Roo & The Howl

Roo & The Howl

Look everyone, I’m not trying to solicit your thanks or praise necessarily, but I think I’m kinda getting you in on the ground floor of a confirmed music situation here. An honest to God happening. Roo & The Howl’s very first full length album has only been out for about a month at this point and that’s a good jump on the game. Also, NoiseTrade. You guys, you’ve got that algorithm dialed in. It used to be hard work finding artists this good, but now I just sit back and wait for NoiseTrade (and PledgeMusic and Bandcamp) to send me an email. Anyway, onward.

If you want to optimize your Roo & The Howl experience, you’ll need to do a couple things. First, be somewhere it’s reasonable to sit on your porch just after sunset, into the early dark. Ideally there will be fireflies. Your chair should be laid back and comfortable. On the table next to you there should be a bottle of bourbon, a glass with two ice cubes and a quality Union beer, Miller High Life or PBR, as an example. You don’t need to be there alone, but be there with those who understand the appreciation of music as an activity. Pour the bourbon, swirl the ice, pick up the beer, press play on the hifi and settle into the magic as Bekah Wagner and friends begin the soundtrack to your life.

ME/WE is a truly phenomenal album. The caliber and tenor of the music is the sort of comfortably worn that’s typically reserved for your favorite blue jeans. There’s weight, but it’s snug, relaxed. It’s a heft that draws you in, makes you stay. The arrangements are wonderfully lush in their sparsity, revolving around a blues core that holds the groove, at times scoring the calm, at others holding center on forays into experimental jams that evoke nothing less than Pink Floyd. Bekah’s voice is breathy and soft, yet still finds the perfect texture to walk ahead of the reverb and steel guitar and firm bass lines, all working together to push the tracks into the rare air of greatness.

I am a Roo & The Howl fan, friends. I’ve already begun evaluating appropriate travel and lodging options to reach the Denver area as she has no announced tour that covers my corner of the burning southwest and I am not content to wait. Her siren song calls to me uncommonly strong. This album stands up to repeated straight-through listenings, so don’t think of these as sufficient.

Give Me Time
To The River

Where to find Roo & The Howl:
Twitter: @rooandthehowl

Azure Ray

Azure Ray

Azure Ray, a CGPLS timeline:
2003: Azure Ray releases Hold On Love.
2006: I finally listen to it. I don’t really like it. I don’t HATE it, I just don’t like it that much.
2010: Azure Ray releases Drawing Down The Moon. I see that they released it, but I figure I don’t care, I didn’t like the last one.
2010: A month later I listen to it anyway. I need new music. I am blown away while my mind is blown while my house is blown down.

Drawing Down The Moon is a Wunderalbum. Dreamy and ethereal with an airy, reverb-heavy mix, it features mostly traditional instrumentation with just a touch of electronic pixie dust (not the Antares variety, this is the good kind) which, combined with the stark vocals and tight harmonies, makes for a potent musical experience.

Seriously, stop reading this and listen.

Don’t Leave My Mind

A Girl Called Eddy

A Girl Called Eddy

I absolutely adore A Girl Called Eddy. In a metaphorical world where Rachael Yamagata is my one and only, A Girl Called Eddy is the girl I met that made me wonder. I’ve been considering exactly how to describe this music in the most make-you-wanna-listen way for months. Hopefully the following does the trick.

Some music is airy and lighthearted, it puts a spring in your step, puts you in a good mood. Other music is epic and grand, it opens up like a door into the aether, befuddling your mind and leaving you in wonder. Still other music is brash and urgent, driving you, nay, requiring you to dance and move. A Girl Called Eddy’s music is none of that. This sound is velvet. It’s the warmth of a fireplace. The security of a familiar embrace. An envelope of sound that separates you from the world. You don’t listen to A Girl Called Eddy’s music, you put it on, you immerse yourself in it. The sweet melancholy drifts over you and into your soul and you forget about things that aren’t Erin Moran’s voice, things that aren’t reverb-infused and intent, things that aren’t this music.

It’s hard to describe exactly what it is about A Girl Called Eddy’s sound that forever makes me feel like I’m in a warm cocoon surrounded by icy nothingness. There’s a strong sense of space created by the liberal reverb and open, ambient arrangements, but Erin Moran’s voice defies it, full and rich, opposing the emptiness, grounding song and listener, focusing the magic. More energetic selections pepper a track list dominated by contemplative numbers but even at their most intense, they’re reined in by the strength and weight of Moran’s vocals, kept from running away and upsetting the album’s groove.

These are my favorites, and this is the sound I love on the album. More uptemo numbers like “Golden” and “The Long Goodbye” are excellent songs, but these are what I think of when I think of A Girl Called Eddy. I cannot wait to see what Erin Moran has in store for us on her upcoming album, supposedly due out this year. I am already in the throes of another Long Wait, as patented by Rachael Yamagata, but some tiny unjaded portion of my inner monologue (and it is tiny) maintains hope that A Girl Called Eddy will deliver soon and make me again consider her for the top spot in my musical heart. Do yourself a favor: put on some great over-ear headphones, settle in for 51 minutes and let A Girl Called Eddy prove me right.

Girls Can Really Tear You Up Inside
Little Bird