True fans of music spend countless hours searching for that next great song, album or artist, whether it be online or in a local record shop. The beautiful thing about music in today’s age is that technology has created an infinite supply of great music that is available to us at the click of a mouse. How perfect is that? We can discover a brand new artist on the opposite side of the globe in seconds without a radio or a music television channel. It only makes sense that a website so dedicated to this gorgeous universe of music would want to celebrate the greatness and share it with anyone who is looking.
My name is Eric and I am your host of Straight from the Teet, where I will delve into 7 new albums per week as well as 1 randomly chosen throwback record and let you know which tracks I loved from the albums I listened to. I hope that my exploration through this never-ending sea of music will help satisfy that hunger for the brand new tracks you have been seeking
TUESDAY: mewithoutYou – Ten Stories
WEDNESDAY: The Babies – Our House On The Hills
THURSDAY: Greg Haines – Digressions
FRIDAY: Jessica Pratt – Jessica Pratt
SUNDAY: City Calm Down – Movements
Lost In The Trees
A Church That Fits Our Needs
- Anti Inc.
- March 16, 2012
Ari Picker, lead singer and songwriter for the sullen indie band Lost In The Trees, has dealt with a great deal of sadness over the last couple of years. After the release of the band's debut LP All Alone In An Empty House in 2008, Picker sadly lost his beloved mother to suicide. The event was devastating for the singer/songwriter as he had obvious trouble coming to grips with the unfortunate loss. His feelings of sadness and abandonment would eventually influence a series of songs that all revolved around his emotional state of mind. A Church That Fits Our Needs is an album straight out of the broken soul that belongs to Picker. The album art is a portrait of Picker's deceased mother and the music within is surely heart breaking yet, it also gives us insight into Ari's progression forwards in his own life. The lyrics off this album are very intricate and delicate as Picker wears his heart on his sleeve as he longs for the love that he lost. The band also really comes to fruition on this album as the orchestral arrangements are extremely elegant and satisfying for a folk record to have. The pop contributions add another component to this solemn record as it ends up bringing at least a slight glimmer of happiness to the material. This is a particularly good sophomore attempt for a band that I see taking up the reigns within the indie folk/pop genre.
- Pine Street
- May 15, 2012
For those of you have never heard of mewithoutYou, I have always considered them to be a band on the lighter, seemingly more audacious end of post-hardcore music. The band has now released 5 total full length records, a few of which have been the subject of critical acclaim by most indie fans. Ten Stories is the newest album released by the band in May of this year. Once again, the band has decided to go the way of concept record. As by the album's artwork, the material all revolves around a derailed circus train that was carrying a large variety of circus animals such as elephants, tigers, and giraffes to name a few. As a post-hardcore band, mewithoutYou do a really nice job of creating some very experimental rock arrangements and the subtle complexities that this album dish out musically really gives the band a more diverse sound. It's impossible for me to just describe mewithoutYou as a hardcore band as most of the arrangements share similarities with genres such as ambient, folk, post-rock, alternative, and even some pop. Aaron Weiss continues to use a very disengaged style of singing yet somehow it works very nicely with the instrumentals. The whole theme of this album was quite fun as it kind of made me feel like I was reading a children's story book or watching some kind of Disney movie that revolved around these foreign animals trying to survive in some harsh, environmental settings. Although this album isn't quite as good as some of the band's former records, it is still a very respectable concept album in a world where concept records are few and far between (sadly).
Our House On The Hill
- November 13, 2012
The Babies are an indie super group of sorts as the project started when Kevin Morby of the indie folk band Woods and Cassie Ramone of the indie alternative band Vivian Girls joined forces in 2010. The friends quickly got a band put together which revolved around the two of them as lead vocalists. Our House On The Hill is the band's sophomore record and even though there is an assortment of different genre influences within the band, the sound is oddly simple. Both Vivian Girls and Woods showed us some more devious styles of their respected genres which is how they both got their rises to fame within the indie circuit. because of this, I guess I expected a bit more out of an album that fused together both of their distinctive styles yet somehow, Our House On The Hill comes across as a much less focused piece of work as opposed to both artists' earlier material. This album is made up almost entirely of what sounds like alternative punk anthems that were much more popular in the mid to late 90's. The Babies do show some of their talents musically with some nice melodies and even though the power chord repetition does grow tiresome quickly, it does capture some of that catchy, 90's alternative sound. For me though, I just had trouble getting through the simplistic ideas put forth especially from a few artists that I expected a lot more from.
