I’ve been listening to a lot of cool music lately. Thought you might like a quick update with some recommendations.
It’s the Music
I can’t seem to stop listening to Spoon‘s latest, Gimme Fiction. It’s got this great sound, and lead vocalist Britt Daniel has this throaty delivery that just perfectly matches the jangly accompaniment. It’s one of those rare records that you can listen to from beginning to end with no worries.
I don’t pretend to understand what he’s talking about on every track (or any track), and some are a bit disturbing at first glance (e.g., “The Beast and Dragon, Adored”), but I like the way the album sounds.
No, It’s the Songs
Good gracious. Ryan Adams’s Heartbreaker may be one of the most perfect albums I’ve ever heard. (h/t to Cam Lawrence.) The only track I’d heard was “Come Pick Me Up” on the soundtrack for Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown. Killer track, but be prepared for some language in the chorus.
Adams writes songs–real songs, the kind you can’t get out of your system, the kind that stay there and remind you how good it is that God made music and lets us make and play it.
We Both Know It’s the Voice
So you don’t like folk, or Appalachian music, or alt-country. That’s okay. But take a listen to “April the 14th, Part 1.” Just that song. Gillian Welch’s voice insistent, demanding, and the lyrics are pretty good here, too. Open your ears to Gillian Welch. You won’t be sorry you did.
Her earlier albums are also good, if a bit more mountainous. Ballads like “Caleb Meyer” and “The Devil Had a Hold on Me” from Hell Among the Yearlings work for me but may not be your cup of tea. You may also have heard her on the O Brother soundtrack, singing “Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby” with Emmylou Harris and Allison Krauss.
Time doesn’t permit me to go into Damien Jurado and M. Ward, rediscovering Soul-Junk and Clockhammer, the aforementioned Sufjan Stevens. I’ll leave them for another day. Or you can check em out yourself at emusic.com.
What music is getting to you these days?