I’m going to put a “Must Listens” header above the songs that I am utterly in love with. Hopefully I’ll be able to make an archive of them. There’s a a category for “Must Listens” which you can go through over to the right.
In one of my very first posts, I posted a song from Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore’s now-month-old release, Dear Companion. I’d originally heard Sollee about 2 years ago on a live show on NPR purely on chance and was immediatly captivated by him. His live show was simply him and his cello, but he pulled sounds out of it that I’d never imagined coming out of anything close to a cello. His songs are what I use a reference when anybody refers to “folk,” as his songs not only have a rustic sound, but his lyrics often hold a very strong, poignant meaning. To drive this home, for every copy of Dear Companion sold, some money will go to a charity to stop the destruction of Appalachian mountains for coal-mining purposes, as the album is made by three Kentucky musicians–the two artists, and the producer, Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket’s Jim James).
Sollee’s debut, Learning to Bend had a lot of production issues, namely that it seemed to be over produced. Dear Companion‘s fixed that problem, with some incredibly smart production choices. Unfortunately, I don’t know much about Daniel Martin Moore, but he seems to be the main singer on the songs of Dear Companion.
This is not true of my favorite track from the album, “Try.” In fact, I’ve been kind of fawning over the track all night. “Try” is all Sollee, and it shows. It hits a lot of subjects all at once, from the afore-mentioned mountain displacement, to morality, to becoming a father. It’s clearly a folk song, delving into a light philosophy–the creation of fate, religion and love. The lyrics are themselves incredibly simply and straight forward, but there’s a subtle elegance to it, not to mention a lot of quotable lines. “Run, run run/You can’t run from your shadow in the light/that must be why/some people crave the dark.”
The production on the track is excellent too, with perfect little touches like the deep drums rolls before every chorus, something that I think wouldn’t have shown up had this song been on Sollee’s debut, not to mention the outburst near the end. It almost begins to become Avett Brothers’ “Laundry Room,” another favorite of mine.
Though I think I like this one more.