps in between.
Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:57 am
We were late getting set up. As Deer Tick's John McCauley stood on the picturesque hillside of the Columbia River Gorge, about to strum the first chord of a song, another band started to blast us from the main stage nearby. We had to leave. It was a relief, really, because the natural majesty of the surroundings didn't seem at home with Deer Tick's music — especially not the Replacements-esque party attitude of the band's new album, Divine Providence.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 9:06 am
The deeper we get into our search for the albums everyone can love, the more intriguing our findings become. For example, last week's poll, shows us that a solid majority of you don't care for the Guns N' Roses album Appetite For Destruction, even though it was a huge record when it first dropped in 1987.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:54 pm
Folk-pop singer-songwriter Damien Jurado has come a long way since he first started self-releasing lo-fi folk recordings on cassette. Jurado has been making music since the early '90s, and he recently released his 10th studio album, Maraqopa — his second produced by best friend and Secretly Canadian labelmate Richard Swift.
The Brooklyn-based duo She Keeps Bees likes to go it alone. Singer-guitarist Jessica Larrabee and drummer Andy LaPlant have been recording their music at home and self-releasing it since 2006. Their sound is intimate and moody, with incredibly spare arrangements that mix swampy blues with gritty rock.
To record the band's latest single, "Counter Charm," the duo headed to Paris, where they set up a makeshift studio in a small restaurant, late on Halloween night. If they were hoping to bottle the airy creepiness of the time and space, they found it.