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God Bless You 2014

February 5, 2014

Hey Folks,

Hope you have all been well. Once again I would like to thank all of you cool cats for making our last edition of Top Five Fridays our (DRUMROLL) most popular day EVER!!! Shucks. Thanks for letting me know you care. Please keep coming back and also spreading the word about this lil’ ol’ blog, we really appreciate it! As always, you can catch up on my past writings by scrolling down or clicking ye olden side bar over there. Anywho, On with today’s music because quite frankly kids, it’s been a NUTTY week!!!

2013 was a killer year in music. I’ll be honest I’m still trying to catch up. Artists like HAIM, Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, PRIESTS, Hunters, Swearin’, Waxahatchee, Laura Marling, and YEAH YEAH YEAHS released music that was not only standout for the YEAR, but still stands as some of my favorite ever. Well folks, this was a week where 2014 let us all know that we are in for a wild ride and that the goodness is not going to abate anytime soon. Three, THREE of my favorite artists announced Albums and tour dates this week, with each announcement heralded by a killer new track dropped. Let me get this straight: Any ONE of these artists dropping new music would have me wigging out like a kid in a candy store (sorry, that was a cliche) but all THREE!? I’m quite beside myself. So with out further ado, let me give you all a run down of what has gone down musically this week. Some of these artists are far from obscurities, but hey, if you have already heard some of this amazing stuff that has been released this week, then let this only validate your great taste. With out further ado. Here are the three new songs I’m most excited about this week, in the order that they were released:

Nickel Creek “Destination”

With those quick chord hits, the extended almost nine year break this progressive blue-grass trio took comes crashing down. I am so stoked for this new album folks, the Nickel Creek members have been far from idle during their hiatus and the new song perfectly proves that they are all ready for Nickel Creek 2.0. If “Destination” is any indicator of the rest of the songs these cats have in store for us (and I have no doubt it is) then Nickel Creek has aged into the band we always knew they were going to become. This is a new mature Nickel Creek. Sara Watkins in particular has truly come into her own, laying down a vocal which blows EVERYTHING she has ever done on the first three NC albums out of the water. Chris Thile is also here at his most poppy and playful, laying down a quirky ear worm of a riff which is sure to get lodged in your cranium.  Sean Watkins, as always, is not to be ignored with his guitar hook between verses tasty and to the point.  As these three amazing musicians enter into an a wondrous jam to end this track we are reminded of the lightning in a bottle chemistry they all have with each other. Welcome back Nickel Creek, we missed you.

Ingrid Michaelson “Girls Chase Boys”

Ingrid Michaelson has been dominating since the early 00s with her easily digestible indie-pop.  Let it be known, “Girls Chase Boys” carries on this valiant tradition.  I’m going to put my money behind any song that has me hooked before the first chorus even hits.  The lyrics are Ingrid at her best, serving up insights in to the mysteries of human love and loss that are both cutting and clever, “All the Broken hearts in the world still beat/Let’s not make this harder than it has to be.”  2012’s “Human Again” was certainly a wonderfully solid effort (“Ghost” alone is worth the price of admission) but in the 3:40 time it takes her to finish her newest single, Ingrid Michaelson has completely out maneuvered her last album in terms of dancing in your kitchen pop goodness. “Lights Out” her new LP hits on April 15th.

Jessica Lea Mayfield “Oblivious”

Wow.  This one caught me by surprise.  I was very aware that Ohio songstress Jessica Lea Mayfield had an album in the hopper, but to get hit with a song like THIS.  DANG.  I’m geeking out on this one.  “Oblivious” is a grungy, slow-core, Sabbath tinged, sludge rock masterpiece…and I did not see it coming.  It’s always super exciting to watch a young artist find their voice sonically.  While Mayfield’s Hank Williams-esque stark lyrics and drawling vocal delivery have remained a constant over the course of her recorded career, her sound has evolved from the intimate bed room folk of “With Blasphemy So Heartfelt” to the dark layered keyboards and electric guitars of 2011’s “Tell Me” (Which in all honesty is one of my favorite Electric Guitar albums ever.  It sounds like someone’s soul is getting puked out of an amp).  As great as those albums were, though, I always suspected that they weren’t quite as rock ‘n’ roll as Jessica herself was.  Her constant professing of love for bands like  Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters and 90s era Metallica also led me to believe that she had something grungier in the works.  “Oblivious” is a wonderful home coming.  I also hope that the companion image to this is the actual cover for the album.  With her pink hair, leopard print shirt and fish nets, Jessica looks like she is finally prepared to come into her own fully and drop the heavy, alt country, grunge album we’ve all been waiting for.  “Make My Head Sing” drops April 15th.

Ok folks, thanks for listening, hope you enjoyed the sampling!  Stay tuned for another EPIC edition of “Top Five Fridays” coming atcha in a couple days!

well peace out good people of the world,

Peter Winter

you can follow me on twitter at @peterwinter38

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