Check This Out

Check This Out: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Can you guess when “Let the Good Times Roll” was released? How about “Coming Home” or “Only You”? The 1950s, do you think? Or the ’60s?

The correct answer is: 2015. That old school sound’s making a comeback, and hopefully it’s here to stay. So far, the new JD McPherson, Leon Bridges, and Anderson East records have been spinning on repeat, but now there’s another album to add to the rotation: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.

Rateliff’s released a few solo albums and EPs before, mostly in the singer-songwriter/folk-rock vein. But with the addition of his new backing band the Night Sweats, he’s got a whole different sound. More soul. More rock. More energy. More everything. Take a listen:

Artist: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Song: “S.O.B.”
RIYL: Songs that make you want to dance, stomp, and howl so loud your neighbors will want to kill you, but you’re just like “Whatever, homie, I’ma do me”

Like what you hear? How could you not?! Check out the whole album. Do it. Don’t make me hunt you down. I’ll find you.

::menacing stare::

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Check This Out: Copeland – Ixora

copeland band photo
After six long years, Copeland finally released a new album. Or three new albums, actually, for the fans lucky enough to snag the Ixora Twin Edition double disc set.

Ixora is the main album, and the only one that’s currently available for purchase. Then there’s Twin, the alternate version of Ixora. This version was pre-order only, though it may be digitally released in the future. All the songs on Twin are the same length as those on Ixora, but with different instrumentals and vocals.

Now here comes the fun part. From Copeland’s website:


Like a remix album [Twin] can be listened to on its own, but it can also be played in sync with disc one. So if you can scrounge up 2 CD players, press PLAY on both at the same time, you’ll hear a quadraphonic version of Ixora.


Say what, now?! I was lucky enough to get the double disc set, and I’ve been listening to all the different versions nonstop. Ixora and Twin each have their own distinct feels and hold up well as standalone pieces, but combining them results in another experience altogether.

The best example of this is the song “Erase.” Here’s the version from the main album:

Gorgeous, right? Now listen to the beautifully sparse Twin rendition:

But WAIT! There’s more! Combine the two versions, and you get this monster:

When those drums kick in. Ugh. I die.

I haven’t enjoyed an album this much in a long time. A lot of recent releases seem to me like filler built around two, maybe three hit singles. Ixora by itself is a beautiful listen from beginning to end. The Twin/quadraphonic experiment is a refreshing change of pace and makes the album even better.

If you like what you heard, Ixora‘s available through iTunes and Amazon. Get downloadin’.

RIYL: Pretty songs

Bonus stream links:
Ixora and Twin
Quadraphonic

Check This Out: Alison and Her Robot

About a year ago, my old roommate Fred funded a print run of his children’s book through Kickstarter. It’s called Alison and Her Rainy Day Robot, and it’s adorable.

Cliff Notes version: It’s a rainy day and Alison’s bored. She decides to build a robot, but it winds up being kind of lame. I mean, when Alison asks the robot what they should do for fun, it suggests they make a nice gazpacho.

Not cool, Robot. Not cool at all.

So, what to do? What would you do for fun with a robot? I think the answer’s obvious:

rainydayrobot_44

Pillow fight! Duh. If pillow fights between robots and children are your kind of thing, you’ll love Fred’s new comic strip, Alison and Her Robot.

RIYL: pillow fights, robots, penguins, smiling

If you like the comic strip, you can buy the book it’s based off of here. Do it.

Check This Out: Father Figures

Ever hear something completely, utterly weird and think This is confusing and kind of creepy, but I need more of this in my life? That’s how I feel about Father Figures.

These guys won’t appeal to everyone. They’re discordant and eerie, and if you’re not paying that much attention you’ll think it’s just a bunch of dudes making noise. But listen closely and you’ll discover that they’re inventive and a hell of a lot of fun.

Artist: Father Figures
Song: “Meddling Kids”
Genre: Zombie jazz (listen to the song below and you’ll get it)
RIYL: Weird stuff

If you like what you hear, check out more of their stuff on bandcamp.