Welcome to the sixth edition of NTWICB!, PTB’s weekly music playlist. This week, we take a look at some new music by both established acts and newcomers alike, and invite you to be the judge: did they live up to the hype? Did they deserve more?
Stubborn Love – The Lumineers – The Lumineers (self-released)
First up, a band I had never heard of until earlier last week when their self-titled album hit the shelves. The big single from the album was “Hey Ho” (you can see the official video here) but my favorite was this track, “Stubborn Love”. As with many smaller bands, there aren’t a whole lot of pretty videos out there yet, but after sifting through some grainy live videos I came across this rather intimate live recording of the song. So far the album has won high praise from Paste Magazine and the A.V. Club, with a “meh” from Rolling Stone. But forget those guys, what do you think?
Wild Goose – M. Ward – A Wasteland Companion (Merge)
A Wasteland Companion was released this week and becomes the eighth solo release by the singer-songwriter. Ward is arguably still best known for his acclaimed fifth studio album, Post-War, and his work with Zooey Deschanel in their band She & Him. I’ve seen mostly positive reviews for the album thus far (Consequence of Sound, BBC Music, Guardian Music), as well as some mixed (A.V. Club), and the usual snark from Pitchfork. I think this particular track has flown under the radar a bit; for me it’s one of the best on the album.
In the Yard – Bowerbirds – The Clearing (Dead Oceans)
If you’re in the Iowa City area, you may have had the pleasure of seeing Bowerbirds live at the Mission Creek Music Festival at the end of March. I unfortunately could not, and the more I listen to their latest record The Clearing, the more I regret not being able to. Bowerbirds has been around for several years and has managed to carve out their own distinct sound that is neither “traditional” indie folk nor freak folk à la Devendra Banhard, Fleet Foxes, etc. From what I can tell, most of the critics either liked it or loved it – including Pitchfork – and the album was recorded at Bon Iver’s house/studio, so it must be good. This particular song, “In the Yard” has received quite a bit of attention – take a listen.
Myth – Beach House – Bloom (Sub Pop)
Bloom is scheduled for release in mid-May, and Beach House has already generated a solid buzz with the release of this single, “Myth”. I’ve become a big fan of Beach House, having finally gotten around to listening to their stellar earlier releases Teen Dream, Devotion, and their self-titled first album. Rolling Stone says on “Myth”, Beach House “layer[s] pillowy synths and Victoria Legrand’s aching voice into a perfectly pretty soft-focus reverie”. Yeesh. What say you?
That’s all for this week! Be sure to check back with the blog regularly for more PTB content, including next week’s edition of NTWICB! Speaking of which, if you ever feel like requesting a song or theme for a future edition of NTWICB! you can send us an email by visiting our Contact page or tweeting @PTBat9.