I recived my first “start your year-end list” PR pitch earlier this week and it occured to me that I haven’t shuffled through 2013 in a bit, hence this week’s 2013-centric Friday Five! —MP
“Too Free to Live” by Brett Detar (from Too Free to Live, 2013)
The Springsteen is strong with the former Juliana Theory / Zao vocalist. His second solo effort—which is available for free over at his website—is a mixed bag of Americana with a healthy dose of revved-up guitars nipping at the fringes. Detar has grown considerably as a songwriter over the past few years, and this effort is a true testament to that growth. This record is definitely in my “highly recommended” list, and it’s free!
“Same Old Same Old” by The Civil Wars (from The Civil Wars, 2013)
The drama surrounding this record—as if ripped from a script for the television program, Nashville, the duo is no longer on speaking terms—seemed to eclipse the record itself. Perhaps that was the plan, realizing that they were releasing a record that was sub-par in comparison to their debut. If I were a betting man, I’d say this is the last we hear from The Civil Wars as a duo, and that the principal members will both enjoy solo careers.
“Sparrow” by Mazzy Star (from Seasons of Your Day, 2013)
Somebody opened a 1993 time capsule and out fell this record. This is not a bad thing, people. This record hits on every note that you’d expect from the atmospheric, dream-pop backdrops to Hope Sandoval’s equally dreamy vocals. This is the best record this year that you didn’t know you wanted.
“Something to Say” by Tess Henley (from High Heels & Sneakers, 2013)
Do you love Erykah Badu and Chrisette Michelle? Yeah? Let me introduce you to Tess Henley. Her voice rings with a honey tone that just melts across the neo soul joints that manage to sound neither copy nor contrived; all while reminding you of your favorite R&B jams. If you need more convincing, check out Miss Henley’s time on The Matt ‘N’ Jeff Radio Hour.
“Walk Us Downtown” by Elvis Costello and The Roots (from Wise Up Ghost, 2013)
Popdose Grand Poobah, Jeff Giles, and I had a long discussion recently about this record; specifically we built a subscription model in which The Roots release quarterly records featuring different artists. Think about it: would you not drop some serious dough if you could get Booker T. and The Roots? How about Niles Rodgers and The Roots? Hell, name just about any legendary artist and I’ll bet they’d benefit from working with one of the best bands in the world.
What’s on your shuffle today?