#NewMusicMonday: Eisley

Ethereal meets edgy, meandering vocals layered over a sharp rock bed. This is ambient music I don’t want to tune out. Meet Eisley with their song, Currents. Happily reminds me of the things I love of about Cranberries and Regina Spektor, but they’re doing their own cool thing. Check this out.

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#NewMusicMonday: Jordan Scanlan

Today we meet Jordan Scanlan, an up-and-coming, Midwest-based solo artist. I’ve heard Jordan play live several times, and his authenticity and boldness in his performance always struck me. It felt like watching David on the hills with his sheep, this time strumming a guitar instead of a harp, singing so loud to wear his heart and his innards on the outside.

He held nothing back.

Jordan’s live EP, Promised Land, provides the same experience, a boyish earnestness with a grown-up simplicity. The album is Jordan and his guitar. But despite the lack of additional vocals or accompaniment, the sound is still robust, engaging, full of his signature yearning to explore God as he knows him, and as he doesn’t.

Jordan is bravely giving away his five-song EP, Promised Land, at noisetrade. But you can leave a tip. I bet you’ll think he earned it. Sample the album by clicking on the Noisetrade image below, then download away. Enjoy.

[Updated: the link to the album was not working before, but this has been corrected. I apologize for the inconvenience.]


#NewMusicMonday: Elenowen

At a concert this weekend I discovered a delightful new folk rock band, Elenowen. Elenowen is comprised of husband-wife duo, Josh and Nicole Johnson, along with their best friend, Park Avery.

Folk music is probably the music of my soul, so I always resonate easily with the strums and sways and front porch feeling. But Josh and Nicole’s harmonies reflect their soul connection, perfectly tuned, creating a sound much fuller than the sum of its parts. It’s the kind of chemistry I wish still existed in the Civil Wars.

It’s something we so rarely see in music: the Love Frequency. Resonance.

And it sounds beautiful.

Elenowen released an 8-song album in 2011, and an EP last year. But like many independent artists, they haven’t been able to create a full-length album. So they are crowd-sourcing the album with Kickstarter, collaborating with fans to create the music they want the world to hear.

They are in the last 8 days of their campaign. The goal is $40k in 40 days, and they have a ways to go. So every contribution counts. Stop by and preorder the album, or give big and take a trip to Nashville with the band to write a song with them. Cool, huh?

But first, introduce yourself to Elenowen with this lyric video of their song, Head To My Heart.

#NewMusicMonday: S’ambrosia

Say hello to S’ambrosia, veteran singer-songwriter, raised out here in the Midwest. It might surprise you she’s not some fancy girl from one of the coasts when you hear her giant, soulful voice, full of commitment, grit and passion. But now that I say it like that, it sounds an awful lot like the Midwest.

She’s another one who gives me goosebumps as soon as she starts singing. Listening to the Yours Alone track right now, and there it went, right up my spine. Chills. Goosebumps.

Refusing to produce predictable, vanilla, religious music we’ve all tired of, S’ambrosia explores a deeper experience with the divine than the usual radio fare. She seems to really know God. And like him.

Lyrically, musically, she is just different. What a nice change.

S’ambrosia’s work has been surprisingly a best-kept secret, but she’s getting the word out. Did you know you can download her sophomore album, My Name, Your Seal, for free? She suggests a tip of $7, but she’s following the trend and letting you decide how much to contribute to her work. Give her a listen, and you’ll see $7 is a steal. Click below to listen and download her album.



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#NewMusicMonday: Vineyard

Today’s feature is Vineyard, a Midwest-based, folk-rock band, fresh out of the studio with their lively, experimental E.P., Other Girls. The album displays the group’s versatile skill at blending musical styles. Sound of Reminiscence features a driving rock rhythm that sweeps you up in the moment. The record’s first song, Used, however, croons melancholy break-up lyrics that don’t bum you out, with the light-hearted sound of a banjo and drums who don’t seem to have their hearts broken. Preview and download everything Vineyard on iTunes here.

See? A little bit rock, a little bit country. That’s how we roll out here in the Midwest. And these boys look the part.

Sure, it’s technically September, school’s started, and we’re supposed to pretend like summer’s over. But for those of us still hanging on to the memories of freedom, here’s my favorite tune from their album, the catchy, grunge stylings of Sound of Reminiscence. It’s like an end-of-summer, boot-stomping, front porch concert. The full-blooded chorus crescendo will get stuck in your head, and you won’t even mind. Click play. And you’ll want to turn this one UP!

Happy Labor Day. Happy Almost Fall. But here’s to reminiscing. Enjoy!

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#NewMusicMonday: Bird Call

Today’s new music comes to us from Bird Call, a New York artist described as “heart-burstingly lovely” by The Guardian. And rightly so. Her scratchy, jazz vocals sail along atop synthetic keys and floaty percussions, beautifully designed and layered. Her debut album releases on September 3rd this year, but you can listen all you want while you wait at her SoundCloud page.

Enjoy this tune that won my heart, Tao of Love.

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#NewMusicMonday: Laura Viers

This week’s new music feature is Laura Viers. She hails from Portland, Oregon, and that always makes this Pacific Northwest-born girl happy. But truly, I feel as if I’ve made a delightful discovery. It seems odd I’ve only just heard of her. She’s been creating music for a while now, but Spotify recommended her today, so I hope she’s finally getting the airtime she deserves.

Enjoy this soothing and uplifting folksy tune, Sun Song. And happy week, everyone.

#NewMusicMonday: LP

Hello, everyone. Let me introduce to you this week’s artist, known simply as LP. I actually thought that was part of her album name, you know, the abbreviated album artists often release, short for Limited Play. But no, LP is her name. I know, what’s it stand for, right? I already checked for you: Laura Pergolizzi. (Check out her site here).

I like the versatility LP brings to her music. One minute she’s crooning along in deep alto like Melissa Etheridge, and seconds later she’s wailing, belting out goosebump-worthy choruses. She’s being compared to Bob Dylan, which I hear at times, and of course she does have the unkempt Dylan mop from his early musical career, but she’s more than that. She’s an all-around unique folk sound you’ll be glad you tried out. Here’s her video, Into The Wild.

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#NewMusicMonday: Anna Meredith

Goosebumps, tingles and sheer awe: my reaction to today’s featured musical presentation.

Let’s get this out of the way: you’ve never seen anything quite like this before. Unless you’ve already seen this extraordinary performance.

Meet Anna Meredith, composer and performer. As the composer in residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Anna’s usual creations are her own unique blend of electronic or acoustic music.

The piece performed here, however, was written for and performed by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2012. Although this is an orchestra, not a single instrument plays. Instead, every member of the orchestra rises to their feet and sways, rocks, stomps and claps, perfecting the art of body percussion. The choreography designed for the piece fits perfectly, and adds a beautiful visual element to this undulating cascade of sound.

A phenomenal work, followed by a much-deserved standing ovation. And can you believe the orchestra performed the piece from memory? Enough gushing. Let’s hear it already.

It’s a longer piece so if you only have a moment, just listen for the first few seconds. That should convince you to either stay or flag it for later viewing.


Want to hear more of Anna’s work? Listen here.

#NewMusicMonday: Drums of Death ft. Yasmin

Found these two paired up over at Planet Notion this week. To be honest, though, I hadn’t heard of the individual artists until today. The song matches luscious vocals with bouncy house beats perfectly, like they were made for each other. The video adds another beautiful visual dimension, with dancers in black and white. Just like last week’s feature, here’s another reason to dance on a Monday.

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