Hello everyone, I’ve missed you terribly. Last week I was busy moving all of my worldly possessions and waiting for the cable guy to give me access to the Internet; therefore access to my lifeline.
Without further ado, let’s get crackin’.
Ólöf Arnalds — Innundir Skinni (One Little Indian)
My top spot this week goes to an Icelandic singer and multi-instrumentalist who has only recently appeared on my radar. Ólöf’s voice is soft and beautiful — while also being utterly unique. If Bjork and Joanna Newsom had a baby, I’m fairly certain it would sound like this.
Buke and Gass — Riposte (Brassland)
Coming in at a close second is the indie duo who have taken to modifying their instruments in order to create new ones. Buke stands for a modified baritone ukulele and Gass is a guitar/bass hybrid. They fill up the rest of their sound with Arone Dyer’s riot grrrl-esque vocals and a bunch of foot pedals for percussion. I’m semi in love with this band.
Azure Ray — Drawing Down The Moon (Saddle Creek)
I can distinctly remember being introduced to Azure Ray through a coworker of mine about 10 years ago and their voices have haunted me ever since. Their balladry is seamless and perfect for watching the leaves falling to the ground. It’s been seven years since their last release as a band but this album sounds as though they haven’t spent a day apart.
Clare Burson — Silver and Ash (Rounder Records)
This must be the week of interesting voices because Burson’s delicate, sometimes fragile voice spans rock, Americana and soul genres. It’s not the strongest album of the week, but a few singles like “Goodbye My Love” and “Look Close” might find their way to one of my mix tapes.
Mavis Staples — You Are Not Alone (Anti Inc.)
Shout out to my Chicago homegirl Mavis Staples, a soul and gospel legend. While this album was produced by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, you’d never know he touched it. Staples’ smoky shines and continues to show us how to put passion and soul into your work.
Honorable Mentions this week are fantastic: Acid Washed, Brandon Flowers (Killers frontman), Chromeo, The Charlatans, Cloud Cult, The Drums, El Guincho, of Montreal, Chilly Gonzales, Grinderman (Nick Cave side project), Jamey Johnson, Les Savy Fav, Linkin Park, Robert Plant, Röyksopp, J. Tillman, Weezer, The Walkmen, Trey Songz.