Category Archives: Hidden Gems

The Preacher’s Sons; when the sun don’t shine

The last thing one wants to hear in the summertime is slow and moody music that is reserved for winter months, right? Right. Alas, I really do not care, as it still rains sometimes in the summer. Also, I can not NOT share these songs with you guys. With that being said, we bring you….

The Preachers Son’s are two brothers ( how adorable is this?) who have been hard at work trying to put out a record and make a name for themselves. Right now, you can download “Looks Like A Sampler” over at their bandcamp, which is 3 “sample” songs to hold us over before their full-length drops. The two boys have done a good job, in just ten minutes and three songs, of keeping me hooked and anticipating hearing more of their polished tunes. Their debut (full length) album Looks Like a Flood, Feels Like a Drought (clever name, right?) has been recorded with the help of their fans and should be released for us any day now!

This is one of those albums I grabbed because I thought the album art looked interesting. It turned out that these guys are right up our alley (we are freaking addicted to hidden gems, if you havent noticed) which rarely happens when you download things because of something like album art or a band name (we all do it, right?)

I don’t know what to do with the things I know
and I can’t tell if it’d gonna rain heaven or hell

This simple yet brilliantly honest lyric above reminds me of when I was a little girl and I would ask my parents questions like “what time is it” and even something unanswerable. Either way, I would often get “I don’t know” in response because they didn’t have an answer for me. I remember the feeling of shock that I got from this because I thought that my parents would just know everything. With age, I have realized that we don’t have all the answers because the course our life takes, even when planned, is unpredictable (and that is why we listen to music, right!?!). I thought this lyric really captured that feeling of instability for me.

Sold? Head over to our new favourite boys’ bandcamp and download Posion Oak, Wadering, and Wormfood (catch the lyric that could have been written by Jesse Lacey…) for FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE!!

Their Myspace
Their Website
Their Bandcamp

Your lazy friends in the grass,
WATS

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Still Light; The Brightest Hidden Gem

Sometimes when life is hectic, it asks for you to just let it be until the melting point has been reached. There’s nothing you can do to soothe these times, except to just rough it out. As life has been like this for me lately, it is possibly the reason why I haven’t listened to Lything by Still Light in a while. Well, with the changing of the season and the end of school, life has calmed down and I went back to this humble little record which has been patiently waiting for me to devour it and really listen to it. I found that the album sounds exactly what I would imagine Still Light to sound like if light could make music: floating and moving in its invisible form. The melodies whisper calm and gentle sounds that enter your ears with such grace that you can’t do anything but freeze and listen. So, stop what you’re doing, scroll down, and listen to the music provided for you below!

Still Light, a modest band who do not even have photos of themselves on their myspace, really do save the best for last with Tenebre, the wonderful 7 minute closing track of Lything. Almost the whole album (with the exception of Footprints in the Garden and Hour of the Wolf) is kindled by a soft male-female vocal harmony. The two voices, instead of fighting against each other to create two contrasting feelings for the listener, work together to unify each song, and also, the album as a whole.

We’ve called Still Light “The Brightest Hidden Gem”, challenging you to figure out what is so geniune and sincere about their music. For me, it is so perfect in its own composition that it is not malleable to the listeners’ conditions to be simply background music. Instead, you must commit yourself and let the music take you for an incredibly dreamy ride – the you won’t want to wake up from. Lucky for us, CD’s are re-playable and we can go back to this dream-like state whenever we see fit. A gem is something that is so perfect in its nature that there’s no need or room for change. A gem also does not need to be on the main stage (no wordplay intended…) to remain to beautiful. Beauty this rare needs to be handled patiently, gently and warm heartedly – needless to say, don’t pick up Lything if you are looking for meaningless sounds that were composed with no creativity and serenity. Not that it needs to be taken so seriously, but it just needs to be appreciated for what it is, because, well, some music is just like that. Music for music’s sake, ladies and gentlemen:

Tenebre

Now we’ve torn apart the ocean’s blue,
Long lost track of time, through and through,
Cold nights left to kill.

