Album of the Month: The Deep Dark Woods – The Place I Left Behind

The Deep Dark Woods: The Place I Left Behind (Six Shooter / Sugar Hill, 2011)

The Deep Dark Woods from Saskatoon, Canada is my new favourite band and their new album The Place I Left Behind is one amazing album. It will definitely be the album of the month and someone must release one hell of an album later in the year, if this doesn’t end up being my album of the year as well. I just can’t get tired of this and believe me, I’ve tried. I listened to it eight hours in a row at work for several days and the thought that I have other albums on my iPod never occurred to me during those days.

The Place I Left Behind is one of the most convincing folk rock and alternative country albums that I’ve heard during the last couple of years. Beautiful lead vocals, rich harmonies and warm sounds gently collide with sad & lonesome thoughts, gloomy & dark stories.. and even old-fashioned murder ballads. Sometimes I even feel guilty because I feel warmth and beauty all around even though I’m listening some slow and lonesome moment that maybe should evoke an opposite reaction. But maybe that contrast is what makes it all the more striking and captivating. Frontman Ryan Boldt has a perfect voice for this kind of music and the whole album is so beautifully crafted. The storytelling is excellent throughout the record. Whether it’s an old fashioned crime tale or a field study of urban loneliness, it works wonderfully. Basicly I just love the whole record. Dear John sometimes feels a little out of place, but as a huge pop fan, I really enjoy that lighter sound as well. The Place I Left Behind is a masterpiece.

The Deep Dark Woods Website
The Deep Dark Woods at Facebook

Listen to Westside Street

The Deep Dark Woods discuss about the new album (some wonderful songs from the album playing on the background as well):

Note that so far the album has only been released in Canada by Six Shooter Recordings. The album will get an US / Europe release from Sugar Hill Records in october. My apologies to Sugar Hill and the band. The samples were just too brilliant and the wait would have been unbearable, so I had to buy it directly from Canada.

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Power Pop #2: DM3 – One Time Two Times Devastated

Moving on to 90’s Australia. At this point, power pop guru Dom Mariani had already made plenty of pop classics with The Stems and The Someloves (these fantastic bands will definitely get an entry of their own) and DM3 continued on the same level of brilliance. My first introduction to DM3 and Dom Mariani was most likely this wonderful song One Time Two Times Devastated, because it is a real Räkärodeo classic (well many of these songs will be, because Miettinen gave me my power pop education) and it got a lot of air time even after I started to listen the show in the spring of 1997. The song is from the first DM3 album One Time Two Times Three Red Light that was released back in 1993. A great pop album even though DM3’s biggest masterpiece is probably the second album Road To Rome.

Dom Mariani Website

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Power Pop #1: The Nerves – When You Find Out

That small introduction to Swedish power pop I wrote the other day got me thinking that maybe I could use this blog to introduce some of my power pop favourites in general. Even though I probably listen to more country/folk than power pop nowadays, power pop is easily the most important genre to me. There are several really good blogs like Absolute Powerpop and Powerpopaholic and I’m really looking forward to see what is Bruce Brodeen’s Pop Geek Heaven all about (should open soon), but power pop still doesn’t rule the hype machine. Far from it. I can’t change that, but more blog posts about the greatest music genre can’t be a bad thing.

These won’t be in any order even though I start with the best song in the world. I think I just mix it up. Some big classics from the 70’s, some obscure tunes from the 90’s, some new favourites. Just great power pop songs. And actually, I’m sure some genre police might well argue that all of them are not power pop. So don’t take these posts too seriously. Even though I love power pop, I’m million miles away from being a real expert. These posts will just contain songs that I really love.

The Nerves were a short-lived LA-based power pop group that released one stunning EP in 1976. The members Jack Lee, Paul Collins and Peter Case were/are all great songwriters and their next groups The Plimsouls, The Beat, The Breakaways will definitely get an entry of their own sooner or later. Somehow The Nerves have still been the dearest to me personally. Maybe it’s just me being a music snob and preferring to love the unknown bands. But I’d like to think that it’s just because the EP is so damn brilliant. There’s actually one really popular song on it though. Jack Lee’s wonderful Hanging On The Telephone later became a hit when Blondie covered the song. However, Peter Case’s When You Find Out is my biggest favourite. It may be simple, but it’s catchy as hell and I love it to bits. Certainly one of the greatest songs in the world in my books.

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Small introduction to Swedish Powerpop

The Genuine Fakes from Sweden will play at Flavour Of The Month club here in Turku on 3.9.2011 (unfortunately the Helsinki show did not work out) like you may have noticed. Therefore I’ve been also listening to some older swedish powerpop favourites of mine. There are plenty of them, because 90’s Swedish power pop is extremely important to me. Popsicle has always been my biggest Swedish love affair, but all of these are huge favourites of mine. I’m sure you will hear some of these at the next Flavour Of The Month also, because I’m one of the DJs.

Popsicle: Sunkissed

The Wannadies: Might Be Stars

The Merrymakers: I’m In… Love!

Blissful: Factory Girl

Tommy 16: Baby’s Got

and some newer stuff:

Mellowmen: Sunshine Shell

The Swedish Polarbears: Norman Blake (<- These guys really capture the TFC sound perfectly) [youtube] and obviously the wonderful The Genuine Fakes who will play at Flavour Of The Month (Pikku-Torre, Turku on 3rd of september) The Genuine Fakes: I Don’t Want It

The Genuine Fakes: When Reality Hits You

And obviously this was just a start. There’s so much more. Like Atomic Swing, This Perfect Day, Eggstone, The Drowners, Bear Quartet, Happydeadmen, Beagle, Hardy Nilsson

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