The Secret Love Parade is a secret no longer.

Photo by Roelien (roelien.com)

So, I have one tiny, insignificant piece of news (if you can even call it news) to get out before we get down to business tonight. It’s not even important, really, but I figure if I make it public, people will be more likely to make sure I actually go through with it. Ready? I have decided to start a record label. (Oh, the irony…) And it’s just me on this one. Kristin has a life and stuff, but I don’t…no friends, no girlfriend, or much of anything cool like that. All I’ve got is time. So, for those of you who actually like the music we talk about here, well, I am going to do what I can to make it at least a bit more easily accessible. And if you’re an artist with some recordings you might be interested in releasing as a limited run EP on CDR, well, we’ll see…

Now, for music:

I have to say, I think Holland may be the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I wasn’t sure about that until this morning. Sure, In A Cabin With, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and my friend Deborah are pretty amazing, but for some reason, I wasn’t convinced. But today, I had email from Matthijs van der Ven, who heads up a project called Onder Invloed (it’s bloody brilliant, and sometime in January, I will explain why). Anyway, as I was exploring Onder Invloed, I came across The Secret Love Parade. And I fell in love.

They’re two girls (Aino Vehmasto and Janna Coomans). They’re from Amsterdam. So far, so perfect. And they write “postmodern romantic pop” with synths and organs and guitars, blips and beeps and beats, charming melodies, perfectly executed Camera Obscura-ed vocals, and Philip Glass-y arpeggios. And as for the listening experience, I have to agree with the Onder Invloed analysis: “you’ll instantly feel better than you were before. Worries fade away, no more thoughts on all the things you still have to do before the end of the week….It’s the complete combination of the dreamy songs, instruments and voices which will get you careless in less than fifteen minutes”. I really couldn’t have put it any better. I’ve listened through their MySpace four times now, and I am ridiculously giddy.

Check out “My Secret Love Parade”, “Free at Last”, and “Always You”, then the other two tracks, then buy their album. (Don’t fight it. You know you want to. I want to. I also want to be their friend, but I am reasonably convinced that I will never be cool enough.) So maybe my affinity for this band isn’t so secret. But why should it be? I think we could all do with a little Love Parade every now and again.

Here’s a live video from the Amsterdam Songwriters Guild:

And here they are covering Midlake’s “Roscoe” as part of the Onder Invloed project.

is there anybody out there?

I did not draw this but somebody did.  (Its the EP cover!)
I did not draw this but somebody did. (It's the EP cover!)

I am not a poet, really, but I at least consider myself to be a writer, so I’m capable, you know, just not like freaking Tennyson or anything.  I actually have only written two poems I’ve ever liked because I have very high standards, and one of them was last October (which by the way was almost a year ago), and one of them was a couple nights ago as I was listening to the Subhuman’s new 7″, Sur la Route. (now THAT is French…please tell me I’m right this time…)  I already had a special corner of my heart reserved for the Subhuman after listening during Dutch Week, but with Sur la Route and my brand new little poem which I will not be posting out of insecurity, I am expanding his corner to … something else that’s better than a corner.

Sur la Route = five lovely, sort-of-sad songs.  What I love about the Subhuman is Stefan’s ability to craft his songs –he knows how to piece together beautiful layers of melody & harmony, of guitar & vocals & casio, rising and falling in all the right places.  Also, if you know me, you know how I don’t like sad things very much because they make me depressed, so I hesitate to call these songs sad (hence the “sort-of-sad”).  They are sort of sad, but they are mostly the kind of sad that comforts you, especially when it’s late or raining and you’re looking for something to connect with and warm you up.  Like Damien Rice, or Jaymay, or hot chocolate.  Plus, the lyrics are fantastic– vulnerable, which let’s be honest, we could all use a little more of, and not at all manufactured–as are Stefan’s vocals.  Add some cracks from the vinyl and you’ve got yourself an EP of raw/ethereal perfection.  The perfect combination.  My only complaint…is that it ends too soon.   And, in case you’re wondering, my favorites are “Arrows” which happens to be only 50 seconds of loveliness, and “The Lake” which you can hear on the Subhuman’s myspace page. Check out Snowstar Records’ website for purchasing info.

P.S. The Subhuman is also part of Lost Bear, another Dutch band I hope to review ASAP…as soon as I get the file to transfer!

P.P.S.  Watch this video!  Looks a bit like Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords on the right, doesn’t it?

