Hamilton Leithauser: Self Pity

I have been re-listening to Hamilton Leithauser’s “Black Hours” album which came out last year. The record really flew under the radar as many of The Walkmen’s albums usually do. He released several singles from the album including “Alexandra” which were catchy and quite different than the music he does with The Walkmen but the song that leaped out at me is “Self Pity”.

The song is atmospheric and melancholic with its slow guitar riffs and violins and really gets you hooked on its somber tone. Leithauser sings in a pleading and subdued voice that carries over the music. Check it out above.

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Mr. Happy short film (starring Chance the Rapper)

Mr. Happy is a short film directed by Collin Tilley and stars Chance the Rapper under his real name Chancelor Bennett. The film is about a depressed and suicidal young man who stumbles upon a website called Mr. Happy that specializes in killing people who are unable to kill themselves. Chancelor’s character schedules an execution for himself but then meets a beautiful artist and a little bit of happiness enters his life.  But his upcoming death is still planned and he must figure out what to do. Check it out above.

The Dig: You and I and You (directed by Terence Nance)

I have just discovered a gem amongst the New York indie rock scene and that spark is The Dig. The band specializes in shoegaze and chamber pop that instantly sucks you in with their quiet and introspective sound. The band has developed quite a following and their new music video for the song “You and I and You” will only help to push the band into the spotlight.

The music video is directed by Terence Nance who is mostly known for his 2012 film “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty”. He brings his trademark surreal style to this music video with dancers following a couple with a baby which then leads to the couple trying to run away from people rising from the ground. Check it out above.

Benjamin Booker: Violent Shiver

I just discovered Benjamin Booker and I must say that his self-titled album is quite possibly the best record I have heard in ages. I have been looking for new guitar centered music and I stumbled across him while listening to Shakey Graves on youtube.  His music is both explosive and moving with its blues/soul/garage centric vibe.

One of the best songs on his incredible album is “Violent Shiver” which has one of the most catchiest and amazing riffs ever with its fast paced tempo.  Check out his stunning live performance on David Letterman above.

Two Gallants: Some Trouble

Two Gallant’s new album “We are Undone” is one of their heaviest and aggressive records to date. The band have traded in their folksy guitar sound for a more distorted and loud aesthetic. One of the best tracks from their record is “Some Trouble” which is hard hitting and no-nonsense. Check it out above.

Chance the Rapper: Paranoia

So I finally got around to listening to Chance the Rapper and I am impressed. His music is scatterbrained and completely abstract but also interesting. One of the best tracks from his album “Acid Rap” is ‘Paranoia’ which is a downtempo track that shows a different side to the Chicago rapper.

Hotel Chevalier: short film by Wes Anderson

I remember watching “Hotel Chevalier” many years ago and I forgot just how beautifully shot and arresting the performances by Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman are. One of the best short films I have ever seen.  Check it out above.

Lucero: The Only One

Lucero’s Ben Nichols has become an idol of mine with his moving and reflective songs. His gritty voice emphasizes exactly what he is trying to say. “The Only One” is a song about love lost and pining after it. Check it out above.

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