Monday, November 22, 2010

Matty's Playlist EPs vol. 1

This is the first in a new series of posts that I'm hoping will both get me writing again and help me to continue being an arbiter of discerning taste in music. I will be presenting a three to five song 'EP' composed of different tracks that have recently been on repeat for me, oldies and newbies alike. If you are interested in any of these songs or of creating the EP, go to Grooveshark and do so! So without further ado, the inaugural EP:

'The Pearl' - Emmylou Harris (Red Dirt Girl): This is the opening song from Harris' 2000 Red Dirt Girl album and, for my money, one of the best gospel songs written in the last 20 years. It speaks of the longing for eternity, the struggles of being human in a broken world, and, ultimately, the redemptive goodness of God. I actually have a hard time keeping it together whenever I hear this song because of the ache and yearning of it. Jacob Moon also does a phenomenal cover of it on his Eventide album.

'Copied Keys' - Kathleen Edwards (Back To Me):
I mentioned this song in a post back in June and it's been being played on my iPod/stereo very consistently ever since. This song is all about Edwards' melancholy lyric married to (her husband) Colin Cripp's highly melodic slide guitar lines (which I am absolutely obsessed with). It also has such a fantastic country rock groove to it. I'm hardly objective when it comes to Kathleen Edwards as she is one of my favourite female artists and has never put a foot wrong, as far as I'm concerned.

'Bright & Early' - Sleeping At Last (November EP): I just recently discovered Sleeping At Last and their ambitious project to release a 3-song EP every month for a year through my friends Cory and Ryan. The six songs I have heard from these guys (October and November) have been stunning and this is my favourite of them thus far--I've played it about a dozen times since I downloaded it. A beautiful piano driven ballad with a lovely progression and Ryan O'Neal's soaring vocals, the song builds from it's quiet opening piano figure into a full blown chorus with orchestral swells, beautiful harmonies and haunting backing vocals. Simply phenomenal. I am in awe of Sleeping At Last.

'For The Beauty Of Wynona' - Daniel Lanois (For The Beauty Of Wynona): This is the title track off of Lanois' 1993 album and it has to be one of the most exquisite songs I've ever heard. Jagged, atmospheric, stabbing guitar playing is underpinned by a hypnotic rhythm track anchored by an insistent drum loop. The song has a bit of an 'Eastern' feel to it as it builds in intensity and then breaks into Lanois grinding, feedback/effects-laden, yet gorgeous guitar soloing. Absolutely brilliant.

'Ambulance Blues' - Neil Young (On The Beach): This is the closing track on Papa Neil's harrowing On The Beach album (1974), which remained unreleased on CD until 2003 when he finally gave in to an online petition that was started in 2000 and signed by 5000 fans. Supposedly, he was unhappy with the fidelity of the recording and purposely withheld it from being issued on CD. 'Ambulance Blues' is an 8 minute slow-burning cut with simple acoustic guitar progression and a fiddle. In the song he addresses, his critics, and Richard Nixon and the state of CSNY. I love the line "You're all just pissing in the wind", which was a direct quote from Young's manager regarding the inactivity of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young at the time; it makes me smile every time he sings it. A great song to end an underrated classic in the Young canon and my personal favourite of his albums.

I hope you've enjoyed the first installment of this series and that you'll check out some or all of these cuts. I'd love to hear your feedback if you do. If there is one subject about which I love to dialogue, it's music! Stay tuned for volume 2 soon...


James Kingsley said...

the return is hereby verified.

good to see you back in fine form sir. thanks for the tips.

Mathieu said...

Your music picks are smarter than I am. Would you approve of Aqua's "Barbie Girl" and Vanilla Ice's epic "Ninja Rap" from the TMNT2 soundtrack?

Anonymous said...

Knowing your fantastic taste in music I will have to check out the ones I don't already have. Glad to see you back blogging!