Reverence for Fallen Trees

The best part about Dutch Week, for me anyway, was the discovery of the In A Cabin With International Recording Project, and I now anxiously await every new album. I vow to become a part of it catching on in the States. You’ve already heard me go on and on about how wonderful the project is; now I’ll go on and on about the latest–IN A CABIN WITH The Black Atlantic!

The Black Atlantic is Geert van der Velde, Marcel Wolthof, and Kim Janssen of the Netherlands with Brooklyn-based Leo Maymind (Spanish Prisoners) and Peter Silberman (The Antlers). While recording Reverence for Fallen Trees, our musician friends lived in a cozy little cabin in the Adirondacks, surrounded by snow and mountains and isolated beauty, a landscape reflected flawlessly in the ebb and flow of the album.

Much of the album is quite stark and minimalistic, with subtly changing piano lines or guitar chords, unique percussive sounds, and soft background vocals, layered with introspective, melancholic lyrics.  And while I would say that it is all lovely and ethereal, there is still movement, picking up with “Old Dim Light” or “Dandelion,” and ‘slowing’ (not so much in tempo as in feel) with “Walked-on Wood” or “Reverence for Fallen Trees.”  The end result is an album with incredible flow, no choppy inconsistencies that one might expect to hear from a musicians who don’t all normally play together, who have spent only a week writing and recording.  The listening experience is cathartic, akin to that of Sigur Ros or Phillip Glass, and the listener would be better to hear the album as a whole, rather than pulling only a few songs.

What I really love about In A Cabin With is the ability to pick up on the recording environment and community through the sound and atmosphere of the music.  In Reverence for Fallen Trees and perhaps especially (in my opinion) in the songs “Fragile Meadow,” “Walked-on Wood,” and naturally “Reverence for Fallen Trees,” you can feel the warmth of the cozy cabin, and you can feel the quiet of the snow outside.  These artists have done an incredible work in reflecting their surroundings in their musical experience.

You know what else is great?  The album is free for downloading on the In A Cabin With site.  Check it out!!

You can check out this video that I can’t embed too 🙂 http://www.inacabinwith.com/blog/theblackatlantic/Movie.html

In A Cabin With…We’ll Make It Right

Those of you who kept up with The Indie Handbook during Dutch Week may remember my post about the IN A CABIN WITH international recording project.  If you don’t remember, well, here it is again. And of course you can find a more official description on the IN A CABIN WITH official website.

And now that you’re up to speed on the project, a new album was recorded in January and just released!  I downloaded it today (because there’s a free download available!) and have been simultaneously listening and reading the collaboration’s blog.  This particular project’s name is We’ll Make It Right and is made up of several Dutch musicians I’ve never heard of (because let’s be honest, the Dutch musicians I know are mostly the ones we covered during Dutch Week).  The instrumentation, as described on the blog, is “amongst arp, vibes, piano, banjo, and flute the strange duck in the bite!”  I’m not sure what it means to be the strange duck in the bite, but I’m pretty sure by listening that it’s a good thing.  On a whole, the collaboration is quite fantastic.

Within the first five seconds of the first track, “Stop Trying So Hard,” I couldn’t help thinking of Sondre Lerche, along the lines of “Everyone’s Rooting Just For You”.  Dominant chords and flute motifs bring a definite jazz feel to this track as well as to others, the most notable being the sassy “Just Like A Man.”  If I could swing dance, I would.  Eric can.   Songs like “It Ain’t All Good, “For The Sleeping,” and “We’ll Make  It Bright” are incredibly lovely and sad, and the end of “For The Sleeping” is especially ethereal.  If any of you care about my own personal favorite track (I know, I’m shameless), I think for now it is “Some Day,” which is one of the most playful and moving (literally, not emotionally) songs on the album; however, as with most truly great albums, my favorite is likely to change with more listens.

Reading the blog alongside of listening has added, I think, a new dimension to my comprehending the collaboration as a whole.  This makes sense, as a person’s understanding of an artwork can only increase with their understanding of the artist and the environment under which the art was created.  Can you appreciate Shostakovich without a cognizant acknowledgement of his life in Soviet Russia?  Sure.  But this acknowledgement will take you much deeper into his music than a surface-level listen or chord analysis.  So, I’d like to share a few thoughts I have upon reading the IN A CABIN WITH We’ll Make It Right blog.

The bloggers in the band not only sleep in one hotel room, but “we all sleep in 1 big 8-person bed, and DJ Extraa talks in his sleep. He shouted: ‘Which asshole does this!’. Later on he murmered: ‘Slackers.'”  This is so funny and so imaginably difficult at the same time!  It puts a whole new spin on the second track, “My Best Friend”– “when you bother me/i’ll bother you/and we’ll both know/i wanna make you my best friend.”  They describe their overall feeling as “one of intense, vulnerable sweet people spending day and night in a chalet.  We show each other movies, play each other songs we’ve made or songs by others, have dinner together, sleep together…Definitely not rock’n’roll!”  I don’t know, I guess they’re right.  Maybe it isn’t particularly rock’n’roll.  Later they admit they’ve pretty much lost touch with reality.  That’s natural, I guess!  But don’t you freaking love it?  It’s so artistic and wonderful, and the effect it has on their music is inimitable.  “Sweet with balls,” they call it.  Brilliant.

My favorite is their second-to-last blog post; the implications of this excerpt are fascinating:

“Each person in the band contributed several scetches for a song. And we wanted everybody to at least make 1 song out 1 of their scetches, and we’ve acheived that. So everyone ‘s got his “own” song now, except for Extraa. We will do his tomorrow.”

I think the reason this interests me so much is that despite everyone having their own song, and despite an earlier post saying the only music they all liked was Phoenix’s, all the songs on the album flow beautifully.  There is a definite and distinct sound to this collaboration, which can only come, I suppose, from spending every waking hour together in a tiny hotel room, and perhaps drinking lots of whiskey, and pushing through all those annoying idiosyncrasies that literally every person has, and knowing in the end, you have to produce, and whatever you produce has to be beautiful and it has to be art.

And it is beautiful, and it is art.  So I would say that In A Cabin With We’ll Make It Right is an enormous success.

I can’t embed it, so watch this video.


Goodbye, Dutch Week, we miss you already

Well everyone, as sad as we are to say it, Dutch Week is over.  I don’t think we knew what exactly we were getting ourselves into (= a lot of good music) because now we wish we had more time!  A Dutch Decade, perhaps.  However, we had but a week, and now we have many other countries to explore (including our own)!

Before we say goodbye to the lovely Netherlands, we’d like to leave you with some more music that we discovered and didn’t have the time to review.

Kristin’s picks:

The Subhuman.  The Subhuman is from Utrecht, Netherlands and is on the Snowstar record label.  He’s a star.  His music is chill–you can hear some Sufjan influence, minus a lot of the experimenting–and I like his use of the good ole casio, and the layers he creates with vocals.  He also reminds me of this guy Niall Quinn who I saw perform at a pub in London, which will probably mean nothing to you, but he was pretty good, anyway.  Bonus: he looks like he’d be into Dostoevsky.  That’s pretty irrelevant, but whatever.  Check it yo: www.myspace.com/thesubhuman

Vox Von Braun.  Don’t judge, but we’re back at Subroutine for this one.  Vox Von Braun reminds me a of a less folky Blitzen Trapper in their sound (until the guitar riffs)–they’ve got that unidentifiable perfect balance, where everything just works.  I’m picky about sound, and they’ve found the spot where the music moves (it’s going somewhere, thank goodness), it isn’t too heavy or too dark, and it isn’t poppy twee, it’s just good freaking rock’n’roll.  Way to go, guys, I’ll jam to you in my car anytime.  If I can get your album, that is.  www.myspace.com/voxvonbraun

Johan.  Johan is on Excelsior and I like them.  I kind of feel bad for liking them because they make me think of music I listened to when I was in early high school, but they’ve got a pretty solid sound, and so why not share them?  www.myspace.com/johan

We Love People in Bearsuits.  I told you it was coming, didn’t I?  And Bearsuits is one word.  How to describe them?  I don’t know, what would you expect from a band with such a name?  Probably that’s what you’ll get.  They’re from Utrecht, Netherlands and they’re on the Badmintone record label but I’m pretty sure they’re singing/growling/yelling in German.  To be quite honest, I probably wouldn’t listen to this music, you know, every day, but it’s still fun electronic indie-pop that I would dance around to.  As they describe themselves, “in a deep forest somewhere in germany, three boys in bearsuits are playing music for the animals that live there, sometimes they come out of the forest to play their music for humans.”  Um, will you play for me, boys?  Check out their myspace: www.myspace.com/welovepeopleinbearsuits

Eric’s Picks (some of them, at least)

