Having nearly filled up the hard drive on my computer, I haven't been able to download any new music for a couple of months. However, last week I bought an external hard drive and was able to transfer all of my music to that, allowing to to finally cash in the $45 of Itunes credit that I had. Here is what I got:
Kings of Convenience- Declaration of Dependence
I have been a big fan of Kings of Convenience for several years now. Don't be fooled into thinking that the LL Bean sweater was the only good thing out of Norway because these two guys are fantastic. So far I've really enjoyed this album. I think that it is better than their 2004 release Riot on an Empty Street, but don't think that it can top their 2001 debut Quiet is the New Loud (which is also one of the best album names of all-time).
Harper Simon- self-titled
In case you didn't know, Harper Simon is Paul Simon's son. It would be nearly impossible to write about this album without noting the similarities in their styles (not that it's bad thing, by any stretch). In fact, on a number of songs, you would be easily forgiven for mistaking Harper's voice that of his dad's back when he played with Art Garfunkel. However, on the whole, this album has a bit more of a country feel than Paul's ever did, and it's really quite good.
Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard- One Fast Move or I'm Gone (Music from Kerouac's Big Sur)
I had no idea about this side-project until I heard the song "These Roads Don't Move" on Dave Roots (which I wrote about recently). Being a sucker for both Ben Gibbard's voice and the pedal steel, this was love at first listen. The album is basically the result of Gibbard (the front-man for Death Cab for Cutie) and Farrar (of Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt fame) collaborating to do the music for a Jack Kerouac documentary entitled One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur. You can read more about it in this Pitchfork article.
Works Progress Administration- self-titled
Another album that I found out about thanks to Dave Roots, WPA is a collaboration which includes Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek, Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket, and Luke Bella. It also features performances by Sara Watkins and dummer Pete Thomas. While some of you may find this line-up strikingly similar to the Mutual Admiration Society, think of it as MAS with a good bit of twang to it. The album also features two vocal performances by Sara Watkins, which are almost worth the price of the album by themselves.