Sooo…..it all begins here. Clever Slouchers will know that Messrs. Valdés López and How go a little weak at the knees when Seth Woods (Whisky Priest /Sad Accordions) hang some tunes out on the line and let ‘em float among us mere mortals.
Well, hailing from Austin, Texas, gives the Accordions a head start I guess so when we drift into ‘It’s a New Day’ you know that this is gonna be good. Sliding into ‘Like the Man Said’ via a gently plucked banjo here come the swirling guitars, restrained husky vocals and some Calexico-esque horns.
And it gets better….ringing drone guitars and heartbreak…’Bottomless’. Oh yes this is sweeeet.
A bad year for the Sharons was a self release by the band in 2006 and sits firmly in the rack marked ‘great undiscovered gems” and tells the story of a band called The Sharons who were/are friends of Seth so I guess its a kind of concept album about the struggle of making music and dealing with all the crap that attempting to do good art brings (and there’s you thinking it’s glamourous).
The casual listener might be tempted to dismiss the record as downbeat and there is no denying there is a healthy slice of melancholia in the grooves but listen up folks there are harmonies , clever hooks and surprising twists and turns aplenty.
It’s no surprise to find the great songs just keep on coming ‘Endings? is a bit punk just to prove the Accordions can cause heads to shake but for me the gently plucked scratchy banjo, heartbreak vocals and lonesome harmonica do it for me.
‘Closing Prayer’ is a magnificent ten minute epic that rounds things off nicely thank you. A fragile opening builds and builds to a crescendo and then fades away into the dusk.
Great album. Just played it again….
Words: Keith How
What? You thought we only were going to do one free mix cd this year?
Aw hell naw. We took a cue from The Smashing Pumpkins (the first band to release a free album on the Internet, check it!) and we just neg’ed the cover and got more awesome bands to donate tracks. Since the previous one was based on a Mexican festivity, why not make this second one based on a British one?
Yes, Boxing Day, a mystery to anyone who isn’t British or who just wasn’t paying attention in school. I think I fit both bills (I was in Catholic school…).
Anywho, we have 14 excellent tracks for you on this glorious December 26th. Why is it glorious? Well, it’s a bank holiday and you’ve got a Doctor Who special to look for. Unless you’re in Mexico like me, so no bank holiday nor a silly dude on a blue box.
Enough complaining, it’s boxing day, so get some leftovers and let’s have a recce of what waits for you in this mix cd.
Ladies first and we have none other than Anna Kashfi and her dreamy music. Out of the water has that element of otherworldly nostalgia that gives her music so much atmosphere. This track is part of the Seasonalia compilation that Little Red Rabbit Records are giving away.
Funny enough, Conquering Animal Sound do have that special atmosphere-thick music. The sounds of a thousand thoughts and daydreams, flying likes wasps through your mind and soul. They also feature on a free compilation (which we do endorse it thoroughly).
We love Dead Sons. Both on record and live, they deliver a desert rock that’s both heavy on the retro and on the harder hitting emotions, all wrapped up lovingly in an organ-fuelled atmosphere. If you missed ‘Junk room’ the first time around, now it’s the time.
Speaking of retro and atmosphere, Dust on the Breakers made an EP on 2010 that touched so many emotions that the hangover still resonates with the saddest sounds (check ‘Frontiers’…). We managed to squeeze a lovely track from them and for that we will drive around the block on my mom’s Datsun, 8-track blastin’ through…
Straight up from México we’ve got Ewor. Rap and hip hop might not be the first thing you think of when you hear the term Mexican music, but we reckon he is unto something…Do check his soundcloud, two very good albums are waiting for you.
Jay Leighton does some acoustic loveliness and slowly but surely is getting some good attention. First time we caught him was in Manchester, playing with the likes of Les Shelleys and Gregory & The Hawk. A recent tour in the Continent with Lamb (legends!) and a new album in 2012 are something to brag about too.
Likes Lions delivered an EP of Math Rock and syncopation. If that weren’t enough to get your attention, you’ve got one of Basement Cat’s many minions on the front cover. We reckon they made a deal with said feline to create this music. Hail Kitteh!
If you ever need some heavy psychedelic riffs clashing with Jazz, Mega Aquarians and their interdimensional rock is your poison. Two guys, a shitload of amps and a drumkit equal a sound that travels from the Inner Planes to the Outer Planes with a couple of Celestials working as groupies.
obLONG have been making a racket for a couple of years in Sheffield. Louder than what you might expect, there’s no big tricks or gimmicks to their sound, just the right combination of talent, composition and brickloads of energy on their ever so lively shows. Their new stuff is being produced by Midas-like Ross Orton.