Feel the fall close the door, on days to come,
Nauseous words beg for more of what love’s become,
Familiar earth’s glow recedes to our loss that’s grown,
Ageless birth, crumbling seed of my own.

It follows slow, lock the door through hours to come,
Ragged teeth clench for more of what love’s become,
Sea of green drowning wounds in a helpless sigh,
A trace of me staring scars in the eye.

Through the Grain (Get through the first 30 seconds, there’s a drastic change)

Your warm soft eyes feel how I fade in the light,
Is the bitter spring only a mark of what remains?

The firm bright lines blurred after all of this time,
Is it my weathered bearing that pours through the grain?

Spread all out thoughts to places we knew,
And left behind shallow regrets,
Voice wearing thin, lips colored blue,
A beggar’s plea, the years to forgive.

Still Light’s Myspace
Still Light’s Blog

Goma – Still I Wake Up In The Morning Thinking Of You;

Goma.

Have you heard of Goma? Same here. However, you should take this opportunity to hear Goma, now that it has been presented to you. Still I Wake Up In The Morning Thinking Of You is a beautiful, heartfelt, piano ballad with a title that explains it all. The straightforward lyrics are accompanied by a melody which (call me crazy) could either be mistaken for melancholy or, if the mood is right – almost kind of light hearted. Either way, this is a song which should be heard and this is a platform where we try to help do just that – so, if you’re reading this be sure to give it a listen and maybe even a spot on your iPod.

I have lost everything completely
Still, I wake up in the morning thinking of you

Download Still I Wake Up In The Morning Thinking Of You here.

As far as Goma – the man or maybe even the band – is concerned, that is all still a mystery to me. But you don’t really need to understand the artist to be touched by a song, now do you? It’s actually kind of nice to know nothing about where the music came from, for a change. There is something kind of refreshing about it.

Goma’s Myspace

The Little Hands of Asphalt – Leap Years;

Have you heard of Sjur Lyseid? Well, while the name may be a bit difficult to pronounce (or, maybe it’s only difficult for me, that’s cool) his music, however, is anything but difficult to fall in love with. Sjur Lyseid is the man behind The Little Hands of Asphalt, a band hailing from Oslo, Norway, made up of a rotating cast of musicians or ‘accomplices’ as they are referred to on the band’s Myspace page.

The music brought our way by The Little Hands of Asphalt is infectious at the start and this remains a constant throughout Leap Years, the band’s first full length. Whether it is Lyseid’s smooth approach at conveying his message through gentle whisper-like singing or the instrumentation that releases a sweet yellow glow into the air, the sounds of The Little Hands of Asphalt create a comfortable and cozy atmosphere. Leap Years is one of those CDs that needs to be listened to on repeat and it is its aura which makes this entirely possible (at times without even realizing it) and completely enjoyable.

One thing about Lyseid that separates him from a majority of contenders in his genre is the way in which his lyrical content is crafted to make it seem as if each song is a letter, written to specifically to you, the listener. Lyseid, undoubtedly, had a story to tell but the way in which he went about doing so makes the listener feel as though he or she has been written into the script, to answer the call, pick up the mail or sign online and be an outlet for Lyseid. This CD is special in many ways – it is more personal than abstract, it is more specific than vague, it is more involved – and because of its open and honest construction, it welcomes you in with its friendly noise and alluring lyrics.

But patience never was my trade
And the broken back of honesty is thoroughly clichéd
When doubt has built a nest inside your head
All the restlessness that sleeps between us will break the bed
But make no mistake
It’s hard to think that common sense
Won’t pick a fight with consequence
When Fall soon breaks, know that I won’t be around no more
When you find what you’re not looking for in me


The Highway’s Pull

I think that that’s the trouble with seeing things my dear
Nothing is ever clear
And your views were surely accurate
But I’m done with accuracy
Because once I could see the future
But the future couldn’t see me
And now I’m stuck between our teeth
With the lies we couldn’t tame
But at least we keep our chins up as we spit back at the rain


The Future

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that The Little Hands of Asphalt hails from the great country of Norway and I think it would be safe to assume that English is not Lyseid’s native language – but the best part about the entire thing is that without knowing that information ahead of time, you would never have been able to tell. Lyseid is just that good and a talent to be watched. I look forward to hearing more from him in the future and after having yourself a listen I guarantee you will too!

