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Nuvo Picks Music Blog

Wish I Was Here

Monday, July 21, 2014 | by Caitie Tieman

Released last week, the soundtrack to Zach Braff’s latest film (Wish I Was Here) has proven yet again that the actor/director has outstanding taste in music. A compilation with dashes of both beloved, preexisting tunes and stunning, newly commissioned tracks, the album plays as a gorgeous audio trip rich with emotion. Kicking off with the dreamy “So Now What,” written specifically for the film, the combination of Braff and The Shins is always indisputably awesome, while the handpicked previously-released songs that follow, things like Radical Face’s “The Mute,” Bon Iver’s “Holocene,” and Paul Simon’s “The Obvious Child,” all still seem to shine brightly within this remarkable assembly. My personal favorite of the soundtrack, “Heavenly Father” - another Bon Iver tune, this time crafted just for the movie – pulls on some of the aching familial sentiments at the center of the film, and manages to satisfy that sacred soundtrack balance of dancing along the plot while also standing strong on its own.  

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Interpol and Alt-J

Monday, July 14, 2014 | by Caitie Tieman

Half-way through the summer and September is already gleaming like a beacon on the horizon for me, as two much beloved bands have new albums scheduled to drop. Mercifully, however, both bands have already released singles to help me pretend to be patient until I get my hands, and ears, on the full releases.

Interpol, an indie/alternative rock band out of New York, released the track ‘All the Rage Back Home’ last week as the first taste of their fifth-studio album, El Pintor. The first album since the departure of their bassist Carlos Dengler (who is truly amazing, and there’s been a little apprehension as to what the band would even sound like without him), and following a several year hiatus, I am incredibly relieved at how very much I like this single, and at how very Interpol-y it sounds.

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Released in 2012, British band Alt-J’s debut album, An Awesome Wave, was one of the best albums of that year in my book and has held steady as one of my most played records since. Two songs are actually now available from their upcoming sophomore follow-up album, This Is All Yours, but the first, ‘Hunger of the Pine’ was enough to really wet my appetite – even with the unexpected use of a Miley Cyrus sample.

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Monday, June 9, 2014 | by Caitie Tieman

Unlike my youngest niece, I understand that just because you like two things independently does not mean that they would go well together. (That's why, unlike her, I never make the mistake of putting sour gummy worms onto peanut butter frozen yogurt.) However, sometimes pairing things together can actually be really awesome, and that's how I feel about the track "Coming Down." Hailing from the new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album, Only Run, which was released last week, the song combines frontman Alec Ounsworth's almost-caterwauling vocals with the delicious baritone of The National's Matt Berninger. It's not a match I ever expected, but the moment (about the 2:45 mark) when their voices merge is pretty fantastic ( kind of like putting chocolate chips on peanut butter frozen yogurt). I'm still testing out Only Run in its entirety, but there's definitely been some replay of "Coming Down." Check it out below, and as a bonus, I hope you also enjoy my old standard Clap Your Hands Say Yeah favorite, "Over and Over Again."    

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Damon Albarn

Monday, April 28, 2014 | by Caitie Tieman

This week marks the release of Damon Albarn’s first solo album, Everyday Robots. Even if you don’t recognize his name, you’re likely familiar with Damon’s work. As front man of Blur (now heard most frequently in snippets at the ballpark, there was a time when “Song 2” was on every single mix tap/mix CD I made) and one of the minds behind Gorillaz, his contribution to music in the last two decades is pretty notable. This album, seemingly taking a more personal and melancholy turn, reveals Albarn in a fresh light, but with no less talent or distinction. Give a listen to the somber but beautiful “Hollow Ponds” below.  

Also, bonus note: tomorrow brings the Pixies’ first album of ‘new’ music in ten years. Even with Kim Deal’s semi-dramatic exit in 2012 (I’ll likely never truly recover from that heartbreak), what I’ve heard of Indie Cindy is definitely Pixie-esque enough to spark my interest. To any and all Pixies fans out there, it is at least worth investigation.   

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Angel Olsen

Monday, February 3, 2014 | by Caitie Tieman

Angel Olsen's affecting voice exhibits substantial power, but with a simultaneous sense of vulnerability, and drives both faster, beat-driven tunes and bare minimalist pieces with a gorgeous edge that I find totally intoxicating. Her new album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness, will be out February 18th. I think the videos below will illustrate why I am pretty excited. Hope you enjoy the new album's lead single, "Forgiven/Forgotten," as well as this incredible performance of her older song "Some Things Cosmic," filmed at last summer's Pitchfork music festival.

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