Monday, August 08, 2005

No Hits 8.7.05

Trouble (mp3) - Summer Hymns

One of the less-heralded acts on the excellent Misra Records roster is Summer Hymns (apropos, no?). As we slog through another hot, sticky month (at least it is here in Chicago) this earthy, melodic song can accompany you.

Summer Hymns was formed by Zachery Gresham in Athens, Georgia to provide an outlet for his interest in folk ballads, hymns and other American roots music. Its changing lineup has, not surprisingly considering the incestuous nature of that town's music scene, included members of Elf Power and Of Montreal. The band's newest release is Value Series Vol. 1: Fool's Gold. Trouble comes from its 2003 LP, Clemency.

Wet Mess (mp3) - Summer Hymns

What They Really Do (mp3) - Summer Hymns

And while we're on the subject of Misra, allow me to just briefly sing its praises. Though Merge Records may always be my favorite label--I've been a fan from almost the beginning--Austin-based Misra has snuck up and stolen my heart. Some of the best recent records, notably Great Lake Swimmers' debut, Phosphorescent's thrilling Aw Come Aw Wry and Shearwater's gorgeous Winged Life, come from Misra. All three of those are on frequent rotation for me. I'm also really intrigued by what I've heard of Slow Dazzle and Flotation Toy Warning. Even the label's more difficult, experimental acts, Volcano The Bear and Bablicon are worth hearing.

Many small labels document a local scene--taking the good with the not-so-good. And some of the weaker labels sound like springboards for the label owner's friends. Misra, on the other hand, displays consistent discernment and taste. While it seems to have some bias for Americana-type bands and folky singer/songwriters, it isn't constrained by those genres.

Moving Pictures, Silent Films (mp3) - Great Lake Swimmers

I Am A Full Grown Man (mp3) - Phosphorescent

St. Mary's Walk (mp3) - Shearwater (demo of stunning Winged Life track)

Fleur De Lie (mp3) - Slow Dazzle

Happy 13 (mp3) - Flotation Toy Warning

Arc Felt (mp3) - Volcano The Bear

AEther (mp3) - Bablicon

2 Comments:

Blogger No Frontin' said...

Whoa, I was checking Hype Machine to see if anyone had posted the Summer Hymns song I wanted to post and I stumbled upon this excellent post.

2:28 AM  
Anonymous emily said...

i realise this is slightly late but flotation toy warning are brilliant and definitely worth investigating further, if you haven't already by now x

9:32 AM  

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