Volcano Choir – Repave

f30d71739522f955027111f738cef64dSomeone once said of New Yorker stories, that the chief editor said they must leave the reader with a handle to carry the story with them when they are finished. I’ve always thought this was a terrific analogy to leaving the reader with something to feel, see, reflect, love, hate, weep, laugh.

I’ve just finished my first listen to Volcano Choir’s new effort – Repave. It was like my first experience with Bon Iver’s For Emma Forever Ago. I am speechless and moved. It is filled with such grace and passion that it’s impossible to not start it immediately all over again to delve deeper into the cadences and beauty.

Music this extraordinary rarely happens. My expectations for Repave were extremely high based on Justin Vernon’s previous efforts and it delivers more than I had hoped. It simply is astonishing.

And like all great short stories, it leaves you wanting more, but gives you a handle to hold on to – and this handle contains a world of emotion.

Stream the entire album here: http://www.npr.org/2013/08/18/210220081/first-listen-volcano-choir-repave

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The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient

The first great CD I heard in 2012 was released in 2011: I absolutely love finding great music that stops me cold from everything else I’m doing and forces me to listen to the entire CD. Few artists have done that in my life with an entire CD.

The Unforgettable Fire – U2, Bitter – Me’shell N’degeocello, For Emma, Forever Ago – Bon Iver, The Speckless Sky – Jane Siberry, Tunnel of Love – Bruce Springsteen,  Quadrophenia – The Who,  and Pirates – Rickie Lee Jones are a few.

Slave Ambient is a sonic song cycle bridging life and hope in a decaying country along the highway. Gorgeous organ, guitars and a voice that’s embedded in the melody that echoes Tom Petty years ago. Take a listen.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMqWSFNC1jU

I’m not a music reviewer, but Pitchfork has a great review here: http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/15733-slave-ambient/