It’s the last week of July, and we’ve got some great Daytrotter sessions to close out the month. It’s all soul music, in a way. Always is. Column No. 3 begins now.
Black Milk’s No Poison, No Paradise was one of our favorite records from 2013, and we have been trying for years to get the transplant from Detroit by our studio for a session. It happened to work out at SXSW in Austin this March, and his addition to the Daytrotter archive is one of the coolest sets we’ve ever taped. These songs of stifled people and hard situations give us a feel of a humid summer day, with the fire hydrants busted open and gushing out into the street. They also give us the feeling that they aren’t going to be busted open and flowing forever. There will be a return to reality. There are all sorts of hardships and rough tales in these songs. Check out Black Milk’s Daytrotter session here.
This young rapper from New Orleans feels as if he might be on the cusp of greatness. He shows incredible skills in composition, and his storytelling skills are as sharp as you are going to find. His ability to both rap and sing when he has to is a wonderful rarity that he excels at, particularly in the standout track here, “Fresh Produce.” On that song, he brings to mind classic Pharcyde, and then on “Now You Know” he finds a way to almost sound like a combination of Kid Cudi and Alkaline Trio when Dan Andriano sings lead. Don’t believe me, just listen. He’s an incredible talent that I’m excited to hear more from. Listen to Pell’s Daytrotter session here.
Ryan Joseph Anderson and Brian Johannesen
We posted a lot of great songs last week, but I don’t think we posted a better one than “Fortune and Fate,” by Anderson. This entire set by the Nashville songwriter is extraordinary. He traveled to Rock Island with our old friend Brian Johannesen, with whom we like to share PBRs any and every chance we get, and played together as they laid down separate sets. Johannesen’s four songs feature stories about boozing, loneliness, women and a rousing version of William Elliott Whitmore’s “Black Iowa Dirt.” Check out Anderson’s session here and Johannesen’s here.
Pearl & The Beard
Makers of these booming anthems, this band from New York City, gives us a collection of songs that embodies many bodies—so many bodies. It’s a collision of bodies and it’s the net loss of bodies, as they pull themselves away from each other, moving on to other bodies. Check out Pearl & The Beard’s session here.
The Carper Family
This session, recorded at Good Danny’s in Austin, Texas—one of our homes away from home—was taped with just a single microphone, in the round, and it’s a take on some of the time-honored methods for capturing pure bluegrass and country and western music. The three pretty ladies in The Carper Family sing about broken hearts in the sweet way that you hope to get yours broken someday. The songs are full of woe and something akin to a smile and a hug from a loved one telling you, “Those are the breaks, honey. Everything will be okay.” Check out the Carper Family’s session here.
Arkansas’ Canopy Climbers bring out the chemical melodies that we all have in us. It’s a bit of a stab at that world that Radiohead has made its own and a dash of the great record that Nashville’s LEAGUES made last year. It’s slinky, squirmy and shrouded in something unspoken, something a little darker than we’re comfortable with having in our home. It’s the late night eating at us on “Pills,” and then we find some recovery in the song “Trip.” Check out Canopy Climbers’ session here.
I’ll leave you with another batch of artists I came across this week who immediately piqued my interest and made me want to invite them into one of our studios as soon as they can possibly get to us. I’m really loving Buddy, Hidden Charms, Washa, Mute Records’ The Acid (thanks to Hillary at Communion), Chris Stapleton (the voice on this guy!), Tyler Lee Holter (thanks Ark Life/Jesse), Little May, New York New York, Vaults and Modern Vices (thanks Justin Gage). Now go have yourself a week!