About a year ago I threw side-a of a winter mixtape I’d been working on, but I never got around to posting the b-side I promised. After a year-plus of rumination, I’m pretty satisfied with the list. It may be Valentine’s Day already, but Maine is cold, and dark, and sparse folk music is always appropriate while lawns are white. Dig in after the jump.
[as always, I've linked to searches in elbo.ws to find each track.]
1. Lady of the Sunshine: “Silver Revolver” “Silver Revolver” exudes a faint melancholy that drifts out in between restrained chords and even percussion, which lends it a distinctly winter aura. It is a song that is so deliberately beautiful that it would be right at home on a tape meant for any season.
2. Horse Feathers: “Curs in the Weeds” This Portland Oregon folk quartet is mostly a mystery – I don’t quite recall when or how it was that I came across this tune. Probably one of the more traditional folk songs on this tape, “Curs in the Weeds” is earnest as it is sparse.
3. Loch Lomond: “Field Report” This song is really strange and eerily wintery. Another Portland Oregon group, I guess they must have strange eerie winteriness in the water. Not really sure what “the sounds of children laughing makes my eyes bleed” is supposed to mean, but the horn accompaniment and quirky pop sensabilities make “Field Report” a cold winner.
4. Leif Vollebekk: “Quebec” If there’s one song to download from this tape, Leif Vollebekk’s “Quebec” is the one. It’s simple and canadian, with amazing lyrics. I mean amazing lyrics. Listen for yourself. “What can I do I cannot just hop a plane.”
5. Meursault: “A Small Stretch of Land” I’ve posted, I think, a few times regarding this scottish group – and if you’ve read any of those posts you’ll know that their 2010 ep All Creatures Make Merry was absolutely killer. This track is actually off an earlier effort by the Edinburghers – a deep cut if you will – it’s pretty bleak and totally awesome.
6. Woods: “Rain On Radio” This song is sick – psychadelic and reserved – although I have to confess to seeing these Jersey rockers in Portland Maine just a few weeks ago and being pretty nonplused. It was a disappointing show, but they played “Rain On Radio” and I was stoked.
7. Antlers: “Kettering” Really, chosing a last song for this tape was just a question of which Antlers track to pick. It’s not news anymore just how beautiful and devestating 2010’s Hospice was, and Kettering is a particular favorite of mine. So go ahead, round up these tracks and put ‘em together – I hope they match your February mind.
[thanks to Keegan Runnals for the photo - sunrise in Reykjavik, Iceland.]