Good afternoon and thank you for reading. You have many choices to make for your web reading and I’m thankful that you chose to spend these next few minutes with me. Blah, blah, blah…
I’m as big a fan of three guitar and a life of crime or the old sad songs as anyone around nine bullets but sometimes I need something a little different. Maybe it’s a Sunday morning where I just don’t want to get out of bed or a Tuesday evening when work has been too much and I’m exhausted and want nothing more than to sit on the couch and sink in. These three records are for those kinds of times.
There are common threads between these albums, male/female harmonies, unique instrumentation, literary quality lyrics, and most importantly Essential Listening status. Enjoy.
There’s a damn good chance you’ve heard Gillian Welch before. There’s also a chance you’ve heard her latest album The Harrow & The Harvest, it’s been out for several months. But if you haven’t here’s your chance to correct your wrong. There isn’t anything groundbreaking on TH&TH, it sounds like Gillian Welch, which means it’s comfortable, calming, and awesome. When I heard Gillian and David interviewed on NPR I heard them call it 10 different kinds of sad. The only complaint I have is that they could have made it 12 or 13 kinds of sad. It’s Essential Listening, silly.
The David Wax Museum is a three piece band. Two years ago they turned a bunch of heads at the Newport Folk Festival and went from small time in the New England scene to big time across the US and Europe. I’m talking big time by folk band standards. Everything is Saved is filled with enthusiasm and infectious attitude, two things you wouldn’t normally say about a folk band. There are also moments that can only be described as gorgeous. Listen and don’t be afraid to dance a little. Listen to “Born With A Broken Heart” and” The Least That I Can Do” and tell me it’s not Essential Listening.
The self titled album by The Head & The Heart is my favorite debut of 2011. I don’t generally listen to pop music and calling what The Head & The Heart do pop music is almost unfair but I don’t know what else to call it. It’s not like the pop of Katy Perry or the indie pop of whoever sings that song about pumped up kicks. Their album has an earnestness and depth that most musicians their age are shying away from. Every song is catchy as hell and when I first found this album I was guilty of playing it twice back to back. It might not be everyone on Nine Bullets cup of tea but to me it is Essential Listening.