music videos reviews

Baths – Obsidian album review

I think one of the most interesting things an electronic artist can do is create a beat that makes you say, “there is no way they could possibly figure out a way to fit vocals over that.” While listening to albums such as Strawberry Jam and Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective I have oftentimes expressed this sentiment while sitting in awe of the artists ability to craft songs around seemingly atonal noise. Many of the tracks on Radiohead’s Amnesiac also fall into this realm of awe inspiring vocal wizardry. Working under the moniker Baths, Will Wiesenfeld has created Obsidian, a record of electronics driven songs with a touch of real instrumentation. It is a dark album, meant to be played on a fast paced, drug sniffing, big city night, and while it’s beats are not always necessarily complicated, Wiesenfeld deftly enters his voice into the conversation of neon funk, blocky synth, and video game noise that is the life blood of the record.

The album itself begins with “Worsening,” a track that most definitely stands as the thesis of the record. It has a stuttering beat that pops and sputters before erupting into a chorus of clinking metallic percussion and tribal vocals, and within this swirl of sound Will Wiesenfeld sings about dying and God. His voice is reedy and thin, not necessarily as strong as the sweeping falsetto of Thom Yorke, or woozy Beach Boy bray of Panda Bear, but fitting for the musical accompaniment. As the track comes to and end, one would not be wrong in thinking that perhaps Obsidian will consist solely of songs much like this, heavy on the atmosphere, but not danceable beats. However, I was pleasantly surprised when track two, “Miasma Sky” began. It not only has a throbbing thump that steadily moves forward, but also contains one of the most ear-wormy synthesizer lines that I have recently encountered. Wiesenfeld begins Obsidian on a strong note, and the record only grows further after this early electrifying tandem.

Elsewhere on the album there is even more icy electric sound to be found, and Baths continues to navigate the glitchy beats with aplomb. A song such as “Incompatible” is compelling because of it’s strange noises, and even stranger lyrical content. Wiesenfeld sings about sharing a toilet seat with a new boyfriend, and then asks him to “nurse this erection back to full health.” It is an interesting sexual innuendo to introduce, but executed expertly. Later on “No Past Lives,” a personal favorite, Baths uses a staccato piano line to introduce a hard-hitting bass beat. The song threatens to spiral out of control several times, but is saved from total collapse by the repeated pattern of natural piano noise. There are layers upon layers of sound to be unearthed here, and some of the fun of listening to Obsidian is derived from discovering new instruments within tracks that may have gone unheard on previous listens.

In the end, Baths has birthed an album of electronic pop that could be played in your bedroom, or during a nighttime stroll through crowded city streets. Allow the musical intricacies of Obsidian to cascade over your eardrums, and give yourself time to absorb its dark majesty.

music videos reviews

iamamiwhoami – bounty album review

The former mystery artist iamamiwhoami that is known for uploading ambiguous videos to youtube back in December 2009 with electronic, dance-pop music and trippy vocals turned out to be Jonna Lee, a Swedish solo artist who was vastly overlooked by the industry before this project. The music is expertly produced by her long-time collaborator Claes Bjorklund and contains a visual element that is equally important to the beginning of iamamiwhoami’s art.  These videos, directed by Robin Kempe-Bergman, show Jonna with black make-up, contain themes of nature and birth, and have titles like this one: “” All this built so much mystery around the project that at first there was speculation that the uploads were coming from Lady Gaga or Christina Aguilera. The question remained all the way up until August 2011 when Jonna Lee finally took credit for the material.

