February Music Roundup
Each month, I build a playlist of music that I’m mostly unfamiliar with. I usually get 2 or 3 albums from emusic, a couple from one of the soundsupply drops, and a few tracks from daytrotter.
- fun. Some Nights – Both singles from this album are great, as is the opening track (which is called “Some Nights Intro”). I also like “Why Am I the One” and “One Foot,” but generally the whole album is pretty enjoyable. They’re relentlessly upbeat, even when they are sad.
- Pete Seeger – “John Riley,” “Molly Malone,” and “All My Trials,” – more Pete Seeger, enjoyable of course, but not much that stands out for me this time.
- Paul and Storm – “Me Make Fire” is funny, but I could take or leave “Here Come the Dinosaurs” and “I Will Sing a Lullabye,” the latter of which is NOT a children’s song.
- Crash Test Dummies, O00h La La – I like the Dummies a lot, and this album fits their oeuvre well. The story is that all the music in this album was made with children’s toys — I can’t say I could feel that constraint, but perhaps you will. “You Said You’d Meet Me” is a classic in the spirit of the “Bereft Man’s Song,” “And It’s Beautiful” is a nice song of hope and world-glory while “Not Today Baby” is a jaunty tune about a guy who’s in a good mood and isn’t worried about bad things to come. “Heart of Stone” is a lament, a wish to be impervious to sadness. “Put A Face” is a celtic-feeling ballad featuring vocals from Ellen Reid, and seems distinctly different in tone. My favorite song on the track–a choice clearly stemming from my love of novelty music–is “What I’m Famous For,” which seems to be a cranky rant from a squatter at a house that has been sold to a new owner.
- Into It. Over It. Proper – A decent album of straightforward indie/alt rock. “Connecticut Steps” stood out for its meditative quality, and “The Frames that Used to Greet Me” has a lovely melody (but is the outlier, style-wise, for the rest of the album).
- Sophie Madeline, The Rhythm You Started – Madeline has a soft, lilting voice that draws you in and the music on her album is understated, relying heavily on her vocals to drive the melody. The title track, “Oil & Gold,” “Battles,” and “Hypothetically Yours” provide a nice sense of the album’s shape and sound. I particularly like this last one, which uses ukelele without being annoying.
- Cover Lay Down, many tracks – lissie has a nice acoustic cover of “Nothing Else Matters,” PigPen Theater’s banjo-driven cover of “Someone Like You” is great, as is their cover of “Hey Ya!”
- Daytrotter songs – “LAX” by JJAMZ is an upbeat paean to being stuck at the airport; “Bad News” by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound has the feel of a Ray Charles song from circa 1975, in a good way; Carolina Liar’s “King of Broken Hearts” is the best of the bunch, for my money.