This week, we posted a handful of sessions that I wrote about here in this column for the first time as new discoveries, and it was also a week featuring the release of three sessions that we taped in Austin during South By Southwest, where we were taping at Good Danny’s with our friends at Squarespace. These are the best sessions from the past week.
I think Samuel Proffitt and his collaborators have made a handful of very strong introductions here. The layers of brilliant arrangement and structure are peeled back somewhat on this session, which was actually taped on two separate occasions (one is bone-cold Rock Island and the other is balmy Austin), to reveal the gorgeous subtleties and warm lonesomeness that are the simmering and delightfully tangled sentiments, as they should be. Check out Samuel Proffitt’s session here.
Orenda Fink has been on my wish list for years as she’s been making incredible music forever—as a solo artist and in previous groups. The way that she pulls us down into a damp and cool place where all emotions and all weather are allowed to merge and then converge on us with something of a soft, furred paw is touching. It puts us face-to-face with the many moments of strain that we all go through that wind up feeling like stretching, not rips and tears. Listen to Orenda Fink’s session here.
The day that we taped this session, on the last day of SXSW 2015, Fat Tony had a tired voice. It was because of all the fun he’d been having. It must have been that. You can hear it in all of Tony’s lines: He’s one of those guys who is always on the hustle for the action. He’s looking for that next moment that he can just indulge the fuck in. He’s burning it at both ends, and it creates a moveable party, a feast of blissful exhaustion that’s unchecked. Check out Fat Tony’s session here.
I spent this just-concluded weekend at the Denver Music Summit, and Fantastic Negrito was there as well—as a fellow panelist and as a performer, following Sunday night’s fascinating NPR Listening Party, hosted by All Songs Considered’s Bob Boilen. At one point in his life, the recent winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts contest (from over 7,000 entrants who shot themselves performing one of their songs while around, on or near a desk somewhere) was in a coma for three weeks. He’s lost numerous family members to violence and through everything he’s been through, he has maintained an inspiringly bright attitude, which was evident every time this cool-as-hell man spoke all weekend. He’s ALL soul and he’s like a preacher on stage, singing songs about long roads and depravity, with the power in all of his songs coming from that overriding insistence that you MUST carry on, that you MUST dream and get yourself better because no one else will. The sunshine isn’t going to absorb itself. You have to be out in it. Listen to Fantastic Negrito’s session here.
Ashley Raines and the New West Revue
He sings here about the “heavy angels coming” and an old-time religion, and Ashley Raines is a keen observer of the age-old struggles between sin and everything, between sin and whatever qualifies as its master—whatever walks it. His deep and cutting voice is one that you could find yourself hearing when no one else is around. He might be your internal monologue. Check out Ashley Raines and the New West Revue’s session here.
Please, just do me a favor and listen to “Fucking Off Today” somewhere between five and 10 times today. You’ll be doing me a huge solid. You’re the best. Listen to Tree Machines’ session here.
Sometimes all we’re looking for is that sweet seduction that hasn’t been done to us in a while and somehow, that’s exactly what Aimee deBeer gives to us with this session. You are now hers, and you’re powerless against it. Check out Aimee deBeer’s session here.
It was a good week of stumbling. Here are the best new discoveries from this past week, in no particular order: Pale Honey, VOWS, The Underhills, Gengahr, Antony & The Tramps, Vicktor Taiwo, El Campo, Littlefoot, Summer Salt, The Technicolors, The Wealden, Fred Abbott, Waylayers, Corsica Arts Club, Speelburg, nLannon, Louis Baker, Dutch Party, The Weather Station, Wesley Geiger, Joana Serrat, Matt Jaffe, Old Jack, Adam Cleaver and Blawan. Now get out there and have yourself a week!