Since her videos gained her popularity, iamamiwhoami has continued to release numerous music videos relentlessly, in fact this entire album was released in the form of music videos back in April 2010. The videos came out in order, titled “b,” “o,” “u-1,” “u-2,” “n,” “t,” “y,” “; john,” and “clump.” The visual element was professional and as intriguing as ever, with themes of nature and mystery, and Jonna in a limitless amount of strange costumes, depicted as an esoteric goddess woman with all black or other heavy make-up on her face. At first, her face is very rarely visable and when it does pop-up, we see a tall, light-skinned, blonde-haired Swede with electric blue eyes and interesting facial features.

iamamiwhoami released her next set of videos shortly after the bounty uploads. She used the second set of uploads to release the album kin, under her own label, To Whom it May Concern. Removed from the visual element, Jonna’s project proves to remain truly enjoyable. bounty is technically her second release, though can be considered her first based on the order of the unveiling of the songs via video uploads. Now, with bounty officially released as an album, we again attempt iamamiwhoami apart from the strange visual amazingness.

On “b,” Jonna begins our journey with spacey keys and a strange ominous, robotic effect on the vocals. Her airy choruses prove to be a theme throughout the quest. By the time the bass synthesizer kicks in, you are totally enthralled. “o” eases in, not finding its grove until the 90 second mark. Practicing patience is worthwhile for the infectious beat and a chorus that can stand up to any dance pop hit. There is a mind-bending pitch shift and phasing space elements that push the limits of the dance-pop and electronic genres, which are two types of music which rarely receive worthy praise for innovation anymore. The lyrically unintelligible “u-1” is a sleeper but adds to iamamiwhoami’s pesona, something Jonna holds very tightly.

Then “u-2” comes in like ride on the roof of a train during a fully charged acid trip. The electronic ballad pumps along at sub bumping levels, subject to both subtle and sudden changes. Producer Claes Bjorklund is in his element and sounds masterful.  iamamiwhoami can be thought of as an entire strange universe orbiting around Jonna’s songwriting and Bjorklund’s expertly crafted soundscapes; the singer and the beat; a goddess in her odd world. With the rises and falls of “n,” it might prove to be the duo’s most collaborative effort on the album. Listening through each lettered song, it is curious whether the first seven songs on the album are to be considered one song.  These songs are individual, but stylistically identical, which of course should be expected, seeing they are all by the same group. The take-away here should be that iamamiwhoami wants you to question their intent, they revel in the mystery that surrounds them.

“; john” seems to confirm the theory that the first seven songs are one, offering a faster tempo-ed and fresh, poppy melody. The synthesizer rips heavily and the party is on. This song could be a hit but might end up be more popular in 2033. “clump” similarly rocks and shows us that even amongst all the mystery, the group also cares about dropping heavy beats for rocking out on the dance floor (picture a dark rave with neon lights and jet-black haired, half shaved-headed alternative trendsetters losing their minds due to the combination of drugs and bass vibrations traveling through their bodies).

All in all, bounty is a futuristic, mystical and fantastic album. The iamamiwhoami project stands up very well as a purely musical experience. Because the videos were witnessed, the themes still dance in your head while listening, which was likely an intentional effect. Jonna and Claes are currently on tour sharing the live iamamiwhoami experience with their fans. Be on the lookout for future uploads or other mysterious surprises from the group, iamamiwhoami will always keep you guessing.

music videos reviews

Lovers – Addicted to Drugs review

Swedish indie electronica band Lovers, are currently flying way under the radar. Go ahead google them, oh… here they are the female vocal folk band from Portland…. Wait I just said Sweden didn’t I? Yeah, its a classic case of band name copyright infringement and right now the band from Portland is kicking their Swedish namesakes counterparts butts in terms of internet identity. Even Spotify and iTunes are currently bundling the bands together as though they have made some sort of dramatic genre, personnel, instrumental, and geographical change between albums. Although I am sure the ‘femme fatale’ band from Portland is talented in their own right, this is a review about the group from Sweden, and their new album Addicted to Drugs (vvvww label).

