November 16, 2012

Dinosaur Jr - What Else Is New?

Today's featured song is "What Else Is New" by seminal alternative rock band Dinosaur Jr. Vocalist/songwriter/guitarist J Mascis has explained the concept behind his band as "ear-bleeding country", and it is an apt description for their mix of melodic noise rock with a quiet-loud contrasting dynamic, and mellow vocals. "What Else Is New" opens with one of Dinosaur Jr's characteristic emotive, squealing guitar solos, before J Mascis's trademark weary singing begins: "I'd like to see you / In the morning / In the evening / But you need a warning".

Get "What Else Is New?" on Amazon

November 2, 2012

The Seahorses - The Boy In The Picture

If you could have a conversation with yourself from the past, what would you say and what would he/she ask you? This is the subject of "The Boy In The Picture", by 90's English alt-rock band, The Seahorses, formed by John Squire, from their only album, "Do It Yourself", released in 1997. It is a dreamy and melodic rock song with emphathic guitars and drums, and wistful lyrics: "I asked the boy in the picture what could he see? / He said it's been twenty long years but you still look like me".

October 26, 2012

Eugene Kelly - Older Faster

"Older Faster" is a song by The Vaselines founder, Eugene Kelly, on his 2003 solo album, "Man Alive". Opening with a wistful harmonica and slide guitar intro, "Older Faster" is a mellow song about settling into middle age, with a hint of lingering discontent: "Oh love has lost me now / Do you really need to know / And days fly past me now / Do you really need to know".

Get "Older Faster" on Amazon

October 19, 2012

Okkervil River - Song About A Star

"Song About A Star" is a track on indie rock band Okkervil River's 2003 album, "Down the River of Golden Dreams". It is an angst-driven rock song with bitter lyrics about being forsaken for a glitzy celebrity life: "He cut your strings so that he could float / Lit by lights, lifted by alcohol / Over acres of loving coast / Far away from your lonely ghost". Blending in strings, accordion and drums, "Song About A Star" offers a good sampling of Okkervil River's distinctive style of literate, folk-influenced indie rock.

Get "Song About a Star" on Amazon

October 9, 2012

Nada Surf - Are You Lightning?

Today's song recommendation is "Are You Lightning?", a track on New York indie rock band Nada Surf's 2008 album, "Lucky". Lead vocalist Matthew Caws sings of a protagonist falling terrifyingly in love: "I see you in my sheets, I see you in my sleep / I see you with something that's funny I hear you I almost weep / I see you from my steps, you're walking up my street / But just look at the size of you". "Are You Lightning?" is a mellow yet dynamic indie rock song, with slide guitar flourishes. In the last third of the song, "Are You Lightning?" builds up to a heavier rock sound, with ghostly coos entering into its haunting soundscape.

Get "Are You Lightning?" on Amazon

October 3, 2012

Lambchop - The Distance From Her To There

"The Distance From Her To There" is a song by alt-country band Lambchop, on their breakthrough 2000 album, "Nixon". Mellow and dreamy, the song lulls the listener into its languid atmosphere created by pedal steel, horns and vibraphone.

Get "Distance From Her To There" on Amazon

October 2, 2012

The Thrills - I'm So Sorry

"I'm So Sorry" is an uptempo track from Irish band The Thrills' 2007 album, "Teenager". Starting off with a pensive and slightly anxious blend of harmonica and piano, the song is about a reluctant departure: "I took a train there then another somewhere / 'cos you were on my mind". In the later half of the song, "I'm So Sorry" accelerates in tempo; drums become more prominent and electric guitar gives voice to the pangs of separation. Singer Conor Deasy's voice soars as the protagonist promises a reunion: "I know you'll worry / I won't return, you worry / I might get lost, but I'm lost if I stay here / But I'll return like a river running home"

Get "I'm So Sorry" on Amazon

October 1, 2012

Hefner - The Librarian

Hefner were a UK indie rock band led by singer-songwriter Darren Hayman, that earned cult credentials for their lyrical storytelling and original brand of folk and electronic influenced lo-fi rock. "The Librarian" is a track from Hefner's 1998 debut album, "Breaking God's Heart" and was one of the band's first character-driven songs. A guitar-and-drums-driven song, "The Librarian" tells the story of a protagonist harbouring a dark and hopeless obsession with a librarian: "Her beauty has not truly been seen till her beauty's been seen by his tired eyes / Her tears have not truly been dried till her tears have been dried on his tattered shirt sleeves"

