Hi, my name is Jen and I am addicted to local music (shocker). This collection of music is beyond awesome to me as it features a ton of my local favorites. Some of them I’ve been familiar with for a while, others I just discovered as the Lost Ark rolled out one song at a time from the compilation. Hearing the recording of “Summer Came” by The Heavy Guilt solidified that these were guys I wanted to get to know. I’ve since had the pleasure of learning a bit more about them and the great work that they do. Creating a studio in their vision and crafting music that they pour themselves into. Please give it a spin or 10.
Producer/engineer Mike Butler is, by all accounts, a master of his craft. I’ve listened to band after band gush about working with him. He seems to have an incredible understanding of the bands he works with, a dedication to staying true to their goals while infusing his own touch, and the ability to draw from them their very best. Plus he wails on guitar. Looking over the CDs I’ve listened to most heavily in the last year I frequently find Butler in the liner notes- be it playing, producing, engineering or some combination of the three. Cheers, dude.
“Summer Came” by The Heavy Guilt: This tune embodies what makes THG one of the best bands around. Vocals and lyrics are front and center but we still get a taste of all the little bits that comprise their signature sound. Jamming guitars, a ton of percussion and those glorious organ-style keyboards. A serious hometown summer anthem.
“Holding Onto Nothing” by Jesse LaMonaca and The Dime Novels: This song introduced me to an artist I hadn’t spent much time listening to. For shame. Jesse’s achingly tender tone can range from sweet to soaring with just a slight twang. The strings and harmonies round this one out and I think of it as a gorgeous heart breaker. [Shameless self promotion: Listening to this tune and the rest of Jesse’s music led me to writing a li’l piece about him – out today! Check it.]
“Free” by Old Tiger: Another band I’d neglected as of late, Old Tiger is now at the top of my list of who-to-listen-for bands. This song is immediately catching with solid beat, quick tempo and carefully crooned vocals. This is the kind of song I put on first thing in the morning to set the tone for my day. I just kind of wish it was twice as long. [More shameless self promotion: I’ll have a feature on OT in next month’s Mission Valley News, hopefully around the time their first full-length album, Love Have Mercy, is out. Good shit.]
“Oh Dry Land” by John Meeks: This track calls for immediate re-listen- with so many intricacies I can listen to it back to back to back and pick new favorite sections each time. Lap steel is by far one of my favorite sounds on the planet. Meeks’ voice garners instant focus but each layer of this song make it the kind of thing that creeps into your heart and holds fast.
“Kiss You Goodnight” by Nena Anderson: The soft subtleties of this one get me right in the gut. Nena’s lullaby-esque voice is at once soothing and haunting. And the soft percussion matches perfectly with the tone of the lyrics. Make this one your night cap with a whiskey or two.
What are your favorite tracks on the compilation? Leave your own love in the comments below.