Music is extremely important to us here at Koostik - it fuels our drive for personality and character in design. With this new week under-way, I'd like to share five albums that have been recently on rotation while I work. Give them a listen - maybe they'll inspire some extra creativity in you this week.
#5 - Ashes & Fire by Ryan Adams
Though it does not have as much "edge" as his past work, the songwriting on Ashes & Fire is what I have come to expect from Ryan Adams. His mellow approach with this record is brought alive by his voice, which to me sounds to be at it's absolute best. Lyrics like "The lights will draw you in and the dark will bring you down" and "I feel like somebody I don't know, are we really who we used to be" make the song 'Lucky Now' a standout for me - be sure to check it out.
Standouts: 'Lucky Now', 'Do I Wait', and 'Ashes & Fire'.
#4 - The End of History by Fionn Regan
For several years Fionn Regan has been my favorite folk artist and this album is the reason why. Every song is brilliantly crafted, his fingerpicking setting the perfect atmosphere to his lyricism. His voice has such a soft swagger to it, showing the conviction he has in his storytelling. Literally every song on this album can stand on it's own, which is why it remains one of my favorites.
Standouts: 'The Cowshed', 'Snowy Atlas Mountains', and 'Be Good Or Be Gone'.
#3 - Early In The Morning by James Vincent McMorrow
I stumbled upon this artist while watching some of NPR's Tiny Desk videos and I'm glad I did! James' voice is absolutely perfect on these recordings. He somehow combines the falsetto of Bon Iver and the soulful power of Ray LaMontagne… I believe this album is just the beginning for this fantastic artist. (and a darn good beginning!)
Standouts: 'We Don't Eat', 'If I Had a Boat', and 'Down the Burning Ropes'.
#2 - Makers by Rocky Votolato
Rocky Votolato has a way of doing so much with so little. His ability to create deeply captivating songs with no more than an acoustic guitar and his voice is nearly unmatched in my opinion. The album opens with the song 'White Daisy Passing' and immediately pulls me in with it's striking vocal harmonies. When he sings "please slow it down", I can't help but allow my mind to take a breather. I don't know if their is a better album to take a walk to than this one. It provokes movement and introspection.
Standouts: 'White Daisy Passing', 'Portland Is Leaving', and 'Wait Out The Days'.
#1 - Tamer Animals by Other Lives
Tamer Animals, my favorite album of 2011, is perfect front to back. This group creates vast soundscapes with their songs, at times evoking the feeling that I'm out in the open plains of the wild west. All of their compositions are airy and imaginative. The lead singer's croon melts into the music, more instrumental in the piece as a whole than it's center piece. Each song brings it's own distinct mood. A mood I can't help but be swept up in.
Standouts: 'Dust Bowl III', 'For 12', and 'As I Lay My Head Down'.
I hope you enjoy the list - what albums are on rotation for you this week?