Get "The Librarian" on Amazon

September 30, 2012

Camera Obscura - Before You Cry

The song of the day is "Before You Cry", a heartily recommended track off indiepop band Camera Obscura's 2003 album, "Underachievers Please Try Harder". "Before You Cry" has a lovely melody with a sad undercurrent. It tells of a lovers' bedroom quarrel, sung mainly from the male partner's angry point of view. In the middle of the song, the vocals exit after the lines "I hope you hear me / Can't stand you next to me / Get lost, goodbye / I'll smile before you cry", and are replaced with a beautiful and dynamic piano, harmonica and mandolin medley. Tracyanne Campbell returns to sing the last verse, accompanied by lonely strains of slide guitar: "I love you baby / Oh, please don't hate me / You're feeling a little sad tonight, but you'll be alright".

Get "Before You Cry" on Amazon

September 29, 2012

Ferraby Lionheart - Pocketknife

L.A-based singer-songwriter Ferraby Lionheart released his second full-length album, "The Jack Of Hearts" in 2010, a fine followup to "Catch The Brass Ring" and his 2006 debut EP. Today's featured song is "Pocketknife" from "The Jack Of Hearts", a post-apocalyptic-themed song with a bouncy beat and slide guitar.

Get "Pocketknife" on Amazon

September 28, 2012

Bright Eyes - First Day Of My Life

Bright Eyes' "First Day Of My Life" is a track from the band's 2005 album, "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning". It is an acoustic song with busy, melodic guitar work. Conor Oberst keeps his lyrics simple but affecting here; "First Day Of My Life" describes the wonderful sensation of feeling born-again since meeting one's love: "I remember the time you drove all night / Just to meet me in the morning / And I thought it was strange, you said everything changed / You felt as if you just woke up / And you said / "This is the first day of my life / Glad I didn't die before I met you""

Get "First Day of My Life" on Amazon

September 27, 2012

Eels - Grace Kelly Blues

"Grace Kelly Blues", from Eels' 2000 album, "Daisies of the Galaxy", is a breezy folksy song, about the eponymous, late Hollywood actress's whirlwind transformation into the Princess of Monaco. A stately, pounding brass ensemble kicks off the song and thereafter weaves in and out of it. With wafting pedal steel, "Grace Kelly Blues" closes on a wistful and hopeful note: "I'm not so sure when I got here or how / Sun melting the fake smile away / I think, you know, I'll be okay".

Get "Grace Kelly Blues" on Amazon

September 26, 2012

The Redwalls - Universal Blues

"Universal Blues" by The Redwalls, the title track of the band's 2003 debut album, is an excellent country-influenced rock song with a wistful guitar intro that gives one warm tingles from the get-go. Look out for the instrumental section at about 1 minute 20 seconds into the song, starting off with vocal ahs and developing into a satisfying, Oasis-esque electric guitar solo.

September 25, 2012

Grand Drive - Track 40

UK band Grand Drive has built up an impressive discography of consistently tuneful and lush country rock songs over the decade and more that the group has been together. "Track 40", from Grand Drive's 2002 album, "See The Morning In", is a pedal steel-, piano- and guitar-replete case in point. An earnest country rock song, "Track 40" wears its nostalgic heart on its sleeves: "You can put so many miles in between / But there's only one place your memories belong / Track 40's gone".

Get "Track 40" on Amazon

September 24, 2012

the Vinyl Skyway - Sleepwalking

Today's featured song is "Sleepwalking", by the Vinyl Skyway, from the band's 2007 sophomore album, "From Telegraph Hill". "Sleepwalking" is a short, lush ditty about reminiscence: "I recall a time when the mood was not so blue / frozen blocks of mine / memories for me and you". Singer-songwriter Michael Hayes brings me back in time a little to Grandaddy's dystopian melodies, but "Sleepwalking" is less hushed and more alt-country, possessing the wistful sounds of slide guitar.

September 23, 2012

John Bustine - Miss Amputee West Culver County

The song of the day is "Miss Amputee West Culver County", by John Bustine, from his 2007 album, Waltzes and Pleas. I was not able to find a video of the original, but above is a video of a live cover performed by Alex The Red Parez aka El Rojo, during a John Bustine tribute set at Solly's in Washington DC. "Miss Amputee West Culver County" is a folksy, melodic ballad. It unravels a tale about a beauty queen who suffered a lifechanging amputation which freed her from her smalltown life to chase her dreams. This bittersweet story is told from the point of view of the lover she left behind: "So go on / Godspeed / Go sail the mountains / And climb the seas / And be everything you deserve to be / As a state-wide finalist". In John Bustine's album version, "Miss Amputee West Culver County" starts off as a quiet acoustic guitar song, but around the midway mark, other instrumental tracks enter the mix, giving the ballad a bright, alt-country sound.

Get "Miss Amputee West Culver County" on Amazon

September 22, 2012

Lambchop - The Man Who Loved Beer

The song of the day is "The Man Who Loved Beer", by veteran Nashville band Lambchop, from their 1996 album, "How I Quit Smoking". A languid, pedal steel-filled song, "The Man Who Loved Beer" has dark, mysterious lyrics that belie its gentle sound.

Get "The Man Who Loved Beer" on Amazon

September 21, 2012

Trashcan Sinatras - Got Carried Away

Trashcan Sinatras' "Got Carried Away" is a moody, fingerpicking-driven song from the Scottish band's lauded 2004 album, "Weightlifting". The occasional touches of pedal steel contribute to the morose atmospherics of the song.

Get "Got Carried Away" on Amazon

September 20, 2012

East River Pipe - Millionaires Of Doubt

The spotlight today is on "Millionaires Of Doubt", a song by Fred Cornog's amazing one-man band East River Pipe, from his 2003 album, "Garbageheads on Endless Stun". Jazzed up with little flourishes of slide guitar and sound effects, "Millionaires Of Doubt" is pleasant and laidback.

Get "Millionaires of Doubt" on Amazon

September 19, 2012

Ferraby Lionheart - Put Me In Your Play (Live)

Today's post features Ferraby Lionheart's "Put Me In Your Play", an earnest folksy ballad about affection that's a little one-sided. "Put Me In Your Play" is a track off the Californian troubadour's debut album, "Catch The Brass Ring, released in 2007. Above is a YouTube video of his May 2010 live performance at Beachland Tavern in Cleveland, Ohio. Like in the album version of "Put Me In Your Play", Ferraby Lionheart sings with slide guitar accompaniment.

Get "Put Me in Your Play" on Amazon

September 18, 2012

Teenage Fanclub - Sweet Days Waiting

Swirls of pedal steel abound in "Sweet Days Waiting", a track from Glasgow band Teenage Fanclub's 2010 release, "Shadows". On their ninth studio album, the venerable powerpop rockers show their enduring gift for melody in this bittersweet song about hanging in there: "But somewhere beyond the horizon / Sweet, sweet days are waiting there for you" 

Get "Sweet Days Waiting" on Amazon

September 17, 2012

Old 97's - Blinding Sheets Of Rain

The song of the day is "Blinding Sheets Of Rain", a soothing alt-country song by Old 97's, from their sixth studio album "Drag It Up", released in 2004. "Blinding Sheets Of Rain" is a mellow, pedal steel entwined lament about a love lost - "Blinding sheets of rain / that's what I’m blaming / I must have been blind not to see that you would leave" - but it is also about the hope to love again: "We have not seen a good night since these thunderstorms rolled in / I pray god please send them back and make me blind again"

Get "Blinding Sheets of Rain" on Amazon

September 16, 2012

Karate - Pines

Karate was an American indie rock band known for its unique and dynamic fusion of diverse elements from rock, punk, jazz and blues. "Pines", from their 2004 album, "Pockets", is one such smooth quiet blend of rock, jazz and slide guitar. "Pines" is a gently pensive song, ostensibly about a relationship getting dragged down by minutiae. Look out for the beautiful and thoughtful instrumental solo at around midpoint in the song.

Get "Pines" on Amazon

September 15, 2012

Iron & Wine And Calexico - Prison On Route 41

"Prison On Route 41" is a track from Iron & Wine and Calexico's 2005 joint EP, "In The Reins". It is a collaboration that works well, as Sam Beam (Iron & Wine)'s usual melodic folk has been enhanced with Calexico's rich country instrumentation. Calm and soothing, "Prison On Route 41" is a languid song laced with swooning pedal steel and enlivened by tight strumming and the occasional drumbeat.

