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Tour De Vaap

A compilation of music from 417

Tag Archives: Folk


I have to tell you a story.  I know I’ve shared this story many times and I’ll probably share it again, but it was such a surreal experience that it has to be told (again).  About a year ago, I went to a Lord Huron concert.  Arriving twenty minutes late and fearing that I missed the main act (as the tickets stated he went on first) I slumped into the crowd as this band Champs began to set up on stage.  My initial disappointment melted away as soon as they began to play.  Gentle blue light surrounded shown onto the small band as they crooned in a beautiful mix of ancient folk harmonies and indie rock.  Every song stunned me and I was literally breathless as they performed “Too Bright To Shine” and I was almost sad when they left so that the band I came to see could get on stage.  Now a year has passed and the songs I heard on that wonderful night are finally finally available as the incredible Down Like Gold LP.  “Pretty Much (Since Last November)” sounds like an old folk ballad turned modern love song.  “My Spirit is Broken” is a hard hitting jam which demonstrates how diverse and dramatic this band can get.  Although a bit lo-fi, From the breathtaking beginning to the heart-wrenching closer, “White Satellite,” the album approaches rock from an angle you’ve never heard, something both young and old, refreshing yet familiar.  On the heels of the new album, Champs have released a new music video for “St. Peter’s” the one single out at the time of the concert, which satiated my thirst for more over this past year.  The jangling folk-rock tune features a snowy background and a man on the run, perhaps from himself.  There’s a little twist in the video, but I’ll leave it to you to find out what it is.  Check out the video below and give the album a listen, it’s more then worth it.

M. Kauf

Champs – St. Peter’s

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My brightest diamond make you feel my love

As stated on this blog many times before, Bob Dylan is a truly prolific songwriter. For another artist to cover him takes guts and skill.  Dylan was still cranking out incredible music into the 1990s (and arguably today), including the breathtaking, “Make You Feel My Love.”  This song has been covered by countless artists, including Billy Joel and Adele, but Shara Worden aka My Brightest Diamond has just released what may be the best rendition yet.  The quiet devotion and pain in Worden’s voice is at full force, accompanied by nothing but an echoing electric guitar.  On the eve of Christmas Eve, this heart wrenching love song will simultaneously bring you to tears and rock you to sleep.  Check out the beautiful, beautiful cover below.

-M. Kauf

My Brightest Diamond – Make You Feel My Love

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Every time I hear a new psychedelic band I think, “That’s it!  This band has perfectly captured the psychedelic sounds of the ’60s!”  But then a new band comes along with a different sound and I realize just how diverse is the genre of psychedelic music.  From like Tame Impala and Pond, to the more straight-edged Foxygen to Coke Weed, and in comes Quilt.  Straying from the heavy electric guitars and wild synths, Quilt’s single, “Arctic Shark” takes a page from the jangly sounds of The Byrds and early Jefferson Airplane.  With a little bit of country and some non-sensical feel-good lyrics, Quilt flow through their song at a happy and very trippy pace.  Below, you can watch the video which mostly features the band on blankets with fruit and vegetables.  Quilt’s newest album, Held In Splendor, will be out in January.  In the meantime, check them out on tour (tour dates after the break).

-M. Kauf


Quilt – Arctic Shark:

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SWF hails from Brooklyn and is releasing his debut album, Let It Be Told on October 8th.  While we’ll have to wait to hear the full album, the single “Let It Be Told” is a promising hint at what’s to come.  The sound falls somewhere between Wolf Parade and MV & EE, SWF playing with a mix of 60s garage rock, folk and an optimistic modern context.  As the song goes into repeat, vamping on the same chorus over and over, it feels like a trance, creating a musical connection that is uplifting and heavy all at once.  SWF’s unique voice chants and slides through trippy keyboards, and rough and tumble guitar and a steady rock beat.  Check out the song below and download it here.

-M. Kauf

SWF – Let It Be Told:

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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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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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You ever have one of those songs that just moves you?  You don’t exactly know what it is about the song, but something just makes it feel right and beautiful and worth listening to over and over and over again.  “Advanced Falconry” is definitely one of those songs.  Written by Mutual Benefit (AKA Jordan Lee), this is the first taste from his debut LP, Love’s Crushing Diamond.  The song starts at a crawl, delicately placing violins here and there like the first embers of a warm fire.  Soon the violin is joined by quiet handclaps, a mellow electric guitar and a soft banjo.  And to top it off, Lee sings a soulful folk melody over it all, his sweet voice romanticizing over the instruments.  It’s the kind of song, that bubbles up emotions without ever featuring a gut-wrenching blues wail, a soulful guitar solo or a hooky chorus.  “Advanced Falconry” is beautiful just being lush little self.  Check it out below and listen to some of Mutual Benefit’s earlier stuff here.

-M. Kauf

Mutual Benefit – Advanced Falconry

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