There is actually quite little to say about this album, you really just have to let the music speak for itself. Lovers are a band that takes no time in getting to the point, and yet take all the time in the world describing whatever that point might be. Addicted to Drugs is a curious blend of overly simplified droning electronic synth and complex moments of wandering vocals. Listening to the album you get the sense that the band is really just experimenting on each track and that most of the album was written and recorded in just one take. There are moments where you become suspicious that the band is making fun of you and others where you feel as though they might be empathizing with your boredom on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Addicted to Drugs would feel comfortable played right alongside the likes of bands College or Washed Out, and feel reminiscent of the electronic heavy soundtrack for the Ryan Gosling movie Drive. To really get a sense of what the band is striving for listen to their first single (which has a surreal comedic video) “Luxury”, however to hear what the band is capable of, listen to the track “Addicted to Love”. Overall a very intriguing album and one that I imagine should help the band gain a little recognition on the webernets.

music videos reviews

Small Multiples – Small Multiples EP review

In the wake of modern recording technologies, the notion of a complete and legitimate band consisting only of a guitarist and keyboard player has become so common as to make it decidedly un-noteworthy. Such bands invariably find themselves creating nearly the exact same sound that all other guitar/keyboard duos have, rehashing the same lyrical lamentations to the point where such groups practically have their own sub-genre of indie pop. Small Multiples, the self titled EP released by Connecticut-by-way-of-New-York-City’s Eli Friedmann and Craig Hartley certainly makes use of all the trappings of the genre (page 1 of the handbook must detail synthesizer [over]use), yet they still come away with an incredibly strong 5 song collection, that both leaves room for and suggests future growth.

The lead track, “Know My Name,” is easily the strongest of the bunch. Friedmann’s chugging guitar, a driving, throbbing backbeat courtesy of Dave Burnett and an extra terrestrial influenced synth warble immediately call to mind Reggie and the Full Effect. And, like the best Reggie tracks, it immediately hooks the listener, reeling them in despite their best effort. When the vocals join in, distorted and pitchy, it was like listening to the lost tracks from Boys Night Out’s Trainwreck. The tone, the rawness, the pain was eerily reminiscent of Connor Lovat-Fraser’s and I had to double check to make sure he was not a guest on the record. While the words aren’t anything groundbreaking, the band understands that, in this case, the actual lyrics take a back seat to presentation, and they receive a stellar delivery; a seamless blend with the instrumentation. Hypnotically wrenching and soothing at the same time, it still has enough of a melodic, musical edge for someone like me (a self-avowed despiser of synthizers) to latch onto, making it impossible to make it past the track without hitting ‘repeat’ a few times.

Unfortunately, the entire record is not as strong, evidenced by the following “Make Up,” which is also the first video one encounters on the band’s website. An overly post-industrial/techno mash up, paired with irritatingly airy vocals, it lacks everything the previous song offers. “Side By Side,” is much lighter, musically, and again appears to draw heavily from a Reggie sound. While it may fall under the ‘filler’ category, it’s a sweet indie tune that simply doesn’t have the staying power of “Know My Name.”

“Setting High” features guest vocals by Leah Siegel, alternates between being too ethereal and self involved, or too grandiose. The longest track, at 5 minutes, it is also too long. “Star Eyes” closes the EP with a Reggie-esque vibe with some slight Flaming Lips style dissolutions; ultimately, too experimental to be catchy.

Perhaps it’s the surprising strength of the opening track, but with the release of this EP, Small Multiples have announced their presence as a group deriving from, but not encumbered by, the clichés of the modern guitar and keyboard duo.

music videos reviews

The Abramson Singers – Late Riser

Damn it Canada. You’ve done it again. All the dorky American boys who made up girlfriends in Canada probably had someone like Leah Abramson in mind. If her musical color is any indicator of her personality, she would probably be described as “delightful.” Your overbearing, self-esteem smashing parents would have approved.

