Oliver Tank - Dreams

A friend at my new internship turned me on to this today.  An aptly titled ambient pop EP that draws comparisons to James Blake, Boards of Canada, and Mount Kimbie.  Very nice stuff, thinking this might be a new late night go-to.  Listen on the link bellow, and buy it for pay-what-you-want over at his bandcamp page.


Lonesome Prison Blues

Happy Sunday from MySundaySweater headquarters.  This week, a gift for you.  When I was just a strapping young buck of about 17 my Deadhead older cousin passed me this Garcia bootleg from Oregon State Prison, 5/5/82.  At the time I was completely ignorant to the Dead, too small minded to conceptualize their massive catalogue, too intimidated by the wormhole like vortex of fandom that seemed to consume the lives of those who had drank the cool-aid, so to speak.  For me this bootleg was the perfect entry point - 11 tracks of americana that focus on the strength of the songwriting over improvisational prowess.  To this day it remains a staple for Sunday morning chilling, and a recording I love to play for my friends who claim to hate the Dead.  It always seems to turn some heads.  
This post is dead-icated (see what i did there?) to yesterdays brunch at Pies and Thighs, where the waitstaff was blasting the Dead all early afternoon.  


First Aid Kit

One of my highlights from CMJ 2010 was the Swedish sister duo First Aid Kit.  I was floored when they told an entire bar to shut the fuck up so they could step in front of the mics and an do an unplugged version of the song Ghost Town off of their 2010 debut The Big Black and the Blue.  It takes more than guts to silence an NYC crowd - you have to be able to back it up. They held the audience in rapt silence until the basement of The Delancey nearly exploded upon their finishing.  For me, with chills up my spine, it was one of those musical moments that only come along so often, but that I seek in going out night after night to hear bands.  I was grateful to the sisters for it.  

The duo's new record, titled The Lion's Roar, finds them expanding on the harmonic folk of their debut.  Their songwriting has matured, bringing with it a fuller sound that leans deeper into country and Americana territory.  Like its predecessor, the record is solid through and through.  Stream the whole thing over at NPR, or purchase it when it hits stores tomorrow (1/24).

track 2 (personal fav so far):

In the aeroplane over the sea

Two interesting things happened on my flight from Dublin to JFK yesterday.  The first was that when I boarded the plane and began to get settled Real Estate was playing.  Great choice Delta.  Real Estate's understated, mellow, rootsy pop gets better and better with each listen, and their 2011 album Days, which made my top 11 of '11, continues to receive heavy rotations here at MySundaySweater headquarters.  

The second was that Delta was hosting a couple episodes of TED talks on those little TVs on the back of the headrest.  I caught this one in which composer Benjamin Zander discusses music and passion.  I'm always interested in hearing someone's case for why they love a certain kind of music.  There's nothing like going back to a piece that didn't particularly catch your ear the first time, and re-listening to it after a friend has gotten all debate club about it.  Zander's TED talk transports your average uneducated listener and helps them to do more than just understand why the music is important, but to experience being moved by it.  This experience of being moved, this emotional connection to music, this is the thing that keeps us coming back, and by finding an entertaining way to bring people there, Zander is bringing new fans into his world.    

Home Again

After 5 weeks in Ireland, UK and France, I finally made it back to NYC yesterday.  This soulful jam from rapidly rising Michael Kiwanuka is feeling especially relevant to me as I try to make sense of the last 5 weeks, and what it feels like to be back.  Kiwanuka's Home Again EP is available at iTunes, and is worth every penny.  Look for big things from this guy in 2012.  File under: Music I love that my parents will love too.  


I Break Horses

Having had the pleasure of watching a horse whisperer "break" a horse on his ranch in Wyoming this summer, I can tell you that when I saw the band name I Break Horses, computer generated shoegaze drenched synth pop is not what I had in mind.  But as autumn drifted into winter, the grey skies increasingly matching my concrete surroundings, I let go of expectations of the implications of the bands name, and let the sound sink in.  

This music was built for your headphones or a dam loud stereo.  Track's build to plateaus founded by a wall of synths that grow slowly into subtle peaks.  For obvious examples, think My Bloody Valentine meets M83.  On a recent ski trip to some of the largest mountains I have ever seen, I found myself playing these songs in my head as I descended the hill, realizing that the scale of the sounds here, big and dense, matched perfectly the scale of a slowly descending thousands of feet, massive snow covered slopes falling all around.  Big sounds for big places, computerized or not, it somehow fit perfectly into that natural space.   

The Stolkholm duo is billed to open for M83 on his spring US tour, for which the NYC show at Terminal 5 on May 10 sold out instantaneously.  M83's November set at Webster Hall was easily one of the best shows I saw in 2011, and a spring double header with I Break Horses right after Grad School finals end should set up for a celebration of epic scale.