The Sugarettes. This is another one from the Very Sexuals family. I have been loving this music all week, but have avoided talking about it because I didn’t want Dutch Week to turn into some kind of Partridge Family orgy. But we may as well go out with one incestuous bang. Their debut Love and Other Perversities was the sexiest album of the year according to Incendiary Magazine and I am not going to argue with them. Filled with boy-girl vocals (which you know I love), hand claps, youthful exuberance, and maybe a prostitute and a porn star or two, this is one album that is immediately addicting. http://www.myspace.com/thesugarettes

NEONBELLE. We’ve been slipping it into the conversation all week, so I won’t say much about it here.This is even more from Pien Feith of, you guessed it, the Very Sexuals. Originally conceived as part of the In A Cabin With project, the trio found their sessions to be so fruitful that they will continue to work together as NEONBELLE in the future. Picture something like Feist meets Regina Spektor with Emilie Simon’s propensity for electronics and found sounds and a dash of John Adams (the composer, not the president) thrown in for good measure. Download the album at www.inacabinwith.com if you haven’t already. http://www.myspace.com/weareneonbelle

Hit Me TV. Singer Jaap, of Hit Me TV probably could have fronted any number of hair bands back in the 80s, were he more than 10 years old at the time (which I am fairly certain he wasn’t). Think the drive of the Killers’ Hot Fuss with less synth, more funky guitar work, and freaking powerful vocals. Maybe something of a cross between early Killers and Scissor Sisters, with more than a dash of danceable 80s power pop. If you’re a freak like me, may even be able to hear a bit of the Rumble Strips here and there. (I am seriously weird, though.) I freaking love this. http://www.myspace.com/hitmetv

Hospital Bombers. The name sounds ominous, I know, but I have it on good authority that Hospital Bombers are the best band in the Netherlands at the moment. Since I live way over here in Not the Netherlands, I will have to take his word for it. The quality of the music would seem to support his opinion. They have a seriously tight sound often reminiscent of the garage rock of the late 60s complete with Hammond B3, or like the Doors but faster and sober and with a girl. I like girls. I also like Hospital Bombers (five words you should never utter at an airport). Check out “The Devil’s Music” and “Neighbourhood”. http://www.myspace.com/hospitalbombersatmyspace

Skipper. Still more from Subroutine (can you tell we really, really, REALLY like them?) It’s very Phil Spector (without the crazy wigs and, presumably, murder conviction) with, yet again that vintage 60s aesthetic, at times reminiscent of the Beach Boys, see “Wasted”. Overall, there is a pervading and not at all unwelcome sweetness running through the five tracks posted on Myspace. It’s kind of trippy and really cool. http://www.myspace.com/skippermuzik

As I am sure you have probably deduced, for each band listed in this entry, there are about a dozen we have been forced to leave off the list. We would love to tell you about them, really, we would, but we have already passed 1,000 and if you haven’t stopped reading yet, you are probably at least ready to curl up and take a nice long nap. We will just have to get to these bands and more in greater detail in future posts. We hope that this last Dutch Week post will enrich your beautiful lives with some more beautiful music!  And, we hope it will equip you, as it has us, to live every week like it’s Dutch Week.

A bonus Dutch Week post

We’ve both been too busy to put together our Dutch Week wrap-up today, so, lucky you, you get one more regular Dutch Week post. This time it’s a two-piece, one of those guitar and drum combos that people like so much.

Looking at Appie Kim, the initial comparisons are obvious: (boy + girl) x (guitar + drums) = White Stripes/Blood Red Shoes. To think of something like an inversion of the White Stripes would begin to move you in the right direction since the bulk of the vocal duties are filled by Natasha van Waardenburg (formerly of De Nieuwe Vrolijkheid). Yes, it is true the track “Yes or No” has traces of “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” scattered throughout, but there is much more to this band than that. Unfortunately, I get the impression that the five lo-fi, apparently live recordings, available for download at www.appiekim.com do not really convey what these two are able to do with such limited instrumentation.

Some of the live recordings, like “Typewriter”, sport all the reverb of the creepiest of 80s recordings, yet still continue to grow on you in the unsettling and disturbing way of classics like the indefatigable “Rock Me Amadeus”. This is Appie Kim at their garagiest and probably where the Kills comparisons come from. But I think it is in the studio recordings, posted on MySpace, that the real character of the band shines through. Granted, there are only two tracks available, but they have a more polished sound (actual production will do that to a recording) that I actually like better. It is something like a weightier, stripped down version of the Cardigans circa Long Gone Before Daylight. Think all the fragility of “Live and Learn” but darker and heavier.

