Do you feel the winds a-blowin' in a witchy way? Welcome to our Friday the 13th Free Music Friday special. We won't say these tunes are necessarily lucky, but hey, they certainly ain't unlucky! The goodies we've got lined up include a folk-tronic duo that combines elements of poetry and dance; a dreamy synth reverie; some upbeat summer tunes to get us in the mood for sunshine; a hook-filled poppy EP; and whimsical folk singer Kate Tucker's latest EP. Who are they, you say? Well, read on to find out, and good luck.
-Nancy Woo, editor
1. yOya - "Fireworks"
(free streaming from website, free download with email)
LP: Nothing to Die
Combining the soft, lyrically powerful nature of folk music and the jumpy, upbeat strain of modern electronic dance music, yOya gives "folk-tronica" a great name. Though no band is ever beholden to their genre, the already genre-busting nature of folk-tronica seems to fit them perfectly. There's poetry in their lyrics, sung articulately so that you can hear them, most notably in a spine-tingling falsetto, yet there's also a steady beat from a drum machine and a healthy dose of synth-driven experimentalism that makes the music undeniably fun. It manages to be dreamy, catchy, poetic and dancey all at once.
I saw this duo perform last week at the Satellite in L.A., one on acoustic guitar and one on keyboards, and was astounded by an amazing set. This song, "Fireworks," definitely has a melody worth loving, sung in perfect harmony, with a catchy chorus whose build up and breakdown may move you. Check out their website and treat yourself to some lovely tunes.
Bonus: Signing up for the mailing list also gets you a free download of their mash-ups and covers. When I saw them perform, they did an impeccable and truly cool mash-up of Radiohead's "High and Dry," with Gary Jule's version of "Mad World," so there are sure to be some gems in that bunch.
2. Porcelain Raft - "Put Me to Sleep"
(click to stream or right click to save as)
LP: Strange Weekend
3. The Denzels - Easy Tiger
(free download from Bandcamp)
2-song EP: Easy Tiger
The Denzels are giving away their Easy Tiger EP, two songs that sit comfortably between garage and noise pop. Both songs are bright in a way that feels like they anticipate summer.
4. Free Swim - Dennis
(free download from Bandcamp)
4-song EP: Dennis
Free Swim is releasing their Dennis EP for free, as well. The artist seems to be more of a "he" than a "they," though, as the entire album is credited solely to Paul Coltofeneau. The music is smart and hook-filled and the vocals are reminiscent of John Wesley Harding, both in the timbre of Coltofeneau's voice as well as his wordplay in the lyrics.
5. Kate Tucker - Ghost of Something New
(free streaming from NoiseTrade, and free download with email)
5-song EP: Ghost of Something New
Kate Tucker is releasing five tracks from her upcoming EP, Ghost of Something New for free. An alt-country chanteuse, she sings like a young Dolly Parton over songs with the fierceness and immediacy of Neko Case. The full EP will be released in March.