New Music from David Vandervelde

David Vandervelde has to be one of my absolute favorite musicians. Sure, he sounds like Marc Bolan, but don’t you dare come at me and say that’s a bad thing!  I got news yesterday that David’s working on some new stuff, just this time under the moniker Vandervelde.  He’s releasing a digital single via the good people over at Secretly Canadian.  This one definitely has David giving off a different vibe, one that’s more drenched in heartache than the past of Tyrannosaurus Rex; his voice even sounds a touch warmer, albeit just as good, than it has on previous efforts.  Not sure if this is a sign of more Vandervelde work in the future, but whatever it is, if it sounds this good, we’ll gladly take it.


Download: Vandervelde – More Than You Can Feel [MP3]

FTC: T. Rex

Seems like forever since we’ve run a proper From the Closet, so what better way to start things back up than with a little coverage of one of our favorites, T. Rex.  You can get a piece of the band’s collection brand new starting October 26th, as Fat Possum is re-issuing the catalogue, one LP at a time, beginning with The Slider.

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Delta Spirit @ Emos (7/17)

Date Saturday, July 17th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $12 @ Ticketweb

There’s a bundle of really solid rock shows this weekend, but the one recommendation I can give you is that you need to end up Emos on Saturday.  Delta Spirit is headlining a show in support of their great new album History From Below.  Not only do these guys put on a great show that has one them fans all over, but they are playing with none other than David Vandervelde.  He’s been sort of a shapeshifter of late, originally coming off as Bolan, but trying to go a little softer in his current state.  Regardless, why not go enjoy the night with a couple of great bands worthy of your time?  Exactly, so let’s do this.


Download: David Vandervelde – Someone Like You [MP3]

New Tunes from David Vandervelde

This guy just won’t quit! David Vandervelde always writing songs, and we’re always falling in love with them.   He’s prepping a new 12″ release, Summer Time Hits, that is set to come out on August 3 via Secretly Canadian, and we’ve got one of those new songs for you to check out.  This tune has a touch of glam rock, and there’s a little bit of a falsetto in his voice, similar to the high pitched yelps of Ted Leo.  It’s a lot more rocking than his last effort, but when did the rock ever bother us here at ATH?  Precisely, it doesn’t, and it shouldn’t bother you, so get with it.


Download: David Vandervelde – Checkin’ Out My Baby [MP3]

Avi Buffalo – s/t

Rating: ★★★★☆

Eventually you run across something unexpected and bewildering.  Such is the case for Avi Buffalo, who have released their self-titled album on Sub Pop.  The band originated with a kid in Long Beach named Avi who gathered his friends together, creating one of those albums you vaguely remember hearing about, but are bound to come across again and again in the next few years.

You have to wait almost an entire minute before you get to meet the band on opener “Truth Sets In,” but the warm gang vocals, and the odd harmonic guitar picking create a respectable opener; it’s not entirely overbearing, just an assuming number serving as a brief introduction to the band before they kick your teeth in with elation.  And you’ll soon be blown away by “What’s In It For,” the following song.  Something about Avi’s falsetto resembles the early Shins recordings (also on Sub Pop), and as you listen, you sort of get the feeling that Avi Buffalo will be one of those albums just like Oh, Inverted World that grows and grows until you have to listen to it once a week for the rest of your life.

You can feel all sorts of influences on this record, which is not a big surprise from a young artist such as Avi. “Five Little Sluts” begins with a bit of homage to Belle and Sebastian before it ambles down its own path.  “Jessica” pulls out some vocals reminiscent of David Vandervelde.  Even with the allusions to other artists, these songs take on a life all their own, making the entirety of the album familiar, all the while establishing the band with an original sound to which only they can lay claim.

“One Last” mixes up the game, using a female vocal to add a different texture to Avi Buffalo. It’s a playful folk song utilizing a bar-room piano sound to give the song a little pace.  It’s not the only number here that shows the range of the group, as the bedroom quiet of “Can’t I Know” adds yet another approach for the group. But, just as you thought they’d get all quiet on you, the band brings out “Remember Last Time.”  This pop gem has great vocal performances and clanging guitars that will ring in your ears for hours, and that’s really all you can ask for, right?  It might drag on a bit too long in lieu of a slight jam, but you can’t take that away from the opening moments of the track.   Then it all closes again with the dual vocal approach of “Where’s Your Dirty Mind.”  Gently strummed guitars and piano create the skeletal backbone of this one, but the vocals are the most endearing element of it all.  Rebecca Coleman has an angelic voice that will stay with you even when the song (and album) end.

