Bear in Heaven, the brainchild of Jon Philpot, spent the winter trimming down (from a quartet to a trio) and stocking up, releasing its third album I Love You, It's Cool this spring. To promote the record, Philpot posted it in its entirety on the band's website, but not before slowing the audio down 400,000 times. At its original tempo, Bear in Heaven's music is at once ambient and energized, resonating in synth-driven waves that swell and pulse through an electric sea.
Bahamas' music has really grown on us at KCRW. The group is led by Afie Jurvanen, who previously played guitar with Feist and is such an aficionado of the instrument that he doesn't even have a bassist in his band. Instead, he's accompanied by a drummer and a pair of backup singers who reinvent his gorgeous pop songs in a live setting.
If you don't know Taken by Trees, the solo project of Swedish singer Victoria Bergsman, then perhaps you're new to All Songs Considered. In 2009, Taken by Trees' made my year end top 10 list and then seemed to vanish. The album, East of Eden, was made in Pakistan but embodied American popular music in the way only a Scandinavian could do (as in so many cases, that meant "better").
Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 12:25 pm
Langhorne Slim was born Sean Scolnick, and hails from his pseudonym-sake: the borough of Langhorne, Penn. After graduating college, Slim moved to New York City, where he began his slow climb into the American musical consciousness by touring with the sweetly arty Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 9:07 am
The career of Brazilian singer and songwriter Tim Maia was defined by two periods of exile that contribute to a story so crazy that nearly overwhelms his notable career. Round-faced and diminutive (a press release says he was five feet, seven inches tall, "6' with the Afro"), Maia released his first album in 1971. It was a huge hit. He died in 1998 at the age of 55, but Maia would have been 70 on Sept. 28. On Oct. 2, Luaka Bop will release Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia.
Guitarist Jonny Ollsin (formerly of S.T.R.E.E.T.S.) and singer Kim Krans met in the Catskill Mountains in New York, where they continue to write and record in a hand-built log cabin. Together, they lead the Brooklyn ambient rock group Family Band, which sounds like anything but mountain music.
Hear John Hodgman read the first chapter of 'Year Zero' by Rob Reid
This just in: Aliens from pretty far away have been listening to music from Earth for the past 35 years. As it turns out, the planet's only redeeming quality is our music. From a legal standpoint this is great news, the biggest copyright violation since forever. That's the first thing you want to know about Rob Reid's smart and wacky novel Year Zero, out this week.