The Little Hands of Asphalt Myspace
Buy ‘Leap Years’ Here

Future Islands – Little Dreamer ;

Dreams. Dreams. dreams. little dreams. Big dreams. good Dreams. Bad dreams. Dreams, regardless of the fact, are something that each and every one of us experience on on a daily basis and whether we are aware of their presence or not, they are always there. Whether you’re actually sleeping or you find yourself experiencing something so phenomenal that it seems unreal, a dream is a dream. Metaphorically and even at times literally, we have no control over when our dreams begin or come to an end and although constant, ultimately, the power to come and go lies within the grasp of that elated state. We are but mere pawns in the hands of our own euphoria.

I can not quite find a reason why I fell in love with this song so quickly but midway through the first listen, it caught me and has yet to let me go. ‘Little Dreamer’ by Future Islands (off of their CD Wave Like Home) is almost like a lullaby (an indie lullaby, if you will), swooping beneath my feet and carrying me to my own little reserve above the chaos for a much needed time out. This song is simply gorgeous in the sense that as a complete piece, it is perfect.

If you find yourself needing some time away from what ever it is that is keeping you from feeling your best, give this song a chance. Life is lovely in a dream but at some point, no matter how blissfully brilliant things have become, reality always finds its way back to take what it has loaned you and have you pay off your debts through experiencing that weighted sense of loss. However, don’t give up too easily; don’t wake up with the first alarm, keep your eyes closed for as long as possible. Find the repeat button, stay wrapped and coated in the bliss that ignorance has brought you and hold on.

I caught you sleeping here, all wrapped in wool
I caught you sleeping here, it almost broke my heart
I found you dreaming
I’m dreaming of you always

When I was just a child, a lonely boy
I held onto my dreams, like they could run from me
The hopes I harbored fled, as they often do
But I still dreamed of you
And now my dreams come true

And as we say goodnight, I hold you close and tight
No more raging suns, only waning ones
Like the waxing scar where my lonely heart
Once bloomed before I met you

My little dreamer, I’ll always
Always dream of you


Little Dreamer by Future Islands

Download ‘Little Dreamer’ here.

The brilliant Victoria Legrand of Beach House recently did her part in taking this song one step beyond the border of perfection and making it even more dream-like with the Jones Remix, which can be found below.


Little Dreamer (Jones Remix) by Future Islands (featuring Victoria Legrand)

Dream on, guys.

Future Islands’ Myspace
Purchase ‘Wave Like Home’ here.
Download ‘Little Dreamer’ here.

Jonathan Becker; making indie-Canada proud

Last night the Olympic closing ceremonies took place in Vancouver (okay, we may have been absolutely addicted to the olympics this year, as if you couldn’t tell..), featuring acts from Avril Lavigne, Hedley, Simple Plan, Neil Young (He’s the MAN, according to me dad) and Nickleback. Let me set a scene for you. I was at a bar (a sheep bar, of course) having some wings and beer with friends, trying to enjoy the last national moments of gold medal victory. And all I could feel was shame. Absolute shame. Let me just say that, no matter how proud I am of my country’s athletes, it will not make up for how MORTIFIED the popular music scene here makes me feel. Sure, I guess we have a few great bands out there, but let me tell you, Canada’s music scene is not at all justified with the before-mentioned acts. The indie music scene here is PHENOMENAL. We LOVE Canadian music, both wolf and sheep. It’s great. It’s really really great – just not when it sounds like the devil is raging inside of Chad Kroeger. Perhaps its just not our cup of tea? But that’s the beauty of having your own blog: It your opinion!

So, what about that amazing Canadian indie music scene? We’ve already featured a few artists (Destoyer, Metric – okay, not indie, whatever -, The Balconies…) that make this county proud. But there is a LOT more where that came from (trust us, we have a lot in store for you guys in our tiny animal brains). One of these artists, that is quite new to our ears, is Jonathan Becker who hails from Ottawa.