Of course, you really ought to go check this out for yourself. And if you don’t like my review, just go to the website and build your own (no, I’m not kidding).

It appears I have a thing for Subroutine(s)

So here’s the thing: I was going to post about Pien Feith tonight, but Kristin beat me to it. I thought about taking on NEONBELLE instead, a band that has really won me over in the past ten days, but they’ve had two mentions already this week (make that three). I have decided instead to break away from the Pien Feith/Very Sexuals bloodline (so no Sugarettes either, though I do quite like them). But don’t worry too much, we are still keeping it in the family with another band from Subroutine Records (I can’t help that they are a good label with a taste similar to mine. So back off.)

I like music that is campy and over-the-top and ridiculously indulgent, probably more than most people. There is definitely a place for the flamboyant in this industry and it is a place where I often spend hours bathed in the lush pageantry of artists like Rufus Wainwright. I think AC Berkheimer saw a movie about it once, because, in their music, you can definitely detect an awareness of it’s existence. But there is nothing flashy or self-indulgent about this music, and that is what is so attention grabbing. The vocal is so simple, so straightforward, that it is brilliant and you begin to wonder why more people don’t do it. Then you realize that most people would sound like idiots with no chance of winning American Idol or X Factor or whatever they call it where you live. Check out “For He’s Not There” (probably my favorite track available on MySpace). It is this kind of relaxed, matter of fact singing-that-almost-feels-like-speaking (like Piney Gir or the Poems) that makes AC Berkheimer such a joy to listen to.

They are a band that is hard to pin down. Comparisons have been drawn to My Bloody Valentine or The Organ and the band acknowledges influences like the Smiths, the Pixies, and the Cure. They are not afraid of an extended instrumental break, though said breaks tend more toward the meditation side of things rather than in the jam session direction, see “Isah”. Perhaps deliberate is a good word for it–a good word for the music of AC Berkheimer in general. More than anything, they seem a band with one eye on the aethereal at all times.

Their MySpace page sums it up best, however: “…who knows what might have been the biggest influence, we just like playing music and this is what it sounds like when we do…so listen to it and make up your own mind”. That is the sort of thing that we at The Indie Handbook like to hear. And I have listened. And I have made up my mind about one thing.

I like it.

One last thing: contrary to what their Last.fm profile says, this is not available at my local record store, not that I could afford it anyway.

Pien Feith, In A Cabin With…how do you say “part four” in Dutch?

I freaking love the Netherlands!  What a fantastic week this week is–every day I have like 17 more reasons to love the Dutch and to love life!  I have hope for tomorrow!  I am reflecting on my childhood trip to Dutch Wonderland with such nostalgia (oh, the Amish!)!

I am so with Eric when he talks about the incestuous streak running through The Indie Handbook.  Except hold on to your belt buckles kids, because this incestuous streak is not just running through The Indie Handbook–oh no, it also seems to be running through the Dutch music scene itself!

Before listening to The Very Sexuals ( I know we keep harassing you, but you don’t know what you’re missing, just download it!), I was listening to Pien Feith on myspace and loving her.  She has an album called The Wilderness Sound which came out in 2007 on Badmintone records, and you can find three of those songs on her myspace, a couple more on her personal website, and the rest on itunes.  Her sound is pretty experimental, and I’ll bet you ten bucks you can’t tell where each song is going–but not in a bad way!  No, she’s honed her craft, and she knows how to do experimental music in a way that makes sense and is accessible without compromising her talent.  GENIUS.  You may hear a bit of Cat Power or Fiona Apple (especially “Extraordinary Machine”) in her voice and style, and some of her songs even remind me a bit of Bloc Party.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a little beat poet influence in there somewhere…a little Allen Ginsberg in her lyrics and flow.

But!  While I was listening to Pien Feith, I noticed that she has been a part of some other collaborations–most relevant to our previous posts, she is a member of The Very Sexuals!  Eric also mentioned NEONBELLE in his first Dutch Week post, another band of which Pien Feith is proud to be a member.  And!  With NEONBELLE, she is a part of the In A Cabin With international recording project.  More on NEONBELLE later from one or both of us, but I have got to tell you about the In A Cabin With project and why it has made me love Dutch people even more.  In one short paragraph.  Because this is getting long and I am getting distracted.

