“It’s kind of hard to walk on water when all you see is the waves crash and roll” – Let Go
I’ve been keeping quiet on this guy for a while now, but I can’t hold it any longer. If you really want some good recommendations, just follow my friend Krissie on Twitter. Anyone she gushes about, just buy it. Don’t even listen to it, just buy it. Anyway, she’s been telling me about Van Risseghem for a while now and as usual, she’s right. Van Risseghem’s debut CD, The Motions, is nothing short of great. I hate that I missed it last year, because it definitely would have made it’s way into the top 25 of ’09. Throughout the disc, you quickly realize that Van Risseghem isn’t your typical singer/songwriter. Sure, he’s writing about love and all the ups and downs that come with it, but he sounds fresher than your typical artist. He’s got a folk voice that finds itself rocking out at times, and it works. The title track has a decidedly upbeat message and it’s one of the stronger tracks on the CD. We Could Be Friends, has a bit of that folksy, coffeehouse feel that I love, while Peace of Mind is as radio ready as any song I’ve heard in a while. You can grab a copy of “The Motions” over on emusic and of course on iTunes.
On My Way
“If you’re running away do you want me to chase you?” – Wherever You Go
I’ve been waiting for Just Another Ghost since Texas band (of course) Sleeperstar released their EP, To Speak, To Love, To Listen in 2007. That’s an awful long time to wait for a full length CD. My copy of JAG arrived yesterday and I could barely wait to hear it. I have to say, these guys have gotten A LOT better since the EP. Is that even possible? The opener, “We Go Tonight (Say it Again)” sounds like it could have fallen off a Third Eye Blind record, and you can hear influences of U2, Snow Patrol and Texas pals Green River Ordinance. “Wherever You Go” is an amazing song that most everyone can relate to and other favorites “Disengage” and “Texas Rain” make an appearance on the full length release. I’ve complained all year about how 2009 dominated 2010 musically, but the gap is starting to close thanks to some stellar recent releases, this one included. Don’t bother downloading track by track, get the entire CD the first chance you get.
Just So You Know
We Go Tonight (Say It Again)
” I love it all, so much I call, I want you back”
Gorilla Manor by Local Natives is one of my favorite CDs so far this year. At first listen, I thought these guys were a UK band. In fact, I would have bet on it. Turns out, this quintet hails from California and only has the swagger of a UK band. Local Natives don’t really utilize a lead singer, instead they seem to be lead by full harmonies. Throughout the disc, I keep coming back to the songs that are the messiest. Some of the ballads are strong, but for me they get completely overpowered by the less polished gems. This CD is bound to be one of my top 25 of 2010, and I’d love to catch them live at some point this year.
“I miss you like you’re dead, but I never got to grieve you”
I assume I’m not introducing anyone to William Fitzsimmons, but a close friend told me this morning that he’d never heard of him. Just in case someone else out there is missing the wonderment that is William Fitzsimmons and his beard, this is for you. Fitzsimmons has released three unbelievable albums (and a fourth album of remixes) that serve as an autobiography of sorts. Fitzsimmons’ music career began only after he worked as a mental health therapist. His second album, Goodnight, focuses largely on his personal battles with his parents’ divorce as a child and his 2008 gem, The Sparrow and the Crow (#2 on the ’08 faves list), was written after he experienced his own divorce. They are absolutely gorgeous albums. Simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, it’s amazing that Fitzsimmons’ can make such heartache sound so serene. Also, imagine if my childhood friend James Taylor (see below) had this guy’s beard. The jealousy would have consumed me, plus it’d be super weird since James was 9. Either way, crisis averted.
Maybe Be Alright- from The Sparrow and the Crow
So This Is Goodbye – from Derivatives
Heartless - Kanye West cover