Haven’t posted this here yet, but this song has been blowing my mind for the last couple weeks. It moves and sways with this crazy energy that’s trouncing a lot of what I’ve been listening to lately. The deep 80s synth chords and compressed-to-hell drums, the hooky melody, the yelpy voice. Hell, even that tribal, electronica breakdown.
Foreign Fields - “The River Kings (Arco Sessions)”
Really, really excited to share this newest Arco Session with y’all. I had never heard of Foreign Fields when they emailed us about doing a session, but I got them in touch with our composer Davy Sumner and they absolutely crushed a rendition of “The River Kings” featuring a large choir.
I recently started running again. Not from anything in particular, though maybe I’m fleeing from a bit of my winter weight and lackadaisical ways. I used to think of myself as an avid runner. I was on the cross country team in high school (though to be completely honest, that might’ve had more to do with a potential romance than the elation of your feet hitting the sidewalk with a rhythmic pace) and dating even earlier than that I’d run 5Ks and 10-milers with my dad.
I wrote an essay about jogging, which I’ve been trying to get better at. My good friend Luke Benson did a killer illustration for it as well. Read the whole thing over at VolumeOne.org.
"I think the Bon Iver stuff is just me when I need to do me, and just me. I’m not feeling like I need to do that right now. As far as personal growth, how many years in a row can you spend dealing with pretty fundamentally humungous personal philosophy and internal debate. And that’s what Bon Iver is for me, an extremely cathartic experience as far as searching and asking myself questions and all that. And the music part is really challenging, always trying to become a new writer and a new recording artist. But I can’t do that all the time, man. I can’t take myself that seriously. With Volcano Choir, it’s almost more rewarding in a weird way because it’s a wider river."
Justin Vernon on the future of Bon Iver and its relationship with his current project Volcano Choir in an article I wrote about Volcano Choir’s newest release, Repave. Read the full story over at VolumeOne.org.
Y’all know how much I love Yalls. (Bad joke, I’m sorry.) Well, Dan Casey has a new solo project that is about as removed from the blippy, sample-based work that’s been present on Yalls’ various mixtapes.
His new sound is hauntingly beautiful, yet maintains the pop-vibe that makes Yalls so appealing.
He has a record dropping in late October and you can check out the first song, “Empty City,” at NPR Music.
I’ve been following Mean Lady for the last few years and have been absolutely blown away by their ability to create perfect pop songs in so many styles. Everything from their sample-heavy Indian Sun to their newer, boppy twee jams comes off as summery and light and, well, beautiful.
This Little Kid record – River Of Blood– is absolutely fantastic, first off. But it reminded me of a column I wrote years ago (that I absolutely will not dig up) about the topic of religion in music. For whatever reason I constantly see myself drawn to music that deals with people’s affirmations, struggles or denouncements of faith.
The obvious indie name that comes up in these discussions is Sufjan Stevens, who seamlessly rolls Christian themes into his songs. But beyond that, some of my favorite lyricists – Peter Miller from We Are The Willows and Red Fox Grey Fox or Jon Sunde* from The Daredevil Christopher Wright among them – weave in parables and tales of their own faith or struggles among their otherwise commonplace song subjects (though anything but commonplace wordsmithing).
For me, I think the draw is an extra level of personal connection. Almost everyone has had a crisis of faith, but it’s not something as widely talked about as, say, a break up or a change of location. The vulnerability makes the stakes that much higher for the songwriter and somehow I feel like, as a listener, that makes the song that much more meaningful.
Kenny Boothby’s songwriting as Little Kid does just that. He weaves in his affirmations and struggles and gives you access to a part of people we rarely get access to.
Thom Fountain is a journalist, designer and blogger from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. This is his scrapbook of cool things he finds on the web and in the world. If you’re interested in what he does, find all that here.