i got sad halfway through because i knew it would end

Lexington, Kentucky trio Englishman (Andrew English, Justin Craig, and Matt Duncan) are back, this time with a full-length album. Recorded to tape in a converted barn in Ohio, the band polished their sound for Englishman without losing the quirky charm of the lo-fi apartment recordings of Taxidermy.

Andrew English’s voice is at the forefront of the album, augmented by acoustic guitar, piano, and a few other flourishes to keep it interesting. As on Taxidermy, it is the lyrics that really make Englishman’s songs something special, each track a tiny gift covered in layers of beautiful and intricate wrapping. Some lyrics lie in the fantastically abstract, some bite, and others are literary snapshots. To wit: “crushed under the pounding blue pinhole sky;” “kissing your lips was a contract I wish you couldn’t read;” “if I must die last / I want someone in the middle looking over her shoulder.”

The music isn’t to be forgotten, though. Englishman has a talent for ensconcing its words with the perfect chord here and electronic fuzz there. The lighter sound of “First Prize” serves to counter-balance the heavier lyrics, and the chord progressions in the chorus of “The Sticks” push the message of loss in a way that’s hard to describe but just right. A refurbished “Boy T. Rex” (also found on their debut EP) has a childlike sweetness about it, though anchored by sadness.

Cozy and accessible, Englishman gives listeners something to sink into. Beautiful melodies and lyrical delights arise at every pass, each listen yielding something new.

Englishman dropped 11.23.10.
Check out Englishman’s bandcamp site.
Download “Boy T. Rex“.

september mp3 roundup

The mp3s we’ve given away via Twitter for the month of September.

These United States – Water & Wheat
Twins of a Gazelle – Constellations
Lower Dens – Blue and Silver
The Parting Gifts – Keep Walkin’
Sonny and the Sunsets – Lovin’ On An Older Gal
The Fresh & Onlys – Waterfall
Allo Darlin’ – My Heart Is A Drummer
The So So Glos – Lindy Hop
Frankie Rose & The Outs – Candy
No Age – Glitter
Weekend – Coma Summer
Houses – Soak It Up
Moondoggies – It’s a Shame, It’s a Pity
The Extra Lens – Only Existing Footage

june & july mp3 roundup

Follow us on Twitter, get free mp3s.

Tucker Jameson & The Hot Mugs – Last Train Home
Frankie Rose and the Outs – Little Brown-Haired Girls
Woodsman – I Can’t Move
Sonny and the Sunsets – Too Young to Burn
Le Vice – Hard to Be Ill
These United States – The Great Rivers
The Love Language – Heart to Tell
Weep – Second Glance
Club 8 – Shape Up
Lou Barlow + the missingmen – Losercore
Bad Veins – Falling Tide
Wild Nothing – Chinatown
Richard Walters – Brittle Bones