A Response to Timmy T’s Top 10 of 2015

13 Feb

(Editor’s note – read up on Timmy T’s Top 10 of 2015 below. But we couldn’t let him have all the fun, so we had to respond with our favorites too.)

 

Image result for sturgill simpson sugar daddy

 

Thoughts, conclusions, proclamations and rebuttals:

  • Tim is spot on with Ryan Adams. Long after he is gone, he will be regarded as the troubadour of our generation. The quality and output are unparalleled. If his catalog seems a bit daunting, i don’t blame you – but either Tim or I are happy to provide gateway songs whether you need whiskey-sippers or torch-lighters.
  • Leon Bridges should be on the list, but there is no better song of his than “Coming Home”. It sounds like it could have been written in 1963, unlike the rest of the album, which is trying to sound like it was written in 1963.
  • Also thought that Mumford got a bad rap for trying to be U2 this time around – but i suppose that heavy is the backlash when you first come to the party with a banjo and moustache wax.
  • Where is Glen Hansard on this list? The Van Morrision acolyte with probably the best song of the year with “Winning Streak”
  • Cameron Crowe let me down with Aloha, but at least he picked the Cold War Kids “First”
The Top 10 songs i purchased on ITUNES in 2015 that were from 2015 and not on Tim’s list:
  1. “Winning Streak” by Glen Hansard – just buy it, you fathers of boys and girls, you brothers of men. Trust me, you’ll have a moment at some point. Maybe when your kid bumps their head. Or succeeds at something for the first time. Or when someone you care after said thank-you.
  2. “Dearly Departed” by Shakey Graves – all the ingredients to a good song. Clever lyrics, catchy, girl and boy harmony. Add a crunchy and rollicking beat and you have a winner.
  3. “All Your Favorite Bands” by Dawes  – a grower that somehow has become one of my favorite songs. It’s a little cliche but hey i’m a soul music softie
  4. “Turn Your Love” Half Moon Run – the Strokes meet Bedouin Soundclash. In a good way.
  5. “Let It Happen” by Tame Impala – John Lennon’s younger brother is into techno. Inescapable groove.
  6. “On A Dime” by Joel Plaskett – fond memories of a life on the east coast, but you prairie boys will relate if you like girls, gin and street hockey
  7. “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Libertines  – the brit pop heroes are back and they are older and slightly wiser
  8. “Depreston” by Courtney Barnett – the smartest lyricist i have heard in a long time. And she sounds kinda grunge which is coolio.
  9. “Devil’s Time” by Reuben and the Dark. CanCon meets Joshua Tree.
  10. “Sedona” by Houndmouth – don’t know what to make of these guys yet, but they have at least 4 promising songs.
The Top 7 songs i purchased from ITUNES in 2015 that i should have bought some time ago because they are just awesome:
  1. “Hourglass” by Catfish and the Bottlemen. The next British candidate for World Dominance (there’s one for every year isn’t there,Tim?)
  2. “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates – its a bitch girl.
  3. “Missing Heart” by Dwight Yoakem – a country ballad i like, who knew?
  4. “Jamaica Farewell” by Harry Belafonte – you’ll hear it the next time you drink with me on a porch, i can guarantee you that.
  5. “Hungry for your Love” by Van Morrison – another lost classic.
  6. “Stuck on the puzzle” Alex Turner (from Arctic Monkeys) softer side
  7. “I Make The Dough, You Get the Glory” Kathleen Edwards – major props for rhyming marty mcsorley in a song.
3 Songs for the bright new future in 2016 (aka what i am listening to right now):
  1. “Tennessee Whiskey” by Christ Stapleton – a straight rip off of Etta James “I’d rather go blind”, but he makes the grade because it sounds nothing like the original song and its just so. damn. smooth.
  2. “Sugar Daddy” Sturgill Simpson – the future, grounded the past. Like always. Great kick in at the end too.
  3. “Everglow” or “Fun” by Coldplay – they can still write a ballad even if they never had heavy album like i wanted them to.
Good night, good luck, and i hope all your favorite bands stay together.
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Timmy T’s Top 10 of 2015

13 Feb

(Editor’s note-  Another great year, another finely curated list from the excellent aficionado Timmy T. Although Unsung may have some strings to pick with the list…) 

Image result for leon bridges coming home

Here we go (not in a particular order):

  1. The Wind & The WaveCovers One
    • Best Song: “Ignition (Remix)”
    • Why It’s On The List: If you’re going to cover a song, do it right, and more often than not, do it acoustic. This band has other good stuff, so it’s not like they only have covers to rely on. But, this work of art is both extraordinary and also nostalgic.
  2. Ryan Adams1989
    • Best Song: “Wildest Dreams”
    • Why It’s On The List: See above. It was quite amusing to see the comments from Swift fans insulting a “no name” artist for covering her work and trying to “get famous” from it. Adams takes Swift’s work and does it with style and grace and compliments. Hopefully, this inspired at least one or two Swift fans to explore a bit beyond Bubblegum Pop.
  3. Mumford & SonsWilder Mind
    • Best Song: “Just Smoke”  *tied with*  “Believe”
    • Why It’s On The List: A solid album from start to finish with nary a musical issue to be found. More mainstream? Perhaps. Less valid? Definitely not. I defy you from trying to sing along with “Believe” and not enjoy it.
  4. Ron Hawkins & The Do Good AssassinsGarden Songs
    • Best Song: “Peace & Quiet”
    • Why It’s On The List: Folksy awesomeness with Costello-like enthusiasm.
  5. Sharon Jones & The Dap-KingsIt’s a Holiday Soul Party
    • Best Song: “Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects”
    • Why It’s On The List: Sharon has been clawing away at the TT Top 10 for a few years now, but hasn’t made the cut until now. I still hear naysayers of Christmas music suggest it is a tired and annoying genre. I highly recommend this album for anyone who does not have ready-access, or as a suitable follow-up on a playlist, to the Unsung/Timagination classic, “Yes, Virginia. There is a Good Christmas Album.”
  6. The Barr BrothersAlta Falls (EP)
    • Best Song: “Never Been a Captain”
    • Why It’s On The List: Just give it a listen. It’s short and sweet and “Never Been a Captain” may just bring a tear to your eye. Pair with a Barley Wine.
  7. Leon BridgesComing Home
    • Best Song: “Better Man”
    • Why It’s On The List: I will admit to you that I only happened upon this as a recommendation from iTunes to me. But, it did not disappoint. Their review/summary is spot-on. He captures the soul of an era that has long since gone.
  8. Ryan AdamsLive at Carnegie Hall
    • Best Song: “The Rescue Blues”
    • Why It’s On The List: Whhhhaaaaa!!??? Two Ryan Adams albums!? Yes, two Ryan Adams albums! If you just can’t bring yourself to listen to this whole fantastic live chronology, despite you finding favour with him from 1989, you will be able to find a trimmed-down 10-song version of this album. However you choose to discover it, at least be strongly encouraged to do so. Side note: too bad he wasn’t this good live when he was in Edmonton 😦
  9. Florence & The MachineHow Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
    • Best Song: “Various Storms & Saints”
    • Why It’s On The List: Hasn’t been a female vocal lead in rock n’ roll this powerful since Janis Joplin. And there’s some vocal abilities reminiscent of Joplin’s range to boot. I look forward to the upcoming documentary on Florence from the makers of “Making a Murderer”.
  10. Buddy Guy Born To Play Guitar
    • Best Song: “Whiskey, Beer & Wine”
    • Why It’s On The List: Well look, whether you like the Blues or not, this guy is a master. Second only perhaps to the late great B.B. King who recently passed on (and for whom Buddy & Van Morrison offer up a moving tribute song on this album). It’s just simply a great blues record that echoes traditional blues, some rip-roaring riffs and some cutting edge guitar work.
Honourable Mentions:
  • Bob Schneider – King Kong Vol. 2 – “Han Solo” – Rock
    • Just crazy good to listen to, and so timely.
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – “S.O.B.” and “I Need Never Get Old” – Rock
  • The Strumbellas – “Spirits” – Rock
  • Cold War Kids – Hold My Home – “First” (technically 2014, but a huge hit in 2015 & 2015 saw the release of the Deluxe version) – Rock
  • Jamie xx – In Colour – “Stranger In A Room”, “Loud Places” and “i Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” – Electronic
  • Jeff Coffin – The Inside Of The Outside – Jazz
  • Gilad Hekselman – Homes – Jazz
  • Rihanna and Kanye West and Paul McCartney – “FourFiveSeconds” – Pop
  • Whiz Khalifa – “See You Again” (feat. Charlie Puth) – Pop
    • Well, because – I mean honestly, who didn’t shed a single tear at the Paul Walker send-off at the end of the epic Furious 7?
  • Mark Ronson – “Uptown Funk” (feat. Bruno Mars)
See you all next year!!

Listen (!) The Greatest Christmas Playlist of All Time

18 Dec

…..if we say so ourselves. *ahem* But seriously, our handpicked, organic and artisan craft curated playlist is the perfect accompaniment to your holiday festivities. And this year we’ve added a few more nuggets from none other than our friends Elvis and Slade, and of course some Fairytales from New York. All the best to you and yours from Unsung – maybe this Christmas will mean something more. Maybe this year, love will appear, deeper than ever before. 

 

 

Holy Holy

20 Nov

The  Band:  Holy Holy

What’s the story? This certainly is the year of Australasia. The current music coming out of there continues to sound fresh, urgent and immediate – it seems as if our island friends have taken all the genres that grew stale and old on the West Coast of the US and replanted them in a harmonious garden of 70s folk melodies and melancholy, intricate guitar codas, and epic lyrics that span the sky but still beat the heart. The band with the name that is Holy Holy has risen from the tide, led by songwriting team of Timothy Carroll and Oscar Dawson. The debut album ‘When Storms Would Come’ will be out this December. Catch the wave and you will be sitting on top of the world. 