Jonathan Becker was kind enough to send us his self titled EP (which has some wonderful artwork, as shown) for us to chew, digest and regurgitate (as always). Here’s the the verdict!

This EP is, as the artwork suggests, perfect for the cold weather. Two things come to mind when asked to describe Jonathan Becker’s music (beautiful is a given on this blog); perfectly simple and perfectly cold. The only thing you will hear in the short but sweet 15-minute EP is a man, his guitar, and his heart. What more do you need to make chillingly beautiful and haunting music? Jonathan’s voice has a way of captivating the listener while he sings passionate lyrics ever so gently.

And what do I mean by cold? All music makes us feel a certain way, and this EP has such a coldness to it, that it actually makes the listener feel warm. Just as there is something comforting about songs about struggle because they make us feel less alone, there is something about this cold and lonesome music that makes me feel like I am snuggling with someone under the warmth of big, puffy bed sheets.

won’t you warm me up
won’t you warm my skin
this town is frosted over, come october
the next six months seem to last forever
i need a way out, i need something
at least ’til winters gone
at least ’til spring

Warm Me Up – Jonathan Becker

Kind of perfect, right? Now you see what we mean by cold? We are sad to bring you such perfect winter-time music so late into the season. Too bad that this artist came to our attention quite recently. By recently, I mean before we made our 2009/10 winter playlist – otherwise, he DEFINITELY would have made the cut onto our seasonal playlist.

One thing is for certain: it is HARD to be a solo artist out there in the big bad world that is the music industry. However, this man does it well though, and we sincerely wish him the best because he deserves to be heard.

Sit back and literally relax as Mr. Beckers waves take you someplace far, far away,
– the wolf and the sheep

Jonathan Becker’s Myspace (head over and listen to “waves”! go go go!)
Jonathan Becker’s site
Buy the EP here!

Modest Mouse/764-HERO – 15 minutes in heaven

One thing you, our beloved readers, may not know about the wolf and the sheep is that we are addicted to long songs (Best Music of 2009 – check out Bay of Pigs and you’ll understand everything). The longer the better. This craze that we are currently in exploded with a one month obsession with Pink Floyd’s Dogs. We seriously just can not get enough of long songs! It takes a skilled group of artists to put together a sound that goes on and on and on, and not everyone can do it so well.

So, what happens when you combine Modest Mouse and 764-HERO? The result is this 15 minute single, Whenever You See Fit which was released in 2004. Modest Mouse is pretty mainstream but this song appears to have remained under the covers – a hidden gem, if you will. 764-HERO is a whole other (wonderful) story which may or may not be explored in the future of this blog. Together, these two bands have created two hauntingly distant vocals that seem to be fighting against each other throughout the whole song.

This song explores the lows of a seriously dragged out relationship that seems to never have the potential to come to a definite end. The only thing that this couple is addicted to more than each other is messing things up between them. The mistakes in any relationship are inevitable, nothing is ever perfect (at least, not for long) and sometimes its hard to call it quits. Once you get so comfortable with someone, the only thing harder than living through a bickering hell is moving on. That person is always there, always on your mind, always in your head, and always in your life even when they’re not.

Yeah, we’re talking on the phone again
Acting like we are our own best friend
And everything you ever said
Every thought I ever meant, I ever did
You’ll wake up early and you’ll live to regret

The ending of the song is a disappointment – just not in artistry:

Now and then, whenever you see fit
Nothing is clear
Tell the truth
Whenever you go wrong
Everything’s fine

Even though they know that “nothing is clear” and that no one is telling the truth, they convince themselves that, after all, everything is fine, everything will be okay in the end. A wonderful little (okay – not so little) song that sums up the drowning agony that is often associated with many relationships. But that’s just the way it is.

Okay, enough analysis for the day week month. We just love to analyze, have you noticed? What do you guys think? Personally, I love this song and I have been able to casually go back to it since I heard it about 3 years ago. Today I decided to take it more seriously and hopefully the result is not you reading this with a giant question mark floating above your head… hopefully.

until next time,
your neighborhood friendly man eater/grass grazer

buy the single here
read the lyrics here
Modest Mouse’s Myspace
764-HERO’s Myspace