Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Squawkatiel's Dozen #2

Welcome to a special Valentine's Day edition of The Squawkatiel's Dozen. Just like last time, I bring you 6 great songs you can download for free, and 6 songs that aren't available for free but are worth a listen.

First, the downloads:

1. The Honey Trees are a duo from California who will be releasing their debut album Bright Fire in April. "Nightingale" is our first taste of it. The vocals are great in this song, I recommend it if you like Neko Case.

2. Black Twig is a band from Helsinki, Finland. They are signed to the Finnish record label Soliti (who have a bunch of free downloads from their artists on their Soundcloud page) "Pastel Blue" is the first single from their sophomore album Heliogram. This is lo-fi guitar pop a little bit like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart or Veronica Falls.

3. Australian band Nova and the Experience released their EP There's Something Here last summer, but recently released their latest single from it, "Shipwrecked". It's mostly acoustic and very good.

4. "Natural" is the second single from Preston Lovinggood's latest album Shadow Songs which will be released on February 25th. This song is just a little over two minutes long and very catchy.

5. You may have heard My Gold Mask on my show last year, I played a few songs from their album Leave Me Midnight. Here is their brand new single "Battles".

6. Finally, we have Hollow & Akimbo who are a duo from Michigan who have released a great self-titled debut album. Their music covers a wide range of genres, and they have given us a free download of the song "The One Who Has to Carry You Home". This song is more straight forward and less experimental than their other songs, but is one of my favorites on the album.

Here are the streams:

1. Cloud Nothings are back with the first single from the forthcoming album Here and Nowhere Else. While I haven't been a fan of every Cloud Nothings song I've heard, this song falls into the category of Cloud Nothings songs I do like, so definitely give it a listen.

2. After becoming one of the breakout bands of 2013, Speedy Ortiz return with a new EP called Real Hair. The songs on this EP seem a bit more cheerful than their album Major Arcana. "American Horror" is one of the standouts from it.

3. Eternal Summers are back with a new album called The Drop Beneath which will be out on Kanine Records on March 4th. Here is the first single from it, "Gouge". You may remember their song "You Kill" which I played a few times on my show in 2012 (and came in at #19 on my Top 20 of that year).

4. It's been a while since we last heard from The Hold Steady, but they finally have a new album coming out on March 25th called Teeth Dreams. Here is "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You", which has some great guitars in addition to their unique lyrical style.

5. Ex Hex is a new band on Merge Records, featuring Mary Timony from the bands Helium and Wild Flag. "Hot and Cold" is their debut single.

6. edapollo - Breathing Lessons

Finally, here is something completely different from the last few songs, from the electronic artist edapollo. Breathing Lessons" is from his new Shallow Swell EP, which has a very fresh sound. I'm not usually a fan of the chopped-up vocal samples approach to electronic music, but there is much more than that going on here and the end result is beautiful.

That wraps up this week's Squawkatiel's Dozen. Thanks for checking these songs out, and let me know which songs you liked! More music to come in a couple weeks.

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