turns 16: Hayden – No Happy Birthday

This little blog/website turns 16 today. Lately there has not been a whole lot going on in here and therefore there’s maybe not a whole lot to celebrate. As if a so-called blog birthday would be significant thing anyway. Even though 16 strikes, I’m still not completely out. Maybe when 23 strikes, but I’m not ready yet and the title of the song I selected for this small post is not a reference to the latest blog activity. I just tried to think my favourite song in the world that had the word “birthday” on the title. Hayden’s No Happy Birthday is that to me and also one of the most moving songs of the last few years. Hayden wrote this for her non-verbal daughter whose favourite song in the world is Happy Birthday. Hayden tried to trick her daughter into liking his song as much by using the words happy birthday in his own song. Her daughter is too wise to completely fall for the trick, but the song No Happy Birthday is a beautiful treasure that holds inside a mountain of pure love and warmness. No Happy Birthday is an outtake from Hayden’s wonderful 2015 album Hey Love.

This whole Live at Massey Hall concert is wonderful and I fully recommend watching the whole thing even though I made it start from the No Happy Birthday introduction. So here it is. The most beautiful song in the world that contains the words happy birthday.

Hayden Website

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Quivers – Pigeons, The Luxembourg Signal – Blue Field & Verandan – Short Dream

A couple of surprises for tonight. 1. There’s a new blog entry 2. It’s about pop music. A little pop goes the world type of thing. Maybe I should make a few more of these things down the road. I’m still a pop kid at heart. Ok, even I don’t believe that kid part anymore. I’m an old wreck, but one who will always love good pop music.

I kick things off with Quivers who are the inspiration behind this little blog entry. I can’t say I’m a big expert on the Tasmanian pop scene, but yesterday I stumbled upon a song called Pigeons by Quivers and instantly fell in love with it. A brilliant pop song and the chorus is so true. The other songs Chinatown and Ridin’ on the Hearses I’ve heard are also super good and I’m extremely eager to hear more.

Quivers at Facebook

Moving on to California. Shelflife Records will release the new album by The Luxembourg Signal on the 13th of October. There’s Aberdeen, Trembling Blue Stars, Fonda people in the band, so it’s really no wonder that I’m very much into this. Beth Arzy is a personal hero, who together with Bobby Wratten was the glue that kept my heart together back in the early 00s. Bobby also makes a guest appearance on an album track and I can’t wait to hear it. I’m getting little teary-eyed just by thinking of it. But hey, this was not supposed to be a nostalgic praising of the legendary Trembling Blue Stars. It’s 2017, The Luxembourg Signal sounds absolutely wonderful. This is the gorgeous title track of their forthcoming album Blue Field.

The Luxembourg Signal Website

Last stop Finland, but sticking with personal indie pop heroes. Verandan is a new group led by Ville Hopponen from Cats on Fire, Le Futur Pompiste, The New Tigers etc. Soliti will be releasing their EP sometime this fall. There’s a couple of tracks out there already and I like them a lot. Definitely shows that Ville also has the ability to write rather marvellous songs. Not that I had any doubts. This one is called Short Dream.

Verandan at Facebook

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Anna Tivel, Jon Latham, Tyler Childers, Clay Parker and Charlie Whitten

There has not been a whole lot going on in here as you may have noticed. I still have no idea when (and if) I will be able to put this properly back on track, because I’m still exhausted most of the time. I would still love to, because frankly my dear I’m even a little bit of scared of letting this go. This is tiny and insignificant, but for me it’s still sort of a big deal. My day job might not add any value to the world, but I like to believe that these songs and my love for them that I’ve tried to spread hold some value and purpose in some minor way. Therefore I think I’m stuck with and can’t completely quit even though it probably would be the wiser thing to do. Whether it’s one post a month or one every day is a whole different story. Anyway, time to stop this ridicilous personal self-pity filled mumbo jumbo that nobody cares about. Sorry about that. My goal was just to make a small post and share some songs that I’ve fallen in love with lately. So here it goes and more to come within a week or month or year.

Let’s start with the new Anna Tivel album Small Believer. She is a wonderful folk songwriter from Portland, Oregon. Anna Tivel is such an incredible lyricist and storyteller and this album is a treasure. Small Believer will be released by Fluff and Gravy on the 29th of September. This is Dark Chandelier from the forthcoming album.

