Not only is it rare to have someone hand you a CD for free, but it actually feels a bit like a nuisance. When Drew from Saredren Wells gave me a copy of “Memories are Hunting Horns,” I felt compelled to listen and share.
Drew is from Louisville and everything about this charming nine-track album is charming, from the square “cover” hand-printed at the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland, Oregon, to the simple guitar-plucking-punctuated-by-violins sound. There’s just a little discord between the the music’s pretty arrangements, and the whiny, nasally (but never offensively so) vocals. Similarly, on a track dedicated to Wes Anderson, there are horns accentuated by strange samples from what sound like a tragedy at an Eastern European circus.
Saredren Wells seems to set out to make a mood with each songs, and the album as a whole has all the tools to do so successfully. “Memories are Hunting Horns” is at once sad, strange, happy, ambivalent and great to listen to.
Saredren Wells has also been featured on at least one “Louisville is for Lovers'” album. A cool compilation project featuring, as expected, a variety of independent Louisville musicians recording original love songs for a Valentine’s Day release. You can check it out here.
Sounds Like: A less complex, less refined Beirut.
Listen To: “In Advance of a Broken Arm”
The Antlers –Hospice
Unlike some of the artists normally featured on A&R, Brooklyn’s The Antlers, have been receiving a whole lot of stellar press surrounding their 2009 self-release of Hospice. One listen and it is completely clear why they are creating such a buzz. It’s a satisfying album from start to finish, with songs that are restrained and quiet (“Wake” and “Atrophy”) to the all-out catchy ones you will inevitably sing all day (“Two” and “Bear”).
It is rare that an album can present a concept through the album’s entirety (in this case, sickness and death), while creating individual tracks that sound independently strong. The Antlers have done just that. The lyrics are of unflinchingly raw emotion while the music itself is pretty and simple. “Hospice” is exciting in the way Fleet Foxes’ self-titled debut or Grizzly Bear’s “Yellow House” were upon first listen, and will no doubt be a favorite at CMJ next month.
The Antlers are going on tour of the West and South with Minus the Bear this late fall, but Bay Area folks will have to road trip to Orangeville or San Luis Obispo to catch them.
Sounds Like: The next big indie rock thing, maybe.
Listen To: Do yourself a favor and buy the whole thing.
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