Posts Tagged ‘She & Him’

volume #18….better late than never!

I usually come up with a new compilation every three months or so, and since #17 was finished in time for my Christmas party, #18 is a bit overdue. Many of the songs and/or artists have been discussed here before, so I’ll focus on the exceptions.

Ellie Golding is a 23 year old singer-songwriter from Hereford, England, and her debut LP Lights has a refreshingly slick sound of production that many of my indie faves lack. Check her website or MySpace for more tunes.

Sola Rosa
Sola Rosa

“Turn Around” is a track I heard on Passport Approved and I recall thinking “if more hiphop sounded like this, I’d listen to more hiphip!” Sola Rosa, from Auckland New Zealand, has been toiling away down under since the early part of this 21st century. Their 2009 LP Get It Together features an awesome assembly of guest artists, including emerging Wellingtonian songstress Iva Lamkum, who gives this track it’s funky diva chops. MySpace/website.

Sissy Wish

Norwegian Sissy Wish may sound like an MTV-ready poptart, but she’s been getting indie press raves since 2003, and her 3rd album Beauties Never Die doesn’t disappoint. MySpace/website for more info/tunes.


MOPP is musician/producer Barry Mop from a little village called Alloa near Glasgow in Scotland. No LP yet but plenty of colaborations available to hear online. MySpace/website.

Sister Crayon

Sacramento’s Sister Crayon has yet to release a full LP but “Souls Of Gold” caught my ear on, yes, Passport Approved. MySpace/website for all the info.

The Salvagers

The Salvagers are a Sydney Australia 4 piece that has a more rock edge than you may be used here at pop-friendly; check their MySpace/Website for other tunes, including “Die Pretty”, my close-second choice!


Every once in a while, I see a photo of an artist before I listen to any tracks. Hargo is an excellent reminder not to judge a book by it’s cover! An only child from Eugene, Oregon, was raised both as a Sikh and a musical prodigy. Exposed to his dad playing Beatles, Bowie and Tom Petty tunes on guitar throughout his childhood, it’s no surprise he became a talented writer and musician. What is a surprise is the slick, top40-ready sound he creates. I’ve read “a cross between Coldplay and John Lennon”, but that barely scratches the surface. Check out “Coming Round” as well as his other tracks. MySpace/website.

Florence and The Machine and The xx have both been written about here before, but I just have to call some extra attention to their collaboration on this remake of Candi Staton’s “You Got The Love”, one of my all-time favorite dance songs. Far more than the “remix” it’s labeled, The xx rerecorded the entire vocal, then just uses a tiny sample of Florence’s vocal in a mad dub loop. Makes me want to get back into a DJ booth!

Operator Please

Operator Please has that great 80s sound I always gravitate toward: part Missing Persons, part No Doubt (nineties, I know). They formed as high school students in Gold Coast, Queensland (Australia) for a “Battle of the Bands” competition 5 years ago (I couldn’t make this stuff up any better). Known to do faithful covers of Salt N Pepa’s “Push It” and Devo’s “Whip It”, as well as a fresh take on Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”, I expect to be hearing more from these kids. MySpace/website(has the entire LP streamed). The next release off the “Gloves” CD is this one:

Christian Linke (what's with the booboo?)

I thought for sure I had posted about Christian Linke already, as I’ve been listening to “Start Right Here” since February, but I guess not. This is one tough cat to Google, I don’t mind tellin’ ya! I’ve seen him billed as Linke or Lefti, and he’s been a member of the German bands Panik and Nevada Tan, playing bass. And there are plenty of sappy, dreamy ballads put up by fans on YouTube, but “Start Right Here” is a real gem: big, bright production, great vocal (minimal falsetto), and you’d be hard pressed to tell that English is not his primary language. I did find it odd that Google auto-complete thought I might be interested in “Christian Linke tattoo”, of all things: Tattoo….make no mistake, this kid is already a teen idol in his native Germany. MySpace/Twitter (no website).

Scouting For Girls

Scouting For Girls’ “This Ain’t A Love Song” was just bumped from number one on BBC Radio 1 the week I first heard it (bumped by Usher), but I don’t hold that against it (I tend to prefer the the more indie BBC6 over the sugary list at Radio 1). The London trio released their sophomore LP “Everybody Wants to Be on TV “just 3 weeks ago (4/12/2010) and “This Ain’t A Love Song” went immediately to #1. This could be one of those songs that catches on so big here in the US that I wonder what made me think it was indie! MySpace/website.


