Track of the Day..."Tomorrow" from Daughter

Self-released 2010 / 2011

Listen to "Tomorrow" MP3

Daughter is the project of London-based singer-songwriter Elenda Tonra.  She has made available a 4-track demos EP which is currently free to download on the Daughter MySpace page.  Once of the tracks "Run" has been enjoying some time of the Hype Machine 'Popular' chart.  We wanted to share with you a track that is a bit different, something more left of center.  This track is the haunting and reverb-heavy "Tomorrow", a plea in the face of the chilly reality we have no doubt will come.
There are quite a few dates for Daughter in London in February and March, so be sure to check her MySpace page for updates. Also, check out the video of an excellent live performance of Daughter performing the track "Peter" (Tales From Shop Session). 
MySpace | Twitter

Track of the Day..."Please Ask For Help" from Telekinesis

"Please Ask For Help"
from 12 Desperate Straight Lines
Morr Music (February 2011)
Listen to "Please Ask For Help" MP3

Telekinesis is the project of Seattle's Michael Benjamin Lerner.  To write the tracks to his follow-up release, Michael headed to Berlin where he focused on creating the dozen tracks which make up 12 Desperate Straight Lines.  The songs are compact and deceptively bright, with the tracks striking at something more personal and bittersweet.  Michael is hitting the road in support of the new release with Jason Narducy (Robert Pollard band, Verbow) on bass and Cody Votolato (Jaguar Love, The Blood Brothers) on guitar.  Be sure to check the Telekineses MySpace page for tour date updates.
Have a listen to our personal favorite from the album "Please Ask For Help".
Official | MySpace | Morr Music

What's On The Hi-Fi Interview with The Innocence Mission

The Innocence Mission have been creating exquisite music for over 20 years, honing their distinctive sound over the span of 10 studio albums. At the heart of the project are Karen and Don Peris, partners in life and in the band, who have been joined by various collaborators over the years, including founding member Mike Bitts on bass. Drummer Steve Brown rejoins the band for the band's latest release called My Room In The Trees, out on Badman Recording Co.

The Innocence Mission are rare in their ability to create songs which, both lyrically and musically, connect on an emotional level with listeners -- like walking into a room filled with your favorite people, everyone laughing and catching up, immediately comfortable and bright, bringing the warmest of smiles to your face.

We caught up with Karen who shares with us about My Room In The Trees, on hearing songs from earlier albums, working as a partnership, upcoming projects and what's on the Peris hi-fi.

Listen to "Rain (Setting Out In The Leaf Boat)" MP3

The band’s latest studio release is My Room In The Trees. Could you tell us a bit about how this release came together and what inspired it?
It came together gradually, over the past couple of years. Mostly what inspires the writing, and then the sharing of the songs is just wanting to, or even needing to, communicate in some way. I always feel tongue-tied in conversations. I am much better at listening to someone else speak. So writing -- the luxury of being able to take the time to work with words and sounds and colors, not to mention the joy of just playing and singing, discovering melodies and they way they move over chords -- it is something I never get tired of, something I'm always grateful for.

The self-titled debut for The Innocence Mission came out back in 1989. What goes through your mind when you listen to these songs now? How do you see your sound as evolving?
To tell the truth, it is painful for me to hear that album, so I avoid it. While the experience of making the first two albums was a happy and exciting one for us, I am embarrassed about the writing and the singing. I was young enough to be trying to sound like someone else, and if I were to hear those albums it would be hard to recognize myself in them. The records we have made since then -- since Birds of My Neighborhood onward -- I still feel close to those songs, and the way they sound is probably true to what we are still striving towards.

We have always been struck how many songs appear to capture a certain closeness, both lyrically and musically -- songs that seem to welcome you into a personal and relaxed setting. Is that part of what you look to create?
I'm glad that you think this about the songs. I always have the feeling that writing songs is like joining in a conversation with other people. I've been glad for the experience of feeling a connectedness in reading or listening to someone else's writing. I'm happy if someone who hears our songs can feel that way.

When you close your eyes, where do you imagine your songs being listened to?
I don't know. The letters and e-mails we've received are written, in the kindest voices, from many different places, which never stops being a surprise to me.

What it is like to work with your partner?
It is something that is so natural. I never have to question it, but I am grateful for it, to be able to work with Don. I think it is a great help to have the energy of two people, two friends working with a shared purpose.

If you could create any type of music with complete anonymity, would you create something completely different?
Maybe not completely different. But it would be an adventure to make a wholly instrumental album. Or the reverse, an album that has very ambient group singing, with a large group of people.

