Fresh Lumber: Ryan Bingham, Belle and Sebastian, Old Wave

Ryan Bingham – Fear and Saturday Night

Ryan Bingham - Fear and Saturday NightWhile I enjoyed the balls-to-the-wall, screw-you-and-your-expectations production of Ryan Bingham’s Tomorrowland (2012), which may have scared off some purists, Bingham dials it back a bit on Fear and Saturday Night, while still taking some trademark chances.

Not many have the cojones, as in “Adventures of You and Me”, to start a song with a south-of-the-border accordion riff and immediately delve into lyrics about cruising to New York City and trying to forget about Wall Street crooks. Bingham’s genuine attitude and social awareness – something that can be all-too-rare in any genre – is still refreshing.

Find in iTunes: Fear and Saturday Night – Ryan Bingham

Belle and Sebastian – Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

Belle and Sebastian - Girls in Peacetime Want to DanceBelle and Sebastian’s The Life Pursuit (2006) spins in my CD player several times a year – which is a lot in a world with an infinite playlist. Its dynamic production makes it more than an album you just wake up or lie down to, like much of their early catalog.

A lot of the brand new Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance is still very much their signature dream pop. But the rest is the result of an evolution of a band that’s been foreshadowing such a move for nearly a decade.

Some may be put off by the overt ABBA influences or the seven (!) songs that clock in at more than five minutes. And I was expecting to be among them. But I’ve found myself going back to Girls in Peacetime several times since its release. It introduces another depth for a band that doesn’t care about trying to maintain a status as a lo-fi indie darling.

Find in iTunes: Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance – Belle and Sebastian

Old Wave – S/T

Old WaveChalk up this find to the very unscientific method of scrolling deep into Rdio’s new releases page and stopping on a promising looking album cover. This is a method that produces viable results usually only once out of a dozen times. But it paid off handsomely in this case.

It’s hard to find much on Old Wave, other than that they are a Portland-based quartet that includes Adam Brock, who released the 2013 EP, Headphones.

Old Wave play subtle yet bouncy mountain folk/pop that presents some completely unexpected and well-executed hairpin turns. I’m reminded of Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes or Sufjan Stevens at times. But Old Wave are very much their own sound.

Find in iTunes: Old Wave – Old Wave


Jonathan Goetz

Jonathan is a web designer and developer living in Kansas City. He raised himself a Red Sox fan, starting with Tom Brunansky's catch to clinch the AL East pennant in 1990. But since moving to Kansas City in 2004, he's grown attached to the hometown team.

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