This was the first week where I thought I would finish relatively early. I was listening to all the artists, taking notes, and generally being awesome. However, I caught the stomach flu and have been yacking it up this entire week. I'm sure this is filled with mistakes and errors, but here it goes. Hope you enjoy!
Waxahatchee (Birmingham, AL)
Not to be confused with her other bands Bad Banana and PS Eliot, Katie Crutchfield's Waxahatchee is a solo effort. Her first release, a split with Chris Clavin, features a gritty recording with Crutchfield's voice and a lone guitar. With Waxahatchee, Crutchfield explores a slower approach when held in comparison to her much faster-paced projects. American Weekend follows along the same line of her previous songs, having an airy atmosphere in her recording to join the consistently distorted vocals.
It's hard imagining that She & Him would need an introduction here. The collaborative effort of actress Zooey Deschanel and singer-songwriter M. Ward came to fruition after the two met on the set of The Go-Getter in 2006. The duo later debuted with Volume One, an album filled with original songs by Deschanel and scattered covers throughout. Unsurprisingly, the pair followed with an album appropriately named Volume Two, complete with the sun-kissed pop reminiscent of the '60s and twangy country tunes. Be on the lookout next month for their take on Christmas classics with A Very She and Him Christmas.
Lights Poxleitner, under the professional name LIGHTS, changed her name from Valerie in the midst of her career. Beginning as a writer for Canada's Instant Star in 2006, Lights began touring on her own as a synth-pop artist soon after. After winning a Juno for Best New Artist, Lights took off and never looked back, touring constantly around North America and only stopping to record and release her full-length debut, The Listening. With her Acoustic EP, Poxleitner proves there's more to her than just keyboard-laden pop, beautifully arranging and producing the entirety of the short work. Come October 4th, however, she returns to her electropop roots with her sophomore attempt Siberia.
Brisbane's Kate Cooper and Damon Cox make up the indie pop rock pair known as An Horse. Grammar peculiarities aside, the two started off as an after-work-hours project at a record store. Shortly following the recording of their Not Really Scared EP, An Horse opened for former tourmates Tegan and Sara with their astonishingly catchy rock. Since then, the duo have toured with other acclaimed indie acts, recorded two full-length albums, and recently embarked on a North American tour.
There are many names that can be thrown around when you mention Land of Talk. Whether it's Justin Vernon, who produced their debut Some are Lakes, musical collective Broken Social Scene, of which lead singer Liz Powell briefly took part in, or the plethora of other indie Canadian bands who joined in their sophomore album Cloak and Cipher, it's safe to say that the trio has immersed themselves in good company. Land of Talk's accomplishments with their recordings are heavily influenced by the previously mentioned, with wonderful choruses and riff-laden tracks.