What artists do you see as currently creating particularly creative or inspiring music?
Sufjan Stevens, Fleet Foxes, Mark Kozelek, Yann Tiersen

Can we expect any solo projects in 2011?
Maybe something from Don. I am working on another children's album, not lullabies this time, but I don't know when I'll be able to finish it.

Where have you been most surprised to find inspiration?
A tube of watercolor paint, the name of the color was geranium lake, which I thought was the most wonderful, visual name.

What is on your hi-fi?
Van Morrison, the song "Fair Play" from Veedon Fleece. This is one of my very favorite songs / recordings, and I just have to hear it at least from time to time. This is a very moving piece of music, and it has a quality and a space that I can't put into words. And the lyrics of this song, too, are so visual. I hold them up as an ideal.

The Rachels, Music for Egon Schiele. This is such a beautiful record, and I listen to it a lot with my kids, who play violin, viola and piano, the main instruments in this band, along with cello.

Pablo Cassals, "Song for the Birds", from the 1961 concert for President and Mrs. Kennedy. Don found this recording this week, from a news story about this concert, and we have been listening, mesmerized by this, all of us.

Vashti Bunyan, "Train Song". This always affects me strongly. It is the beauty of her voice, and also the great atmosphere of the recording.

Music from the film Amélie by Yann Tiersen. We play this at our house at least a couple of times a week. I love this music. I love the simultaneously melancholy and joyful sound of the accordion-based songs and also all of the piano. I have wanted to play the accordion, especially out of love for this album. Don gave me one for Christmas, and I am trying to play it. Right now it is a bit less like playing and a bit more like a wrestling match (the accordion is winning).

Official | Badman Recording Co.

What's On The Hi-Fi...Podcast Fourteen

While you listen to the podcast click here or on the image above to go to our podcast artist gallery to find out descriptions, links and more. You can also subscribe to our podcast free at What's On The Hi-Fi - What's On The Hi-Fi - What's On The Hi-Fi

Listen to "Pocast 14" MP3

Artist - Track Names

Track of the Day...."Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" from Fredrika Stahl

Fredrika Stahl
"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" from Sweep Me Away
Sony Music Entertainment France

Listen to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" MP3

Yes, its rooted in a beloved child's song. And yes, it is the soundtrack to a ubiquitous Nissan Juke advert. But get back here, there is more to this track than this may have you think. Fredrika Stahl carefully sidesteps the pitfalls which are inherent in playing with such a well known melody. This Swedish artist's tribute is unabashedly poppy and tender, without becoming saccharine.

Watch the video to Fredrika's track "Rocket Ship To Mars"


Track of the Day: "Mile Marker" from Amy Seeley

Amy Seeley
"Mile Marker"
Plum Coulee
Self-released 2010

Listen to "Mile Marker" MP3

"Mile Marker" is one of those tracks that we keep coming back to. The keyboard-driven instrumentation is restrained yet insistent, with Amy's emotive voice front and center. There is a charm and clarity which comes through the song, a seeming effortlessness and a paired back eye which makes this track stand apart.

Plum Coulee is Amy's self-released album which is available on Bandcamp. Amy is playing on 10 February in Portland at The Woods.

Official | Twitter | Bandcamp

Track of the Day..."Champion Sound" from Crystal Fighters

Crystal Fighters
"Champion Sound"
from Star Of Love
Zirkulo Records

Listen to "Champion Sound" MP3

Crystal Fighters are an international London-based collective, fusing uplifting progressive dance music with old world Basque folk music. The group draws inspiration from the 80's Spanish / Basque "anti-todo" ("anti-everything") youth movement, taking their name from an unfinished opera written by singer Laure's deceased grandfather during his final months of insanity. The group has worked to expand upon the wild spirit of these writings, releasing their debut Star Of Love (acronym for SOL, Spanish for "sun"). This is a stand out album that continues to surprise with its inventiveness and wonderfully chaotic energy.

Be sure to catch Crystal Fighters live at Point Ephémère in Paris on 19 February. Not to be missed.

Official | MySpace

Track of the Day..."Laut" from Lockerbie


Album TBD

Listen to “Laut” MP3

Icelandic post-rock band Lockerbie gained some small momentum opening for For A Minor Reflection in 2008 but didn’t gel as their initial lineup.

The new group has pulled together to create “Laut”, a thoughtful, melodic and evocative track that shines a shimmer with a welcome worn hat. The opening salvo of the song feels like it can’t wait to explode into epic reverie and it does. Lockerbie is a new bunch that we look forward to in 2011.

They are currently working on a full- length.