David Crowder Band have recently released a new video for their song “SMS (Shine).” Using the trendy ‘stop-motion’ style of filming, the band tells a love story with a classic LITE-BRITE® board. This incredibly moving and visually stunning video was entirely directed, filmed and edited by the band members themselves. They used over 700,000 LITE-BRITE® pegs to create 1,200 different images and was absolutely no generated graphics or digital effects. They simply gathered together a huge group of friends bought a ton of pizzas and just gutted it out. It sound like an exhausting effort, but after watching this mesmerizing video you can see why they thought it was worth it.
The Decemberists are now set to release their follow up to concept album Hazards of Love this next January. The King Is Dead will be released on the 18th on Capitol Records and is the 6th studio effort from the band. I have been following these guys closely ever since I first stumbled upon their live show at Austin City Limits in 2005. After being completely enraptured by their live performance, I quickly devoured all of their albums and I have been a big fan of everything they have done thus far. I have yet to be disappointed by one of their albums and from what I have heard thus far, I believe that will remain the same.
Colin Meloy and team will be joined by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck on three of the ten tracks. And it seems very apparent that he has had quite an influence on the sound of this new record. I was a big fan of the sea shanty style of their earlier records, but I am enjoying hearing the band explore some different musical styles over the past few records. And I am really digging the alt-country rock sound that this new record seems to encompass. Right now they are giving away the first single, “Down By the Water,” for free on their web-site. And below I have some videos of Meloy performing two more songs off of the new record @ KEXP’s CMJ stage.
1. Don’t Carry It All
2. Calamity Song
3. Rise to Me
4. Rox in the Box
5. January Hymn
6. Down By The Water
7. All Arise!
8. June Hymn
9. This is Why We Fight
10. Dear Avery
“Rise to Me”
2010 has turned into quite a pleasant year for indie music fans. In the past couple months we have been given not one, but two Sufjan Stevens records. And this time, neither are a collection of b-sides, a remixing of previous work, or an instrumental tribute to a historical landmark (not that I didn’t appreciate each of those efforts).
First we were given the All Delighted People EP, which is a bit of a misnomer for an 8-track collection that clocks in right under an hour in length. This album for me serves perfectly as a pre-cursor to the forthcoming Age of Adz. While it includes a couple tunes that the die-hard fans have been hearing on tour for the past few years (“All Delighted People” and “The Owl and the Tanager”), it also gives a glimpse into the many different musical landscapes in which Sufjan has been playing in. Along with his usual piano, banjo, and string arrangements, People is littered with horns, choirs, and even has a killer electric guitar solo. For those who haven’t paid any attention to anything Stevens has done since 2005′s Illinois, this album may come as a bit of a shock, and may be a bit of a slow burner, but it is definitely worth your time and patience.
And finally this past month, we were blessed with Stevens’ first official full-length collection of previously unreleased original songs in 5 years. The Age of Adz (pronounced odds) like much of his previous work, is a concept album. Leaving behind the ostentatious states project, he finds a different muse in the schizophrenic painter Robert Royal. It is still a very personal record but it is told through the voice Royal. Coinciding with the shift in content, the album takes an even bigger and darker sonic shift than All Delighted People. This record is much more electronic and we get to hear Stevens play around with synthesizers, drum machines, and even auto-tune, none of which comes off kitschy or trite. It is a very sincere album, that just permeates your whole mind and body. Beware you may even find yourself wanting to dance a time or two while listening to this record. Below you can listen to one of my favorite tracks off of Age of Adz.
Sufjan Stevens – Too Much (removed 7/21/12)