The weather has finally started to turn to winter out here in Utah, with plenty more cold and gray days to come. I’m glad that I just stumbled onto Bears new single, “Eleven a.m.”, from their forthcoming album Greater Lakes, to be released February 14 on Misra Records. I’ve listened to the song several times now and have found that their warm pop melodies are a perfect remedy for the winter blahs.

Bears – Eleven a.m. from Greater Lakes (2012)

Southeast Engine

Southeast Engine is fronted by a married, unemployed middle school teacher from Athens, Ohio. If that doesn’t tip you off to the manic melancholy you’ll hear in the music, then perhaps you were home-schooled. As the band’s bio says, Athens ain’t the cradle of democracy and it ain’t even the most famous Athens in college music circles. It ain’t truly the South nor truly the Midwest, either. Athens is perpetually something between here and there. You’ll hear strains of Bright Eyes, Will Oldham, Neutral Milk Hotel, Josh Ritter, and even Bruce Springsteen in these tracks. Yet the cornucopia of styles don’t clash, they just come together like good, honest music from somewhere in America.

Continue reading “Southeast Engine”

Summer Hymns

I ‘m brand new to Summer Hymns, so the huge back catalogue of free, downloadable tracks on both the band and label websites might take some time to work through. Also, the critical commentary, like the idea that their recent album Backward Masks is “the Summer Hymns record you always thought they’d make” doesn’t do much for me because I don’t know what they’re supposed to sound like. In other words, this blurb for the band is essentially useless. That said, “Pity and Envy” and especially “Start Swimming” are textured, mellow pop songs that seem to fit the band’s name, and are perfect for dreaming of those June days when the sun sets closer to ten o’clock than five, and that much I know for sure.

Continue reading “Summer Hymns”