Sounds Like:  A death cab for Aussies. Whatever that means. 

The gateway songs: 

“Sentimental and Monday”

“History”

 

Other songs:   

“You Cannot Call For Love Like A Dog”

“House of Cards”

“Impossible Like You” 

If you liked this, check out these bands/songs:

Boy & Bear “Southern Sun”

Crowded House “Weather With You”

The Phoenix Foundation “Buffalo”

U2 “Love Comes Tumbling”

Glen Hansard

14 Sep

The (Man) in the Band:  Glen Hansard

What’s the story? When I go mining into Van Morrison’s expansive catalog, I almost always unearth some new gem. That will happen when you are listening to a mystic Irish shaman with more than 30 albums to his credit – its easy to get overwhelmed by the depth of the canon. And so I have a fellow Irishman to thank for my latest Van discovery of “Hungry For Your Love” – one Glen Hansard, he of Swell Season and Oscar winning fame. Certainly not Unsung by the Irish, but still relatively unknown on these shores. He is a disciple of Morrison, and he has followed the teachings of the master well (check out this awesome story of the time they once met), but on his new album (potential awesomeness alert) “Didn’t He Ramble”, Hansard expands the ritual to channel celtic, folk and creole with a voice that sounds like a less wounded and yet more piercing sibling of Caleb Followill. The lead single ‘Winning Streak’ could have be written in 1972 by Dylan, Morrison and The Band – it is that good. 

Sounds Like:  Sipping a warm cup of Earl Grey while looking through the window at the rain hitting the water. 

The gateway songs: 

“Winning Streak”

“Low Rising”

Other songs:   

“Her Mercy”

 

The rest of “Didn’t He Ramble” – comes out on September 18th. Listen here now. 

 If you liked this, check out these bands/songs:

Van Morrison  (obviously) “Old Woodstock”


Kings of Leon “Beautiful War”

 

 

Paolo Nutini “Tricks of the Trade” 

 

 

 

Finally, UnSung can listen to Taylor Swift and not feel guilty

10 Aug

This is great news and we’re very excited. I mean, just listen to these excerpts of Bad Blood!!!

 

They still make music videos?

26 Jul

They sure do. But who watches them anymore? I used to sit and devour the video countdown show in the late 90s every week. It was a great time for the music video – millions of dollars of one-up-manship,  battles with armadas of flying helicoptersfireworks and sabotage.  They sure don’t make it like that anymore, but I enjoyed this considerably understated return to form by the latest greatest British rock band hope, Catfish and the Bottlemen (seriously fellas, can you conquer the world with a name like that?). Anytime you can have Ewan McGregor aka Obi Wan aka The Trainspotter along for the ride, bottoms up! Enjoy.

 

 

Cover Song of the Day

30 Jun

Father John Misty + Arcade Fire 

“I really love Win Butler’s songwriting. I feel like he is articulating this very specific thing for a very specific form of anxiety that adults like us are experiencing. The way he communicates how things are changing in adults’ lives, and the ‘loss of innocence’ is something very important, and a lot of other songwriters opt to be cynical about those themes, for fear of being genuine, but Win is walking an interesting tightrope between things that are very singular and personal, and then also framing it in this crazy kind of macro-epic that scratches some itch I have.

“A couple of years ago, I went back to my neighbourhood that I grew up in, and was just walking around at two in the morning and was really struck by how inappropriate it feels to be walking around a quiet neighbourhood street at that time. I always felt that these suburban neighbourhoods had some strange malignant undercurrent, and I like the way that in Arcade Fire’s ‘The Suburbs’ it feels like this loss of innocence feeling makes me feel that I could go back to this idea of the suburbs, and regain that innocence that we feel that we’ve lost.” Father John Misty

 

Listen (!) Preston Love’s Omaha Bar-B-Q

11 Jun

275You know by now that it is UnSung’s continual quest to bring you what is right and spicy in this old great big old world. And since summer is officially here, and its time to warm up the grill, we’ve found a little home cookin’ for ya. Great song titles (they have one called Neck Bones for god’s sake!) groovy saxophone,and one of the most underrated guitar talents of the late 60s early 70s = recipe for a funkdown feast. I’m getting this vinyl as soon as I can. And I’m so inspired I think i’m going to name

271my first child Preston. Or Love. Or Shuggie. Or Otis. Hell, maybe even Omaha BBQ. Enjoy!

Happy Fridays

22 May

The sun was shining and the (musically astute) love of my life started singing the chorus to this old nugget. It took us a few minutes to find out the song and the band and it made our morning. But wait there’s more – the original is a great old rambling classic by the Stones:

 

Some covers take things to a happier place. Straight from the dayz of Madchester come the Soupdragons!!! A brilliant band name and an even better video. Happy Fridays everyone!  

 

 

And if you want to keep your dance party going 90’s English style, check out these tracks: