Posts Tagged ‘ep’

Kashmere Hakim – The Hillsinger EP
self-released 2010

[tags: acoustic, folk, ep, 2010]

Listen while reading:

Foreign Worker (from The Hillsinger EP) download it!


Hi folks, it’s time for me to post about a great new EP that was in my inbox today. As I’ve said before, I’m surprised how much submissions are still coming in every day, but this one really stands out. I’m talking about the debut release from Dutch folk singer-songwriter Kashmere Hakim which goes by the name The Hillsinger EP and which was released only two days ago. What makes this EP special isn’t its creativity or its experiments – it’s the other way around: the pure and straight-forward character is what makes it special. It shows that you don’t need more than an acoustic guitar and your voice if you’re able to write good and honest songs. And this is exactly what Kashmere Hakim does: writing honest music that hooks you up and takes you on a little journey through the arts of expressing human emotions and telling everyday yet meaningful stories.

The EP comes loaded with six songs and a playtime of 16 minutes which is just right for this kind of release. Outstanding are the melodies of Kashmere’s songs, they are fragile, sometimes broken, but not over the top, rather dry but still compelling. The opener Free People is a good example for this kind of song-writing and it shows that this man surely got a feeling for writing music. This belief manifests itself even more if you take a listen to John Henry, the third track on the EP. The melodies here are different and much more melodic and simpler than they were in Free People – and still it seems that this (a little bit blusy) style just fits the story of the song and tops it off. The free downloadable track Foreign Worker really sums up the overall picture I got of the EP with its soft melodies and its calm atmosphere. If you like this track I’m most certainly sure you’ll like the other ones too. Among the straight acoustic guitar and voice arrangements, there are some strings here and there, especially in the brilliant Grandparents House. This addition really benefits the songs and I’m convinced that there will be much more great music from Kashmere Hakim in the future if he’s able to keep up with this high quality work. If you want one of the 500 copies of the EP, just write an e-mail to Kashmere (kashmerehakim@hotmail.com) or contatct him via his MySpace profile. A digital version of the EP will be available soon. Fine acoustic folk!


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Power Und Beauty – The Gnome EP
Peppermill Records 2010 (free download)

[tags: folk, strange, funny, FREE, EP, 2010]

Listen while reading:

Beggars And Felons (from The Gnome EP) download it!

The Author Of Spring (from The Gnome EP) download it!


Hello dear CFM readers. I’m very sorry that I don’t update the blog on a daily basis anymore, but there’s much going on here and my studies (and other things) keep me very busy at the moment. I don’t know when this will be over, but I can assure you, that I have a very long list of great music to feature (with no end in sight) and so posts will come steadily but maybe not every day. I hope you’re fine with this.

For today I just want to point my fingers to the new Peppermill Records release. Offered for free, this fine netlabel just came up with the new Power Und Beauty EP called The Gnome. Sure, this is a strange title, but the music underlines the theme with fitting lyrics and instrumentation. Accordion, weird vocal lines and a somewhat funny atmosphere are the catchwords to describe the sound. The two embedded tracks show the extremes of the EP – and I definitely hear some Emilie Lund in the Beggars And Felons track. It’s highly recommended to check out both songs, for they are very different in nature. If you like the experimental yet down to earth style of Power Und Beauty, you shouldn’t wait and download the whole EP from here FOR FREE right now. And that’s it – stay tuned.

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Prattle On, Rick – Communion Bread EP
self-released 2010

[tags: folk, indie folk, (acoustic), EP, 2010]

Listen while reading:

Find Your Own Way (from Communion Bread EP)


I hope you’re in the mood for a good Music Monday, because Patrick Rickelton, operating under the…eh…rather strange name Prattle On, Rick, from Nashville/Tennessee just recently released his debut EP Communion Bread. The chances are high that you never heard of him before – and this is just a big shame (well, not for you but in generally) since his music sounds fresh and the EP is a very nice (acoustic) indie folk release worth checking out.

Patrick contacted me after my review for the first three tracks from upcoming The Vespers album Tell Your Mama. Well, the reason seems very understandable for The Vespers are part of the EP, because they actively supported Patrick recording his material. And no, Prattle On, Rick doesn’t sound like just a version of The Vespers – he kept his own style and despite some shared genre characteristics there is not so much in common between both bands – ok, one fact is indeed just the same: the awesome music.

The music is mostly characterized by smooth strummed acoustic guitar melodies, very chilled vocals sung by Patrick himself (with female backing vocals by Callie and Phoebe Cryar). Decent drums and percussions as well as a nice played harmonica support the songs and especially the latter accents the singer-songwriter aspect of the record. The spectrum of the music reaches from classic acoustic indie folk songs (My Holiday or When Creation Speaks Too Low or Lately) over more upbeat but still dreamy songs (Lift Up) to a bit sadder tracks with nice cello (or is it a upright bass…tell me it is) and e-guitar melodies (Find Your Own Way). So the variation is mostly found within the borders of indie folk without breaking out of traditionally concepts like Leonard Mynx did with the recently reviewed Le Petit Mort.

So what you get is what you want without surprises and I mean this in a good way because, even if I contradict myself very oft-times, I like music that is plain and simple. Experiments too often ruin the credibility of the music and the musicians because they are often a sure sign of a missing feeling for song-writing. I know, many will disagree with me, but experimentation should serve the record and mustn’t work as a smoke screen for missing talent (bash me in the comments if you like). So, back to the EP and to Prattle On, Rick.

If I had an indie folk label and I would be interested in finding new acts that sound very promising, I certainly would like to check out the Communion Bread EP. This being said I declare, that I really enjoyed these 20+ minutes of very good music. In comparison to The Vespers, the music is more indie folk orientated, without those introverted, very soft moments. Prattle On, Rick is a bit more straight forward and this could be the reason that his music may is a bit more open to wider audiences. But this is just my feeling about the two bands if I listen to them switching from one to the other. But who needs those comparisons, both bands are just amazing and that’s it.

If you’re interested in buying your copy of the Communion Bread EP (which constantly reminds me of the great Iron And Wine song Communion Bread And Someone’s Coat from the Passing Afternoon Single) I highly recommend to buy a physical copy of the record, because in this case you will also get a totally free bonus album (The Decade Begins) containing twelve instrumental tracks whereby every tracks represents one month. Isn’t this totally awesome? And because it is, you will click this link, listen to the free January sample and buy your copy right now. Soooo…you just don’t like CDs and free bonus albums…well, then buy your digital version at DigStation (100% of the purchase goes to the artist) or at iTunes (honestly, DigStation sounds way better, so just buy it there…) p.s. you can listen to the whole EP over at Prattle On, Rick’s MySpace.

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Galapaghost – Neptunes EP
self-released 2010

[tags: acoustic, indie, folk, EP, 2010]

Listen while reading:

Human Unkind (from Neptunes EP)


Do you remember Galapaghost? We wrote about his debut EP Our Lost Generation earlier (click here to read it) and a few days ago he contacted me again and submitted his new EP called Neptunes. I think it save to say that he improved his sound by 100 percent and created flawless 15 (out of 19*) minutes of (indie) folk. This is progress I really like to see, because I can feel that Casey Chandler works on his music to become better and more honestly. And this is exactly what music is all about, trying to sound real – much more easier said than done though. (* I said out of 19 minutes because one track is not quite my taste, but I come to this later).

Casey’s voice was one of the features I liked about the first EP and I still think that it is pretty nice to listen to. It sounds somehow different than other voices but still got this characteristic indie feeling to it. The best example of how good it works with acoustic guitar is the opener Aloner. Build around minimal percussions, some electric guitar and of course acoustic guitar it is the first highlight of the EP to prove that this one man band got plenty of potential. Beauty of Birds (and the following Solemn that seems to work as an instrumental outro for Beauty Of Birds and a bridge to Human Unkind) is more traditional acoustic indie folk with strummed acoustic guitar and country influences, but again Casey’s voice is really an ear catcher and gives a special touch to the song.

This brings me to Human Unkind, for me the best track of Neptunes, the combination of ukulele, acoustic guitar and electronic sounds here and there is just the sound that I connect with Galapaghost (don’t worry, no folk-tronic here) There is something to the music that is different than other music, but at the same time you always have the feeling to listen to indigenous (indie) folk. Just the refreshment the EP needs to stay in mind. And because we done it song by song, I will come to the next one immediately.  Don’t Go & Break My Heart is the title and it seems to be the most down to earth track of the six. Strummed guitar, classical indie folk style, Casey’s vocals and very nice female backing vocals that give positive vibes to this love song – I like it for it is just honestly sung and a good tune (maybe not as creative as others, but therefore plain and simple).

And now? BAM!

Neptune, the last track of the EP. “What’s that,” I thought, as I first listened to it. “Has he included the wrong track,” – I don’t think so. Why I was surprised? – just because the sound of the title track had absolutely nothing in common with the previous tracks. Its synthesizer drenched electro (folk?) pop, very loud and with heavy support from the drum machine. I really don’t know how to place this track in the context of the others and therefore I simply don’t do so.  I try to see this as a separate track, but these e-guitar riffs seem a bit uncreative to me and so do the drums. It’s definitely not my music and I honestly can’t judge this. I don’t see any of the above mentioned good features of Galapaghost in it. But one thing seems obvious: this track inspired the cover artwork – or the other way around.

