OnlineRock Blog

14 October 2011

Free Music Friday - October 14, 2011

We've got a pretty eclectic mix for you this week. Just take a look at our featured download. I listened to the 10 free tracks and felt like I was in another time and another place, a time when stories were passed down through song by grandmothers who retold the myths from their childhood. It's very cool. And that's just the first track.

Then, somehow, we've managed to run a few themes (unintentionally) of children, friends and singles, embedded in some blues-punk, some "math rock" and some indie pop. Take a gander.

1. The Mickey Hart Collection - 10 Free Tracks
(free download with email)

This Friday, I've got a bit of a curveball. The Smithsonian is offering a ten track sampler of songs from the Mickey Hart Collection, a set of 25 albums of folk musicians from around the world, many of whom perform music from traditions that are in danger of disappearing completely. And because he's Mickey Hart and a big hippie (I mean, he was one of the drummers in The Grateful Dead, after all), he occasionally plays along. But if these tracks are a representative sample, he does so in a rather collaborative and unobtrusive way. As to be expected, these songs are heavy on the drumming and great to lose yourself in.
-Contributed by Andrew McNair 

(click to stream or right click to save as)

Album: Liberty Bell

An unabashedly poppy track with easy-to-follow lyrics, chords and clapping, this song somehow retains enough "indie" to keep it in the bunch here and not on MTV (or did they stop doing music at all?). This is more like a mainstream, sunshine-y version of PJ Harvey than Sheryl Crow, using pretty minimalist instrumentation with a prominent electric guitar, and letting the vocals carry the song. Just looking at the title of the track alone is enough to warrant a listen. Though the themes may not delve too far into questions of duality, I can appreciate the personification of inner selves and the smoothness of the hook. It's fun, it's catchy, it's got a nice little electric guitar in there, and folktress Kate Miller-Heidke's album Liberty Bell hit stores this week. Check out her website.

3. LCTRISC - "Reach the Children (Book of Doom)"
(click to stream or right click to save as)


Opening with a head-banging melodic hard rock rhythm, this song is a crazy ride they call "math rock." Combining a sort of Butthole Surfers singing/talking style, the whole song is like a steamroller of sound, from fritzing guitars to chimes on crack. Halfway through, the songs gets really wild, and you'll just have to listen to find out what I mean. This duo meets your ears all the way from Sweden, and in case you're wondering what the heck those letters are up to, their name is pronounced "elektrisk," from the Swedish word for electric. This song follows their popular single, "Sunbird," which you can listen to from their Facebook.

3. Henry's Funeral Shoe -"Anvil and Chains"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

Album: Donkey Jacket

If you liked that last one, you'll dig this rough, gritty Wild West ballad. It sounds like country blues done with a blaring punk rock background, and if you only listen to it for the killer harmonica, you'll have done no wrong. These guys are celebrating this week because it marks the release date of their second LP, Donkey Jacket, which you can find at their website.
4. Hello Electric - "Hook"
(click to stream or right click to save as)

EP: Dead Champion


The story behind this song is great. According to band leader Kirk Ohnstad, it's a "retelling of Peter Pan" with a "conceptual feel to it that is Hello Electric." Since they're from Portland, you can expect something a little off the beaten path, and what Hello Electric delivers is a barely audible-then-explosive clash of guitars with whispered vocals and a definite sense of pressure building from the tick-tocking percussion. Dead Champion will be out October 25th, and these guys are now on tour.

5. Hospitality - "Friends of Friends"
(Click the down arrow on Soundcloud)

Album: TBA

After an uncharacteristic, yet not uninvited, strange line-up of world folk, to indie pop, then straight through three harder-in-their-own-unique-way songs, we'll end with the pleasant sensation of simple, light fun. This band features some sassy female vocals and a solid set of musicians playing satisfyingly upbeat, emphatic pop lines in the background. This band was recently signed to Merge Records, and you can expect a full-length from them around January 2012.

Thanks for joining. See you next week.
-By Nancy Woo


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