- February 3, 2012
Back in February, English ambient musician Greg Haines released his fourth solo effort, Digressions. The epic, 55 minute long modern classical album is a tremendous effort by the young musician who seems to be finding his footing within the genre as we speak. The album contains 5 total tracks, a few of which span over 10 minutes in length. Each song is a very traditional, classically arranged song but they do contain a certain sense of modernized electronics to go along with it. Haines really has a natural ability to find his listeners' soul with these beautiful arrangements of pianos, violins, and cellos. The orchestral techniques are almost flawless as you can tell that Haines is extremely intelligent behind the song structures. I think where this album has room to grow is within the space. Although some ambient records do well when more space is left open behind each note, this record seems like it could have benefited from some additional pieces to bring a more intricate style to the table. If you are looking for a relaxing, spa style of ambient music then this is a perfect album for you but if you need something with a bit more character, this record probably will not meet your requirements.
- Birth Records
- November 6, 2012
Jessica Pratt's self titled debut record sounds like it was seemingly ripped right out of the early 1970's. Pratt, a singer/songwriter from San Francisco, has strong influences that range from some of those female folk stars from the late 60's, early 70's who really eventually shaped Pratt's career as a musician. On her solo record, Pratt keeps things relatively simple yet very intimate with just her own vocals and a single, acoustic guitar. The recording sounds very naturally done as if she sat in the dark woods with a soft candle lighting things up for her to record with. This style is closely related to some of those acts in older folk music as Pratt is totally revitalizing it. For me, this album seems very rooted with with an album by the incredibly overlooked and underrated band, Trees. That album, On The Shore, shared some very ideal traits with this record and even though it wasn't entirely acoustic, it was still very intimate and cozy. An album that you might put on to warm up to by a hot fire in your living room. Pratt has an obvious ability to capture these distinct moments of folk music history and I look forward to seeing if she might progress in finding an image of her own, but for now, this record will surely do the trick for me.
The New Mastersounds
Out On The Faultline
- One Note Records
- November 2, 2012
The New Mastersounds is a funk, jam band from the United Kingdom. The follow a very traditional path of making funk music with lots of heavy bass guitar and very electric, sharp guitar riffs. Out On The Faultline is the band's newest album and even though this is my first time hearing music from their catalogue, I'm already quite bored of them. Now, to be totally honest, I've never been a fan of jam band music. People can continuously defend bands like Phish or The Grateful Dead or even O.A.R. but I will never fall for it. In the end, none of these bands will ever outweigh their bitter weaknesses for thorough, intricate songwriting, Most of it is just prolonged, mediocre crap that most people will forget about 10 minutes after they've heard a track. In fact, for the most part, I bet if you asked someone to name 10 original Phish songs, 9 out of 10 couldn't do it. Even though The New Mastersounds aren't quite the same style of band as any of them, they still grasp on to that jam band quality. The songs off this new record are all focused around classic funk riffs with some slight jazz styled variations but in the end, these tracks just go on for far too long and really don't do anything extremely interesting. Only on a few of the tracks was I actually involved with the song but aside from those few, I couldn't help but stay focused on my fantasy football lineup which was for more interesting.
City Calm Down
- I Oh You
- November 2, 2012
City Calm Down is an electronic four piece from Melbourne, Australia. The band is relatively new, having only just released their second EP entitled Movements. The 6 tracks EP covers a wide variety of influences from post-punk to jazz but when it comes down to it, the band is a very obvious electronic dance pop band. Each song off this new record is very reminiscent of some of those late 80's post punk bands who made very eclectic dance anthems. Even lead vocalist Jack Bourke sounds like he was recorded in that era, singing very similarly to those synth pop bands within the 80's. I did quite like this theme of fun dance, punk songs but honestly, I can't see myself really enjoying a full length album of songs like these. I think this as an EP is perfect as we aren't over weighed by the overall concept of dance ridden pop music. Musically, the band seems to still be trying to figure out an overall path for where they'd like to head as a group. Although they seem to have a direction picked out, they haven't quite mastered their sound and I don't see any real, original vision. Instead, it almost just sounds like electronic, pop covers of songs from the 80's. Even though this record was a great deal of fun, the album just didn't have much substance to it.
Albums To Look Forward To Next Week:
- Jets – Jets
- Balthazar –Rats
- Relmic Statute –Untitled
- Boy Friend – Egyptian Wrinkle
- Library Tapes – Sun Peeking Through
- Beat Connection – The Palace Garden
- Oholics – Orbits
After another good week of album listens, I am more than ready to start another. If anyone is interested in purchasing or simply hearing any of these albums online, I have linked them for you at the top of this page to make it simple. I hope you have enjoyed reading this weeks edition of Straight From The Teet and I look forward to bringing you a new group of records next week. Please leave comments here at the bottom and let me know what you liked or didn't like from this week's lineup. Have a great week and please support these terrific bands!