In the end I really don’t know if Neptune should influence my overall opinion. But for me being a very kind human being, it won’t. And so I just tell you, that the Neptunes EP is a really nice (indie) folk release and that Casey Chandler improved his sound and his songwriting very much in comparison to his first EP. His voice is distinct, his guitar play charming and well working and his folk can be recommended if you’re interested in singer-songwriters that stand at the beginning of their careers. So, if you like the music, don’t hesitate to give Neptunes a chance and buy it directly from iTunes or AmazonMp3 to support the artist. Be sure to visit him on his MySpace too, where you can listen to more tracks from the EP.

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Faelwa – Farewell Sun EP
self-released 2009

[tags: ambient folk, soundscapes, acoustic, EP, metal??, 2009]

Listen while reading:

Orphan Lullaby (from Farewell Sun EP)


Another facet of folk music for today – we take the trip to metal influenced “acoustic landscapes” from the Netherlands. But metal influenced doesn’t mean hard guitar riffing, heavy drums or deep growls here – it’s more a small reminder that both band members (Jasper Strik and Mark Kwint) have their roots in this genre of music. The song structure, so they write, is one indicator for this and I think the drum play, especially the work on the cymbals, is another one. You’re maybe thinking now, that this is some sort of folk metal in the vein of well known bands like Fintroll, Korpiklaani or Moonsorrow, but, as I wrote above, Faelwa’s music creates acoustic landscapes and is not the folk used in the genre term folk metal (if you want a reference to metal at all, I think the sound draws from early black metal music which often features elements of ambient songwriting).

So, I hope there are no prejudices against the music anymore. Farewell Sun is the name of the EP and it was released back in September of 2009. The songs are piano driven with present but not intrusive drums, modest bass play and, of course, acoustic guitar. The opener, The Heron, features additional whispered vocals and shows the combination of metal and folk the best because the genres melt together. But still I like the majestic melodies of the title track even better – nearly eight minutes of acoustic music with lots of variations and breaks (not in the real sense of the word because the whole song is very relaxed) and lots of moody feelings in them – a very nice attempt to create “a portal to introvert landscapes” (in their own words).

But most of all I really dig Orphan Lullaby because it covers my newly discovered interest in neo-classical music the best. The piano melodies are just heavenly and the acoustic guitar adds up such a folksy feeling to the tune that you can close your eyes and you will easily see wonderful picture of nature in front of you – so let’s pretend we’re all nature’s orphans for a few minutes and dream away. What a great track full of emotions and colors.

If you’re still awake and don’t fell asleep over those fine melodies, I will come to an end for now. Faelwa’s EP Farewell Sun leaves me with a very good feeling and I really can see lots of talent in writing melodies and transcendent nature into music. Not long ago I wrote about Richard Skelton’s LP Landings which combined folk and neo-classical music to reach the same goal – but he did it his way and Faelwa do it their way. And both ways work even though they have different directions (not opposite ones!). Where Richard Skelton tries to show us nature reflected in music in its deserted beauty, I think Faelwa tries to combine the reflection of nature in sound with sad human emotions to create a web of melancholic reciprocity between nature and man.
Visit the bands MySpace and personal homepage and order Farewell Sun directly by clicking here (for a physical copy) or via cdbaby.com or iTunes (for the mp3s).

'Whispering Brook' by Faelwa

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Today’s post contains much music for your listening pleasure. In the first place I thought, I write some short posts about all this stuff I stumbled upon today, but I think it is better do one big post that got it all.


Fatea Showcase Session – Openings – Spring 10
free sampler (download) Fatea Showcase Session 2010

[tags: acoustic, folk, sampler, free, 2010]

Woodpecker Wooliams – Threads (from Openings)

Grant Peeples – My People Come From The Dirt (from Openings)

Erin K Hill – Long Sleep (from Openings)

Ewan McLennan – As I Roved Out (from Openings)


Let’s start with a great free sampler featuring mostly acoustic music. The good people from Fatea Showcase Sessions provided it and the whole thing (called Openings) will be downloadable for three months from now on. This sampler is a great possibilitie to find some new bands which are not widely known yet or even still unsigned. Most of the songs are really good, ranging from an a cappella track over folk pop to americana, even though two or three of them are really not my taste. Make sure you don’t miss those 80 minutes and head directly to the download page or click here for instant download.


Sun Hotel – Team Spirit EP
free EP (download) self-released 2010

[tags: indie rock, folk?, EP, 2010]

Honey (from Team Spirit EP)


Speaking of free stuff, I found a mail in my inbox today concerning Sun Hotel’s new and free Team Spirit EP. They play indie rock so to say, with slighty folk influences. I don’t know if I like this music or not. But you can certainly feel the fun they had recording it for it is powerful and honest. Deceide for yourself and download the EP for free from Sun Hotel’s bandcamp page.


