Playlist: Winter Vol II

Nearly three hours in length, this playlist is guaranteed to hold at least a few gems for each of you music-lovers and MFL-ers out there. Please enjoy:





My inbox has been bursting at the seams with tunes that have been dying to reach your ears. Get cozy, because this is a long one! If you prefer a more visual experience, feast your eyes on some select music videos.

Something I wanted to note about the following playlists is that there is a music video in there for a song called “Anxiety (In the Depths of Northwestern Ontario)” by a band called 1971. In February of this year, they lost the founding member, bassist, brother and friend, Cameron Glen Cranston. They will no longer be a band but have decided to release the last recordings they did with him.

Happy holidays to all you music-loving folks. I hope you all enjoy this time of year doing whatever it is you do.



Top 5 album picks of 2016

As each year comes to a close, I’m left to reflect on the incredibly rich plethora of music that has graced my ears. This music reaches my ears in many ways. It comes from friends, acquaintances, musicians I’ve never heard of whom I hope to meet and hear live someday, and PR agents from all over the world, to name a few. Just like last year, I reached out to two of my favorite similarly music-adoring fanatical friends: Mark Levy of Bozeman’s own Ranges and Brian Haviland, a decade long friend who still finds time to talk music with me despite our geographical distance, his demanding job and his new (more?) demanding job as a father.

A little late this year but better late than never, here are the top 5 albums (5.5 from Mark because he can never stick to only 5) and the greatest song from each album, according to Deann Snyder (MFL), Mark Levy (Ranges) and Brian Haviland (Alaska-based music-loving smarty pants father).

Here is a playlist of all the favorite tracks as well:


Brian Haviland (from favorite to 5th favorite)

1.Teens of Denial by Car Seat Headrest

Fav track: “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales”

2.The Hope Six Demolition Project by PJ Harvey

Fav track: “Orange Monkey

3.Human Performance by Parquet Courts

Fav track: “Human Performance”

4.A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead

Fav track: “Burn the Witch”

5. Next Thing by Frankie Cosmos

Fav track: “If I Had a Dog”

Mark Levy (in no particular order)

1. Hypercaffium Spazzinate by Descendants

Fav track: “Shameless Halo”

2. Magma by Gojira

Fav track: “The Cell”

3.Real by Lydia Loveless

Fav track: “Out on Love”

4.United Crushers by Polica

Fav track: “Someway”

5. The Impossible Kid by Aesop Rock

Fav track: “Blood Sandwich”

5.5 Heaven or Somewhere In Between by Kitten

Fav track: “Knife”

MFL (in no particular order)

1. Beneath a Yellow Moon by I Have a Tribe

Fav track: “La Neige”

2. Jumping the Shark by Alex Cameron

Fav track: “Holding Roses”

3. Dance Sunshine, Dance by Another Juggle

Fav track: “Not Now”

4. Shoo by Lionlimb

Fav track: “Just Because”

5. Feet First by Nive and The Deer Children

Fav track: “Are You Ready”


Album review: “Shoo” by Lionlimb

Lionlimb has flawlessly introduced itself to the beautifully claustrophobic world of music. Shoo is Lionlimb’s debut record and it’s brilliant. It is music in its most raw, pure form. Every instrument is audible, every note is coming from an untainted human voice and the songs are well thought out and genuine. I’m having a difficult time describing my favorite aspect of the record, however. I don’t want it to come across inaccurately. It’s as if every track goes exactly where my ear wants it to go. Each chord progresses into the next in just the way my mind craves. Shoo is anything but predictable but these guys know how to write music that appeals to the human ear.


Let’s take the opening cut, “God Knows”: simple piano chords, an organ, basic drum beats, carefree guitar licks, brass and a melody that rolls over the listener with ease. There is nothing outstanding, outlandish or fancy about “God Knows” but it’s a spot on easy listening indie rock jam. The entire record is like this. None of the tracks are overly exciting or guaranteed to get your heart pounding but DAMN, they are good.

“Ride” and “Wide Bed” are a bit more on the melancholic side. “Wide Bed” shares with the listener the jazz-inspired side of Lionlimb without suffocating them with bizarre rhythms or abstract melodies. It’s smooth and velvety.

“Ride” starts with these lines:

Misery is the dress she wears

 I wear the suits of misfortune

and sounds like the soundtrack to a movie scene with broken lovers…and pouring rain of course. It’s dramatic in the subtle Lionlimb way. It’s wonderful to hear music that’s not over the top. The concepts of the subject matter are similar to what’s out there but it’s not over-dressed and bejeweled with swanky production and overtly showy technology.

Shoo sounds exactly like the way it was created. It began with layer upon layer of instrumentals and melodies but the hardest part was subtracting layers to reveal the simplistic beauty below. The simplicity lies in the instrumental chatter. Each instrument talks to the other and each song is a conversation between instruments with a voice over the top, explaining to us humans in the lyrics, what the song is about. One of the best examples of this “instrumental chatter” is “Tinman.” I swear the guitar is speaking to the drums, bass and piano, each instrument responding to each other. There’s a beautiful back and forth in Lionlimb’s songwriting and I think this is what makes their music such effortless listening.

“Turnstile” is one of my favorites because it showcases both the theatrical nature of Lionlimb’s music and the conversational aspect of their song-styling.

However, my top track on the album is “Just Because” but it was hard to pick one. It’s my favorite due to all of the reasons I explained above regarding how great Shoo is but I can’t quite put my finger on why this is my favorite. Perhaps it’s that fantastic and catchy piano line? The saddened but simultaneously upbeat ambiance of the track? As if things are bad but they won’t always be?

Altogether, Shoo is a refreshing record that offers the listener a break from all the wild and woolly music out there. No bells and whistles here, just talented musicians with fantastic songwriting abilities. I look forward to hearing more from them.

Catch the guys at SXSW this week and purchase their debut record, Shoo, on iTunes now.






Lionlimb announces debut album and sheds a single: “Domino”

Lionlimb is the project of songwriter, Stewart Bronaugh and drummer, Joshua Jaeger. Somewhere between psychedelic rock, jazz, and soul lies a world in which Lionlimb lives and creates music, freely. The two returned from touring Australia playing guitar and drums for the incredibly talented Angel Olsen and immediately began recording their debut record, Shoo, which is due out March 4th on Bayonet Records.

Their single, “Domino”, was released last week. This is a track that is a celebration of music and having the absolute power as a musician to be free and creative. The saxophone melts perfectly into the whimsical organ and wispy vocals. It’s truly fantastic. Please enjoy:


“Bored Today”: music video from Lionlimb

Just the right chord progression, fleeting, doesn’t drag on. “Bored Today” by Lionlimb is an expertly crafted boring track. I’m not talking bad boring. The song is called “Bored Today” and they encapsulate that lazy, dallying feeling that only one can experience on a personal level. Droopy eyes,slow thoughts, what better to do than jam with friends when you’re “bored today.”

Lionlimb will be supporting the incredible Angel Olsen for a tour this fall. In fact, they will be stopping in my home town, Missoula, MT. Not sure if I can cope with missing this!

Tue. Oct. 6 – Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall *
Wed. Oct. 7 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos *
Thu. Oct. 8 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret *
Fri. Oct. 9 – Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett (Bartfest) *
Sat. Oct. 10 – Missoula, MT @ Top Hat *
Tue. Oct. 13 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge *