Nathan K. – Methodist Girls

nathank

I’m still way behind and have a lot of good summer releases to go through. One of them is Methodist Girls by Nathan K. Nathan K is a folk singer-songwriter from Michigan and this new album came out a month ago. Methodist Girls has gotten a lot of air time on my iPod during the summer. It has been rather magnificent dreamy indie folk for these lazy summer days. Here are couple of my own favourites. 1993 and Most Birthdays.

Nathan K Website

Continue Reading

Nopat, Pöllöt & Satan’s Fingers

Some fantastic Finnish music for a change. Sometimes I forget that this is a Finnish pop site and not a fan site for fairly unknown North American folk singer-songwriters. These days it should be a bit of both.

nopat2

First we have major news on the One Chord to Another scale. There’s a new Nopat album hitting the stores and our hearts in early September. This most likely wonderful thing (I haven’t heard it yet, therefore “most likely”) will be called Valonkajoa and will be released by Kioski Records on 5th of September. The first single Alla Maan has already reached the surface. You can listen to it below and watch the music video where some of loveliest people on the planet are goofin around Turku and Helsinki.

Nopat – Alla maan from Aki Roukala on Vimeo.

Nopat Website

pollot

Then we have the new Pöllöt album that came out on Fonal Records a week or two ago. It’s their debut album, but the members have also given us a lot of great music with their other groups and projects in the past(J.Tolvi, Barry Andrewsin Disko, Cats On Fire….I highly recommend that J.Tolvi album that came out last year. I’m still ashamed that I failed to write about that one). I’m really liking this Pöllöt album as well. Being one of the favourites to win the quietest and most shy guy on the planet contest, I’m especially loving the song Valonsäteet. Other favourite of mine is this song called Kalla.

Pöllöt at Facebook

satansfingers

If Satan’s Fingers duo are playing a gig in your hometown or within a reasonable travelling distance, you really should go and see them. I’ve seen them twice and I’ve loved every second. Garage rock colliding with The Mountain Goats. Just drums, guitar and male-female vocal interplay. It really is a perfect set up for a live concert. However, it might be rather hard to reach that same level of brilliance on a record with that set-up. So far they haven’t completely reached it, but I have high hopes for the next release. This summer they released one new song called Across Rubicon. I think you can hear a bit of Mountain Goats in this one or maybe the band’s name is just playing tricks in my mind. However, a little big of Mountain Goats influence is never a bad thing. A great band. Book them now.

Satan’s Fingers at Bandcamp
Satan’s Fingers at Facebook

Continue Reading

Bob Stanley: Yeah Yeah Yeah and Croydon Municipal

yeah

I have never been the biggest Saint Etienne fan. I do have the first three albums and I do like them. Especially the album So Tough and the song Hobart Paving. Still as a band, it has never been that important to me. However, Bob Stanley as a compiler, writer and a music fan has been very important to me personally. He certainly is one of the most influential pop guides I’ve ever had. Everything I know about pop music I’ve learned from folks like Miettinen, Jukka Väänänen, Duglas T. Stewart, El Nino and Bob Stanley. Last year Bob Stanley released a new book, Yeah Yeah Yeah – The Story of Modern Pop. About 800 pages of pop music history written by Bob Stanley. Sounds like a real treat. I finally bought my copy this summer and thought I will spend the next month or two or three exploring the world of pop music with Bob Stanley as my guide. I’ve only just begun and have red just a couple of chapters. I look forward to digging deeper into it.

I also have a bunch of great soundtrack CDs for the reading sessions. Like I said Bob Stanley might well be my favourite CD compiler. Too bad I didn’t know that 10 years ago, because these days it’s rather possible find some of the compilations he has done for reasonable price. I would especially love to get my hands on that Tea & Symphony – The English Baroque Sound of 1967-1974 CD. And not forgetting those Dream Babes volumes he did. I fully recommend those Saint Etienne Presents compilations that are all wonderful. Last year Bob Stanley also started his own reissue label Croydon Municipal and have already released several gorgeous compilations. I picked up these three this summer.

hoagy

The latest Croydon Municipal release is this excellent Buttermilk Skies – The Hoagy Carmichael Songbook compilation. It’s the first in this new Songbook series. So hopefully Bob compiles more of these sometime soon, because this is the one I love the most. Hoagy Carmichael was an American composer, pianist and actor who composed a lot of great songs especially in the 20s, 30s and 40s. There’s plenty of classics I already knew, but also a lot of fantastic songs that I’ve never heard. Compilations like these are so useful, if you want to get to know some classic composers/songwriters. I still have huge holes in my music education. This one filled a really big one. I really would like to have the money to also get all the songwriter series that Ace Records have done. Unfortunately I don’t. I just need to hand pick the ones that seem the most interesting. I look forward to other volumes in the Croydon Municipal songbook series.

century

Then we have Mid Century Minx – Female vocal seduction from the fifties and sixties. I’m very much into this kind of music as well. Especially when someone I trust does the hard work and finds those real jewels from the forest. I really don’t have enough knowledge to start entering into this jungle by myself. However, it’s a real treat to listen to a fine compilation that contains wonderfully smooth vocal performances from such great female vocalists like Jo Stafford, Irene Kral, Anita O’Day. Perfect music for lazy sunday morning. Whenever I listen to these I think how great would it be to be a DJ in a small cafe and play songs like these all day long.

popco

And last but not least a Sweet’n’Salty Popcorn compilation. I’m very much into this Belgium popcorn thing at the moment. Last year when I really get into it, it was damn difficult to find good compilations for decent price. Those Lady Luck CDs El Nino did had some great ones, but that was about it. Therefore I’m thrilled that Bob Stanley is looking into this genre (plus Outta Sight has released a couple as well). I don’t really like the cover that much, but this holds a lot of great music inside. I’m still not totally aware what counts as popcorn and what not, but most of the music that is labeled as popcorn sounds rather marvelous to me. There’s something in that slow tempo and rhythm that really appeals to me. There’s also a new Croydon Municipal compilation Popcorn Girls coming out later this month.

Bob Stanley Website
Croydon Municipal Blog

Continue Reading