Archive for banjo

New Releases From Asthmatic Kitty

Posted in Audio, Downloads, Music News, Music Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, February 5, 2009 by Erik Burg

asthmatickittylogoAshtmatic Kitty has been on a role lately. The record label, run by indie-glorified Sufjan Stevens, has been busy with releases in early ’09 and late ’08, and has managed to curate tons of attention with the release of two rising artists. The Welcome Wagon and DM Stith are those two acts, gaining attention at rapidly increasing rates. And for good reason, whether it’s the almost quirky nature of their music, the comfortability that each offer, or the familiarity that oozes from each track. 

Let’s dive into The Welcome Wagon first. The Husband (Thomas) and Wife (Monique) duo deliver multi-instrumental music that is heavenly in more than one sense. Many of the lyrics and ideas expressed in the tracks draw upon biblical references and experiences, while not pushing any values upon the listener. The actual musical production draws upon many of the aspects of arrangement and production that has made Sufjan so popular. From the occasional banjo to the simple piano and back again with the well recognizable horn section. The first single, entitled “Sold! To The Nice Rich Man,” from their debut album Welcome to The Welcome Wagon is their most polished and well rounded cut. It offers the widest variety of the couple’s skills. Encompassing all of the aspects that I just mentioned, the horns drive the chorus, the keys lead into the track, and the vocals fill up the track much a choir in a church. The feel of the entire album is expansive, but like I said, it feels incredibly comfortable at the same time. Deserving of a huge 2009, The Welcome Wagon is one of my favorite new artists and I’d highly encourage any fan of Sufjan’s catalogue or label to check these two out. 

mp3: The Welcome Wagon – “Sold! To The Nice Rich Man”

DM Stith. With a name like that it’s kind of hard to know what to expect, but with a background filled with musical education and family lineage that bolsters the same thing the hopes were high for this former writer. Stith’s first single, “Just Once,” off of the Curtain Speech EP is a seven minute roller coaster ride through a dream-like landscape of repetitive and revealing lyrics and echoing guitars. “Just once, I could love you just once” Stith sings throughout. The music, is incredible. I know I hype pretty much everything I write about, but this is another one of those tracks that re-invigorates my love for music and makes me simply feeling happy at the end. Best described as a hi-fi version of The Microphones, Stith plays with various guitar chords layered together and eerie sounds running throughout the track, giving it the feel that The Glow pt. 2 gave me the first time I heard it. 

mp3: DM Stith – “Just Once”

So if you’re looking around for some great new music look no further. Fans of past Asthmatic Kitty releases will love and probably already heard these tracks, but those new to the game need to get schooled on these new artists. And fast! 

Dig Deeper: Asthmatic Kitty   DM Stith   The Welcome Wagon