#InMyEar: Alabama Shakes, Zola Jesus and misc. track magic
It’s starting to feel like fall — I actually wore a scarf the other day and shivered a little. NYC’s weather has been a bit schizophrenic all year and today it might be 80 degrees, but it’s going to get chillier as the days go by which means you need a new playlist. Last month I shared my favorite summer artists and their tracks, so in this edition of #InMyEar I’m bringing you the songs that are helping me to cope with this transition of the seasons.
the end of summer love
These days Iâ€™m all about anything that is reminiscent of these sensations:
♦ introspective walks through fields littered with orange and red-hued leaves
♦ being in a car on a road trip with lots of girls with synced cycles, so in desperate need of songs that let us yowl in outrage
♦ haunting someone you can’t stand and taking sadistic pleasure in their fear of things that go bump in the night
♦ hiding under your blanket and reading a stack of new zines you bought at a zine festival or traded with friends
If you’re like me and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) tests your ability to cope with life, music is always a soothing salve. These three artists are like medicine for your ears — not the slimy stuff that tastes like jelly beans that soured in the sun. It’s more like a spoonful of sugar.
Ever since I found out about their new EP about a week ago, I have been listening to it EVERY DAY — at least three times a day, since there are only four tracks on it. All of the songs give you that feeling you get when someone you are crazy about starts giving you the signs that it’s all downhill from here on out.
That sounds depressing and it is, but it would reduce Alabama Shakes’ artistry to emo cliches if you let that keep you from listening. Their songs are also triumphant and remind you why falling in love is worth all that inevitable pain. Here is “Hold On,” one of my favorite tracks that helps me to “let it go” when people piss me the hell off:
Formerly just The Shakes from Athens, AL, the group now goes by Alabama Shakes. Brittany Howard’s vocals remind me of all the best parts that make up the “that girl can blow” power of legends like Janis Joplin, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin and amazing newcomers like Adele and departed songstresses like Amy Winehouse. Brittany’s voice reminds me the most of Janis Joplin’s though, because it’s a little rough and ragged at times in the best way possible. I feel like she would sing exactly the same way if you were with her in the backyard at some party, and she would be drunk and belting this track at the top of her lungs and you would feel like you just experienced a little of what church people call “grace.”
You can stalk them on Facebook and find out when they’ll be hitting a city near you. The band announced last week on Twitter that they are coming to NYC for CMJ on Oct 20 and will be performing at Bowery Ballroom on the High Road Touring – CMJ Show that includes Marques Toliver. Blogger Kaos Blac was on Marques Toliver waaaaaay before Time Out New York, so let’s give him props for that. Guess who’s getting tickets????? @dcap <-- this guy Zola Jesus
I don’t want to spend a ton of time gushing about Nika Roza Danilova and her band Zola Jesus… so I’ll just say that her music makes me want to go running naked in the rain at night in winter, screaming at the top of my lungs while lightening bolts shoot out of my fingertips, forming ancient alien symbols that burn into buildings.
If you want to feel this way too, listen to this album stream of her upcoming release, Conatus.
I wouldn’t know about this artist if it wasn’t for my homie CJ, so many thanks again to him. I’ve finally found the perfect music to practice witchcraft to (kidding). I’m going to her show at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on October 18, so if you see someone nude with lightening bolts shooting out of their hands, that’s me — come say hi!
Summer Track Love
It is technically still summer-level hot, so here are some songs worth checking out that I didn’t have time to review:
♦ REM BOOTLEG – REM LIVE AT TYRONE’S O.C., ATHENS, 4.10.81
This bootleg was originally pressed to vinyl and went by the name of Georgia Peaches: Ripe!. You can download the entire bootleg at the link and you can listen to the entire double LP in chunks on YouTube:
If you have new music you’d like to share with The Lair, email Danny: daniela AT dcapmedia DOT com.