I stumbled on this band on myoldkentuckyblog, and really was drawn to the sparseness of the banjo over the rest of the tracks. Even then the trumpet comes in, the banjo still dominates without being too much. I agree with the Wilco/Spoon sound, but I’m also hearing a Phosphorescent/Will Oldham squeaky-sweet in Dean’s voice, and an overall Calexico/Sun Kil Moon too.
It’s a really nice composition, thanks MOKB.
Ontario’s Dark Mean have released a new video for Happy Banjo, a single from their upcoming, self-titled full-length which comes out June 14th 2011. Happy Banjo sounds exactly as you might you expect by the title, but add to that a driven, dreamy wall of sound that feels like it’s blithely floating through the ether; grounded only by the deeply personal lyrics. Dark Mean’s Mark Dean’s (see what they did there?) mellow, scratchy vocals bring to mind a Jeff Tweedy or a Britt Daniel, and the vast musical talents of himself and band mates Billy Holmes and Sandy Johnston seem to have a Wilco/Spoon-like proclivity for a wide variety of instrumentation (including glockenspiel!) and malleable styles which they magically fuse together to create a dark, pretty pop motif hard to pin the tail on. With Happy Banjo, you’ve got your jangling folk-rock guitar, poppin’ percussion, and of course, one happy banjo; but then the unexpectedly warm, melancholic horns come in, and this infectiously engaging tune swells into something far more stirring than the sum of its parts. Dark Mean began working on their debut back in 2007 with help of producer Michael Keire (Apostle of Hustle) and mastering by Brian Lucey (Black Keys). Judging by Happy Banjo, it’s an album worth the wait.
MP3 : Dark Mean – Happy Banjo
-Post by Miss Dolly Mod
(photos by lydia see, 9.24.09)
Introducing B-Side Fridays.
Every Friday, Marley Carroll will share a previously-unreleased track, accompanied by a photograph from Troy Lehman. Some will be unfinished sketches, some will be old songs, and some will be fully-realized new tunes. We’ll even throw in the occasional remix or extended DJ mix from time to time.
Stay tuned to the Marley Carroll Facebook page and YouTube channel for updates. Every track will be available for free download on Soundcloud as soon as it is released. Also, don’t be too shy to comment or shoot us an e-mail and tell us what you want more of! And without further adieu…
3.24.11: B-Side Fridays 01 “Outside”
4.1.11 : B-Side Fridays 02 – “Sparky’s 78s”
Detroit duo Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott are collectively Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
They’re set to release an lp follw-up to 2010’s Horse Power ep, and have shared a track from it on soundcloud:
I feel like this track incorporates the perfect amount of analog and digital sound, and reminds me of OK Go’s “This too shall pass” with a little Sufjan Stephens “I walked” and Deerhunter’s “Helicopter.”
They’ve had me smitten since Horse Power and their Daytrotter session, both of which included the song “Simple Girl.”
“Simple Girl” was the first song that Daniel and I worked on together. It was a song that had been around for a little while, and the workflow between us was so easy and natural that it really opened up our lines of artistic communication. It also laid the foundation for what would become the sound of our EP, which was organic drums, mixed with electronic ones.”
- Daytrotter Interview
I became obsessed with that song, and shared it with a friend, who then letterpressed this card:
I knew Adrian when she was a spritely little thing of thirteen, wide-eyed and curious, absorbing everything around her. Ten years later that same attitude has been transformed into a beautiful ability to write whimsical albeit raw and true songs which tell dynamic stories while maintaining a catchy, saccharine sweetness. Emberley has assembled a talented lot as her “revolving band” (performing tonight will be Adrian Emberley, Chris Perry, Jesse Friedberg, Paul Dumas, and special guest: Bryan Murphy) who support her as well as standing out individually as artists.
Imagine Regina Spektor, Grace Potter, Jenny Lewis, and mix in some of my AVL gals Ami Worthen, Caroline Pond, and Angi West.
Here’s the cute little video she did for “I missed the days”
You get a free copy of their CD upon entry, but if you can’t make it out tonight, download their record below. Give it a listen, They have this nice vintage sound: Strokes meets 90’s Sunny Day Real Estate with a healthy dose of garage-revival-reverb and feedback.
WAGES’ debut release, “Drowning in Sun, Sunshine”, was recorded at Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording (where Band of Horses and the Avett Brothers worked on their recently Grammy nominated releases), and was produced by Hank Sullivant (Kuroma, MGMT, The Whigs). The band was able to work in such great surroundings with the generous support of an amazing label that has since ceased to exist. So, WAGES has a professionally produced record, but no funds to print it!
The recordings have already received some noteworthy acclaim. One track was placed on Gossip Girls’ Valentine’s Day special, and the album has seen positive reviews and radio play from coast to coast.
Despite this, WAGES currently has no supporting label and no financing. With the help of this Kickstarter campaign, the album can be printed and brought into the world properly!
Some of the album’s tracks can be sampled at wageswages.com.
Thank you so much for visiting this campaign, and for your support!
Project location: Asheville, NC
WAGES is two people: Nick Campbell and James DeDakis. However, their debut LP was created with the help of many. Most noteably…. Producer Hank Sullivant (known for his work with Kuroma, MGMT, The Whigs, Gift Horse, Colour Revolt and beyond) who guided the album creatively. Engineer and bass player Alex Hornbake (of Arizona) who literally gave the album its sound. And musician Ben Wigler (of Arizona and now New Beard) who contributed some priceless background vocals and guitar parts at the outset of the recording process.
(this video features my friend Morgan and what looks like a tiny cheetah!)