Tag: country

Well, I can probably embarrass the Hughster and myself with this post: I quite like this Neil Diamond song, and I believe Hugh loves Chris Isaak. Then again, I also have some Chris Isaak tunes in my playlist. Hrm!

Anyway, this is a wonderful cover of the song by that imitable crooner. As you may know, I am no great fan of the more mainstream forms of country music, but there’s some about Isaak’s singing that’s just plain sexy and… goodness me, I’m coming over all flush!

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Solitary Man by Chris Isaak on Grooveshark

No sooner had I wondered about the fate of Saint Bernadette that an email dropped into my inbox informing me that “after five years and five albums, Saint Bernadette is taking a well-deserved rest”. Dang! However, said email was kind enough to point me in the direction of the members’ new projects, one of which is Marvin and the Cloud Wall, from Joe Novelli.

For some reason, this kind of reminds me of Queens of the Stone Age, in the sense that it’s essentially robot country rock. I certainly don’t mean the robot bit in a bad way either: it’s got that smooth lap guitar and country-style vocals, but it’s paired with a rather mechanical drum machine and boy it sure does sound awesome!

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It is a good thing that Hugh and I have differing tastes in music. Otherwise, either/or would be quite dull! Well, more dull than usual anyway. However, there are times when we align up quite strongly on music, and here is a mighty fine example of it.

Following up on the Robert Francis post yesterday, I have for you… more Robert Francis! Yes indeed, the man is some kind of generator of awesomeness, and this tune is significantly different enough from yesterday’s to warrant a good listen. It has a sombre, country-ish feel to it, sung with, as Hugh put it, “freaking heavenly” vocals. I am inclined to agree, m’colleague!

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Guys, I haven’t posted any Japanese music for a while! As such, here’s the remedy for that: a rather charming cover of James Taylor’s Country Road sung (with re-appropriated lyrics) in Japanese and a kind of regal, folky arrangement. Yes, you might laugh at it because it doesn’t have that delicate country drawl and twanging guitar, but I think it’s very sweet. It appeared in the Studio Ghibli film, Whisper of the Heart, and if you have a look at the translation of the lyrics, you’ll notice that even if there’s a distinct lack of references to West Virginia, it’s still very lovely.

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Country Road (Violin Version) by Y?ji Nomi on Grooveshark

Man, I love alternative country! It’s proof that no matter how much you may dislike a certain genre, there’ll always be something to redeem it. Granted, I’ve yet to find that something for a fair few genres (dubstep, I’m looking at your direction), so the search continues.

Anyhoo, this is certainly everything you could hope for in an alt. country tune: it’s a little dark and moody, and it’s wrapped by a wonderful husky voice that seems to speak to your very soul. Or not! Results may vary, but it doesn’t stop this from being a top tune.

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I’ve had this sitting in drafts for an awful amount of time, considering it came to me by the way of an email over a year ago. This is quite shameful of me, as I’ve been sitting on some alt. country GOLD.

As I’ve mentioned before, I do love me a spot of alt. country. It circumvents the saccharine sap of country music and offers something that flows from melancholy to sentimental and moody. High Twilight certainly does that, and it’s simply beautiful as a result.

(No stream today, as this song is nowhere to be found in a place that I can embed from! You can listen to the whole song here though: hit the Play button next to the High Twilight track on the left.)

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Continuing the trend of vaguely country-related tunes (not really) comes this track from Crooks, a four piece line up from Texas. For me, the best country music captures the vast majesty of the old west and frontier times, a place that I’m unlikely to visit any time soon, unless a certain time-travelling DeLorean winds up in my driveway. Oh well! They’re oddly spiritual at the same time, setting a mood that soppy, self-indulgent country pop just can’t equal. Though I wasn’t a huge fan of the EP this tune came from, the horns in this hooked me, what with their Ennio Morricone-esque motif.

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Hey, I can’t let Ant do all the writing or he will divorce me and in that particular scenario, he would likely get the kids. Wait, I don’t want the kids… damnit.

We’ve both mentioned the wondrous Neko Case on here before, but considering that was about 5 years ago, it is time to bring her up again. I’m not even giving you different songs than the ones we posted, because the ones we posted are so flippin’ awesome that you don’t need other ones. She has released another album in the meantime, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. Why are you still reading this? Listen to this glorious angel sing, you turkeys!

Hold On, Hold On – (YouTube)
If You Knew – (YouTube)

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If Hugh is the proverbial Master of laziness, then I would surely have to be the Apprentice. I do have an excuse though, so I guess that makes it ok. R-right? Furthermore, I don’t know if anyone actually listened to the music I posted, but hey, onwards we march.

Today I have for your delectable listening pleasure the dulcet tones of Ms. Zooey Deschanel, a.k.a. the She in She & Him. Having seen her in the totally awesome “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, the news that she also sang was enough to pluck away at my heartstrings! Or something like that. Zooey is joined by M. Ward (whom we haven’t written about for some reason!) to provide us all with some lovely folkey, country tunes. There’s even a Beatles cover in this album (I Should’ve Known Better), and it’s pretty darn good.

Oddly enough, I even have media for you all, and it’s not some dodgy Flash thing either. It’s an actual MP3! Along with this, I would go ahead and check out the aforementioned cover, as well as This is Not a Test, all of which can be found on their debut album, Volume One.


From Volume One:
Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? – MP3, 5.7MB

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Another Valentine’s Day means another Valentine’s Day post, which means I have to find a song that at least references love. Imagine my joy, then, when looking through all the emails that accumulated after four months of no Internet, I find a song called Love Makes Creeps Of Us All. Surely, the stars have all aligned in an ideal fashion. Especially since while most bands would just call it quits right there, Jim Clements & The Right To Die have plenty more good songs. Incredibly descriptive so far, isn’t it?

Jim referred to his music as alt-country, which seems to be pretty accurate, though it’s definitely the slower variety of alt-country. That is, you shouldn’t expect any barnburners here (which is good, since arson is a felony). His voice sounds like a folky James Blunt, without the whiny overtones. It’s very well suited to the songs, too.

If you love violins as much as I do, then you’ll enjoy These Ladybird Spots too. And remember how I said there aren’t any barnburners? St. Louise might just be the exception to that. It’s an amazing song with gypsy influences, to boot. The Bottom Feeders is another keeper as well, what with being a “swampy New Orleans death march.” That’s a great description for an even greater song. I’ve got two songs from their debut album posted too, neither are barnburners but both are great love songs.

I wish I wouldn’t get called a jerk for posting a bunch of band’s songs, because this is one that definitely deserves it. With most bands, it’s a challenge to find enough good songs to bother writing a post about them. Jim Clement’s, on the other hand, is one of the very few where all his bandwidth would be gone if I didn’t stop myself. Yeah, they’re good.


From When The Saints Go
St. Louise – (MP3, 3.9 MB)
These Ladybird Spots – (MP3, 3.9 MB)
The Bottom Feeders – (MP3, 2.6 MB)
Love Makes Creeps Of Us All – (MP3, 4.2 MB)

From Kill Devil Hills
I’ve Always Been Faithful – (MP3, 3 MB)
Coming Up Roses – (MP3, 3.6 MB)

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