April 23, 2010

shadows and sand / cool air and clean

The other day my friend Dainon urged me to listen to this when it was live on the internet airwaves, I was instantly tangled in tightly. Jay Henderson fronts the Salt Lake City group Band of Annuals, who I’ve written about and loved before.

This song immediately reminded of another fabulous band that he introduced me to, Blind Pilot – especially songs like this, and some of the ache of fellow SLCer Joshua James.

Of the three new songs Jay performed this week at the independent radio station KRCL, this one struck me as particularly fine-grained and intricate. There’s a feeling that it’s been steeped in sadness.

The song is untitled, but if it were mine I’d be inclined to name it something after evocative lyrics like, “…low whispered to me / shadows and sand, cool air and clean / and the moon will calm you down, said I…

Untitled (Said I) – Jay Henderson of Band of Annuals

April 22, 2009

…you’re only an echo


Most days Monday through Friday while I sit and type and answer questions and plan important things, my day is pleasantly peppered with my friend Dainon sending songs and other things that bring me joy. Lately, this dayjob of mine has been quite busy and lots of the stuff I’m connecting best with comes from him.

Today a song popped into my inbox that I loved from the get-go.

Salt Lake City artist David Williams is preparing to release a rich live EP called Wyoming, and the last track on it is a live version of his song “Echo.” Joining him on vocals is the lovely Laura Gibson, a folk artist whose voice I adore (see here). That, and some otherworldy vibrating saw (or…theremin?) being played throughout — gives me chills.

please don’t save me
well i feel i’m wandering….

you’re only an echo
only an echo

Echo (featuring Laura Gibson) – David Williams

This song has also been adopted by Band of Annuals (previous post), who I am growing to love more and more by the week. Watch their arresting version:

For my four readers in Utah, David Williams is having a fundraiser show on Sunday at The Loft to pay for mastering his upcoming album (in July). The $20 ticket gets you a the live show, the concert-only Wyoming EP, the album once it comes out this summer … and some pre-show beer! Tickets are limited to 75.

What a deal. I’d go.

January 25, 2009

Band of Annuals (Salt Lake City is a long ways from whiskeytown…)


…but it sounds closer than ever with the sublimely sepia ebb of Band of Annuals and their sleepy, country-inflected male/female harmonies. A Christmas gift from a friend out in SLC, their album Let Me Live (2007) is one of my favorite new discoveries. If you love Whiskeytown like I do, this can help fill in some of the cracks and gaps in your heart since the Caitlin Cary/Ryan Adams project parted ways in 1999.

Band of Annuals (not to be confused with The Annuals from North Carolina) been selling out venues lately with their fantastic live show, and I would love to bring them to Denver. There’s a strong and unwavering purity to Jay Henderson’s voice, blending perfectly with the gorgeously honest timbre of Jeremi Hanson (who reminds me some of Gillian Welch).

I have listened to this particular cut, off their Live Warehouse EP, about a dozen times on repeat today. The snowflakes twirl quietly outside my house, and I am spending all day curled inside with this music warming the walls of my house, the harmonica echoing through the rooms. “Love is tough for me these days…”

Something True (live Warehouse EP version) – Band of Annuals

They also have a new self-titled EP from the end of last year, with a full-length in the works for ’09.

[top photo credit Aaron Ruff, taken at Amnesia on Valencia in San Francisco, October 2007]

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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