Well hi everyone! It’s been a minute hasn’t it? This summer definitely flew by before I realized, “oh wow I haven’t sat down to the Flat Iron Blog lately”. Well it feels good to be back! Even though the summer was fast burning as they always are; barely giving us Midwesterners time to put our winter boots away before it’s over—it sure had a great soundtrack! From favorite bands putting out new albums, to discovering new bands I hadn’t previously listened to, here is a highlight of some of my favorite songs I jammed out to while driving around the Black Hills this summer.
The Oh Hellos: Notos EP and Eurus EP
The Oh Hellos have long been one of my favorite modern takes on traditional folk music. I couldn't talk about just one of these EPs without the other, because if the art work didn't already do a lovely job of pairing them together, these EPs are two in a supposed four EP release. (Though I have no idea when the next two will be dropped.).
Notos, released in December of 2017, and Eurus released just a quick couple of months later in February of 2018. These EPs, as with all of The Oh Hellos music--are like stepping into a fantasy novel. These two EPs have definitely been one of my favorite listening experiences of the summer. There's nothing quite like driving the Peter Norbeck scenic byway, and listening to a song like On the Mountain Tall, the title track of Notos.
Notos feels very light and joyful, where as Eurus's mood shifts to a more introspective tone. with songs like Dry Branches, Eurus definitely feels like the autumnal answer to the summer like quality of Notos.
If you would like to step out of reality, I highly suggest hitting play on these EPs and taking a drive through the hills for a magical break from the ordinary.
Dirty Projectors: Lamp Lit Prose
Shout out to Public Radio for my discovery of this band and Album. I'm not even sure what program I was listening to when the review of this album was aired, but I was having an exceptionally bad case of the Mondays when the voice on the radio said, "It's impossible to not feel joy when listening to Dirty Projectors new album." and I thought to myself, "Yeah that's exactly what I need at this moment." I really love diving into a band I don't know anything about! I will be honest I don't know if this new album is a departure from the Dirty Projectors signature sound or just what you would expect from them, but whatever the case, I love Lamp Lit Prose. A lot. I am kind of at a loss for how to describe the vibe of this album, but the best I can do is: it reminds me of, if Owl City grew up and took a hard right into the land of jazz and R&B. Every song is completely different from the last, and that dude on Public was completely right; It's pretty impossible to not experience joy when listening to this album. My favorite tracks are That's a Lifestyle, and Zombie Conqueror, but truly, I enjoy just about every song on this album.
I have been patiently waiting for this album to drop all summer and this was the best end of summer treat! Glorietta is a super band of some of my favorite artists, who got together and recorded their self titled album in a nine day session in a rented house in Glorietta NM, just outside of Senta Fe. The band includes: Jason Robert Blum, Noah Gundersen, Adrian Quesada, David Ramirez, Matthew Logan Vasquez, and Kelsey Wilson. We also can't leave out the guest appearance of Nathaniel Ratliff who drove straight through the night to join the party. This band was the brain child of Mathew Logan Vaquez, who said they trekked out into the Mountains of NM because, "It was isolated enough to where it would feel like we were at camp." Each song is cohesive yet very original to whichever band member wrote it. It's hard to choose a favorite because they're all so different and good, but if you don't have time to sit and listen to the album end to end, don't miss: I Know, featuring Nathaniel Ratliff, Friends by Mathew Logan Vasquez, and Someday by David Ramirez with vocals by Noah Gundersen. (But really just listen to the whole thing!)
Well there you have it! I hope you all had a great summer, and discovered some new tunes along the way. And since I dropped off the radar for a minute, I’ve decided to also curate an End of Summer playlist for you all. Late August/early September always feels like a season, between seasons for me. The days are still sunbaked and speckled with late blooming wildflowers and sage. Then the nights are crisp and cool, scented by neighborhood fire places; and I find myself waiting anxiously for those blustery October days and songs that fit the gloomy mood. So this playlist is a mix of just that! I hope you all enjoy! Click the picture below and it will take you to the playlist.