You know that fuzzy feeling you get when you find a new song or band that completely blows you away on first listen? Well, I got that feeling last night when I stumbled onto St. Claire's myspace page and heard tracks from their upcoming debut Everyone Lives Here. Really excited to share this with everyone.
I really don't know much about the band beyond what's on their myspace, so I'll just focus on the music. Emily Forsythe's sultry voice takes these simple, dreamy folk songs to a another level - the result is completely mesmerizing. While the vocals are what drew me in, these are truly great songs - full of lush melodies and smart lyrics. Layers of harmonies, background vocals add depth, while banjos, glockenspiel and snare add texture -- and that's just The Simple Things, which the band has graciously allowed me to post for stream or download:
The band's debut record Everyone Lives Here is out later this summer - and they'll be celebrating the release of the record July 8 at Great Scott with Hallelujah The Hills, Mr. Sister and Sleepy Very Sleepy. Get tickets here. I won't miss it.
Check out more songs from the upcoming Everyone Lives Here on myspace, as well as fantastic covers of Neil Young's Round and Round and John Lennon's Love.
The fantastic debut from John Shade, All You Love Is Need, is an album that deserves attention. The songs are musically simple, which allows the beauty and heartbreak of the lyrics to shine through. Shade (not his real name) is a deft songwriter and lyricist, and his pop sensibilities are apparent. The arrangements are mostly sparse, but are highlighted with strings, horns and percussion that give the songs life. Also, this record sounds great - really nice production. The entire album is available for free - or whatever you want to pay for it - here. Get it now.
I had such a hard time choosing which song to post, I decided to post three (hope that's okay!). Little Heart and So Long, Theresa are heartbreaking and beautiful. I Hate The World... is a bit more uplifting. All are great.
John Shade has 2 weeks left on his 3 week residency at Lizard Lounge - get tickets here. Great openers as well - Vikesh Kapoor opens 5/11 and Jocie Adams of The Low Anthem opens 5/18. Tickets only $5!
Lots of heavyweights on the "New Release" racks this week. Broken Social Scene, Josh Ritter, The New Pornographers, The Hold Steady, etc. However, the release that I'd like to focus on is Woods' At Echo Lake. The songs that comprise At Echo Lake pick up where 2009's Songs of Shame left off - psych jams built on blues, country and pop foundations. They continue to have a knack for writing songs that sound tossed-off at first glance, but reveal depth with each listen. Folk songs with filthy blues guitar licks, sludgy jams laced with pop melodies - this is right in my wheelhouse.
After a few listens, Suffering Season is one of my favorites from At Echo Lake - enjoy and please support Woods:
Kitchen Sessions is the brainchild of visible voice contributor Steve Legare. The idea is simple; great bands playing intimate house shows, filmed for all the world to enjoy. Good deal.
The first installment of Kitchen Sessions features the great David Wax Museum. This amazing content comes courtesy of Kitchen Sessions - check out kitchensessions.net for more videos. Also, huge thanks to guest contributor Maria Cristina Romero!
Combining many musical styles can be tricky, often resulting in mimicry, identity failure, or at worst, a total sonic nightmare. The David Wax Museum, however, pulls it off with seemingly effortless skill. Emerging at a time when indie roots-rock groups are a dime a dozen, the Boston-based band is an exciting exception, melding rural Mexican melodies with Mid-western folk. I was fortunate enough to experience this unique sound first-hand when The David Wax Museum brought its unparalleled musical chemistry into my living room last March.
Having heard only a few tracks off of the sextet’s second album, Carpenter Bird (September 2009), I didn’t know what to expect when Steve Legare, my housemate and Visible Voice contributor, told me the band would be coming to our apartment. Legare met Missouri-bred front man, David Wax, in February after an exuberant set at a sold-out Club Passim. When Legare invited Wax into our kitchen, he enthusiastically agreed. Just days later, The David Wax Museum was in our home, serving up its refreshing blend of Mexo-American roots-rock to an audience of intimate friends and new acquaintances.
Wax and Co. transformed the 15 x 24 living room with their effortless and ebullient play. David stirred and strummed his guitar (and jarana), as Suz Slezak’s effervescent fiddling and occasional donkey jawbone rattling added melody and texture. Wax’s cousin and fellow Missourian, Jordan Wax, added extra flavor on accordion while Jiro Kobuko delivered masterful solos on the mandolin and dobro. With a set ranging from folk ballads to Andean-inspired chants, the foursome showcased its Latino alt-folk fusion, and left our eager ears wanting more. Despite being short two members—percussionist Greg Glassman and bassist Mike Roberts—the Wax Museum put on an unforgettable performance. Drawing us in with honey-smooth harmonies in “Beekeeper,” bringing us to our feet with “Colas,” and haunting us with hearty howls in “Unfruitful,” the band left with a roomful of Somerville fans that night. The evening culminated in the countrified son jarocho-inspired title track, “Carpenter Bird.” Jordan filled in for Glassman, the featured percussionist and vocalist on the album version, and the band performed beautifully, belting out verses from atop chairs scattered throughout the audience.
Using call-and-response techniques and an array of instruments, the group creates an engaging and authentic sound that is difficult to compare. Nestled somewhere in between Hank Williams and Calexico, The David Wax Museum carves an untapped niche for its distinct style. With more son influence than mariachi, and a lot more fiddle, “Boston’s homegrown answer to Calexico” (The Bostonist) effectively sets itself apart. What Wax lacks in natural fluency he makes up for with his smart lyrics and his infectious energy. Being tagged “one of Boston’s hottest new bands” is no easy feat, but The David Wax Museum lives up to its hype. See for yourselves this Sunday, May 2nd when the band returns to Club Passim in Harvard Square with Jiro Kokubu, Greg Glassman, and Mike Roberts.
- Maria Cristina Romero
The David Wax Museum also play a free show in Harvard Square tomorrow (5/2) as part of the Harvard Square MayFair, and have a busy summer with many dates in the area. Check out their full tour schedule here
Si Te Vas
More videos at kitchensessions.net