Saturday, March 05, 2011

Rivers Thaw - A Genres & Judgments Mixture

Rivers Thaw is a 41-minute ode to moving on from winter told via 10 songs, nearly all of which have been unleashed upon our collective eardrums in these few weeks since the new year began.

Song descriptions and track list available after the jump.

Starting things off is another glorious hymnal from Fleet Foxes. With "Helplessness Blues," a song from their upcoming album of the same name, they'd make Crosby, Stills & Nash take notice even during their heyday. A great way to wake up any morning to.

That's followed by the lone holdover from 2010, "While I Shovel The Snow" by The Walkmen. Maybe it's because my living situation completely changed this year and I didn't have to shovel snow at all, but listening to this lullaby of a song makes an inherently mundane, often tedious and inescapably adult task seem almost joyous. Although the band released their latest album in September, they only just put out a video for this song recently, so I'm including it.

Next comes a track from Alaska In Winter, which was released as a thank you to the band's Facebook fans for their support in January. Who knows when we'll get another full release since Brandon seems to be both prolific and a perfectionist. In the meantime, this will suffice.

New to my ears is Panda Bear's "Last Night At The Jetty." It's been one of those get-stuck-in-your-head-for-days songs for me of late, but somehow I'm still not sick of it.

TV On The Radio are set to return from their extended hiatus with a new album soon, and our first peek at it is in the form of the superb "Will Do." A bit mellower than some of their more well-known work, but I think that's a case of growing sophistication as opposed to the band going soft on us. Or at least that's what I'm hoping for.

After the whirlwind week Radiohead stirred up with the sudden release of their latest album The King of Limbs, I knew I had to put a cut on this mix. For a long time, I figured it would "Morning Mr Magpie" since its not quite as dreary on a first listen as much of the remainder of the album is. However, I just couldn't escape how hauntingly beautiful "Codex" is, especially upon repeat listens. That fact, and the song's conclusion of chirping birds made for both an excellent choice for inclusion here as well as solid segue into the next track. 

Which is a fantastic rendition of "Lovesong" by Adele. Her first album, 19, is outstanding -- particularly the live tracks on the Deluxe Edition. And her new follow-up, 21, is also excellent. It's so new, I haven't delved into it properly yet, but this cover of The Cure's classic tune stood out to me. (Btw, unsurprisingly there is more great live material included with the Deluxe Edition of 21.)

Next up is a newbie from Sonny & The Sunsets, who evoke out care-free, warmer weather vibe. "I Wanna Do It" is channeling all the best of Jonathan Richman, only without the stunted maturity some of his music suffers from (of course, this is also what makes his best songs so marvelous). There last album showed great promise, so keep an eye out for them to drop another good one on us soon.

Like Panda Bear, Times New Viking is another band I was not aware of until hearing this song. This song will be a part of their fifth album. Can't remember if I stumbled onto in at Pitchfork or GorillaVsBear, but they are a band I must investigate further once time allows. On a side note, IMO that is one dope bandname.

And finally, there's the new single from The Strokes. "Under Cover Of Darkness" is without question a push by the band to recapture their more commercially successful sound of their debut album. I adore 2006's First Impressions of Earth, their last effort, although I seem to be in the minority of that opinion. Maybe because I didn't get around to listening to it until sometime in 2008 and there was no buzz surrounding it any longer, but I was floored. Seriously, give that album another listen. I don't blame the band for going back to that great formula though. I have to admit I got a nostalgic rush on my initial listen of "Darkness," and am really looking forward to the release of Angles. Plus, since they also previewed another song that may or may not be on the new album (I've read conflicting articles on the subject), they may not have entirely abandoned the style of First Impressions of Earth just yet.


This mix was in violation of the DMCA, but I've linked each song's YouTube counterpart so you can still check them out. All are excellent, so I encourage you to do so.

This didn't quite make the cut originally, but since the mix no longer lives, here's an extra song to thank you for your patience with this post.

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