Get "Prison On Route 41" on Amazon

September 14, 2012

Mazzy Star - Fade Into You

Today's featured song is "Fade Into You", the classic hit by iconic 90s dream pop band Mazzy Star.  "Fade Into You" was a successful single from Mazzy Star's 1993 sophomore album, "So Tonight That I Might See". Beautiful and languid, the song is filled with slide guitar lending it its signature haunting, atmospheric sound. Vocalist Hope Sandoval sings of a lover's dark room confessional, vulnerability laid open: "I wanna hold the hand inside you / I wanna take the breath that's true / I look to you and I see nothing / I look to you to see the truth"

Get "Fade Into You" on Amazon

September 13, 2012

Wilco - My Darling

Wilco's 1999 album, "Summerteeth" - their third - was crammed with excellent tracks. Today's focus will be on track #11, "My Darling", a lovely chamber pop lullaby to a young child: "Go back to sleep now / My darling / And I'll keep all the bad dreams away". It opens with a slightly playful yet wistful piano intro, and is soon joined by slide guitar, as the song unfolds into a lusher sound. The rest of "My Darling" continues with the tinge of wistfulness, as the narrator makes a wish for his child: "Grow up now / My darling / Please don't you grow up too fast / And be sure, darling / To make all the good times last"

Get "My Darling" on Amazon

September 12, 2012

The Sleepy Jackson - Miniskirt

The song of the day is "Miniskirt", by Australian group The Sleepy Jackson, from their 2003 debut album, "Lovers". "Miniskirt" is a rowdy romp through an rich alt-country soundscape featuring pedal steel, guitars and strings. Here's hoping that The Sleepy Jackson will resume making albums soon, their last one being 2006's "Personality - One Was a Spider, One Was a Bird".

Get "Miniskirt" on Amazon

September 11, 2012

Miracle Legion - A Heart Disease Called Love

"A Heart Disease Called Love" was first released by John Cooper-Clarke, in his 1982 album, "Zip Style Method", as a spoken word song. It was then also covered by Miracle Legion in their 1988 album, "Glad", and then The Field Mice. Of all the versions, I found Miracle Legion's to be the most affecting. The band's cover version has the strongest alt-country feel, complete with harmonica and slide guitar. Drenched in melancholia, the song makes the sorrow in the lyrics ring sincere.

September 10, 2012

The Elected - Born To Love You

The Elected released their third album, "Bury Me In My Rings" in 2011, proving they could consistently craft melodic songs. "Born To Love You" is the first track off the album, a sweet-as-peaches dreamy love song, infused with keyboards and touches of slide guitar. With all the cynicism about modern love in today's world, a song as pure as "Born To Love You" is soothing to the ears and soul: "The wonders of the world are all here on display / So why can't you believe when I say / I was born to love you, love you / And I will love you / Even if you're with someone new".

Get "Born To Love You" on Amazon

September 9, 2012

The Wallflowers - 6th Avenue Heartache

In the late 90s, The Wallflowers released their sophomore album, "Bringing Down The Horse", containing the smashing hit single "One Headlight" which topped several Billboard charts. The album achieved breakthrough success, going platinum four times in 1997, letting frontman Jakob Dylan emerge from dad Bob's shadow as a rock star in his own right. The success was well-deserved, because "Bringing Down The Horse" was stuffed with solid tracks. Today's post puts the spotlight back on "6th Avenue Heartache", the second track and the first hit single for the band, which was later eclipsed by "One Headlight". From the slide-guitar led opening, it is apparent that "6th Avenue Heartache" is one downbeat and melancholic heck of a song. However, that also affords listeners the time to nurse their pain and perhaps attain some catharsis as the song builds up into a satisfying, heartfelt chorus.

Get "6th Avenue Heartache" on Amazon

September 8, 2012

Silver Jews - Friday Night Fever

Silver Jews' "Friday Night Fever", from their 2001 album "Bright Flight", is a great remake of George Strait's 1990 original. The laidback drawl of singer David Berman, accompanied by swirling pedal steel, resonates well with the picture the song paints: a man enjoying a drink by himself in a bar ("the taste of whiskey straight"), giving in to a little self-indulgence ("I've just got that Friday night fever"), but harmlessly so ("I've heard all those come on lines / But I go home at closing time / I know no one could ever take her place").

Get "Friday Night Fever" on Amazon

September 7, 2012

Monsters Of Folk - The Right Place

"The Right Place" is a rollicking, lap-steel-filled song by supergroup Monsters Of Folk, from their 2009 eponymous debut album. It is just the kind of fine, alt-country gem you'd expect the accomplished members of the group - Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), M.Ward and Will Johnson - to produce when given the chance to collaborate. The song challenges the listener to examine his life and ask "if you like where you're living / if you like what you do", or if he is doing things that make himself "feel creepy inside".