I’ll bet she’s the kind of person who got along with the french horn section in her youth. She must have, because parts of her music have a horn section. The music is framed in simple arrangements adorned with soothing textures that act as a platform for displaying Abramson’s vocal work. She has great control, range and sings with great economy. The efficiency of breath makes for a relaxing soprano that isn’t overbearingly eager to get to the highest note they possible can. At certain points in a song, she will just ever so briefly jump up an octave, presumably just to show the listener that she can, but she’s not gonna throw it out there like Aretha Franklin.

Abramson sounds comfortable and puts you at ease, like you’re in a Prius doing twenty-miles an hour in the suburban springtime whereas Katy Perry makes you feel like you’re the driver in a Prom limo and you’ve had a large Mountain Dew, and Taylor Swift makes you feel like you’re in a very used car.

If that simile doesn’t perfectly describe music for the rest of my life, I will drive Taylor Swift to the Mission and smoke crack out of her tailpipe. I will upgrade to metaphor. 

She has a Korean press manager. They do good work. 

Her website is nice.

The one thing that I would caution Canadians considering capturing a concert by The Abramson Singers is that the intricacy of the harmonies would be incredibly difficult (and expensive) to reproduce. You have to have a crew, or hire singers. They have like 800 followers on Facebook, and a single YouTube clip with 1300 views. I doubt they have the capital to maintain a small choir.

She isn’t coming to America for the foreseeable future, which is a bummer. Although my boss is from Canada, so this is probably more relevant for his main readership.

Hey Canada. 

Looking at The Abramson Singer’s tour schedule, 
I have deduced that I am not good at geography. 

But do yourself a favor Canada.

Check out The Abramson Singers. 

Give them some of that money you saved with your fancy healthcare

Buy the CD, see them live

So that we can have them in America

and ruin them with auto-tuned power jams.

For the record: I’m still going to say I have a Canadian girlfriend, but now I can make the excuse, “Oh well her band isn’t touring in America this summer, so I’m gonna go to Call of Duty Camp again.”

So if you’re a Canadian girl, and you’re tired of being made out to be incredibly flighty, teases by the American nerd and closeted community… Listen to the Abramson Singers… 

In all honesty though, I do genuinely enjoy this kind of indie gem, but tracking their progressing into the music industry can be frightening. There are so many ways you can make an Amanda Bynes. 

It’s like progressing through a video game. Call of Duty for example. There are the traps you have to sneak around, like selling out to commercials too liberally, the general pool of sociopathology that is Southern California, the over-touring sicknesses and the endless number of cyber-idiots with a blog who think they know how to review and evaluate music. 

Some of the brutalities that await are so unnerving that it causes one to pause when they encounter something like The Abramson Singers. I imagine it is quite like a miniature version of what a parent feels dropping their eldest child off at the first day of kindergarten. You want them to succeed and fly, but there is that lurking voice in the back of your head that knows there are a flock of boys out there who are going to throw sticks at your child, give them wedgies, pull their hair and harangue them for having fake Canadian girlfriends. 


Listening to Queen is like racing your friends on side-roads in your mothers’ cars.
Listening to Sinatra is like being chauffeured around in an old Buick. 
Listening to Pitbull is like being roofied in an Audi your date borrowed from his roommate.

Korean pop stars are like Korean cars. They all look the same.
They’re cheap to buy and run.
They depreciate immensely after the first year.
And given their resources, they do very good work. 

Listening to Maroon Five is like getting the deluxe version of the cheapest model or the cheapest version of the deluxe model. You are simultaneously (over and under)-estimating their real value, and are probably making an uninformed decision. 

Dr. Dog is like a small pick-up truck. They aren’t the fastest, they have no luxeries, gadgets or computer monitored breaking, they aren’t much to look at (I’m kidding, Toby and Scott, you’re adorable. Frank you look so nice unshaven.) but they’re reliable, they work hard, they get a job done and like most four-cylinder Japanese pick-ups, normal people don’t do sex stuff while listening to Dr. Dog. Unless of course, in Canada, the hot thing to do when you’re fourteen is lose your virginity in some guy’s 1979 Isuzu. 

