Mitch Miller, it's a sing-along Music Monday!
In 2013, Old Light released no fewer than five albums (all now collected on the Variations cassette box set), so you'd think they'd take a few months off before putting new music out into the world. Not so. Old Light are in the process of recording a "live" album, great news to anyone who's witnessed any of their mind-shredding live shows. It's not actually recorded in front of an audience—this isn't Seger at Cobo in '75—but it is the Old Light experience, unrefined and without filter. Here's "Total Control/Gray," which they recorded last Wednesday. So this is as hot off the press, or multitrack, as it gets. Old Light also played a surprise set at Club 21 last night, joining the bill of Sons of Huns, Fireballs of Freedom, and Summer Cannibals, and I bet it was awesome.
On Friday, Great Wilderness released their new single, just in time for Valentine's Day. It's well worth a listen even though V-Day is now just a sugar-stomachache in the rearview mirror: "A Little Love" is a mellow, sorta swanky love jam sung by Jamie McMullen and some top-notch Rhodes electric piano flair from Emily Overstreet. It's being offered as a free download for the next couple days, so dig in.
Ramona Falls recently contributed a track to BOATS, a charity album from Everything Is New and Scottish arts community Transgressive North to aid Dalit children in Southeast India (also known as the "untouchable" caste). BOATS includes tracks from White Hinterland, No Age, Deerhoof, Califone, Yacht, Bear in Heaven, and lots more, and all the tracks include samples of the Light of Love Children’s Choir. Here's Ramona Falls' contribution, the beautiful "On the Line."
Much More Music Monday (MMMM!) after the jump, with music from Garrett Linck, Rare Monk, Laae, and Blitzen Trapper.
Garrett Linck is a student at Reed who originally hails from Burlington, Vermont, so it's a pleasant surprise that the first track on his new EP Abodes of Owls is not a noodle-tastic wankfest in the realm of Phish or Strangefolk. No, instead, Linck has taken the Northwest to heart, and is "attempting to grow a beard and start a band" here in Portland. Fittingly, "Between the Banks" is a roiling, moss-covered, guitar-driven epic in the vein of so many PNW bands. Linck's EP also includes a Sparklehorse cover and a track called "Overlook Park." (Hey, I've totally been there!)
The B-side of Rare Monk's new single is available online (check out the A-side here). Technically a second A-side, according to the band, "Sleep/Attack" is indeed no flipside filler; rather, it's a shiny, radio-ready track that'll fill up the speakers, with echoes of '90s rock. "Splice" b/w "Sleep/Attack" comes out tomorrow on B3SCI Records.
Here's another local band that released a song on Valentine's Day. Laae is a new project fronted by Andrew Stout (a former Mercury contributor). In his words, "Laae is my attempt to reconcile gnarly guitar and delicate electronics, around tightly-written songs. For Valentine's Day, I wrote some songs for the unrequited, the jilted, and the lonely—the 'silent majority' of this occasion, I call us." Take a listen to "I Want a Husband Tonight," a swooning last-dance prom number undercut by knife-sharp guitars and some angry drums. Both sides of Laae's first single are available for free download on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.
We'll end today with a new track from Blitzen Trapper. "Coming Home" is an outtake from their recent VII album, but to my ears it's perhaps even more enjoyable than the tracks on that album, a rustier, rootsier slice of country-funk that includes clavinet, organ, slide guitar, banjo, and horns. BT kicks off a tour next month with some dates opening for Drive By Truckers. Hopefully they'll add another hometown date before too long.