Small Houses – Oh, Hiding Out / Our Sweet 7″

Michigan-based folk troubadour Jeremy Quentin aka Small Houses took’s song of the year 2011 award with amazingly beautiful song Late July. So i’m definitely a big fan and some good news arrived last week. Small Houses have a new seven inch single Oh Hiding Out / Our Sweet coming out on november 5th and you can already pre-order this lovely release. This one below is Our Sweet. Stream/buy the whole thing on his website or bandcamp.

Small Houses Website
Small Houses at Bandcamp

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Songs of the Year 2011

My song favourites were already covered in those round-up posts and therefore this list might be a little useless. I still decided to make some kind of list of my biggest love affairs. Because I’m extremely logical person, this time I just put Finland and rest of the world into the same basket and started picking up my favourite songs. Top 10 is a small amount and it could be a lot longer without any drop in the quality. But I don’t want bother with you another long list. And in case you are wondering why there are no songs from my albums of the year, Mummypowder and The Deep Dark Woods, the fact is that I just love those albums in their entirety and it would be difficult to pick just one song (+ my biggest favourites from those records are not on soundcloud or bandcamp). So they are not included, but here are ten songs that I really love.

10. Carmen & The Devil: Love Drove My Baby Away
– Wonderful song. Ok, it is a little bit too much to call this “demo” 10th best song in the world, but I can’t leave it out. This is my year-end list and this is a song that I love. Why should I pick some “better” song that I’ve listened to ten times instead of this beauty which I have listened to a hundred times.

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9. Pickering Pick – Like A River
Pickering Pick’s Tiger Palm was one of the last albums I had to leave out of the albums of the year list. Mostly because Pickering Pick is quite a heavy thing to digest on an album length for me. Works better in small doses and Like A River and Ballad For Leaving are both among the most beautiful songs of the year.

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8. Marmalakes – Balmorhea
– The second Marmalakes EP Even Clothed was one of the late addictions. This young band from Austin is pretty fantastic and I have high hopes for them. Especially this last song of the EP, Balmorhea, is something truly wonderful.

7. Dolorean – Country Clutter
– Beautiful in a fucked up kind of way. Country Clutter is the the highlight of Dolorean’s wonderful fourth album The Unfazed.

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6. Mirel Wagner – No Death
– This young Finnish folk/blues singer-songwriter released a stunning debut album and this song is out of this world.

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5. Chris Bathgate – Salt Year
Chris Bathgate’s album Salt Year is a beauty. It has several magical folk songs. Choosing between Poor Eliza and the title track Salt Year is difficult, but at the moment Salt Year is my favourite.

4. Samae Koskinen – Hän, jolla on kaikki
– The best Finnish song of the year. Beautiful, genuine and heartfelt. A perfect song.

3. Hezekiah Jones – Lift the Shadow from This Heart
– Hard to choose between this one and Borrowed Heart that was not on the album. Lift the Shadow from This Heart takes a light edge, because it’s the song that started my love affair with Hezekiah Jones.

2. Dawes – If I Wanted Someone
– 70’s influenced folk rock with harmonies. My kind of music. If I had the ability to write music, it would either be power pop or something like this. One amazing song.

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1. Small Houses – Late July
– And the song of the year award goes to Small Houses aka Jeremy Quentin. Late July might not be anything earth-shattering and it might not be the most amazing composition of the year. But for me this is a unique and magical folk song and I love it as much as its possible to love a song.

Small Houses – “Late July” from Spencer Wells on Vimeo.

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Year 2011 Round-up Part 1: Small Houses, Hezekiah Jones, Chris Bathgate, Stranded Horse

I think it will go close to Christmas (or even after) until I have the albums and songs of the year lists ready, but I thought I post a couple of quick round-up posts before that. Maybe I should ask Suburban Home is that Micah Schnabel album coming out before the end of the year, before choosing the album of the year. At the moment it seems to be a contest between The Deep Dark Woods and Glossary with Dawes lurking on the 3rd spot and Mummypowder leading the local contest. But last minute changes are always possible.

I’ve become more and more addicted to folk singer-songwriters during the year and Jeremy Quentin (Small Houses), Raphael Cutrufello (Hezekiah Jones), Chris Bathgate and Yann Tambour (Stranded Horse) are new musical heroes of mine. I think I’ve found the first three from the wonderful Canadian blog Slowcoustic and if you like these videos below you should bookmark it (or just make it your home page).

Without further ado, I’ll bring you these great folk songs. Also known as the most beautiful songs of the year 2011 here at the headquarters. I’ve listened these so many times that you need master’s degree in mathematics to be able to count that far. The albums are also fantastic. Well at least the first three. I don’t actually have the Stranded Horse album yet, which is criminal because I love that song. I have to do something with that if the rest of it is even half as good.

Small Houses: Late July (from the album North)

Small Houses – “Late July” from Spencer Wells on Vimeo.

Hezekiah Jones: Lift The Shadow From This Heart (from the album Have You Seen Our Fort?)


Chris Bathgate: Poor Eliza (from the album Salt Year)

Chris Bathgate : Bridgehouse Session Pt. 2 from Mostly Midwest on Vimeo.

Stranded Horse: And The Shoreline It Withdrew In Anger (from the album Humbling Tides)


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