It was a weird week. Give all these picks from the last few days a listen, and you’ll see what I mean from the best of Daytrotter in this week of August.
There are some “Time After Time”-Cyndi Lauper qualities to the writing that Katie Herzig does. She’s a superstar just waiting to happen, crafting songs that are effortlessly catchy and interesting. They are hummable and swoon-worthy. They are light, and they are heavy. They are packed with the kinds of layers that can hit you in all the pleasure points and strike the sour points too—all of which is a good thing. It just means that unhappiness feels good when it’s in her hands. Actually, it feels like a wonderful place to take a rest—right in the middle of that unhappiness and longing. Check out Katie Herzig’s Daytrotter session here.
You would think that a session that doesn’t feature one of the best songs of the year—“Get Up”— would hurt this set by Young Fathers, but you’d be sorely mistaken. Included that single would have derailed this strange, interesting continuous track of bizarro brilliance. These songs preach something dark, something that rests in people, even when they hate to admit it. These are songs about the struggle to find the dark urges, about living through the burns and the scars. Listen to Young Fathers’ session here.
Yesterday was Sunday. Sivu makes you believe in Sundays every day of the week. It’s that feel of Sundays that he gives us—those sounds bouncing off of high ceilings, those spirits joined and powerful. He makes you believe in the merit of the hot blood and tight embraces, in the meek and the broken-down—lifting it all to meet some unknown salve.
Spooky and dreamy, Simone Stevens’ work as Bonsai is entrancing. “I Fashion You’re A Dreamer” is one of those songs that you go back to time and time again, allowing yourself to get sucked right back into the smoke and the mist. It’s like being out in the middle of a lake without an oar, a motor or a breeze and just getting taken nowhere. If you really wanted to, you could get back to shore, but the way the light’s hitting the water and the way that the skin rests comfortably on the arms this day, you are okay with simply drifting. Check out Bonsai’s session here.
When I finally decide to go back in time, this session should be playing both when I enter the past and then again when I return to the present. It will be accompanied by copious amounts of coughing—hence the grand entrance will be slightly marred. It will still be an incredible feeling being the first documented time traveler. There will be so many people to thank, but none more than Doug Tuttle for providing the soundtrack. Listen to Doug Tuttle’s session here.
Public Service Broadcasting
We are thrust into an echo chamber of ephemera with this collection of songs by Public Service Broadcasting, who draw on some of the most curious and amusing clips and splices of media to create a new dialogue that sounds as if we were off careening down a monster hill, suddenly aware that the brakes had been clipped. Luckily for us, the hill’s as scenic as anything we’ve ever seen in our life and the crash is going to be spectacularly colorful, so much so that the first responders will be in blissful awe. Check out Public Service Broadcasting’s session here.
I’ve written this week’s column from a hotel room in Appleton, Wisconsin, where the second Mile of Music festival just wrapped. The festival—founded by hometown boy Cory Chisel—is a revelation. It’s a festival done very right. It’s not a star-studded affair, but it’s all heart, and it’s all happiness. It’s something to experience next year if for no other reason than Charlie Parr will likely be playing three or four shows again and he’s a damned genius. Some of the best performances I’ve heard in a while—Nikki Lane, Sturgill Simpson, Christopher Porterfield, Water Liars and discovering Ruby Amanfu. Gonna leave you like I do every week with a small collection of bands/artists that I stumbled across this week that will have Daytrotter sessions soon, if I have anything to say about it: The Bones of J.R. Jones, Sawmill Joe, Ekkah, Indiana, Sway Clark II, Young & Sick, Roger Sellers, Natasha North, Noah and the Megafauna, Child Actor and The Naked Eye. Now go and have yourself a week!