Sondre Lerche – “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt” (Owen Pallett Cover)
This is my favorite cover of this highly covered song, which in it’s original form definitely makes the shortlist for best songs of 2010. Sondre Lerche’s voice is the perfect replacement for Pallett, with the same breathiness, but a little added tenderness.
The Mountain Goats – “Tyler Lambert’s Grave”
John Darnielle passed out this new Mountain Goats track via his Twitter account. “Tyler Lambert’s Grave” is a piano-driven song he recorded in the summer on his own and later sent off to get some strings added. So it’s not quite a glimpse of what will be on his new album All Eternals Deck which is out in March through Merge, but it’s not bad.
Wire – “Two Minutes”
Wire is back in 2011 with a highly anticipated new album. “Two Minutes” is our first look at what they are up to, and unlike many of their contemporaries, Wire is still in top form.
British Sea Power – “Caribou” (Pixies cover)
British Sea Power give out an ethereal take on the classic Pixies track. Even the most well versed will have trouble recognizing the original in their acidy washes of electronics. In fact, outside of a few lines of the chorus towards the end, I don’t know if anyone can recognize this one.
Steve Mason (of The Beta Band) – “All Come Down”
Steve Mason of The Beta Band struck out on his own last year with his album Boys Outside. “All Come Down” is from that recording. It’s good, but it makes miss The Beta Band.
Sidi Touré & Dourra Cissé – “Bon Koum”
Sidi Touré is a Malian singer/guitarist that is just starting to make his mark stateside. He’ll be doing a full US tour later in the year in support of his debut album through Thrill Jockey, Sahel Folk, on January 25th.
Akron / Family – “So It Goes”
Akron / Family offers the first glimpse of their new album, S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNT, with the surprisingly upbeat and straightforward track “So It Goes.”
Danielson – “Grow Up”
In a track from his forthcoming album Best of Gloucester County (Feb 22) Danielson vacillates between rock ballading and über-weird verses with screeches and cracking voices, of exactly what you want from Danielson.
Yellow Ostrich – “WHALE”
Yellow Ostrich is the project of Alex Schaaf, who has been Yellow Ostrich for a while, but only recently started playing shows in his current home of NYC. This entire album is beautiful, but this track is, in particular, noteworthy. There is a free download of his LP, The Mistress, at the Yellow Ostrich Bandcamp page.