September 6, 2012

My Morning Jacket - Xmas Curtain

This experimental but melodic song is by My Morning Jacket, from their 2001 album, At Dawn. "Xmas Curtain" has an almost minute-long intro that successfully builds up anticipation before frontman Jim James enters with his bright and angelic voice. For a song with "xmas" in its title, the lyrics are surprisingly dark, but intriguing, ostensibly about getting away with using prostitutes: "You pay to get behind her Christmas curtain / You're the criminal that never breaks the law!" The soaring "ahh"s in the song and touches of slide guitar add to the psychedelic and wistful sound.

September 5, 2012

January - Through Your Skies

"Through Your Skies" is a mellow rock song by UK band January, off their 2001 album, "I Heard Myself In You". With a melodic tune layered with pedal steel wails, piano and distorted guitars, it's a plaintive rock ballad that draws the listener into its quiet melancholia upon first listen.

September 4, 2012

Richard Hawley - No Way Home

"No Way Home" is a track on English singer-songwriter Richard Hawley's second album, Late Night Final. On it, Hawley sings about a narrator deciding to call it quits and move on from a relationship: "This is all the time that we have / All those ways to love you never get it back / So I'll wear shoes that walk the distance / 'Cause I'm never coming back". Like the narrator, who has mostly made peace with the split but still suffers pangs of heartache, the song is laidback and has a jaunty beat, but is made sentimental by swirls of pedal steel.

September 3, 2012

Badly Drawn Boy - Pissing In The Wind

Today's post is on one of my favourite Badly Drawn Boy songs, "Pissing In The Wind". The track is from the Mercury Prize-winning 2000 album, The Hour of Bewilderbeast. The melody and the lyrics combine to make it a beautiful, affecting song about loneliness and hope. Damon Gough's lyrics can sometimes be quirky and hard to pin down, but the words in "Pissing In The Wind" are relatable and beautiful in a street poetry kind of way: "I've been pissing in the wind / I chanced a foolish grin / And dribbled on my chin". Despite its melancholia, "Pissing In The Wind" is far from a dirge, as its intro might already allude to. Instead, it is a pretty tune, with a chug-along rhythm, drizzled with plenty of musical embellishments ranging from piano to harmonica to howling slide guitar.

September 2, 2012

The Thrills - Should've Known Better

"Should've Known Better" is a song from Irish rock band The Thrills' third album, Teenager. It is a lush, mellow song about looking back upon unfulfilled dreams in regret, underscored by mournful pedal steel. Despite being filled with gorgeous tracks, Teenager suffered from disappointing album sales, and the band was subsequently dropped from EMI, and has been on indefinite hiatus since then. Listening to my favourite tracks on the album makes me miss The Thrills, and wonder what might have been, if the album had fared better.

September 1, 2012

Yo La Tengo - One PM Again

The featured song of the day is by indie rock band Yo La Tengo, from their 1997 album, "I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One". An acoustic ditty about a tentative, budding love, "One PM Again" is gentle and laidback, save for the swellings of pedal steel betraying the stirrings of the narrator's heart.

August 31, 2012

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs - Sunday Morning

This is a terrific cover of "Sunday Morning", done by Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) for their first collaborative album, "Under the Covers, Vol. 1", in 2006. The original version will always have its place; released in 1967 by The Velvet Underground on their debut album (aka the one with the iconic banana art), it is still a dreamy and surrealistic pleasure to listen to today. What Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs have brought to the table with their take is a more grounded and wistful, alt-country feel to the song. While the original was by no means plain, the music on this cover is especially lush. Similar to the original, there is an ever-present dreamy tinkling in the background, but this cover also has a strong pedal steel voice. Coupled with Susanna Hoffs' honest vocals, the pedal steel makes the song warmly evocative.

August 30, 2012

Ben Kweller - Walk On Me (Live at Buffalo Place Rocks The Harbor)

Today's featured song is the live version of "Walk On Me" from Ben Kweller's 2002 album, Sha Sha. The talented songwriter and multi instrumentalist has in recent years been developing a stronger country sound, engaging pedal steel player Kitt Kitterman for his fourth studio album, Changing Horses, in 2009. Accordingly, his older songs have sometimes been played more countrified in his live shows. This live recording of "Walk On Me" is from Ben Kweller's August 2009 performance at Buffalo Place Rocks The Harbor, Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf. Unlike in the album version, pedal steel was played during the song, courtesy of Rich Henman.