Half of this isn’t even about the artist. 

Well, that’s been the Well-Spoken Uninformed Music Blog.

music videos reviews

Mikal Cronin – MCII album review

Mikal Cronin: MCII. Welcome inside the crazy and confusing mind of a twenty something year old. The old fashioned perception of what life is going to become, and more importantly, what he believes inside his stirring mind. It’s easy to say that plenty of us have been through or are going through everything he sings of. You know, the simple questions to life. Who am I? What do I believe in? What am I meant to do? Will I find a girl? If I do, am I the person I want to be? Etc, Etc…These questions and feelings could be summed up in discussion in around 14-16 months, give or take. What Mikal has managed to do through his music is capture these feelings through beautiful words and bring out that dimension he slips through from time to time. Music seems not to be only his first love, but a way of therapy and right of passage to get his answers. Being an 80’s baby and relating to most of his words, I don’t think he’ll be putting down his guitar any time soon.

Plenty of influences seemed to have swayed his sound. The style is not distinct and something unheard of, but it is his. Cronin brings uniqueness to familiar sounds and vibes his personality in the structure of the tracks. Variety also makes up the album, bringing different levels of energy and style with the passing of each song. It’s tough to compare him to any artist but there is a level of classic rock mixed with 90’s grunge with a dash of alternative jamming. Think Allman Brothers/Weezer/Grateful Dead. He is most certainly not consistent with sound from song to song and it really keeps the listener on their toes. Its refreshing to skip a track and not hear songs that sound in the same ballpark to the previous.

It would be most interesting to see what kind of a crowd he connects to the most. There is something for everyone in many of his songs but his personal approach to his lyrics is something that stands out the most. Completely honest in the way he writes, he avoids putting together songs with a catchy hook that will jack up his view count on his YouTube videos. It’s tough to say how much you will hear the California kid on your local radio station in the future, but the obvious factor in the tunes is that he stays true to himself and attempts to deliver a message. Mainstream music is missing musicians like Cronin, someone who brings out what we are all thinking. His fearless approach to writing may not be heard all around the world, but it will be respected by those who hear it.

music videos reviews

Mother Falcon – You Knew album review

Mother Falcon began as an outlet for a group of orchestra students from Austin, Texas to break from classical formalities and experiment. Defying the loftiness of conventional orchestra, the band has continued past college graduation and solidified as a serious endeavor with their 2011 debut album. Being a full-time project hasn’t made Mother Falcon any less outgoing, and their new album You Knew exemplifies their continued youthful exuberance. One need only watch the music video of the album’s song “Dirty Summer,” which features band-wide roughhousing, to understand that Mother Falcon is still a bunch of college kids at heart.

You Knew challenges a chamber rock classification by featuring cryptic lyrics and eliciting a wider range of emotions familiar to the genre. While a fusion of classical and pop remain at the core, other influences have seeped into the margins. The album edges towards pop on “Pink Stallion,” and tentatively leans toward shoe-gaze on the slow-paced “Sleep,” and a background in jazz is evident throughout. Songs like “What’s the Matter” – in which insistent horns and eerie vocals blend into a chaotic swarm of strings – discard any reliance on simple song structures.

There are enough disappointments to make the listening experience less than great. The male-female back-on-forth doesn’t always proceed cleanly, and at times the vocals are drowned out by instrumentals, as with “Marigold.” The symphony-sized ensemble sometimes layers strings, horns and percussion in a garbled clutter. There are even missteps at the other extreme, when not enough is brought to the table, as in the awkwardly shy “Porcelain,” which aims at fragility but accomplishes weakness.

