Tag Archives: folk-rock
To Kill a King have quickly become a favorite here at TDV. Since releasing their debut album Cannibals with Cutlery, To Kill a King have come out with a new video for an old song. ”Funeral” might be their darkest song in meaning; a singer cries out for friendship for the sake of his parents and simply to have people at his funeral. While the lyrics are somber, the music is actually quite uplifting. A smooth electric guitar riffs over a boisterous chorus of “coming ’round and coming ’round,” creating an energy so strong it’s easy to forget this song is so morbid. The video matches the song in an equally bizarre manner. On the one hand, two parents grieve for their dead son (one with alcohol and tears, the other by reliving old memories), on the other hand there’s a hint of magical realism as the dead son is wheeled around by face-painted children and bridesmaids. Strange? Yes. But incredibly beautiful as well. But, then again, that’s what we’ve come to expect from this amazing band.
A few weeks ago, we featured the fantastic Washington Irving doing an acoustic version for their song “Holy Company.” Now, they’ve released the real deal and with it a video. It’s still got the same charm as the stripped down version with acoustic guitars, bowed saw, etc. But now it’s evolved into a fuller sound, almost a folk-rock anthem, like an old love ballad turned into a driven march. And the accompanying music video doesn’t take from the pure power of the song either. It’s a simple video featuring five panels which constantly shift focus from one band member to the next. After hearing the energy the band can put forth, I can’t wait to hear more. Check out the video above.
After listening to Yellow Red Sparks‘ debut, I struggled to pick a song to post on TDV. The choice was so difficult because all the songs on their self-titled are gorgeous pieces of folk-rock. So in the end, I figured self-titled debut, might as well post the self-titled song as well. ”Yellow Red Sparks” starts with strings, guitar charging forward and violins jumping up and down in dismay and anticipation. Soon echoing drums take up the beat accompanied by sparse xylophone. In the chorus, singer Joshua Hanson reaches lofty highs singing, “I’m so scared for the first time, I’ll never know why” as if he must tred gently through his new found love. It’s fresh it’s raw and it can be scary, but no one can stop it once the wheels are in motion. And that’s what Yellow Red Sparks are all about: realizing that there’s the power in all of us to look inside and see where are hearts lie. Listen below and you’ll see what I mean. Yellow Red Sparks released their self-titled debut last week (which is streaming here), look for a review in the future.
Yellow Red Sparks – Yellow Red Sparks
Yellow Red Sparks – Positively 4th Street
Tour De Vaap is officially in Paris and we’re back with more Foxygen. Today you can stream We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic here. And, along with the stream comes the release of another single, “No Destruction.” It’s another mellow folk ballad, this time leaning closer to Late-60s Dylan than the Kinks and remaining just as endearing. It’s a true throwback song about a relationship that’s fallen apart. But, instead of creating a sad atmosphere the song seems optimistic, the song brings about a feeling of overcoming pain and destruction to live free and single (truly in the spirit of the 60s). Check out the song below and give the album a listen. It may be early in the year, but I can already guarantee that this will be one of the best albums of the year.
Foxygen – No Destruction
So they’re technically Canadian. Either way it’s french, a language that I’m gonna have to learn fast in the coming weeks and months. Tour De Vaap is heading to France, so I thought it would be appropriate to end with one of my favorite french language songs by Avec Pas d’casque. Enjoy and we’ll be back soon with new music for you to enjoy.
Avec Pas d’casque – La Journee Qui S’en Vient Est Flamabant Neuve
The Shilohs aren’t afraid to wear their influences on their sleeve, singing about Dillard Clark in “Get Ready Now” and sounding like a combination of The Bryds and Wilco. They’re proud of where their sound came from, strumming their jangly guitars to the beat of an upbeat snappy snare like a band from another time. They easily could fit into any other decade and feel warm and welcome and that’s just the way I like it. Fun, catchy and ready for action. Check out the Vancouver band’s single “Get Ready Now” below and look for their full-length debut February 5th.
The Shilohs – Get Ready Now
This summer, we spent a lot of time raving about up-and-coming folk singer Heyward Howkins. His debut album is some of the most unique folk to come out of Philly or America for that matter. The lyrics are personal and bittersweet coming from Howkins’ smooth quaint voice and his guitar playing fits the melody like a soft quilt on a cold night. And today, we’ve got a special treat: a sneak peak at his upcoming single, “Praline County.” It’s a sweet upbeat song that seems to take the last bits of summer sunshine and squeeze them into the autumn leaves with gentle synthesizers and bird-call backing vocals. But, as usual, the lyrics aren’t all flowers and sunshine. It’s a song of playful warning and I can’t get enough of it. Check it out below and if you haven’t yet, give Hale & Harty a listen.
Heyward Howkins – Praline County
Wooden Wand has been a staple of my iTunes for a while now. At least, the song “Distance is Free” was. But now it seems like I need to reevaluate my perspective on this folky band. James Jackson Toth (AKA Wooden Wand) can make some very dark soulful folk-rock. In the same vain as Strand of Oaks, Wooden Wand takes a few instruments, like an electric guitar, some bass drums to keep a beat and a voice and turns them into megaphones, amplifying a grim yet beautiful message. I don’t know how he does it, but it sounds amazing, especially at night. Check out his latest single “Southern Colorado Song” below and look for the latest album this winter.
Wooden Wand – Southern Colorado Song
As June 26th approaches, summer creeping up, and the much anticipated Hale & Hearty arriving, Heyward Howkins provides us with yet another taste of folk-rock goodness. This single, “Spanish Moss” is a bittersweet song about a city slowly collapsing in the cold and dark. Quiet trumpets echo against the broken distortions of an electric guitar. And, as the music plays, a silent record plays static in the background, providing the perfect background of worn-out antiquities trudging along. You’ve never heard a city fall so gently, as if nothing can be done but watch, sing and hope the city isn’t as damaged as it appears. Check it out below and download here.
Heyward Howkins – Spanish Moss
Although spring is just around the corner, I’m stuck in the middle of midterms which means essays, tests and more essays. Somehow, amongst all the work everyone is currently trying to cram into one short week, the school managed to book The Low Anthem. And this was perhaps the greatest catharsis I could have asked for from the toils of midterms. I don’t even know where to begin to describe their show, but I’ll do my best. The five members quietly walked on stage and began to play some ambient tones to quiet the audience using a variety of instruments (some of which I’ve never seen before). These tones quickly led into the first song, which was warm and welcoming. Then, things started to get a little interesting. With every new song, came new instruments and it seems like every band member could play at least five of them as the bandmates seamlessly switched from vocals, to guitar, to keyboard to saw (yes the singer plays the saw) and back again. I’ve never seen a band with so much musical ability crammed into so few musicians. But it wasn’t just their musical prowess that impressed, The Low Anthem really know how to put on a show. They bantered, sweated and jumped around, all leading up to a finale of audience-volunteer musicians and free money. This is what really distinguished The Low Anthem from other bands I have seen: they surprised me. It’s hard to find good musicians, but it’s harder still to be unique and creative in the current world of music where everything has been done to the point of cliche. Needless to say if you ever ever get a chance to see The Low Anthem in concert, see them. You will not regret it.
The Low Anthem – Golden Cattle
The Low Anthem – This God Damn House