The rains have come to Portland, but we’re staying dry inside and listening to six of our favorite new releases this week. Pour a cup of hot cocoa (and yes, treat yourself to that nip of something special in it!) and curl up with us for the best independent music from all over the world.
Icarus Himself / “Used To Be” from Career Culture (Buy at CD Baby)
Icarus Himself’s sophomore full-length Career Culture is a sonic cinema in electro-psych-folk, drenched in the influences of artists like Kurt Vile, Deerhunter, The Who and David Bowie.
The Windsor Player / “Best Friend” from The Windsor Player (Buy at CD Baby)
The Windsor Player is the latest creation of the enigmatic and versatile Troy Stewart, long time touring member of Snow Patrol and member of the recently acclaimed supergroup Tired Pony. Recorded at “The Trench” studios in Portland, Oregon, The Windsor Player is a masterful blend of soulful country, haunting lyrics and powerful instrumental ballads encompassing a surprisingly eclectic range of musical genres.
The Nobility / “My Best” from The Secret of Blennerhassett Island (Buy at CD Baby)
They call themselves “America’s most convivial rock band” and if their online presence is any indicator, they may well be right. Their bio is self-effacing and informal, and they’re currently conducting a scavenger hunt for advance copies of this newest release. This song, with harmonies hinting at Queen, The Beatles, and maybe Nilsson, is another convincing argument.
El May / “Pleasant Experience” from Pleasant Experience – Single (Buy at CD Baby)
Lara Meyerratken has written dozens of songs as El May, but this isn’t one of them. It’s a song by Small Black, but you might not recognize it. She’s taken the swirly lo-fi wash of Casio and reverb-drenched vocals and distilled it into an entirely different, ’70s sex-rock essence — alternately ominous and glorious.
Miles Nielsen / “Dear Kentucky (You’re Killing Me)” from Presents The Rusted Hearts (Buy at CD Baby)
Somewhere between a bar and the recording studio, Miles Nielsen’s stirs up his own pop rock brand of Beatles-eque Cosmic Americana. Pop rock arrangements and sunny melodies tucked between a long lost country folk steel guitar floating through speakers around crashing drums, bouncing bass lines and smooth as butter keys.
Timothy Jaromir / “Heartlines” from Flying Jewel – EP (Buy at CD Baby)
The spring of 2011 found Swiss musician Timothy Jaromir in Canada, where among other things he gave concerts in Vancouver and Toronto. His stay in the artistic mecca of Toronto led to a spontaneous decision to record some new songs. The result: the EP “The Flying Jewel”