While there are a few weak spots, there are some tracks on the album which represent the coherent, finished quality that Mother Falcon needs to pursue. “When it Was Good” and “Marfa” have moments of greatness, and several others are nearby. You Knew is evidence that, with a more unified orchestration and continued dedication, Mother Falcon can soar to greatness.

music videos reviews

Sharks – Selfhood album review

Have you ever been sitting around thinking, “God I wish I could listen to Greenday without being caught listening to thirty-eight year old men who wear make-up, spike their hair and rage against the machine while playing at the Grammys?” Well I think I may have a solution for you…

Sharks is as four piece punk rock band from jolly old England. Their music offering in Selfhood indicated two things. The first thing I can point out is that these boys have been busy. Since their formation in 2007, they have put out five actual collections of songs (a handful of EP’s, two LP’s and a compilation album, quite irregular for a band less than seven years old…) and are fairly consistent about releasing material. In addition to their regular album releases, they do music videos and everything. If I didn’t know any better I’d think they were Korean. That’s an exaggeration. They are very clever, but fall into a few minor pitfalls. I’m not sure they were aware that one of their riffs (in fact it ends the song) in “I Won’t Taint” is the melody to “Lean on me.” If one wasn’t aware of the output levels of these four, then you can listen and think this is just fairly simple, uncomplicated rock music. It’s not a challenge to listen to. It doesn’t ask a lot of the listener. I think at this point in rock history, the four piece, (two guitars, a bass and drums) is so played that to survive a group must shoot for this kind of familiarity. That’s what Sharks’ Selfhood is, it’s very familiar. You know these songs (or other incarnations of them). That doesn’t detract from it. Us 90’s kids are growing up. We’re starting to miss the good old grunge days.

Also, in light of their output levels, you shouldn’t expect an Arcade Fire concept album type production every year. That kind of thing is difficult to pull off. (For the actual math, Arcade Fire has done three albums and a song for the Hunger Games in their twelve year history) And again, to be fair, to take everything in context – the members of Sharks are very young. All that being said, they have been through about seven bassists. That speaks volumes to the complexity of the music.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: Keep it up kids. This all feels like a rocker’s apprenticeship. They’re still learning all the moves. Things are still sounding happy-go-lucky. This group won’t get really interesting until something horrible happens in their lives. It isn’t interesting yet, but I’m sure it will get there. They will move to a precipice, where they will either rise to the occasion and put out something truly, artistically commendable, or they will crash, burn and explode into obscurity.

You cannot find anything more average than this.

music videos

Bonnaroo and Ustream Announce 2013 Webcast Lineup




The 12th annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in association with Ustream, the leader in live social video streaming, announce the lineup for the festival’s 2013 live webcast, beginning Friday June 14th. Fans will be able to experience exclusive Bonnaroo performances from artists including Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, Wilco, The National, Nas, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Wu Tang Clan, Of Monsters & Men, Kendrick Lamar and many more while they are happening via Ustream’s interactive, socially integrated platform. Besides these great artists, Bonnaroo will be webcasting a live SuperJam for the first time ever. This year’s SuperJam features RZA, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Schoolboy Q, Earl Sweatshirt, Solange, Chad Hugo (of The Neptunes), Lettuce and special guests.

A complete lineup of all the webcasts is below. Bonnaroo will take place this weekend, June 13 – 16, in Manchester, TN.

This year’s Bonnaroo webcast will be available for viewing on,, as well as other partner sites.

2013 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival Webcast Lineup Via Ustream:

ALO with Special Guests
A$AP Rocky
Beach House
Big K.R.I.T.
Delta Rae
Dirty Projectors
Divine Fits
Father John Misty
Four Tet
Glen Hansard
Gov’t Mule
Grizzly Bear
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Jim James
Kendrick Lamar
Local Natives
Lord Huron
The Lumineers
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Matt & Kim
Paul McCartney
Mumford & Sons
The National
Of Monsters and Men
Passion Pit
Portugal. The Man
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Allen Stone
SuperJam featuring RZA, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Schoolboy Q, Earl Sweatshirt, Solange, Chad Hugo (of The Neptunes), Lettuce and special guests
Tame Impala
The Vaccines
Wu-Tang Clan
The xx
and more.

