i ain’t missing you at all – wild flag, blitzen trapper, happy people

Wild Flag – Wild Flag – 09.13.11

Trans-continental girl band Wild Flag (Carrie Brownstein, Janet Weiss, Rebecca Cole, Mary Timony) released their self-titled debut album this fall and it’s all kinds of fun and bad-ass, which comes as surprise to just about no one. The slow churn of the undertow on “Something Came Over Me” is an incredible interplay between guitar and drums and makes it one of the best tracks on the album. Single “Electric Band” has a nice dark vibe – these ladies are probably going to rough you up against the wall a bit should you ever meet in back alley. Preview the album with this beautifully shot & edited album trailer.

Blitzen Trapper – American Goldwing – 09.13.11

Blitzen Trapper is a band that consistently puts out good, solid albums. As such, it’s hard to point to a song or two to draw attention to – just take the time to enjoy American Goldwing as a complete work. Sometimes nodding to 60s folk-rock, mostly sounding like it was plucked straight from the 70s, and occasionally veering into territory that’s straight country, the band’s sixth release is perfect Sunday morning music. Click to stream American Goldwing in its entirety and see exactly what we’re talking about.

Happy People – HP EP – 2011

The HP EP from New Jersey’s Happy People has a big enough sound that it was surprising to find the band consists of only two people – Jeff Widner and Steve Ortega. Apparent influences range from 90s indie-alternative, The Walkmen, and, on “Triplets”, the vocal stylings of Jeff Buckley and his sweet, haunting croon. While there’s not a lot of innovation at play in the duo’s songwriting, the songs are still the kind you want to hear. Stream or download the album at the HP website.

our old room, corner apartment

“It’s clean here. We’re not used to that. We dirtied up our hotel room pretty well. Put up a tent in there. True story.” That’s what Grant Olsen of Gold Leaves had to say about Madison, Wisconsin, on the band’s recent stop at the High Noon Saloon on November 7th, 2011.

Seattleite Olsen lets a bevy of influences creep into the Gold Leaves sound – the gentle slow-dance sway of oldies, the twang of the south, the psychedelic corner of the 60s – all the while tying it together with his vocals. Clear but unpolished, Olsen sounds like a more world-weary Robin Pecknold.

A live setting really let the material on The Ornament flourish. While the album is solid, Olsen’s tour band really took to the material and gave it a warmth and the extra breath of life that only takes hold when a band is on stage. In a post-show listen, the album seemed a little fuller and the best songs even better, particularly “Cruel & Kind” and “Hard Feelings”.

In not pinning itself to any one influence, Gold Leaves achieves a natural sound that reminds us of everything and nothing all at once, and gives us an inadvertently intimate look at Olsen himself.

The Ornament dropped 08.16.11.
Check out the Gold Leaves Facebook page here.
Click to download “The Ornament” and “Cruel & Kind“.