Mumford’s Newport Folk Festival Moment

In the circles where I am granted a voice, I’ve been an outspoken critic of Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” for being the result of a fear of taking the next step. I’ve called it “Sigh No More, pt. 2″ because, while I adored their first disc I was disappointed they did not apply their considerable talent to pushing the musical envelope.

But then comes this:

And this:

Marcus’ involvement in the Dylan/Basement Tapes project gave him confidence, and the band is better for it. This is not a fully formed sound, by any stretch. If anything, they are still finding their way and utilizing the patterns they’ve honed acoustically. But I already love them more for this. They are trying. They are pushing. They are exploring.

Well done, boys. I’m with you on this.

Release Roundup 008

Rocky: I’ll keep this short. The release I am most certain you’re going to love this week is Small Pools’s LOVETAP!. These guys are from L.A., and they play guitar-powered pop with these massive hooks and snarly lead vocals backed by lots of choral “oh oh ohs!”. Give this a listen and tell me what you think:

 Landon: Yes. Yeeeeeeessss. I do love that. So much so that I may have to check them out live when they hit KC in May.
But, unbeknownst to you, I actually love another track even more. Natalie Imbruglia’s cover of Daft Punk’s “Instant Crush.”
So drippy good.
I was also digging on Florence + The Machine’s “St Jude” today. I did not expect to like it as much as I did, but it’s magnificent.
Rocky: I thought that Imbruglia tune sounded familiar. I have to admit to feeling torn about it (see what I did there?) As for Florence, she hasn’t hooked me yet, but I dislike this song less than the first one she released from this album.
I listened through Bombadil’s “Hold On” this afternoon, and I’m convinced there’s nobody else out there making music like they do. Vocally it’s unremarkable, but lyrically and rhythmically it’s, like, totally engrossing. Like this track:
The other album I listened to today was Striking Matches’ Nothing But The Silence. This caught me off guard. I’d never heard of them before this morning, and I added them to my Rdio favorites after listening to some snippets in the New Releases tab. It’s solid, man. It’s Johnnyswim and Freddy & Francine’s love child.
There’s probably too much twang in there for you though, huh?
Landon: I actually kinda like that. Not going in my faves, but that’s got a nice thing happening.
Here’s my last good find of the day: Active Child’s “1999.” I discovered this guy about a month ago, and the chilled out vibe of this tune settled me. Also, you gotta love a man that sings in falsetto.
Rocky: I can appreciate that Striking Matches isn’t going into your favorites. I’m pretty indiscriminate with my favorites collection on Rdio. Where I’m more selective is in making playlists. So I have my list of albums for the year, and I have my list of albums released each month that I like. But the fact persists that there’s too much content in there for me to actually listen to, and I feel the need to scale it back a little bit to stuff I’m actually compelled to listen to, rather than stuff I’m afraid of missing.
That Active Child track is a delicate thing, isn’t it? I’ve added it to my favorites. Doh!