Anna Tivel Website

Jon Latham’s long-waited new album Lifers came out on 1st of September on Cafe Rooster Records. My backer copy has not yet arrived, so I haven’t listened to it a lot yet, but I’m 100% sure it’s magnificent. This beautiful man can write great songs and has a gorgeous voice as well. Here’s Yearbook Signatures from the new album. A damn good song and a bonus point for The Replacements reference.

Jon Latham Website

Tyler Childers is a marvellous songwriter from Kentucky. Hickman Holler Records released his album Purgatory on 4th of August. It was co-produced by Sturgill Simpson, which probably gave it a little boost. It still wouldn’t carry him far, if the songs weren’t any good. There’s no worries on that department though. This is wonderful Lady May from Purgatory.

Tyler Childers Website

I mentioned Clay Parker’s new one Queen City Blues a while back, but a revisit in order because I love it wholeheartedly. I got the CD I ordered from him this week and have been listening to it all week long. Actually I even slept with this record every day last week. I had to wake up 4 am every day to go to work and when I eventually got back home late in the afternoon I was dreadfully tired. So every day when I got home I put the headphones on and I let Clay sing me to sleep. That nap with Clay was the moment that carried me through a rather shitty work week. There has not been enough talk about the greatness of this album in the blogs and websites that I read and I would like to change that. Such a brilliant record. This is the gorgeous title track Queen City Blues.

Clay Parker Website

I’ll end this little post with something that I’m madly in love with. Charlie Whitten’s new EP Playwright came out a week ago and it’s one of my favourite releases of the whole year. The songs are magnificent and it sounds warm, kind and beautiful. I wish this blog could be something like these songs. I wish I could be something like these songs. All four songs are pure gold and it’s impossible to pick a favourite, but I’ll go with the last song Virginia on this little blog entry.

Charlie Whitten Website

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Christian Lee Hutson – I Just Can’t Fucking Do It Anymore

I first thought I just leave this video on the front page and stop posting until further notice. Would have been a good dramatic way out, because I really love this song by Christian Lee Hutson. There’s no drama though. I’m just exhausted because I’ve been working overtime nearly every fucking day on the day job and don’t have the time or energy to make this blog at the moment. I’ll regroup and continue. No idea when exactly. It could be only a matter of days or it could be several weeks or even months. Thankfully the second part of my summer vacation is just days away, so I’ll have some time to recess. Maybe it’s time to even consider looking for a new job, because the current one is wearing me down. Too bad this thing doesn’t pay the bills. No need to worry or anything though. Everything is still perfectly ok in the grand scheme of things.

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Matt Paxton – Hunter Street Station Blues EP

I’ve been on vacation mode for the past week, but here’s a good reason to put this all back together. Matt Paxton from Hamilton, Ontario just released a magnificent new EP Hunter Street Station Blues. I’ve loved Matt’s voice and songwriting for some years now. He is a singer-songwriter who is always able to create intimate and beautiful folk songs that get instantly and permanently stuck on my heart. Hunter Street Station Blues is out and available on Other Songs Music Co.. This is the opening song Baby Don’t Go. You can hear/buy the whole charming release from Other Songs Bandcamp.

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Michael Nau – Some Twist

Michael Nau’s solo album Mowing was a big favourite for me last year. After falling for that record I soon learned that a band I adored during the Myspace-era of the internet, The Broadway Hush, actually consisted of Michael Nau and Whitney McGraw. So I had been enjoying his songwriting a lot longer than I assumed. Between The Broadway Hush and these new solo full-lengths, there are Page France and Cotton Jones as well. So Michael sure has created a huge amount excellent indie pop and folk songs over the years.

The reason for this little blog entry is that he has new solo album Some Twist out on Full Time Hobby (UK/Europe) and Suicide Squeeze (US). It’s again such a delightful and charming album. The man has the ability to create adorable and easy-going pop music. Sometimes it feels like these are just lovely sketches for a wonderful pop album and therefore one could make false assumption that the new album doesn’t offer more than pleasant background music for a lazy sunday afternoon. It does work perfectly as that, but after a few spins all the little bits and pieces got somehow stuck in my heart and I found myself totally hooked into the songs. Nowadays using it just as a comfortable background music is actually rather difficult, because I immediately begin humming the vocal melodies and start walking around the apartment making silly little dance steps on the side. Such a lovely record. Here are a couple of personal favourites, I Root and Oh, You Wanna Bet from the new Michael Nau album Some Twist.

Michael Nau at Facebook

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