Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Excited for: The Portland Cello Project, The Chairs, The Decemberists, The Hard Lessons, Port O'Brien

After a mostly unimpressive 2008, good music is flying at me so fast in '09 that I can't keep up. Here are the upcoming releases I'm looking forward to the most.

The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love (March 24)

Let's get the obvious one out of the way: I can't wait for the new Decemberists record! I've heard studio versions of three songs off the album and I'm in love with two of them, including the one I'm posting here. Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, in a good way, with her role on this track. It's just as "dark and mossy" as I was hoping for.

MP3: The Decemberists - The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid (on UK radio)

The Hard Lessons - Arms Forest (May)

The strength and forcefulness of Shara Worden's voice in that Decemberists song reminds me a lot of Koko Louise from The Hard Lessons. I started imagining how amazing it would be if she toured with the D's. They've had a different female vocalist on every album since Rachel Blumberg left the band, so it could happen...right? Here's a video of Augie and Koko announcing their upcoming record while holding a puppy.

The Chairs - Title TBD (March 17)

The Chairs' November EP is great and it's been getting a ton of play time on my iPod. They're working on a new album that should be ready March 17th, but in the mean time there's a new cover song to tide me over.

MP3: The Chairs - Flume (Bon Iver Cover)
Read The Chairs Interview, 1.22.09

The Portland Cello Project - Title TBD (June 9)

The Portland Cello Project put out a really interesting and diverse album last year, and they just announced that they've signed to Kill Rock Stars. For their next record, they're working with Thao Nguyen of Thao With The Get Down Stay Down and musician Justin Power. The album features four collaborative songs apiece. Five pre-release shows will be performed in Portland from March 6-8. I love Detroit, but things like this really make me want to move out there. Here's a taste of what's to come.

Port O'Brien - Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall

Working in the auto industry has made me identify more and more with Port O'Brien's music. I imagine the parallels between Detroit and a freezing cold Alaskan fishing boat have never been so close. "I Woke Up Today" and "Pigeonhold" are often heard blaring from my laptop at inappropriate volumes on particularly tough days. The band's next project consists of four 7" singles to document each of the seasons. "The Whiskey Song", released today, according to the band "acts as a proper introduction to the project, but also fully embodies the spirit of Winter, a time for reflecting on the past year while pondering the implications of the next." I'll drink to that!
Buy "Winter" on iTunes for $1.98

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