Most Buzz Worthy of 2013: Halfway

From Vincent:

"Wish the Wind Would Blow Me"- Bob Schneider, Burden of Proof

I'm always in awe of Schneider's ability to write both incredibly crass and tremendously heartfelt songs. This one is of the latter persuasion, and he nails the sentiment of longing so well here.

"Man"- Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You
I've been waiting for a new Neko Case album since the day after her most recent one was released, and this single to support her upcoming record makes me think the wait will be worth it. She sounds like she's having so much fun here.

"The Jailer"- Erin McKeown, Manifestra
A song with a strictly political agenda—and an important one at that!—that doesn't once feel forced is an accomplishment in and of itself, but that guitar lick? Good lord, McKeown. What can't you do?

"That Kind of Lonely"- Patty Griffin, American Kid
My favorite song on Griffin's flawless record. Reminds me of the Living With Ghosts days, AKA the best days of any days.

"My Love Follows You Where You Go"- Lori McKenna, Massachusetts
Again: my favorite song on a flawless record. This one gets my toe tapping and my heart breaking at the same time. Lori is a master of all things.

From Kim:

Jay Nash, "Sailor" from Letters of the Lost: About the defiant stubbornness of self-belief, refusing to be beaten by anything or anyone. I appreciate that kind of obstinacy, and it's also emblematic of the album as a whole, as well as Jay as an artist who makes his music his way.

Joy Kills Sorrow, "Was It You" from Wide Awake (EP): I just really cannot get enough of this song. Hands down, my favorite on the EP and a solid opening track.

Laurence Fox, "Gunfight" from Sorry for My Words (EP): Haunting vocals and arrangements on this track (and the remainder of the EP) prove Fox is as good as music as he is at acting. Fans of Ben Howard will hear and appreciate similarities in Fox's sound.

Boy, "Oh Boy (Acoustic)" from Mutual Friends: This track is an extra on the physical copy of Mutual Friends, and while I like fuller version as well, the stripped down version of it is even better. I was lucky enough to catch Boy while they were on their first short US tour and can say Mutual Friends is as enjoyable stripped to just Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass with guitarist Deniz Erarslan. You'll want a physical copy of this album; trust me.

From Holly:

"This Hell Where We Belong" by Humming House

"This Hell Where We Belong" featuring Kristen Rogers on vocals (a new song recorded for Justified) aired on FX Networks Justified on February 26th.
Humming House will be on the 2014 Cayamo Cruise (

Shovels and Rope's Cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Johnny 99"

They can do no wrong in my book. See them opening for Dawes this summer!

"Wild Old Dog" - Patty Griffin

This song really struck a chord with me. She's a brilliant songwriter. Seeing her perform this live was mind-blowing.

From Ben:

Bosnian Rainbows, "Torn Maps"

Alternative rock from Texas, yes. Teri Gender Bender's vocals are superb. Know her from Le Butcherettes, yes!
She lends her talents to an incredible band, who are a must hear live!
The band: Teri Gender Bender (on vocals), Deantoni Parks (drums, keyboard), Nicci Kasper (synths, keyboards), and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (guitar, backing vocals, keyboard).
Wow, people! Listen:

On tour, find dates here:

James Blake, "Retrograde"

It is James Blake at his best, in his zone, and pulling our ears in a wonderful Blake-ian direction. Give him about a minute to tickle your ears, and wait for his lyrics/vocals.
This Brit was amazing at Coachella. You can watch his appearance on Letterman here:

Tegan & Sara, "Closer"

You have got to give it to team Quin on this track. Catapulting them into mainstream, I read. Tegan and Sara have always been favorites. I suppose the radio play, print media, television appearances, and Katy Perry tweeting emojis help spread the word to those who love firework based costuming.
 Tegan and Sara need no fireworks, instead, pop and indie crashed, and in the wreckage, we find "Closer." My favorite song of the year, so far.

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