When I first heard Laleh’s “Simon Says”, I guessed it was a new track by Irish songstress Lisa Hannigan, who I had blogged about over a year ago HERE. Not even close! Laleh Pourkarim is Iranian born and Sweden-based, by way of Azerbaijan and Belarus….talk about international! That said, “Simon Says” sounds like American folk/country, and it’s lovely. I hope to hear more from this multi-lingual 27 year old, and soon! MySpace/website; Nice video too:

She and Him and Eliza Doolittle have graced this page before (HERE and HERE, respectively), and colleague buzzbiscuits has blogged about Best Coast (HERE), so that leaves Empire Of The Sun…

Empire Of The Sun

Again, I’m lucky to have heard before seeing, as their photo evokes more “Sigfried and Roy” than, say, “Strummer and Jones”, but I found the song “Walking On A Dream” catchy when I first heard it, and I stand by that. The track has been kicking around for a while, originally released digitally in Australia as a single in 2008, and it holds the record down under for the longest time taken for a single to reach the top 10. I admit that the more I read about them, the less I want to know, which is why I prefer to let the music do the talking. Suffice to say that if they turn out to be the 21st Century Milli Vanilli, I won’t be surprised, but I’m on record as saying that SOMEBODY deserved that Best New Artist Grammy in 1990, just not Fab and Rob!


SXSW, via NPR….

Cheating again! All Songs Considered is a great NPR show (I don’t think it airs here in Boston; I go to the website) and the current epiode is a preview of the upcoming South by Southwest festival (the true March Madness for indie music fans). You can listen to the 41 minute show HERE, and it’s downloadable until the next episode airs. The highlights are here:

Oklahoma quartet Evangelicals are melodic and noisy at the same time. Weird sounds, not there just for their weirdness, it seems. Sleater-Kinney guitarist/blogger Carrie Brownstein kicks off the discussion with their “Skeleton Man”.



Fanfarlo, from London channel David Byrne, a la Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, or maybe they just channel CYHSY, minus a bit of the quirkiness. Their MySpace page has a free download of “Sand and Ice”, a demo they recorded “in the living room”. “Fire Escape” appears to be the single, but I like the flipside, “We Live By The Lake”.



Troubled Hubble gets a nice plug on the podcast, but they’ve been defunct for years. The SXSW story that earns them mention is endearing enough: they drove 18 hours from Elburn, IL to play 20 minutes at an out-of-the-way party, then turned around and drove home. It’s a bit of a shame they are no longer, as the tunes on their MySpace page (last updated in 2007) are quite catchy. Frontman Chris carries on as The Heligoats (skip that MySpace page altogether), and can be seen here in a YouTube clip playing solo at a coffehouse. I like how he takes longer to introduce and explain the song than he does to perform it.

She & Him, bad grammar aside, has an advantage: “She” is Zooey Deschanel (so really, who cares who “Him” is?). Evidently, she’s been secrectly recording demos for years and “hoarding them like acorns for winter”. There’s only one song on their MySpace page, but it’s worth hearing, and the NPR podcast has a snippet of another. Him, by the way is M. Ward, a successful one man band in his own right. Pretty neat website too, plus his MySpace.

She & Him

She & Him

Honeycut suffers the minor indignity of having their name and song title mixed up by host Bob Boilen, but they might be the best find on the podcast. The Bay area trio lists their duties as “beats”, “samples”, “voice”, and “keys”, and they make the kind of music I could be making here in my office, if I had any initiative or talent. Go to their MySpace page to check out “Shadows”, “Tough Kid”, and the one Bob Boilen liked, “Exodus Honey”.



No strangers to the blogosphere, Nada Surf will be in Austin in support of the new CD “Lucky”. Go to the MySpace page for a free download of “See These Bones”, but don’t rush off; stay for the cut I prefer (alas, not a free download), “Whose Authority”, and revisit 2005’s “Always Love”. Brooklyn is the coolest of the boroughs.

nada surf

Nada Surf – Lucky – 2008

There’s more on the podcast, which you should definitely check out when you have 41 minutes and 16 seconds, like Magic Arm (dreamy and vaguely Middle-Eastern sounding), Basia Bulat (like Tori Amos crossed with Dido), Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore (a hell of a lot prettier than you’d expect), and the de facto headliner, Vampire Weekend. I’m trying to be sick of them already but they’re far too much fun. Check this player on their website for a couple of tunes that aren’t being played everywhere, “Oxford Comma” and “M79” (remember, I used to work at M80!)

Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend

edit: I should have mentioned that VW was to be on SNL on 3/8, the date of this post. I doubt too many visitors might have seen my post before the show anyway. Alina emailed me after their second SNL song (she stays up WAY too late) to say how shocked she was at their preppy look, which I haven’t mentioned but I thought was well documented. In a wine-fueled discussion of the band with contributor Rick (see Scrod, #31, below), we agreed that it’s a kind of “reverse-Graceland” phenomenon. I don’t know if the Paul Simon reference fits our opinion but that’s another commonly ascribed VW reference, along with Peter Gabriel. What we’re saying is that most bands of white college boys that fall in love with ska, reggae, or another ethnic music tend to espose a false authenticity, singing about strife in Kingston or salvation through Rastafari. VW stays true to their preppy Columbia University origins, singing of Cape Cod, mansard roofs, and other real parts of their lives in Brooklyn, summering at the cape, etc. For me, that makes it more authentic. Granted, I was late to the VW party, but I plan to enjoy them at least through the summer.