Welcome to the first band roundup of the year, though we won’t say how long I’ve had these fine bands sitting in my inbox… In this first installment, there’s the dreamy space jams of Woodsman, beautiful harpist and folk singer-songwriter Meredith Godreau a.k.a. Gregory and the Hawk, and the mysterious desert music of Infantree. A warm, acoustic, both serene and haunting ‘comfy as an old pair of shoes’ EP from Sonny & the Sandwitches, and someone I’ve been impressed with for some time now, Danielle Ate The Sandwich.
Woodsman are dual percussionists and dual “sonic animators” who create a glorious cacophony of psychedelia with dreamlike, hazy vocals drifting overhead. They just put out their second album, Rare Forms (Lefse Records and Fire Talk Records) and are having a release party on February 11 at Larimer Lounge in their hometown of Denver. Have a listen, and take a little trip.
Gregory and the Hawk
In “Landscapes” from her third release Leche (FatCat Records), crisp and sparkling plucked harp and urgent strings create transcendent beauty as Meredith Godreau’s vocals conjure a little girl telling a fanciful fairy tale. Calling herself Gregory and the Hawk, she recently toured with labelmates Les Shelleys in Europe, and will begin a U.S. tour February 23 in Los Angeles. On this recent release, there are contributions from several friends, with many of the supporting instruments played by the album’s producer Adam Pierce (Mice Parade). Here’s a beautiful solo version of “Landscapes,” from the Oliver Peel Session #31.
California band Infantree have such an interesting and sophisticated sound, it’s hard to believe they’ve only been performing together in this current lineup since 2008, and only just released their debut full-length, Would Work (Vapor Records) last September. Traditional old-timey sounding guitar, mandolin and banjo picking mix with Spanish melodies, pop-quirkiness, and a touch of psychedelia for a unique sound. Add to that tight song arrangements, clever poetic lyrics and symbiotic 3-part harmonies, and you’ve got something special. Would Work will be re-released in March with extra tracks and a bonus video disc.
Sonny & The Sandwitches
Sonny Smith (Sonny & the Sunsets), inspired by a near-drowning incident in Northern California, began writing a novel called Adelard the Drowned. There was also an ambitious “100 Records” project started back in 2009, which featured 100 artists making 7â€ record covers of fictional bands that he supplies the music for. His latest release (back in November) is a 7″ ep in which he collaborates with Heidi and Grace of The Sandwitches and an obscure band called The Transients. One of the tracks from this, “Throw My Ashes from this Pier when I Die,” has a gentle and peaceful yet quietly haunting quality which immediately caught my attention, and which no doubt was inspired by his intimate (and nearly fatal) relationship with the sea. Each record comes with a comic book, full-color album cover, and digital download[audio:http://www.bostonsurvivalguide.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/ThrowMyashesfromthispierwhenIdie.mp3|titles=Throw My Ashes From This Pier When I Die]
Danielle Ate The Sandwich