“♫Makin’ a soundtrack for another planet to hear♫” on @PumpUpThaVolume! Episode038 – Hymnal was recorded at the home studios of MediaMonarchy.com and features brand new #SongOfTheDay sounds from Sun Airway, In the Valley Below, Sufjan Stevens, Kopecky Family Band, GRMLN, Silla & Snorri Helgason, Ra Ra Riot, Two Door Cinema Club, Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Paul Banks, Egyptian Project, JD McPherson and Deep Sea Diver … because it can’t be news and politics all the time!
Previous: Episode037 – Counting On You
♬Liner Notes♬: Our penultimate episode for 2012 features quite an eclectic mix of music from all around the world with the Egyptian Project, Ra Ra Riot, Kopecky Family Band, Interpol’s Paul Banks and a ton of, that’s right, Christmas music! KEXP put out holiday music on each day of the week and they’re actually pretty sweet. So now let’s cozy down with some mistletoe and Pump Up Tha Volume!
Dead Oceans, 2012
Note: Vulture Hound says this track “starts with a section of the music being played backwards, almost as if we arrive at the end of the song and have to go back to the beginning. It’s the way the music plays with your concept of time, place, perception, narrative, even reality that gives it that dreamlike quality. A half heard echo that seems like a daydream until the music stops and we realise we’ve been awake all along.”
In The Valley Below
‘In The Valley Below’
Note: The Portable Infinite blog says that “Echo Park-based duo In The Valley Below is pleased to announce their track “Hymnal”… a tranquil song, telling a narrative of loss and lovesickness, anchored by the sublime male/female vocals that have come to distinguish In The Valley Below’s sound.”
“Lumberjack Christmas/No One Can Save You”
‘Silver & Gold’
Asthmatic Kitty, 2012
Note: With our first of five holiday-themed tunes this week, song source KEXP says “Sufjan Stevens’ new Christmas record hosts 58 new holiday tunes covering all ranges of lyrical topics, sounds, and styles. It’s easy to get lost somewhere in the middle of all the ruckus around the 2 hour mark, but overall, the collection is very true to the weirdness of Stevens’ music and will be a delight for any fan of Christmas music.”
Kopecky Family Band
‘Kids Raising Kids’
Note: The Bozeman Daily Chronicle says that “According to Gabe Simon, one of the founders of Nashville-based Kopecky Family Band, his band members pride themselves on being a family, laughing, crying and sharing life together on the road… [The album] also includes lush harmonies and a sound that seems organic to its members.”
Note: Prefix Magazine calls it “Sweet jangly surf-pop: if the following tune doesn’t conjure up images of salty froth and cerulean skies, then the dear Lord help your broken brain. The debut single…mixes some fun new textures into the signature riffy west coast jam. Dreamy reverbed vox lilt above throbbing elastic bass in the feel-good hit…”
Silla & Snorri Helgason
“Hvíld og ró”
‘Hvíld og ró’
Note: Song source KEXP says that “Unless you know Icelandic, you might not have a clue that today’s featured song is one for the holidays because the gentle melody of “Hvíld og ró” will keep you feeling warm and cozy any time of the year.”
Ra Ra Riot
Note: Spin says “Ra Ra Riot reinvent themselves with their new single, “Beta Love,” whose dance-pop bent is fueled by the egress of cellist Alexandra Lawn. The freshly pared down four-piece swaps its heady strings for corporeal synth, positioning the Syracuse crew for commercial breakthrough once again. “Beta Love” hails from an upcoming album of the same name (track list below), due out January 22 via Barsuk and recorded in Oxford, Mississippi, with producer Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello, Wavves).”
Two Door Cinema Club
Glass Note, 2012
Note: The NME says that “‘Beacon’ finds Two Door Cinema Club casting off the shackles of their post-adolescent gawkiness… this second album finds Two Door whipping off their school ties, knotting them around their heads and inching their trainers onto the dancefloor. It blitzes in on a flurry of discordant, M83-style synth-fuzz, and while it doesn’t stray far from their trademark tinkly guitar lines and infectious choruses, it’s laced with New Order-ish disco trimmings.”
Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie “Prince” Billy
“Christmas Eve Can Kill You”
‘What the Brothers Sang’
Drag City, 2013
Note: “Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie “Prince” Billy are no strangers to collaboration, and now they’ve announced the completion of a brand new album inspired by The Everly Brothers. The collection of songs are retooled for today’s listeners while still remaining faithful to the brothers’ vision.”
Note: Spin calls this track “a fine piece of moody, baroque rock that calls to mind the Notwist or (Producer Peter) Katis’ work with Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi.”
Six Degrees, 2012
Note: The Indie World Music blog says that “Egyptian Project explores a balanced blend of electronic, acoustic, and contemporary Egyptian music… The wide array of instrumentation creates chilling beats, rhythms, and melodies that are steeped in Egyptian musical traditions without resorting to forced electronic compositions of dance music. The music is somewhat danceable, but the primary elements are more folk, pop, and new age. Ya Amar is an ambitious effort that succeeds on all ac(chords)!”
“Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights)” single
Note: Christmas song source KEXP says that “Rising blues songwriter JD McPherson’s sound hails back to the classic rock and roll and rhythm and blues of the 50s, so naturally, his Christmas offering fits right in next to Christmas rock and roll classics. Instead of covering one of the three or four vintage Christmas rock and roll tunes we all have heard 10,000 times, McPherson gives us a fresh track that will rock you around the Christmas tree with the same jump and jive.”
Note: I had a hard time finding much info on this band, but here’s what I’ve got: “When supergroups do work, it’s often the case that the members go in directions that their main bands don’t really allow for. Take the case of Southwire, a supergroup from Duluth, MN.” Southwire’s full-length LP is out now.
Deep Sea Diver
“It’s Christmas Time (and I’m Still Alive)” single
Note: And now our fifth and final KEXP Christmas song is from Seattle’s Deep Sea Diver, last heard waay back on our second episode! “Carrying hallmarks of the jazz-tinged Christmas of years past, “It’s Christmas Time (and I’m Still Alive)” is just as traditional as it is original… Lyrically and musically, “It’s Christmas Time (and I’m Still Alive)” isn’t far removed from any other modern Christmas tunes, but when you’re sitting by the fire watching snow fall outside, a traditional tune is exactly what you need, and Deep Sea Diver have crafted a great one.” And with that, I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season – Thanks!
@PumpUpThaVolume Music News:
My new sounds: “Die Young” http://soundcloud.com/pumpupthavolume/die-young … on #SoundCloud
@everydaymusic1: I think we can all agree that the world would be a much better place if we all spent more time going to record stores.
Just got my first @KISSonline album, 1977s #LoveGun! Playing now, cuz I’m gonna give it to my boss for Xmas. Probably.
Whoa! @KISSOnline’s #LoveGun album ends w/ a cover of #TheCrystals “#ThenHeKissedMe” w/ the he’s changed to she’s… That made it worth it
#AmyWinehouse death probe reopened after coroner resigns over bogus credentials … #Club27 #Saturnalia #ReturnOfSaturn
Hardcore never dies, and neither do people on Mogwai’s score for French zombie show ‘Les Revenants’
In bizarre Kraftwerk lawsuit victory, German court basically rules that artists can use samples without sampling
Update: SPIN magazine confirms end of print publication