Repomen are the band you’ve never heard about but that’s been making noise for 20 years and a cornucopia of EPs. Taking their name from one of the best films of all times (shame on you if you haven’t seen it), their punkish sounds are sometimes baggy, sometimes straight up punk and always a holler. They’ve got a new EP, go check it out!
It’s a hard thing trying to ignore the elephant in the room at every gig by The Unfortunate Incident. Whether it’s the stylish guitar case, the fantastic bass line or the self-defeating, dark humoured lyrics, they always give their best on stage, even when sometimes it feels like it’s a “man and his dog” gig and the man’s off to the toilet. Let’s hope they are around in 2012, because the changes from Rock, Country and Punk they do are always good. ‘Stopgap’ is one of the slower, sad ones from their Fool (free!) EP and it’s here because, heck, it’s very raw, honest and fitting with the season.
Speaking of raw feelings, there’s nothing but honesty in the music of The Whiskey Priest. Basing its sound on a very introspective flavour of country rock and folk, this is the baby of multi-instrumentalist (and owner of an awesome beard) Seth Woods, who plays songs that touch both memories and the emotions that seep through every pore of your body.
Hanging on that analogy (a bit yucky, eeeew!), Sad Accordions is… Seth Woods and friends. Again, honest feelings and poetic thoughts on life are the name of the game, but whereas the sound of The Whiskey Priest is more acoustic and solemn, Sad Accordions goes for a very expansive palette of sounds. The synth breakdown in ‘Savage’ is simply beautiful and we just had to include this song in the compilation. Let’s hope we hear more from this band in 2012.
Last but not least, we’ve got Oxo Foxo, who got a lot of good karma points from their participation on G2 Studio‘s album in a day (which we reviewed). A very fitting track for the snowy winter atmosphere, this is just another tantalising slice of what this band promises to bring to the table.
…and that’s it. Again: thank the artists. We are just the people sweet-talking them into giving tracks for free, they are the ones with the artistic talent. Go check them out, drop them a line and become fans of them.
Oh, and spread the gospel. Happy holidays and thanks for a good year, dear readers.
Now…. DOWNLOAD ! :D
We love Seth Woods. Whether under the guise of Sad Accordions (review, interview) or The Whiskey Priest (review, review), there’s something in the music he makes that grows to another plane guided by that wistful voice.
So, after having grilled him regarding Sad Accordions, we had to do some questions about The Whiskey Priest… (more…)
Interesting name, Sad Accordions. Some might say they are depressing by themselves, others will tell you that they think of Italian cooks serenading two socially-distant dogs that are in love and eating spaghetti bolognese.
In reality, it’s the name of a band. A very good one too. Dearly embedded in our collective ipods (and being played a lot as of late), it’s the sound of vast horizons and long road trips while memories of days gone by fly like the wind distorts that staple 70s rock on the radio. Yeah, that’s it.
We reviewed their latest EP, a split single and even interviewed them. But, wait, there is more! Seth Woods, lead singer of Sad Accordions, also creates magic under the name of The Whiskey Priest. We’ve reviewed him a couple of times and we’ll be interviewing him soon.
In the meantime, this is a beautiful, haunting song by Sad Accordions. It’s called ‘Savage’ and it’s the sound of my memories of the 80s, both good and bad. Peace out!
We like The Whiskey Priest. We also like Sad Accordions. Funny thing, both bands share frontman Seth Woods, who seems to enjoy jumping from acoustic to guitar (via western drawl and jewharp). So we got our Mexican writers, Tonan and Sam, to email them with a couple of questions.
Subjects: Upcoming tour, the recent album by Sad Accordions (review) and the best barbecue in Austin (this might be a fib).
Greetings, readers drinking cheap coffee (via Tesco) and sneaking a looksie at Cracked.com while the boss is out for a smoothie (posh idiot). Welcome to another edition of our “off again, off again, hey it’s on again!” single reviews column.
This week’s singles come courtesy of Gilgamesh, who really deserved his reputation, and Goliath, who needed a better PR person, like the one who made people believe that Subway is healthy for you. Fuck that noise. Get a bacon sandwich and make it diet by throwing away the bread (specially the granary one, it sticks to my retainers).
Ah, singles, right: