This week, let’s check out Minnesota’s most lovable band of hippies, an ode to grandparents, a promising new band from Joisey, a little British folk, and some foot-tappin’ soul goodness from Anderson Paak.
Grab your coffee — there are some exceptional noises below.
Cloud Cult – No Hell
Cloud Cult is a rag-tag group of brilliant hippies who make music that is folksy and rollicking and just the right amount of strange. They’re also 100% independent. Their record label is located on an organic farm and is powered by geothermal energy and built using reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. That is some legit hippie-ing right there.
Seriously, check them out, man.
A couple weeks ago, Cloud Cult released their 10th studio album, The Seeker. It’s a concept album that was accompanied by a feature film of the same name starring Josh Radnor and Alex McKenna.
And if you can’t understand what he’s saying, here’s a good lyric video:
(Reading the YouTube comments section is usually enough to ruin anyone’s faith in humanity for at least a week, but it did produce this philosophical tidbit: “These guys are as close to religion as I come.” Couldn’t agree more — in their music, you get all of the hey-let’s-help-each-other goodness of spirituality without the pesky moral compromises that most organized religions bring.)
Matthew Logan Vasquez – Vivian (live @ Ancora Coffee, Madison, WI)
Here’s Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit playing a fantastic song about his grandparents.
Vivian is from Delta Spirit’s 2010 album History from Below. Mr. Vasquez’s new solo record, Solicitor Returns, is out now, and is also good stuff.
Pinegrove – New Friends
If you like your folkish indie rock to have minimal production and wistful, heartfelt lyrics, then New Jersey upstarts Pinegrove just might be your new favorite band.
Their debut record, Cardinal, was released a couple weeks ago and is well worth a listen and well worth eight dollars.
Thanks to Adam over at songsfortheday for the heads up.
Jake Houlsby – Carousel
Jake Houlsby released his debut EP, Yannina, back in June of last year. He’s one of the UK’s semi-hidden musical gems for the time being, though he probably won’t remain that way for long.
I had the chance to chat with Jake briefly last week, and I’m happy to report that he’s heading back into the studio within the next couple of weeks to record “a pile of tracks,” so stay tuned for more news soon…
In the meantime, his new two-song single, Carousel, is due in April.
Anderson Paak – Celebrate
And how about some soulful R&B to round things out.
In Mr. Paak’s own words, You’re doing well. I mean, you’re not dead. So let’s celebrate while we still can.
Right on, sir. Who says you need more than three syllables per word to be profound? Dumb people, that’s who.
Check out Mr. Paak’s recently-released third album, Malibu, right here.
Until next week, cheers.