Basically, the In A Cabin With international recording project is where this recording studio in Netherlands called The Green Motel decided hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we invited some musicians to cabins in awesome locations to have jam sessions and record incredible music?  [Answer, in case they were looking for one, or in case you are: HECK YES THAT WOULD BE COOL]  So they did–they tried to create collaborations between local musicians and Dutch musicians, many of which had never worked together before, and the result has been several full length albums.  Now this is what I call art.  What a fantastic concept!  I also love that all of these are available for free download on the In A Cabin With website.  Since I’ve been listening to Pien Feith and The Very Sexuals, I’m going to recommend the In A Cabin With NEONBELLE, but why not check them all out? Best part: they aren’t done!

Thank you, the Netherlands, for rocking all of us like a hurricane, and showing us what art can be.  I love you.

Here is a video of the In A Cabin With in Tonatico Mexico (featuring artist Stan Diego):

IN A CABIN WITH in Tonatico Mexico | February 2009 from inacabinwith on Vimeo.

Dutch Week, Part the Third: Ember

Today, Kristin and I heard from one kind reader offering to answer any questions we may have about the Dutch. Admittedly, my knowledge of the Netherlands is limited by the fact that: a) I am not Dutch and b) I have never been there. I would like to invite any of you Dutch folks reading this (and I know there are some of you) to share with us anything you think we ought to know, though I can’t think of any specific questions at the moment. For now, here is a short list of a few things I do know about the Dutch:

1) They are tall.

2) They speak better English than most Americans I know.

3) They are, consistently and without exception, among the most excruciatingly beautiful people in the world.

4) Tulips.

5) They have a killer football team with a relentless and potent attack style offense and an luminous orange kit that can surely be scene from the moon who, ultimately, did not live up to my expectations in the last European Cup.

6) Yes, Kristin, Dutch is a language.

7) The music scene is, apparently, perfect.

Take, for example, Ember, a five piece from Haarlem/Amsterdam. No pretentious, abstract descriptions are necessary to categorize Ember, and apparently the band agrees, content with a one word description. They are a rock band. That is all they are. And that is all they ever need be. It’s like Letters to Cleo as Josie and the Pussycats, slightly tousled, with a flair for the dramatic, and Dutch.

But don’t take my word for it. Please, please, please go listen for yourself (I say please because I know that most of you have still not downloaded The Very Sexuals’ Post-Apocalyptic Love like I told you to). There are three tracks up on their MySpace. I would love to describe them to you, but my internet connection has gone wonky on me and I can’t even begin to think about streaming anything. But I was really digging it this afternoon.

Coincidentally, I found these guys through a link on We Swim You Jump‘s MySpace (yes, in fact there is a bit of an incestuous streak running through The Indie Handbook). So, if you have failed to stay current on our Dutch Week festivities thus far, I suggest you get caught up. Come Saturday, you’ll wish you had.

Now that I think of it, I do have one question for you all:

Do you know my Dutch friend? She lives in Amsterdam.

Dutch Blitz!!

Welcome to post #2 of Dutch Week!  I have been learning a lot already this week, including that Dutch = from the Netherlands = the same thing as Holland.  This is helpful knowledge, especially when I continue asking Eric stupid questions, like if the Shout Out Louds, Jens Lekman, or Sondre Lerche count as Dutch music, and could I review them since I already know and love them?  No.  They do not count.  I’m an idiot sometimes.  I think I’ve said that before.

But!  As not to let you, our adoring public, down, I have explored some great music while staring at my computer at work.   Just kidding.  But I have explored some great music!  And while I have found several bands that I would like to share with you (one involving people wearing bear suits, NOT EVEN KIDDING), tonight I have chosen … We Swim You Jump!!!  Partly because they have an awesome name, and partly because they are on the same record label as The Very Sexuals (Subroutine… also have you all downloaded the free album yet?  It’s freaking free!)

We Swim You Jump is a pretty new band hailing from (let’s all say it together) the Netherlands!  They have a demo EP out and they are working on a full album to be released *hopefully* at the end of 2009.  There are only 2 songs up on their myspace (but they only have like 5 anyway, so whatever) but you should definitely listen to them because… they have a tight sound with strong folk/rock influences.  I appreciate their unexpected chord changes and rough-edged voices, and they kind of remind me of the Format (Interventions and Lullabies).  My final reason for listening to them is that one of their songs is called “Sharks,” and I’m confident that they, like us, live every week like it’s Shark Week (or Dutch Week, I guess).  Love it.

Check out their myspace:  http://www.myspace.com/weswimyoujump
Also, if you happen to speak Dutch (is that a language?  Eric will answer this question in his next post!) or just enjoy watching foreign boys speak: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3BfMX9PDzU