HEAVY ROTATION // GLOBAL AMERICANA

by: Blaine Skrainka

December 15, 2011

The deep seeded history of classic Americana has had an influence on modern music around the world. This week we’ll spin some up-and-comers that give a nod to nostalgia while offering a uniqueness that creates a timeless sound.

Lily and The Parlour Tricks
Combining dissonant guitar riffs with beautiful vocal harmonies, Lily and The Parlour Tricks are the perfect combo of pretty and gritty. Channelling Tom Waits, the band has a mysterious depth that holds audiences transfixed throughout their salty and sweet set. The group has two upcoming shows in New York City, and hopefully more to come. In the meantime, enjoy The Good One and Darwin Song.

Mountain Man
The triple harmonies of Mountain Man more than fill the space of the Appalachian-style folk ballads that either only feature an acoustic guitar or are a capella. Amelia, Molly and Alexandra met in college in Vermont and knew right away that their sonic attunement was something special. The trio is currently on tour as members of Feist’s band in support of her epic album Metals. Pay attention to the three in this Feist performance of A Commotion. From the Mountain Man record Made the Harbor, try out Animal Tracks and Sewee Sewee.

Little Joy
2008’s self-titled release from Little Joy is one of the most difficult albums to choose samples from because they are all so lovely from top to bottom. Taking time apart from their main gigs, Rodirigo Amarante of Los Hermanos and Fabrizio Moretti of The Stokes brought on Binki Shapiro to create a Brazilian American throwback rock and roll project that while not well-known, is surely a classic. We can only hope they return to collaborate once again. For now we can warm ourselves with The Next Time Around, Don’t Watch Me Dancing, and No One’s Better Sake.

First Aid Kit
Klara and Johanna Söderberg use music as consolation for themselves and hope to pass those uplifting vibes to others, hence the name First Aid Kit. The Swedish sisters take influence from the likes of Emmylou Harris and Fleet Foxes. This coalescence of old and new colors the duo’s sound. First Aid Kit are set to follow up their debut, The Big Black & The Blue, with the new album The Lion’s Roar next month. Here is a live version of the namesake homage, Emmylou, as well as the song Tangerine.

Of Monsters and Men
Fans of the The Decemberists, Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire can rejoice as these Icelanders step up to the plate as another in a great line of bigger than life folk rockers. The band projects a huge sound that includes accordions, horns, choral shouts, and a beautiful dynamic between the lead male and female voices. I anticipate their single Little Talks to blow up, and you should also check out the track Lakehouse. Look out for their new EP, Into The Woods, to drop next week.

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