* * * *

About Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is a four-day, multi-stage camping festival held on a beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee every June. Bonnaroo brings together some of the best performers in rock and roll, along with dozens of artists in complementary styles such as jazz, Americana, hip-hop, electronica, and just about any contemporary music you can think of. In addition to dozens of epic performances, the festival’s 100-acre entertainment village buzzes around the clock with attractions and activities including a classic arcade, on-site cinema, silent disco, comedy club, theatre performers, a beer festival, and a music technology village. For its peaceful vibe, near-flawless logistics, and unrivalled entertainment options, Rolling Stone magazine named this revolutionary entertainment experience one of the 50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll.

About Ustream
Ustream is the leading technology platform for live social video streaming, powered by the company’s proprietary Ustream Cloud Platform. The company was founded in 2007 with a vision to bring live broadcasting technology to the entire world; Ustream was originally created to connect military service members to family and friends across the world. Since then, the company has established itself as a socially-fueled communications platform for businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals of any size to easily reach an infinite audience and share experiences in real-time.

The core of the Ustream Cloud Platform centers around the company’s proprietary Ustream Content Delivery Network (UCDN), Ustream Media Server (UMS) and Ustream TCP Congestion Control Algorithm (UTCP). Together, this advanced technology stack provides users with unmatched redundancy, resiliency, and reliability to broadcast quality live video streams. Founded in 2007, Ustream is a San Francisco-based company that has grown to more than 250 employees within their San Francisco, Los Angeles, Budapest, Tokyo, and Seoul offices. Company partners include Dell, Sony, Georgetown University, Panasonic, Samsung, CBSi, and Viacom.

music videos reviews

Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle – Perils From The Sea album review

Right from the opening track “Caroline“. I had this dream image of me and my gal Emily Haines(Of Metric)  laying down on the beach drinking something that involves vodka and an umbrella(hey I said it was a  dream ok.).   There was something rather quite unique and different from this duo that made it difficult to put into just one genre.  At one point this is simple guitar folk rock with references to Simon and Garfunkel, but then it adds in this electronica element that reminded me a little bit of Air.   This is a genre known as Folktronica, which is something I’m not  too familiar with.  But if any producer happens upon this review.  It would be interesting to hear some club tracks for some of these songs.  I just wish that “Perils From The Sea” didn’t rely heavily on the keyboard for the rest of the album

The vocals in this are good, but I keep seeing Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam singing over a Casio Keyboard on certain tracks. Especially with the song “What Ever Happened To My Brother“.   The use of  techno like beats and keyboard  sounds are nice but they overpower those ones  that would have worked much better with other instruments. Tracks like “You Missed My Heart” and “By The Time That I Awoke” wouldn’t sound so stale if they had something more added to them.  Listen to tracks by Portishead or Air as I mentioned before.  These bands are widely regarded as Electronica and yet they incorperate more into their sound then just the basic beats one could find by hitting the demo button on their Keyboard.  Now other tracks like “He Allways Felt Like Dancing”  and their 11 minute epic “Somehow The Wonder of Life Prevails” benefits more from the lack of other sounds because these tracks are telling more of a personal story.  The music video for “Somehow The Wonder…”is  one I would like to see, and if you are a good director that is great with the visuals.  The results would be something very cool to check out.  (This means you, Terrence Malick).

I have never heard of either of these two artists or the previous bands that they were usually associated with.  Mark Kozelek was the lead singer of Sun Kil Moon and Jimmy LaValle was the man behind the music of The Album Leaf. However I can’t help but think there was a much better name for this band then what we have. This is their first collaboration together, yet many of their songs felt like they was created by one person.    The use of guitar and keyboards  blend so well on that first  track I mentioned (“Caroline“) I was hoping the whole album would be a great combo between the two.  Instead what I hear is a great songwriter who is giving me his demo tape rather than a full album.