Sometimes you just can’t see beauty coming from afar. It’s only by moving in closely to these songs will you really hear how incredible they are. From a live version of some outstanding vocal harmonies to a few downtempo chill acoustic tracks, here is a nice short list of some contributions to the beautiful in our world. Do these bands a solid and share the playlist with a friend who also appreciates beautiful music.
Moon Panda – “Waveless”
-This is a crazy song at times, balancing some really captivating harmonies with a unique rock style. The vocal feels a bit mutated on this live version, but the textures on it are no less interesting than on a previous studio version I had the chance to hear. They are talented, bridging the gap of traditional chromatic vocal music with more dissonant post-rock guitar work.
Magana – “Inches Apart”
-Matt’s note on Magana’s submission said, “heartbreaking singer songwriter.” I couldn’t agree more. I love Magana’s ability to phrase each line as if it’s the last, most important lyric in the world. There’s a sincerity to this track that is – in a word – stunning. This is one of my favorite minimal singer songwriter tunes I’ve heard all year. She puts me in mind of someone like Jeremiah Daly or even rising YouTuber Alice Christiansen. I appreciate the dreamy lyrics and emotive instrumentation.
The Arcadian Wild – “Wolves of the Revolution”
-This song is one of the most amazing folk songs I’ve heard this year. That’s not hyperbole, either. The Arcadian Wild write with abandon. They perform with gusto and the intonations on these vocals show off that spirit. Heck, I even love the album art. The message of the song about living wild despite the structures of life… wow, does that resonate! The harmonies are out of this world, too. Love it all around.
Fellow Hollow – “Clothesline”
-If you’re a fan of atmospheric, relaxed acoustic singer songwriters along the lines of Yesper, you really need to spend some time with Fellow Hollow. There’s a quality to this music that even puts me in mind of the first album from Penny and Sparrow. The lyrics are intimate and each line is beautifully delivered. The line about the “old black walnut” hits me personally close to home. It’s pastoral, bucolic, sweet even; give it a chance.
Levi Robin – “Days of Our Youth”
-At first I didn’t “get” the Ray Lamontagne comparison, but the more I listen to this exquisite track, the more I hear the same soul. Levi Robin can flat out sing good, heartfelt music. This is an excellent track that is full of character. He is the musical equivalent of an artistic flourish like you might see in architecture or visual art. The song is actually more than the sum of its parts. The thoughtful reflection on the past, namely the emotional core of the past, is particularly effective. Moving.