“Matrimony“, an appropriately named new band, is lead by husband and wife James and Ashlee Brown. James started in Belfast, Ireland and Ashlee in Charlotte, NC. Now they have joined their lives in marriage and a band with a name meaning the same. They hold to young love with a mission to “make songs that actually matter” and “a common desire to make good honest music”. Finally, we’re starting to see music that weighs in with more than formulated club ready beats and themes about California Gurls, “featuring some popular hip-hop producer of the decade”!
Being that the lead singer, James is from Ireland you’ll feel a familiarity in this album to Mumford and Sons, who are from Ireland as well. If you like Mumford, you’ll like Matrimony. (read my review of Mumford and Sons HERE)
“The Storm & The Eye” (listen and buy here) is an alt country album documenting the beginning of a new family. It’s the journey of two people joining their futures together while trying to make peace with their pasts. The lyrics are poetic confessions of love and admittance of fears. James and Ashlee’s voices blend flawlessly together throughout the record. In the background you’ll hear beautifully arranged vocal parts, shading the music with multiple layers of emotion. Ashlee sings with a resolute and convincing voice. Even in the first track “Last Love”, her voice is not timid, but strong. And James sings with a pleading and sometimes haunting voice. You will feel what he feels through the tone of his voice. When he sings “One Last Dance”, it growls and builds, leading to one of my favorite lines, “I know the feeling of peace is something to protect”. This is a moment of pure genius.
The production by Joel Khouri at Bright City Studios in Charlotte is transparent, letting each song come through with it’s fullest potential. Matrimony’s “the storm & the eye” is an amazing debut release.
I had the chance to see them live in Asheville, NC and they are the real deal.
The Enemy Lovers are from Asheville NC and want to spread the word about great new music. Though it has become easy to access, it can be hard to find. If you follow us we will try and find it for you, AND WILL MAKE IT FOR YOU TOO!
Check out this live video of Matrimony performing “Flee or Fight”…
Ivan and Alyosha’s new 5 song album entitled “Father’s Be Kind” feels important. (click here to listen) It’s big and commanding of attention, with momentous rhythms and fluid vocal melodies and harmonies. As understated as it is at times, it rolls in a continuous motion upward. I can’t place what this album sounds like, but the feeling from the start is open, like a gate held wide to let you in.
The vibrant first song and title track “Father’s Be Kind” is the soundtrack for the final pages of a great story. ”I Was Born To Love Her” is the love song of the album. Big crashes and breakdowns with waves of background vocals give it the authentic feeling of epic true love.”Everything is Burning” is beautifully moving at each turn, from verse, to chorus, to the whistle solo near the end. Then they hit you with “Living For Someone”! It builds on everything before and takes it higher, with great oh-oh-oh’s and a perfect bass line. The last song is old school gospel and Dylan, with the same songwriting wisdom.
“Father’s Be Kind” comes off with ease, with no sign of trying too hard or forcing an imitation of something else popular. Half of this album’s worth to the world of music is in it’s originality, and the other half in how easy it is on the ears. Ivan and Alyosha have made something unique and incomparable.
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Since the review I wrote a couple weeks ago about Sufjan Stevens’ new album “Age of Adz” (Click here to read) I haven’t listened to anything else! A bit enthralled you could say. So last week when I sat down to write another music review I was at a loss , because I literally wasn’t listening to anything else.
Then with the holiday season upon us I was trying to find some music to fit the christmas spirit and still offers the inspiration. And finally I remembered that Sufjan Stevens released Christmas music in 2006! So as you can guess I’ve been listening to that like crazy and it’s perfect. Somehow it manages to feel like Sufjan AND Christmas at the same time! Do you need good Christmas music from someone other than the Rat Pack and Nat King Cole? This is it.
This massive 5 disc box set “Sufjan Stevens presents Songs for Christmas” is genuine. Holding the gravity of a holiday season that has become so glossy and fake in mainstream culture. This is a season of joy and pain, loss and sorrow, promise and hope. And this collection of songs will take you through all of those emotions. They won’t leave you with that plastic, over merchandised feeling, you get from the barrage of holiday marketing. Doesn’t it seem obvious that we want to hear music that is equally moving as is the holiday it was made for? And we don’t want to listen to hokey covers of the same christmas songs over and over again! This season truly effects all people and Sufjan’s Christmas music will truly effect you. I’m constantly amazed at Sufjan’s sound and his ability to orchestrate emotion into music.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a warm holiday. Love and peace.
PS – We’re giving you a brand new song this weekend for you’re holiday mix tape. It’s not a “Christmas Song” but when Steven and I wrote it we said it felt like the Christmas/New Years Holiday season vibe. So look for the new song on Dec. 4, 2010!
Sufjan appears to be doing what he wants, when he wants. He’s that guy that can make the most ridiculous things make sense. His new full length album “Age of Adz” is something to be revolutionized by. This album seems to be a dissertation that he has submitted to the world, presenting research and findings on his internal state of being. He completely changed his traditional sound aesthetic, like he was trying to create something that wouldn’t be confused with his previous albums. (Click here to read the details of his inspiration) This is a huge album for Sufjan Stevens like Sgt. Peppers was for The Beatles. “The Age of Adz” has no listener sensitive restrictions. The last track is over 25 minutes long!! It has no boundaries or safe zone. It will be loved and hated.
I’ve heard all the grandiose stories of Sufjan’s live show and even my highest expectations were surpassed with no challenge! He took the stage in Asheville at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in angels wings for one song and then performed an onstage costume change into the likes of Vanilla Ice and New Kids On The Block. He described his band as “hippies in space”! His pants were silver with silver streamers coming out of the pockets and at one point in the concert he wore a visor with flashing lights over the bill. He adorned his face and arms with neon green glow-in-the-dark tape like it was native american war paint and with the same tape wrote “Icy Hot” on his electric guitar. Though the show was presented lightheartedly by Sufjan, it was not a joke. He’s back after 5 years and it is evident in his appearance and sound that he has reinvented himself, for himself.
Posted below is a video I recorded at Sufjan Stevens’ show in Asheville on Nov. 7, 2010. I’d rather you see it live but this video will be a small taste. You’ve got to know that this video doesn’t even come close to translating in actuality how great this show was!! What do you think about Sufjan’s new music? Live show? If you were at the show in Asheville let me know what you thought. (leave comments below)
For artists like myself, new music is mostly business. Usually when we like/dislike a band or an album, we dissect it to find out what it is we like/dislike so that our music is influenced or not influenced accordingly. We rarely just enjoy music…BUT
Yeasayer‘s “Odd Blood” is the exception for me. I listen for pure pleasure’s sake! My ears are enraptured with not only the huge vocal melodies but the massive vocal effects. I love the gigantic drums and the strange nuances of this over produced 80′s-esq album!! It ranges from Tears for Fears to Justin Timberlake. Crazy right? But there is something so amazing buried beneath it all.
When I first got the album my ears were literally offended and caught off guard by the saturation of sound and I didn’t like it at all, or so I thought. Then several weeks, maybe months later I found it, put it on and suddenly it felt like I was listening to music that I used to know and love. Like it used to be on of my favorite albums. It’s very weird and I don’t know how to explain it but I missed not hearing it for so long and I recognized it way better than albums I’ve only listened to once or twice. Now it actually is one of my favorite albums. Music I can just enjoy.
Check out these two tracks. What do you think? (leave in comments section) yeasayer by jzimbrich