August 29, 2012

The Pastels - Different Drum

"Different Drum" is a well-covered song, written by former Monkees member and country rock pioneer Michael Nesmith in 1965. This version is quite possibly the first twee cover, sung by Glasgow indiepop group The Pastels in 1993 for their album, "Truckload of Trouble". This is an almost cheerful cover featuring melodic guitars that give way to a more pensive pedal steel solo in the middle of the song, as the narrator tries to let his love down gently.

August 28, 2012

Son Volt - Methamphetamine

"Methamphetamine" is a song from alt-country band Son Volt's 2007 release, The Search. Its soulful pedal steel in the nostalgic opening draws one into the rest of the rich, melancholic country-flavoured song. The band's history is also interesting to mention, for fans of the alt-country genre. Following the split-up of pioneering alt-country group, Uncle Tupelo, Jay Farrar started Son Volt in 1994 while bandmate Jeff Tweedy went his separate way to form Wilco, with a more accessible, poppier direction, and the rest is illustrious history. For listeners more acquainted with Wilco, this song might be a good starting point for venturing into Jay Farrar's more country sound.

Get "Methamphetamine (Album Version)" on Amazon

August 27, 2012

Bright Eyes - Make War

"Make War" from prolific songwriter Conor Oberst's indie rock outfit, Bright Eyes, really captures the sound of his more stripped down, but no less melodic days. This song is from Bright Eyes' 2002 album, "Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground". Conor Oberst's music has always been divisive, with some criticising his songs for having pretentious lyrics, or being overly hyped. However I've found reading into his lyrics rewarding and his songs beautiful. "Make War" is a rocking but intimate, pedal steel layered song about the bitterness the narrator of the song feels when his lover betrayed him for another.

August 26, 2012

Neva Dinova - Tripped

"Tripped" is a track by Neva Dinova, from the band's excellent 2004 collaborative split EP with Bright Eyes, "One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels". A subtle layer of pedal steel is intertwined with the folksy guitar strumming driving the song. This melancholic, drunken confessional is addictive to listen to.

August 25, 2012

John Doe and The Sadies - A Fool Such As I

(Now And Then) There's A Fool Such As I by John Doe And The Sadies on Grooveshark

The classic 1952 song, "(Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I", covered by the likes of Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan, has been given a refreshing alt-country do-over by John Doe and The Sadies. This cover version leans towards the country side of alt-country, with its mellow sound and sentimental singing against a backdrop of pedal steel.

August 24, 2012

The Bigger Lovers - Steady On Threes

"Steady On Threes", by recently regrouped The Bigger Lovers, is a catchy, alt-country-flavoured powerpop song featuring a wild swirl of guitar, drums, pedal steel and tinkling piano. The band from Philadelphia split up in 2005 and this song is from the remastered version of their debut 2001 album, "How I Learned To Stop Worrying", which garnered a 4.5 star rating and "album pick" status on allmusic. By the end of the song, you just might be as glad as I was to know that they're back together again.

August 23, 2012

The Elected - Would You Come With Me

This is a great, anxious-sounding song from The Elected, driven by pedal steel, drumming and guitar. Vocalist Blake Sennett (also of Rilo Kiley fame) sings of a character who is yearning to leave but is desperately hopeful that his lover would come with him.

August 22, 2012

The Lucksmiths - If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now

If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now by The Lucksmiths on Grooveshark
This song from the now-defunct Australian band, The Lucksmiths, opens immediately with an aching pedal steel laden intro. "If You Lived Here, You'd Be Home Now" is languid and softly melancholic, great for a quiet weekend afternoon of alone time.

August 21, 2012

Wilco - I Thought I Held You

Plenty of pedal steel to love in this laidback song from Wilco's 1995 A.M. album. The pedal steel flows through the song like a stream of liquid metal, its twists and bends really bringing out the wistfulness in the song.

August 20, 2012

Old 97's - Salome

I wanted to kick off this blog with recent pedal steel songs I've heard, but I couldn't think of any off the top of my head. So, I decided to turn to one of the bands that reliably incorporate pedal steel in their music, for this first post. The band is Old 97's, a group that will undoubtedly be mentioned from time to time, and the song of choice is "Salome", an emotional alt country ballad about relationship disenchantment.