I love, love, love when i order a record from a small indie label, and said label includes extra goodies along with my record...usually in the form of stickers and posters, but often with additional albums as well. The good folks at Beyond Beyond Is Beyond sent along a copy of Michigan band Heaters' new album "Matterhorn" when i ordered Joel Gion's self-titled effort a couple of weeks ago, and it's a great little jangly, reverbed psych pop record. Listen to album opener "Thanksgiving I" below and get the album here.
We're hitting that time of the year when i start looking back and checking out all the good shit i somehow neglected to pay attention to earlier in the year. I've got some year-end lists brewing, so making that last ditch effort to absorb anything and everything i might have missed the first time around. And that brings us to Cigarettes After Sex, a dreamy, hazy pop outfit that would have fit right in playing the Roadhouse on the "Twin Peaks" revival. Listen to "Apocalypse" below and cop the self-titled album here via Partisan Records.
Man, i used to dump on John Denver when i was younger, rebelling against my Dad's music like all dumb teenagers do. But i was so, so wrong. It wasn't until college, admittedly with a little help from Mark Kozelek and friends, that i realized what an amazing songwriter Denver was. Taken from 1973's "Farewell Andromeda," i don't know how much of an actual Christmas song "Please Daddy" is, but my Dad listened to it all the time, and it's got that innate sadness to it that so much Christmas music has. Listen below.
A haunting, gothy mix of heavy metal, dark folk, classical arrangements, pagan ritual, and dramatic flair, Sweden's Anna von Hausswolff is back with new album "Dead Magic" in March on City Slang. Listen to "The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra" below.
There's just something innately joyous about the The Flaming Lips. Even when they're at their most challenging or dour, the light always seems to shine through. And that's why Christmas is such a match for them, whether they're covering old holiday songs, making experimental Christmas movies, or just making their own strange odes to the season, it all works wonderfully. Listen to "Christmas at the Zoo" from 1995's "Clouds Taste Metallic" below...and smile.
I love The Polyphonic Spree, and yet somehow i missed that they released a Christmas album in 2012 called "Holiday Dream." And on said album, they covered one of my favorite Christmas songs, John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." If you know the Spree, you know this is a all a natural fit, as no one exudes joy like they do. Listen below.