musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Barsuk Records

Introducing… Stockholm’s Small Feet

Their music speaks of mystical lakes, enchanted forests and magical creatures. Gentle acoustic instruments are interspersed with a heavier tapestry, somber echoes and ageless reverent harmonies. Small Feet are, not surprisingly, Scandinavian bred. This Stockholm band proudly carries and beautifully portrays long, cold winters and a rich folkloric tradition. This is not to say that I wouldn’t equally welcome a Swedish punk rock band or synth-pop outfit, but I’ll readily admit to falling in love with bands that carry forward the music of their heritage, bringing in their modern sensibilities to create something freshly contemporary yet steeped in the distant past. It’s a beautiful thing. The video for their song “Rivers” perfectly matches this song. That is to say, it’s haunting and mysterious.

The band’s debut album From Far Enough Away Everything Sounds Like The Ocean (on Barsuk Records in the U.S. and CFK Records in Europe) was released back in August. It’s difficult to believe that this is only their first full-length release. They’ve got off to a great start, playing studio sessions around the U.S. and in regular rotation on BBC 6 Music Recommends.

A few songs into the album, “All And Everyone” begins with a whistled melody that’s reminiscent of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Home,” but once the vocals and instrumentation kick in, those two bands head off firmly to their unique parts of the world, and therein lies the charm of both. Instead of basking in the sun with a tribe of Southern California hippies, we’re immediately swept away by cold howling winds, wild mountain ranges and majestic sailing vessels.

The band features songwriter Simon St√•lhamre on lovely ethereal vocals, along with Jacob Snavely and Christopher Cantillo. From an “island cabin residence,” they created this stunning album, and are clearly poised for great things. For now, they have a few upcoming performances in Italy in December. See their official site for details.


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Yellow Ostrich Roosts at Great Scott Saturday Night; Hatches New Album

photo by Kyle Reinford

photo by Kyle Reinford

Yellow Ostrich, who I first talked about back in October of last year, are back in Boston (Allston actually, at Great Scott on Saturday night, March 3) to celebrate the release of their new album, Strange Land, out 3/6 on Barsuk Records.

I spoke of how eclectic and experimental they were on their earlier recordings. They’re even more so now, at least based on one of the singles, “The Shakedown,” which surprisingly (or at least to me) is a pretty straightforward guitar rocker! You can download it from them, but have a listen to another single from the imminent album, “Marathon Runner,” which is more to my personal tastes, but that’s just me. It’ll be interesting to hear the rest of the album, and it’s refreshing to discover another band not beholden to any particular genre.

Also on the bill Sat. night is the duo of Nicolas Snyder and Joshua Sickels, known as 1,2,3 and Old Abram Brown. This stop in Allston is the opening night of Yellow Ostrich’s national tour which takes in SXSW, lands at the Bootleg Theatre in L.A. with Niki and the Dove, and circles back to the Mercury Lounge in NYC on April 12. They’re also playing at Sasquatch in May.

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Introducing Yellow Ostrich ~ w/Ra Ra Riot and Delicate Steve at the Paradise Thursday night

Yellow Ostrich

Yellow Ostrich

Ra Ra Riot, with Delicate Steve and Yellow Ostrich
The Paradise Rock Club ~ Thursday, October 20
Doors at 8pm; 18+; Advance tickets $24.50 w/crappy ticketmaster fees

Here’s a very nice line-up, and by “nice” I mean exquisite: the pretty strings-infused chamber pop of Ra Ra Riot, bringing with them Delicate Steve, who has moments when he/they are anything but, and a wonderful newish band called Yellow Ostrich, who have just released their debut album, and who are quirky and strange as all hell. What a lovely combination.

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