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Tour De Vaap

A compilation of music from 417

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Willis Earl Beal

Willis Earl Beal emerged on the Chicago scene a few years back with a rough but beautiful sound.  Beal combined folk, soul, rock and a lot of other stuff in between with incredible conviction, albeit in a very lo-fi setting.  But it looks like in the time since his last album, Beal has gone for a more cleaned up and produced sound.  As good as he was stripped down and distorted, everything I’ve heard from his upcoming album, all fancied up with new styles, more polished sounds and guest musicians, is incredible.  And this new song, “Coming Through” may just take the cake.  Let’s put aside the fact that it features the incredible voice of Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) for a second.  “Coming Through” is a powerful, up-front folk song as honest and uplifting as they come.  Now singing along to a sparse but attention-grabbing guitar and drum beat, Beal speaks of enlightenment.  The world is cast in shadows, many of which we create for ourselves, says Beal.  But “Coming Through” seems to say both that it’s alright and that change is coming our way.  In one foul swoop, Willis Earl Beal criticizes and brings hope with a song that could’ve been a hit in the 60s, just as easily as now.  Check out the song below and look for his sophomore album, Nobody Knows on September 10th.  It’s gonna be a good one.

-M. Kauf


Willis Earl Beal – Coming Through:

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kate faust

As I finished up my incredible internship today everything came back full circle.  On my first day of work, I wrote a blog post about an incredible Philadelphia artist Kate Faust.  Now, on my last day, she came into the studio to record a session for us.  Seeing her again reminded me of her incredible skills and her stunning slow-burner, “Heartbeat.”  Taking a page from the R&B minimalism of James Blake, Faust soulfully sings over minimal drumbeats, subtle synths and her own backup vocals.  As Faust slowly builds in intensity, we rise with her, almost physically feeling her cries for connectivity.  The simple but elegant video takes place in her parents house, as Kate moves from room to room, sitting and singing in the quickly approaching dark.  Faust is a master of minimalism, crafting beautiful work on little more than emotion and a powerful framing melody.  Check out the video below and listen to her first EP here.


Kate Faust – Heartbeat:

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This is a first for TDV, and it may be the last time we do this too.  But this album is just so good, that we had to share it.  Typhoon is a huge band (there are at least seven members that play with the group live) from Oregon and they write some beautiful, beautiful music.  Think Frightened Rabbit combined with Wolf Parade and some complex yet gorgeous musical arrangements.  The songs on this album are introspective, thought-provoking and constantly shifting.  Lead singer/songwriter Kyle Morton sings with a conviction few other artists posses.  Morton was touched by death at a young age, suffering from severe lyme disease, and it is evident in his music.  Overall, White Lighter, shows itself to be constantly enticing, and while I’ve only just scratched the surface of this album, I can tell that with each listen it’ll find a closer and closer place to the center of my heart.  White Lighter doesn’t come out until Tuesday, but you can stream it here in the meantime and check out the song “Dreams of Cannibalism” below.  I know I say this a lot, but this is really one album you cannot pass up this summer.

-M. Kauf

Typhoon – Dreams of Cannibalism:

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If there’s one thing I love about summer, it’s the plethora of summer-inspired videos.  I could watch old clips of beach goers, surfers and dancers all day, jamming along to the jangling guitars and hazy vocals.  And as the summer starts to wind down, Hibou provides exactly what I need in the vintage video for Above Us.  Already one of our favorite artists of the summer, Hibou released his debut EP a little while back, and has now provided the perfect video to accompany his summer sounds.  The video basically a lot of clips of people enjoying the summer whichever way they can.  That, plus Hibou’s laid back electronic rock vibes and the occasional trippy filter make this a great summer video.  Check it out below and soak up the tunes.

-M. Kauf

Hibou – Above Us:

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Normally we don’t post songs attached to names this big, but this cut is too important to ignore. Backed by immaculate production from NO I.D, Big Sean, Kendrick, and Jay Elec spit seven minutes of pure fury. Big Sean holds his own, and Jay comes through with some fantastic quotables, but, as usual, Kendrick steals the show.  The second I heard K-Dot’s voice I knew it was over. It’s the same voice he uses on ‘Jig is Up,’ one full of unadulterated disdain. He not only calls out every rapper from Drake to J. Cole, but he also claims to be the king of New York. Hip-hop is an art form grounded in competition, and Kendrick is the first MC in awhile who commands enough respect to call out the hottest MCs in the game. Hip-hop isn’t dead, it’s asleep, and Kendrick is bringing the trumpets. it’s more than a verse, it’s a call to action. 



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be frank furness

We’re back from vacation and we bring incredible news.  Last year, Heyward Howkins released one of our favorite albums of the year and the singer has been teasing us ever since with a spattering of demos and alternative tracks from his upcoming sophomore album.  Yesterday, Howkins quit the demos and brought us the real deal:  a full stream of the new album, Be Frank, Furness on his soundcloud.  After listening to the stream, it’s immediately apparent that a lot of effort went into this new album to make it a bigger, better piece of work than Hale & Hearty (as incredible as that album was), bringing in new instruments as well as an edgier and more refined sound.  But along with the higher production value, we still get the good old Howkins we’ve come to know and love.  There are still the quirky rhythms and eclectic lyrics doused with a good dose of brotherly love, keeping his curious references to Philadelphia and history prominent in his lyrics.  If you loved the first album, definitely check out the new release below.  And if you haven’t listened to the first album….definitely check out the new release below.  Be Frank, Furness is out this autumn.

-M. Kauf

Heyward Howkins – Be Frank, Furness:

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