April 19, 2009

Three picks from the edge of the music world

It's time for another update from my iPod.  

There are several great new records out that you need to know about.  My focus is mostly chillout/lounge and indie rock.  As usual, I've perused my favorite online haunts (Good Records, CMJ, Genius and AP) to find the best new music to recommend.  

My first pick is Bonnie "Prince" Billy's new record, Beware.  This is the alter ego project of legendary indie-country artist Will Oldham.  If you followed the recent South By Southwest music festival, you know he was the toast of the town this year.  In his latest release, he sizzles as a provocative story teller and soundscape creator.  The songs are haunting (think Hank mixed with Deathcab).  Check out the track "I Am Goodbye" to see why this will likely be on most critic's "Best of 2009" list. 

Next, I'd like to introduce you to Noah and the Whale.  This UK collective has the epic sound of Arcade Fire and sits nicely next to the folk/emo side of Bonnie "Prince" Billy.  Their late 2008 debut, Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down offers a rich collection of harmony driven songs that will stick to the back of your mind.  Check out the track Shape Of My Mind to get a taste of this new group.  

Finally, with a nod to my taste for new-jazz and lounge, I'm recommending you rush out and get DJ Mark Furina's Mushroom Jazz, Volume 6.  Before their was chill out, downtempo and trip hop, there was mushroom jazz.  Volume 6 may be the funkiest, smoothest and most rewarding mix yet.  If you enjoyed the soundtrack to Ocean's 11 or can't get enough of the Buddha Lounge series, you'll dig this record too.  Put it on at a dinner party and you'll inject a dose of jazzy energy into your night. 

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