I’m trying to close an old Bank of America account. They wrote rejecting my request to close it because they “have no record of Jessica Zimbabwe as an owner of the account.” I had to dig through files to find the May 2010 letter where I wrote:
“Please update my account information to reflect my October 2008 legal name change (documentation enclosed). I have brought copies of this document to two different branches here in DC and also requested the change to the account name over the phone, but I continue to receive statements addressed to Jessica Wendover (my former legal name).”
This was apparently June’s 1st album as a signed artists, having self published a few albums before. I find it hard to believe because her voice and arrangement style seem like the kind that would stand out even if you heard them in some dingy basement bar open mic night.
Also, although I know it has zero impact on the quality of her music, her hair is amazing.
I know, I know: I have soft spot for cheesy R&B. This song typifies that soft spot. If you weren’t sure from the audio alone, the amazingly stereotypical video drives the point home laughably. I don’t care. I still love it and I sing out loud to it in my car all the freaking time.
I am no Major Lazer fan. In fact, I’ve never heard anything from them I even liked before. I was just about ready to turn off Jimmy Fallon on April 11, 2013 when I heard they were the musical guest, but I’m glad that I stayed tuned in and heard this. This song makes me want to give their back catalog a little bit more of a spin.
The real gem here is guest vocalist Amber of the band Dirty Projectors (from IJKGB2009 with “Stillness is the Move”). Man, it’s like she invented a whole new instrument the way that she uses her voice here. It’s like her vocals should be a part of the rhythm section at times.
This song, this artist is so cutting and truth-distilling. As far as I can tell, there is no video for this song, but I did find a shaky, shot-from-a-phone, lousy-sound video that was shot in a tiny record shop live performance of it:
From that, i think you get a sense of how real this song is and also of Isbell’s amazing clarity of voice and emotional range. It’s also worth listening to the studio version, which you can stream on Soundcloud here to hear the solid piano that acts as a sweet foil to his melancholy vocals.
I could, and in fact have, listened to this song on repeat for over an hour.
Ooops! Apparently, the Swiss/German duo Boy have been playing this infectious little pop ditty for TWO YEARS already, though it just spread into the states in April 2013. That makes me feel a little better. I mean, I can’t be expected to track musical trends in other countries, right?
Iron & Wine made a previous appearance on IJKGB, the 2007 version. Here they are again with a very simple, but very catchy chorus of a song that layers in strings, maybe? And horns? I’m not sure what all is going on here, but I like it. I also can’t find a video for it. Does Iron & Wine not do videos? That seems very counter-culture statement-y like I imagine he might be.
You can stream the audio of the song on Soundcloud here.
Also, is there anyone but Paul Giamatti who could play Iron & Wine?:
Several of you had already received a copy of my Best of 2013 playlist that only included 20 songs. There was one more I was struggling with: “the Wire” by Haim. I’d heard live versions of it and they were amazing on Saturday Night Live (video below–sorry, includes an ad up front), but the album version was totally disappointing: too full of silly instrumental flourishes.
I finally found the perfect version for my playlist, and it’s a great opportunity to plug another wonderful subscription service that you should join if you’re into music: Daytrotter, produced by the Horseshack recording studio in Rock Island, Illinois. They host recording sessions with many popular and up-and-coming artists in their studio and for 32 bucks a year, you can download them all.