It’s interesting listening to this album.  It has flourishes of great beauty, as well as moments of sprawling pop, yet it all sounds like a concisely constructed album geared to let the songwriting speak for itself.  While at times Avi Buffalo seem a bit unfocused, as if they’re unsure of their identity, what you do get is a young band who have an extremely bright future ahead of them.  If this album is anything, its a breath of fresh air in a lo-fi world, and one that just might make the long haul in your record collection.


Download: Avi Buffalo – What’s In It For [MP3]

SXSW Watchlist: David Vandervelde

A couple years ago, songwriting man David Vandervelde dropped his beautiful album Waiting for the Sunrise on our ears and we’ve been following him ever since.  David has been fairly quiet since that release, but just recently dropped some new tracks that will supposedly appear on an upcoming album.  Checking out a live set by Vandervelde should be a great time to hear some of this new material before it’s physically released.  Vandervelde, always the jokester, answered a few of our SXSW questions to build up some hype before he hits Austin.  You can see his brief and to the point responses after the jump.

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New Tunes from David Vandervelde

vander-picIt’s been awhile since we heard anything from David Vandervelde, but now that there is wind of a new recording, we couldn’t be more excited.  We loved Waiting for the Sunrise, so we expect more great things from David this time around.  Secretly Canadian has put up a digital download of a couple new tracks, and we’ve got one of those to tide you over before you get your hands on it yourself.  Expect his next record to be nothing short of sublime.


Download: David Vandervelde – Learn How to Hang [MP3]

Top 40 Songs Of The Year

So when we thought making an albums of the year post was hard, this one proved to be even harder.  How do you take literally thousands of songs and narrow it down to the best 40 of the year?  Not too sure how to answer that question, but we tried.  Each of these songs scream 2008 in our ears.  As evident by this list, the year in music was quite a good one and we had some tough choices to make.  We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you or links to the song on youtube.  Follow the jump to see if your favorite tune of the year made the list.

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David Vandervelde – Waiting for the Sunrise

Rating: ★★★½☆

In early 2007, David Vandervelde droppped out of music sky, rocking me like the only the bastard son of Marc Bolan could.  For me, his first record, Moonstation House Band, was just a revamped T Rex–and for its part, I loved it.  I mean can really tire of T Rex?

This time around David Vandervelde is still stuck in that classic rock sound, but this one comes off far away from the likes Marc Bolan.  It’s much more subdued, and gone are the chunky guitar riffs that made the last albm so outstanding.

Here we find David hopelessly devoted to the largely acoustic stylings of folk rock.  Sure, his voice still holds a little bit of that T. Rex pitch, but musically, he’s chasing the like of Neil Young or The Band.  Despite his continuous homage to his influences without taking on a new approach, he still manages to write some incredible songs.

“Someone Like You” is quite possibly the best song he has ever written.  Lyrically it throws a look into the life of a struggling musician, one who is trying to cope with his rock n’ roll status, fueled by drugs and excess. Of course, said person dies.  It’s a little cliche, but the melodies in this song are simply ridiculous. This song can be played all day long.  Similarly, “I Will be Fine” is another great song, and an appropriate beginning to the album.  It’s a simple song, but one that sets the tone for the work that is being done on this album.   Lyrically, its lacking, but what are you going to do?

I’m not going to lie; I love this guy’s voice.  He has quite a range, and it does justice to every single song he writes.  He accompanies each melody and harmony the way one can only dream of, but lacking is his writing, lyrics, that is.  They appear really simple, and come off a bit cliched. The last album focused more on the sound of the band, as where this one is more sparse, so it opens you up to listening more to the lyrics–and clearly they lack much to be desired.

Overall, this is a good album, just not one that is going to show David Vandervelde breaking new ground.  If you love clean classic rock sounds, this one’s for you kids.  Excuse me while I go listen to “Someone Like You” for the eleventh time today.