New artist, Gordi, covers Courtney Barnett’s, “Avant Gardener”

Gordi is the musical moniker of young Australian singer, Sophie Payten. Over the last couple years, Payten has been building her musical repertoire, creating music in her dorm room in Sydney. Now decorated with triple j’s J Award and 2 FBi Radio SMAC Awards, she is part of the Jagjaguwar roster and will be releasing an EP this year.

Before the release of her upcoming EP, she has shared with us her rendition of fellow Australian, Courtney Barnett’s, track “Avant Gardener.” Gordi’s version is heavier, more melodic and simply beautiful. Compare and contrast the two versions yourself:


You can catch Gordi in the following locations this spring:

Thu. Apr. 28 – Brisbane, AU @ The Tivoli (w/ Of Monsters And Men)
Fri. Apr. 29 – Brisbane, AU @ The Tivoli (w/ Of Monsters And Men)
Wed. May 4 – Melbourne, AU @ Palais Theatre (w/ Of Monsters And Men)
Thu. May 5 – Melbourne, AU @ Palais Theatre (w/ Of Monsters And Men)
Sun. May 22 – Dublin, IE @ Whelan’s (w/ Highasakite)
Mon. May 23 – Manchester, UK @ The Deaf Institute (w/ Highasakite)
Tue. May 24 – London, UK @ Village Underground (w/ Highasakite)
Fri. May 27-Mon. May 30 – George, WA @ Sasquatch! Music Festival

New track from The Besnard Lakes!

Back in October, Montreal’s very own, The Besnard Lakes, announced the release of their newest piece of work, A Coliseum Complex Museum. The record is due out January 22nd on Jagjaguwar. The Besnard Lakes are no strangers to the world of music as they’ve been delighting the world with music since 2003. Their latest album is a collection of tracks inspired by the band’s infatuation with the paranormal and they readily admit that after all these years, they’re done hiding the fact that yes, they like nature. About the record Jace Lasek says:

“For a long time we were trying to keep secret that we love being out in nature,” admits Jace. “Because it’s kinda cliché. But with this record we decided to stop fighting what we love so much. So the front cover actually has a lake on it, but it’s also got this giant orb shooting light into the water, which is creating a hole that’s opening a portal to the coliseum complex museum. It’s kinda fucked.”

The band just released their newest single, “Plain Moon”, an ethereal, dreamy indie rock track the sits perfectly next to their other single, “Golden Lion.”


Another single from Small Black: “Back at Belle’s”

After releasing two positively succulent singles, Small Black has released the third single off of their sentiment-inspired upcoming record, Best Blues. The newest single, “Back at Belle’s” has a subtlety to it that almost resembles that music people like to call “shoegaze.” Droning synths and shuffling percussion persists throughout the track, making it a remarkably easy listen:

We can only hope Small Black will continue to gently lure us into their upcoming record by dropping singles until it’s release date, October 16th.

“No One Wants It To Happen To You” – Small Black

This dissonant, dreamy, track is off of Small Black’s upcoming LP, Best Blues, which will be out on October 6th.Their previous single, “Boys Life”, was the perfect snap shot of what Best Blues is about: memories and sentiment, a collection of stories inspired by old, water-warped photographs. According to lead singer Josh Kolenik, “No One Wants It To Happen To You” is about something an older, perhaps wiser friend told you. Something you should remember when times are difficult, that will remind you to push forward. Josh says, ““Simple and plain spoken, it’s about separating yourself from yourself and taking a second to stand and gape at the bottom, knowing that you might be there for awhile, but that it is a place from which you can rise.”

Stay tuned for more from Small Black until their full release.

Album Review: “All Around Us” – Briana Marela

The record welcomes you with the opening track “Follow It.” It bounces playfully between your ears and beckons you to listen to Briana Marela’s new record, All Around Us. The abrupt ending of “Follow It” leaves you unsatisfied with just one track and before you know it, you’ve listened to the entire album. All Around Us, Briana’s second album, is a collection of pieces crafted by Seattle-native, Briana Marela and produced/recorded by Sigur Rós producer Alex Somers, in Reykjavic, Iceland.

Briana Marela’s musical style has changed drastically since she first picked up an acoustic guitar in high school. Upon leaving Seattle to go to college in Olympia, she turned her musical focus to music technology, audio alterations and more experimental ways of producing interesting sounds that can complement music. Her naturally embedded ability to write music inspired by the misty wilderness of the northwest and the people who live there combined with her education in sound technology and production come together flawlessly in this record. All Around Us is named after a children’s book, each track a picture of her life from the start of her musical career back in 2012 to present.

“Take Care of Me” picks you up gently after the abrupt ending of the opening track, “Follow It.” It is a favorite of mine on this record. The tenderness of this song, appeals to me or anyone who has a delicate heart:

You take care of me like I’m the only one,

You take care of me like I’m someone that matters

“Take Care of Me” is a sweet and honest song about the beauty of true friendships.

“Dani” is the first track on the record to slow the pace. Each song prior to it is upbeat, swinging but “Dani” forces the listener to take a step back. The rich strings are woven through this track, push a level of sadness that is picked back up by the chorus. Despite the melancholy melody of “Dani”, the lyrics are uplifting:

Dani, you’re not the only one lonely, tonight.

You’re strong if you remember to lift what weighs you down and escape.

 At first listen, I thought “Dani” was only a sad song, one that was difficult for me to listen to if I was feeling down. But, after spending more time with it, I understand what it’s about and it is beautiful.

All Around Us is speckled with other sonic gems like “Surrender”, the first track Briana used vocal looping on in her career, and “All Around Us”, a song written about someone who left her life abruptly, before she could say goodbye.

The closing track, “Further”, is a 7 minute journey through the wet and foggy woods of the Northwest. Her airy vocals sound like fresh, cool air, echoing in the cathedral of your mind. “Further” is a masterpiece that brings the record to an epically exquisite close.

All Around Us is out now on Jagjaguwar.

New single from Briana Marela: “Take Care Of Me”

You may recognize Briana Marela’s name because I posted when she released her first single, “Surrender”. She released another track off of her upcoming record, All Around Us, which is due out August 21st on Jagjaguwar.

“Take Care Of Me” is a track about just what the title says it is. Have a listen:

This is her second record and I’ve had the pleasure of listening to it in it’s entirety several times. It was a collaboration with Sigur Ros’ Alex Somers who is given credit for production. It’s a masterpiece collection of sweet, foggy tunes that sound like they were recorded in the wet forests of the West coast, where she’s from.

She’ll be touring this fall with Jenny Hval (whom just released a record this summer). 

Fri. Aug. 14 – Rochester, WA @ Helsing Junction Festival
Thu. Aug. 20 – Sun. Aug. 23 – Brecon Beacons, UK @ Green Man Festival
Tue. Aug. 25 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
Thu. Aug. 27 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios *
Fri. Aug. 28 – Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt *
Sat. Aug. 29 – Seattle, WA  @ Barboza *
Tue. Sep. 1 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry *
Wed. Sep. 2 – Iowa City, IA @ The Mill *
Thu. Sep. 3 – Chicago, IL @ Constellation *
Fri. Sep. 4 – Toronto, ON @ Drake *
Sat. Sep. 5 – Montreal, QC @ Bar le Ritz *
Sun. Sep. 6 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade *
Tue. Sep. 8 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle *
Wed. Sep. 9 – Washington, DC @ DC9 *
Fri. Sep. 11 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter *
Mon. Sep. 14 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl *
Wed. Sep. 16 – Austin, TX @ Holy Mountain *
Thu. Sep. 17 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links *
Sat. Sep. 19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar *
Sun. Sep. 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy *

* w/ Jenny Hval

Featured Image credit: Juliet Orbach

“Surrender”, a taste from Briana Marela’s upcoming album.

Powerful, echoing, cavernous, subtle, complex…It’s difficult to describe Briana Marela’s sound in a way that fully represents and covers her style. Briana Marela is a native of Washington state and a natural music-maker, writing melodies before she even touched an instrument.

The first single, “Surrender”, off of her sophomore album, ‘All Around Us’, was released yesterday.If it is any indication of what is to come and with a master of a team behind her, including Alex Somers who produces for Sigur Rós and the Icelandic group, Amiina on strings, it is going to be a wonder of a record:

You can pre-order “All Around Us” on iTunes now and the album will be released in its entirety August 21st on Jagjaguwar. Keep in mind, this is the same label that brought us Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, both featured in my girl power post from a few months ago.

Featured photo credit: Lucinda Roanoke