Saharan Gazelle Boy – Airplanes Can’t
The Record Machine 2010

[tags: bedroom pop, dream pop, 2010, only $2!!!]

Aiming A Wave (from Airplanes Can’t)

Something I Wanna Know About You (from Airplanes Can’t)


What’s next…I think I will tell you, that you should take your chance to download Saharan Gazelle Boy’s album Airplanes Can’t for just two dollars from The Record Machine…remember?…the good guys who gave away The Parade Shedule’s fantastic folk album for two dollars few weeks ago. But be warned, it’s no folk what Saharan Gazelle Boy plays, it’s bedroom pop with some dream pop flavor to it…sometimes calm, sometimes the opposite. In the end a really nice album one should own – at least for this killer price. ONLY $2, AHHHHH! BUY IT HERE!


Chatham County Line – IV
Yep Roc 2008

[tags: (alt) country, bluegrass, folk, 2008]

The Carolina (from IV)

Sweet Eviction (from IV)


And last thing for today: I found a band I never heard of before and because they are so amazing, I must mention them here. The band is called Chatham County Line and for me they are the better Mumford & Sons (and I really like Mumford & Sons). Country and bluegrass sound at its best combined with great folk attitude, that’s what I call their last album IV from 2008. In comparison to Mumford & Sons these guys know, where the break is and they are willing to hit it sometimes – this makes an really good album from start to finish. If you like the music, you can be happy from now on, because the band will release a new record at the end of spring. You will read about here. Until then, check out there other albums and buy them from here.

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Matthew Solberg – I Am A Fool EP
free album (download), self-released 2009

[tags: acoustic, folk, indie flavor, free ep, 2009]

Listen while reading:

Brand New Yesterday (from I Am A Fool EP) download it!

Desirae & Dolores (from I Am A Fool EP) download it!


Brought to my attention by the non-stop bloggin’ folk blogger Tunesmith over at Call It Folk, I found Matthew Solberg and his debut EP from 2009 I Am A Fool that’s given away for free on his website. After the melancholic and wintery piano sounds of Nils Frahm it’s high time for some down to earth folk music and the lovely pairing of just acoustic guitar and voice. Matthew hails from Nashville/Tennessee and is currently recording his first full length release that is due to 2010 as it says on his website.

The EP contains 7 songs of finger picked guitar folk and also features two instrumentals (Desirae & Dolores and Liquid Blanket) resulting in a great combination if you like solo acoustic guitar but love some good vocals too. Okay, that’s nothing too special, but there are not many releases out there that have some good instrumentals along with the regular tracks – and if Matthew retains the concept for his upcoming album, I think this will add some extra awesomeness to it. But we’ll see. For now we stay with the EP.

If you like categorizing things (and it seems that I like that a lot) you could call I Am A Fool a country influenced singer-songwriter outlet with some portions of indie flavor. And I think this is also the right place to explain what I mean with the term indie flavor. Okay, it’s not literally an explanation but I think an easy example should do for that. Imagine listening to early J. Tillman recordings, say Long May You Run, J. Tillman. I would not call this indie flavored folk although I would call it down to earth, maybe more down to earth than anything else. And now listen to Benjamin Gibbard & Andrew Kenny’s Home EP. Again, I would call the whole thing down to earth, but now with a great indie flavor to it. Reasons could be the strumming guitar play or the singing style with the melodic and upbeat intonation. Or something like that. And this brings me back to Matthew Solberg who doesn’t play a strumming guitar style but who got the menioned indie like characteristics in his voice which are responsible for me calling the EP indie flavored. Short story long…

What’s conspicuous about the release is its conformity – and I don’t mean the absence of other instruments, I’m talking about the mood of the single songs. Sure, they all got different melodies and they are no rip offs of each other, but even the instrumentals express the same mood: a somehow friendly, “sun is shining after the rain” mood but without the uber intensive “look at this little cute bug, isn’t it cuuuuute” attitude. And there is nothing bad with this, but for I’m more the type that likes the darker, deeper side of emotions in music, it is a bit too shimmering for me at some points. But I don’t want to hold that against the release, maybe it’s not quite the right season of the year right now. Another feature of the tracks, that I really like, are the different tempos of the guitar play. Rainy Nights is one of the slower candidates, whereas the above mentioned Desirae & Dolores or Nothing To Say races from note to note without taking a breath. Me likes that.

To spend an ear on this record, you are in the comfortable situation to download the entire EP for free from Matthew Solberg’s personal homepage (wooohooo!). Physical copies are out of print and not available right know. To gather further impressions, don’t hesitate and visit his MySpace page too. (And remember:  you’ll read about Matthew’s debut here on CFM as soon as it hits the road.)

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