Here are a couple of ‘gems’ I’ve run across recently that I thought I’d share with y’all 🙂

1.  Nice Man – Sachiehall and Hope : This record comes from the fellow that set up both the Shoeshine Records label and it’s child label Spit & Polish.  Francis MacDonald is also the drummer of the Scottish indie poppers Teenage Fanclub.  This album is a really great example of pure poppy bliss.  Songs about love, girls, love, sweet moments, love, the heart, and love compose a pop opera (no, really, he called it a pop opera too!) that blends the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Magnetic Fields, and hints of old-school country into a solid, but not overwhelming pop experience.  If you’re looking to satiate your bubblegum pop musical sweet tooth you might dig this!  Here’s a track called “Grey Hair.”

Grey Hair

2. Olafur Arnalds – . . . And They Have Escaped The Weight of Darkness : This album is achingly beautiful.   All of the tracks are piano and strings (violin, cello, viola); however, some include electronic ambient noise and a couple have horns to boot!  Olafur is a 23-year old Icelandic composer/electronic musician who reguarly fills 5000 seat concert halls throughout Europe.  He has also spent a good deal of time touring with Sigur Ros.  Olafur is currently signed to Erased Tapes – which is where you should go to buy a copy of this album.

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3.  The Autumn DefenseOnce Around : The Autumn Defense sounds a lot like the incredibly successful indie rock/folk band Wilco because it is the side project of bassist John Stirratt (he’s also the bassist for Uncle Tupelo).  The album is a supremely smooooooooooth, comforting collection of rolling melodies and forlorn love songs.  If you’re into a really low-key kind of wine drinking night, this album is a great soundtrack.

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4.  TalkdemonicBeat Romantic : I posted a video from this album recently on both my Twitter account and on Facebook because I think it is the quintessential album for this time of year.  Composed only of Oregonians Kevin O’Connor and Lisa Molinaro, Talkdemonic produces short, layered pieces that blend classical chamber music, electronic ambient sounds, and down-home folk.  It is just plain beautiful and makes the perfect soundtrack for drizzly fall days and sunny autumn hikes.  Please dig this album, it’s in my top 10!

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5.  Codes in the Clouds – Paper Canyon : Also signed to the London-based Erased Tapes label, Codes in the Clouds is getting set to release a remixed version of their complex 2009 album Paper Canyon.  The music here is much bigger than the other folks I’ve included in today’s “new music” post – this is cinematic post-rock in full form, wings outstretched.  If you’re into more mainstream acts like Explosions in the Sky, you’ll definitely dig this album.

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