I am thrilled to announce that I’ve been given the opportunity to share my musical thoughts with all of you on a regular basis. My life has always been filled with music. Thanks to my mom, I was brought up on some of the great singer-songwriters of our time (including Carly Simon, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell) and that is where my heart still lies. Maybe it is in my nature to be drawn to a good story; I am a librarian after all, whatever the reason may be singer-songwriters have always struck a chord with me. Typically, solo artists come to mind when one thinks of singer-songwriters, but there are also a fair number of groups that fall into this category. A few of my personal favorites have new albums out that I would like to highlight.
Typhoon, a twelve member band from Oregon, has been around for nearly ten years, but I believe they have finally come into their own with their latest album White Lighter. In an iTunes era, where most listeners purchase singles here and there, Typhoon has created an exceptional album. Each story seamlessly blends into the next, as the complex orchestrations sparkle beneath the surface. I recently saw Typhoon at the Beachland Tavern and to say they were enchanting would be an understatement. Kyle Morton is the lead singer/songwriter and his lyrics are full of warmth, sadness, insight, and hope. I highly recommend taking a moment and watching their NPR tiny desk concert, you won’t regret it.
Another band that I would like to shine a bright spotlight on is The Head and the Heart, a terrific group also from the Pacific Northwest. I hate to compare bands, but if you are a fan of the Avett Brothers, the Lumineers, or the Decemberists then you must check them out. Their self-titled debut album came out in 2011, and I have been patiently waiting for a follow up ever since. Their second album, Let’s Be Still, came out in October and I have been listening to it regularly (and I listen to a lot of music) from the moment I purchased it. My favorite song is the meditative title track “Let’s Be Still.” The song’s lyrics and meaning may be simple, but the challenge is to actually take a few minutes to just be in the moment and let it truly sink in. If you would like to learn more you can watch their Austin City Limits performance.
One last band I would be remiss if I did not mention is the Lone Bellow. They are from Brooklyn but their music and storytelling hints at their southern roots. I recently saw them live and I was blown away by their passion. Their songs lingered with me long after the show ended and it was an evening I will carry with me for a long time to come. I hope people continue to discover them because their music deserves to be heard. I’ll leave you with their tiny desk concert.
Until next time…happy listening!