Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jukebox: Friday Mile

Jukebox is a feature where we ask our favorite artists, bloggers and DJs their opinions on four songs that are currently generating buzz. Then we ask them for songs that we should be buzzing about. This week, we put quarters in the record machine with Jace Krause of Friday Mile...

Clues - "Perfect Fit" (mp3)
I am not familiar with these guys, and I didn't like this song the first, second, and third times I listened to it. The songwriting, vocals, lyrics, and arrangement didn't connect with me. However, I did enjoy the sound they got on the keys. It sounds like a Wurlitzer... it's a very nice sound. I am curious if all their songs are like this, so I will probably go check them out to see what their other tunes sound like.

Passion Pit - "Moth's Wings" (mp3)
Only recently have I been hearing stuff from these guys. This song is anthemic. Perfect for summer deck parties. The shouty vocals and melody lines sound great over the shimmering synths. Not sure if I could take a whole album of that shouty vocal sound, however. Also, the dynamics of the tune don't vary much, so by mid-song I was getting a little bored and wanted something else to happen. Overall, not a bad track... I'd play it at a party or put it on a mix for a friend.

St Vincent - "Actor Out of Work" (mp3)
Annie Clark's new album might be the most-played thing in my world right now. This song is great because of the driving, spastic drums, and the way her lovely vocals are singing this nervous melody. And it clocks in just over two minutes--in and out. The whole record is like this track--beautiful melodies over instrumental tension--yet all the songs stand out in their own way. As a musician, I am very curious about what her writing process is like. I'm getting excited just writing about it. I would pick "Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood" as another standout track that people should check out.

John Vanderslice - "Too Much Time" (mp3)
This probably isn't fair, because I am a total Vanderslice fanboy. I first listened to him while I weeded tree beds in the cold Northwest rain in January (I was a groundskeeper in college). This song, like 99% of his songs, tells a cryptic story where we are only given a glimpse of the whole picture, and we're left to fill in the blanks. I really admire his lyrics. His voice is an acquired taste, but I love it. There's a raw sincerity to it, especially in this track. It's pure and cuts through the mix, and when he layers his vocals it only takes his songs to another level. I don't think this song is one of his best, but I still like it (me = JV fanboy). I think his newer stuff is good, but seems to lack an edge that his first few albums had. Sometimes I just want to see this guy rock the fuck out.

Jace's picks...

Weinland - "Breaks In The Sun"
This is the titular track from Weinland's third album, and one of the standouts. I had a really hard time picking just one song. These guys are from Portland and, surprise, play a brand of folk/Americana-inspired music. What sets these guys apart from the crowd is the delicate lead vocals by Adam Shearer, and the beautiful interplay between the instruments in the songs, all played skillfully by the rest of the band. Piano, mandolin, lap steel guitar all can be heard in their songs, but nothing is overdone; it's all tasteful and beautiful. And if you like the album stuff, you'll almost certainly love them live.

Miike Snow - "Burial" (RCRDLBL)
It's hard to classify this song. Much of it is Euro-ish dance, but there's an indie pop feeling to it as well. What gets me is the catchy chorus... I find myself walking around singing it out loud around the house.

Marissa Nadler - "Ghosts And Lovers" (MySpace)
This one kind of snuck up on me. I found myself transfixed by this track and many others on her latest album. It was one of those serendipitous happenings... I bought the album, got really into it, and then saw she was playing the next night at the Tractor Tavern here in Seattle. I live nearby, so it seemed like I was supposed to go watch her play. What she and her band lack in stage presence, they make up for by creating haunting melodies and harmonies that draw you in.

Grizzly Bear - "While You Wait For The Others"
Grizzly Bear probably doesn't need another person fawning over their music, but from what I've heard of Veckatimest, it sounds like they are bringing a little more pop into their atmospheric recordings. I won't be complaining. Of the 2-3 tracks I've heard from it, this one stands out to me as one of my favorites. The chorus here is fantastic, shiny 60s pop.

Friday Mile are a Seattle-based band. Their music is available at iTunes and CD Baby.

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