I like new(ish) music…folk edition

songwriterWelcome, friends, to the very first installation of New(ish) Music Fridays. Before we go any further, I should let you all know that I completely ripped this idea off from Brent Thomas, who used to do a New Music Friday on his old blog. I’m not sure if he’s doing it anymore.

In any event, New(ish) Music Fridays is just my attempt at introducing you, my faithful readers, to some of my favorite music. I’m going to try to keep it on the new(ish) side, but I may sometimes fall back into some oldies if I feel like it’s something that most of y’all won’t have heard yet. So, every Friday check back here for two or three new artists to listen to over the weekend.

This week, I’d like to introduce you to two folksy guys who I’ve been playing the h-e-double hockey sticks out of for the last few months. The first is Joe Pug, an almost-graduate of the esteemed University of North Carolina who now lives and works as a carpenter in Chicago. Here’s what 3hive had to say about him:

…Pug is a populist at heart, a singer who can’t help but talk about all of us when he sings about himself and can’t help but sing about himself when he’s talking about all of us. I’m a sucker for a good line and this one from “Hymn #101” is one of my favorites right now: “I’ve come to meet the sheriff and his posse/ to offer him the broad side of my jaw/ I’ve come here to get broke/ and maybe bum a smoke/ we’ll go drinkin’ two towns over after all.” It could just be a comic-tragic put-on and you probably have to feel some turmoil yourself to truly appreciate it, but “Hymn #101” is full of lines that will fill you with both heartbreak and euphoria. It’s good to be reminded that that’s why we listen to music in the first place.

Here are two of his songs. Go here to get his album, Nation of Heat EP.

Joe Pug – Hymn #101

Joe Pug – Nation of Heat

The next guy I’ve got for you today is Kristian Matsson from Sweden and who goes by the stage name The Tallest Man on Earth. Here’s what Pitchfork says about him:

Over the last half-century, the tag “Dylanesque” has been slapped on so many mediocre folksingers clutching battered Moleskines that it’s become a meaningless joke, a critical hiccup, a silly, lazy way of invoking an age-old raspy voice/acoustic guitar combo…Still: It’s exceptionally hard to talk about Scandinavian folksinger the Tallest Man on Earth (also known as Kristian Matsson) without mentioning Bob Dylan’s early years, mostly because Matsson manages to embody Dylan’s effortlessness so well (Dylan was trying really, really hard, sure– but he sang like he didn’t give a shit), infusing his songs with a detachment that, miraculously, is neither cold nor alienating. Like Dylan, Matsson is so natural a songwriter that these tracks feel predetermined, tumbling out of his mouth with an ease and grace that’s increasingly uncommon.

Here are two songs by The Tallest Man on Earth. Go here to get his latest album, Shallow Graves.

The Tallest Man on Earth – It Will Follow the Rain

The Tallest Man on Earth – The Gardener

Hope you enjoy the music. Check back this weekend for some more random stuff from the interwebs.


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3 responses to “I like new(ish) music…folk edition

  1. wombat

    i wonder if joe pug has ever listened to bob dylan? read as much sarcasm into that as you’d like. ha

    • i’ll read a lot of sarcasm into it.

      he definitely fits into the stereotypical folksy singer-songwriter mold. i like his lyrics though. and his songs make me want to be driving somewhere in kansas.

  2. Griff

    Tallest Man is great. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with him at the Bon Iver show last December, and he came across as extremely meek and humble. His live performance adds so much more to his artistry.

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