Tag Archives: jazz
Iron and Wine gained his fame as a quiet folk artist who made coy biblical references while plucking an acoustic guitar. But with his last album, Kiss Each Other Clean, Sam Beam moved away from his usual style into a genre closer to the ’70s rock and folk of his parents generation. And now, he’s taken a step in a new direction once again with his latest single “Lover’s Revolution.” It almost sounds like a lost Van Morrison song, but that’s not quite Beam’s style. Saxophones are abound, and the song often reaches a level of cool, slick and sly that few artists achieve. But as usual with Iron and Wine, there’s always something hidden under the music. At times the song can become restless and hectic both lyrically and musically; panicked lovers getting in trouble and scrambling to find their way back out of it. It’s definitely a departure for the band, but from this single, I can’t say it’s a bad one. Check it out below and look for the new album, Ghost, out April 16th.
Iron and Wine – Lover’s Revolution
You know what we don’t have much of on TDV? Jazz. It’s not really something I delve into often, but occasionally there’s an artist that really clicks with me, i.e. Spencer Pope. He hails from Atlanta, GA and recently released an EP The Dark, The Light. The title is very appropriate, as the music is awash with somber tones of electric keyboard and woodwinds at times, sounding out dark jazz ballads. Other times, the music is downright funky with just a hint of powerful rock guitar. Take the opening track “It’s a Big Totoro” for example. It plays with both uppers and downers, dark and light. It’s an instrumental track that can both chill and, on occasion provide groovy beats fit for dancing. It’s what jazz, and music in general for that matter should always be about: the expression of emotion. It’s what pulled me in to this song in a genre I don’t often notice and I bet it will pull you in too. Check out the single above.
Matthew E. White’s debut album was truly one of the most unique and best albums of the summer. It’s combination of New Orleans jazz and powerful rock combine beautifully, especially on the song “Will You Love Me.” The song begins quietly enough, with White crooning to the beat of his own moans and groans and soft piano. He asks for love, something to fill his lonely days. As the music builds, the question becomes less timid and more sure and strong. Love becomes his anthem in this chorus “only love can do that,” as horns blair his statement and choral voices chime in to help. The video helps explore the song in a new way, mostly featuring footage of the singer performing the song. But it is this simplicity which truly brings forth the strength of the song. Check it out above
Minneapolis folk band Dark Dark Dark are back with a new album, Who Needs You, released earlier this week. With it, comes the single “Tell Me” and it’s official video. Dark Dark Dark remain true to the sound on their other albums, seamlessly blending folk jazz and rock among some odder influences into songs of love, heartbreak and solitude. The single “Tell Me” laments for past love, for a flame that’s died out until all that remains are the last quivering wisps of smoke. In the video Nona Marie Invie, the groups’ singer, wanders around a quiet outdoors and through an old abandoned house as if searching for something adorned in her space helmet and rubber gloves, as if not wanting to damage the delicate environment around her. Or maybe she doesn’t want it to hurt her. Check it out above and give Dark Dark Dark a listen for some of the most well constructed folk of our time.
“I wanna lay next to you when our glory fades/And I wanna lay next to you, I’ll never turn away”
There’s something about Matthew E. White’s voice that cuts right through me, and I mean that in the best possible way. In his debut single, “One of These Days,” White sings about redemption and love with a voice that soothes, placates and philosophizes. It’s the kind of voice that makes you drift into a dreamy state of mind and your troubles slink away. And while his voices soothes, horns lift and the strings provide a texture grounding the song in strength and optimism. It’s the kind of song you’ll want to hear over and over and over, at least, until White brings us some more masterpieces in August with the release of his debut Big Inner. Check out the jazzy love tune below.
I tend to be a lyrics guy when it comes to music. I like songs with rhymes and stories and I like the added sound of a voice. It takes a strong instrumental album to deter me from my singers bias. The Chill/Funk Trip by Made of Wood was this kind of album. The album ranges from spaced out jams like “Low Earth Orbit” and the opener “Are We Lost?” to funkier tunes like, “Fire Up The Sidewalk.” The title for this album couldn’t be more accurate because there’s no better way to describe it. Songs sample jazz horn sections (and several songs feature a mean jazz flute), but at the same time songs will use distorted synths and ambient noises. Somehow, Made of Wood manages to blend some unlikely genres into a fantastic journey through space and time. Check out two of my favorites below and the full album here. Prepare yourself for a freaky good time.
Made of Wood – Fire Up the Sidewalk
Made of Wood – Electric Funk Break for Addy