Archive for December, 2011

By now you may have heard a couple of verses of the beautiful song Snow Day while happy folks fly paper snowflakes from kite strings in a famous Seattle company’s latest TV commercial.  It’s actually quite a good commercial as far as commercials go and the song sets the mood perfectly.  The song is by Matt Pond PA from their 2005 EP Winter Songs.  There’s a cetain comfort I get every time I hear the the song and that can be said about the entire Winter Songs EP.  Snow Day and two instrumentals are the only original songs on the EP but the covers have been given the same Matt Pond PA treatment which makes them so endearing (the cover of Lindsey Buckingham’s Holiday Road from the Vacation movies is pure magic).

Thoughtful and warm with a touch of melancholy are adjectives that can be used to describe the entire Matt Pond PA catalogue.  Consistent is another.  With nine LPs and eight EPs to their credit and Matt Pond remaining the only original member, there is no doubt as to who runs the show.  Their latest EP Spring Fools is no exception.  Pick up or download any one of their releases and you will find intelligent song writing with the power to warm the cockles of your heart…aaah.

…by Sandy Gritt

Not an official video but a pretty special home video by SizzleCickFlicks:

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 Thao with The Get Down Stay Down offer up hook after hook in their 2009 release Know Better Learn Faster.  Balanced on a fine line between tightly constructed pop grooves and playful yet revealing lyrics, this collection of songs is instantly infectious but also smart enough to entice the listener to come back again and again.  Thao Nguyen is a woman with formidable song writing talents and her band certainly knows how to get down.  Cute, clever and so damn catchy, this record will have you dancing around the pod port within seconds of the opening track.

…by Sandy Gritt

I can remember back in the day when “Cat” was a bit of a trend in band names.  Then, for a brief period the favoured pet band names seemed to contain “Dog”, then of course there were the “Jesus” names but more recently I am noticing “Whale” as the latest flavour.  And why not?  Whales are big and important and breathe air just like we do.  One of such bands is New York’s Freelance Whales.  Their debut album, Weathervanes,  from 2009 is a dreamy collection of lush chamber pop complete with organic details which include banjo, mandolin, harmonium and of course a healthy dose of glockenspiel. With five members who are all instrument collectors and all sing, Freelance Whales offer a live sound that is layered with many colours without ever getting muddy and their song writing is full of emotion and playfulness without ever getting mushy.

…by Sandy Gritt