New Music: Sonya Cotton – It Is So

Sonya Cotton’s new album – It is so – (released this week via bandcamp and her personal website) is a beautiful, touching collection of songs dedicated, as Sonya writes, “…to the life and spirit of my mother, Karen Imparato Cotton.”  The album also contains the track “Song For Eric,” a tribute to Sonya’s friend Eric Bayer who died of cancer shortly after her own mother succumbed to the same disease.  Given these moments of great loss, it might be expected that an album like It is so would be somber and funereal.

And yes, there is sadness and loss in It is so. And yet, the album is also a wonderful celebration of life in all its forms.  As Sonya writes: “The album is a tribute to my mother who passed away two years ago; she had cancer.  In addition to exploring loss of many kinds (loss of life, of safe space, of hope,) the songs are also, as I see them, prayers, and celebrations of love.”

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New Music: Folk Music For What Lies Ahead

Just what is folk music?  Is it soft-spoken, intimate confessions poured out over an acoustic guitar?  Is it “We Shall Overcome,” sung on the National Mall?  Is it ever playful?  Joyful?  Does it do something other than teach?  Can it be “pop?”  Clearly, the answers to these questions are subjective, but at their core is a common notion: “Folk” music is “apart” from other music.  There is something different about the folk singer – that mythic figure of storytelling and poetic wisdom.  But is that really true?

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New Music: School of Seven Bells – “Disconnect from Desire”

Thanks to the fine work of The Yellow Stereo, I’ve been listening to School of Seven Bells’ new album Disconnect from Desire all morning.  The album is available (to stream) for the price of an e-mail address here, and it’s really a lovely, dreamy sort of electro-pop, in the spirit of bands like M83, that just shines out with large, nuanced textures…

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New Music: How to Destroy Angels – “A Drowning”

A little bit behind on this, but I wanted to share the new How to Destroy Angels single – “A Drowning” – with you.  How to Destroy Angels is the new project from Trent Reznor, in collaboration with his wife, Mariqueen Maandig, and represents the first post-NIN music he has produced.  In fact, the duo have produced an eponymous EP that will be out this Summer.  As for “A Drowning,” the Alan Moulder-produced track reminds me of the best moments of The Downward Spiral (mixed, in fact, by Moulder), or earlier NIN work, in that it has a tightness of focus and composition that seems to reflect a genuine, hungering sense of purpose.  Personally, I’m very excited for the EP, as I can feel that this track is just a ripple of thunder before the real storm begins…

Also, courtesy of TwentyFourBit, here’s a possible track listing:

01  The Space In Between (3:34)
02  Parasite (5:04)
03  Fur-Lined (4:00)
04  BBB (3:31)
05  The Believers (5:35)
06  A Drowning (7:13)

You can check out How to Destroy Angels on their website and myspace. Come have a listen!

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New Music: Sun Kil Moon – “Australian Winter”

Hi, Everyone!  I’m back from my rather unexpected exile (long story) with some great news for fans of Mark Kozelek and Sun Kil Moon.  Late last month, Caldo Verde announced the impending, July 13th release of Admiral Fell Promises, a new album from Sun Kil Moon.  The new album of original material is acoustic – featuring just Kozelek and a nylon-string guitar. Yep, those are definitely chills I’m feeling…

The CD version will be ten songs, and the vinyl will have two extra tracks recorded in France.  Also, “all direct purchases through the Caldo Verde website will receive a free, limited 4 song Sun Kil Moon EP entitled I’ll Be There. The EP includes covers of Stereolab, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, and The Jackson 5.”  This EP is limited to 1,500 copies.

Follow me for a listen of the excellent new song “Australian Winter,” and some tour notes:

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