Now Listening (June edition)

Amazingly, I have done very few posts on this blog about the music the I have been listening to recently. So, for those who care or share similar tastes, here is what has caught my ear. For the record, I do not consider myself a very good music critic (at least being able to put into words what I like and what I think), but I do love good , honest and reflective music – and few a guilty pleasures (usually some contemporary pop song).

Before getting into specifics, I recommend emusic for a great selection of DRM-free music at very good prices. If you want to give it a try, we both can get 50 free downloads (just let me know and I will make it happen!).

Now Listening:

  • Jeremy Casella: just downloaded his album Recovery from emusic; has become a daily listen. I love the electronic infused folk sound – upbeat, but thoughtful music.
  • Matthew Smith; the current leader of Indelible Grace. Most everyday over the past the week or so, I listen to “All I Owe”, which is an updated version of a Robert Murray McCheyne hymn – “When This Passing World Is Done” (Hymn #545 in the Trinity Hymnal). There are some other great songs that you can also listen to on his myspace page.
  • Romantica: absolutely love this band and just downloaded their most recent album from emusic. Favorite song and one I think about a lot is “Drink the Night Away”. You can stream this whole album from their website. Very much in the Americana vein – think Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown, older Wilco.
  • Bon Iver: just downloaded “For Emma, Forever Ago” from emusic. It is a sparse and subtle album and only one of the songs really grabbed me at first, but the more I listened (streaming songs on Virb) the more I liked and was captured by the sound. The style is described by others as indie-folk singer songwriter.
  • Needtobreathe: bought their new album “The Heat” for $2; I have been enjoying this much more than expected. Reminds me a little of The Fray.

Other Recommendations:

  • The Habanero Hour: this is a podcast that has introduced me to some new music; the creators are trying to recreate the notion of what Christian music is, should be, and can be (as opposed to CCM).
  • Pandora Radio: another great way to listen to artists and styles that you like, while discovery new artists in the same style. Also good if you are wanting a little bit of that radio feel.
  • Amie Street: a cool way for independent musicians to get their music out. The price of songs/albums are based on their popularity. As an artist sells more tracks the price goes up (tops out at .98 or .99 cents). I downloaded a Brett Dennen album (and a few others) this way and feel like I got a great deal on the music. They also often have free music to give a try. Finally, you can earn credit through their REC’s system. Essentially, if you buy a song for .20 cents and recommend it to others, you could earn up to .79 cents in credit if the song reaches that price point or you could cash out sooner. I earned a few dollars of credit this way and downloaded an album by Virginia Coalition.

What has caught your ear?

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