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Fingertips Music Guide to betterPropaganda: August 07

 
Our collaboration with one of our favorite bloggers, Jeremy from Fingertips, continues. Start reading the Top 5 August Recommendations and don't forget to check out Fingertips while you're at it for more in depth reviews.

1) "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe" - Okkervil River
From its wonderful if off-kilter title to its highly disciplined if slightly unglued sense of both song and production, "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe" strikes me as pretty brilliant from beginning to end. A wordy sort of guy, front man Wil Sheff is also a savvy enough songwriter to have figured out how to manipulate triplets and time signatures to embrace his extra syllables. So he's a wordy guy who still makes room for the music, which makes sense when you've got a crack outfit around you like this. These guys should be bigger than they (so far) are.

check out a more detailed review on Fingertips:
www.fingertipsmusic.com/this_w...

2) "White Dove" - John Vanderslice
Driven by fuzzed-out guitars, "White Dove" nevertheless leaves a lot of aural space in and around its attack; there are quiet sections, the acoustic guitar remains central throughout, and there are moments where the silence in between instruments is used as its own sort of beat. This approach strikes me as the musical equivalent of a movie that terrifies more for what it doesn't show than for what it does. All in all we get another slice of harsh reality served up with passion, precision, and beauty by a guy who is truley one of his generation's leading, if under-publicized, singer/songwriters.

check out a more detailed review on Fingertips:
www.fingertipsmusic.com/this_w...

3) "Boy With a Coin" - Iron & Wine
As Sam Beam continues to flesh out his homespun sound, he sounds better and better, to me. The strong, sure acoustic-guitar rhythm propels "Boy With a Coin," but the electric and percussive accents add incredible texture and substance, as do the wonderful female backing vocals. I'm not sure what he's singing about but the overall effect is mysterious to the point of being outright spiritual, a sense accentuated by the droning electric guitar that haunts the background. Really nice.

4) "Horse and I" - Bat For Lashes
Building off an unadorned, almost awkwardly plain keyboard riff, "Horse and I" unfolds in an unhurried manner; it gets under your skin slowly but assuredly. Natasha Khan--who is, basically, Bat For Lashes--has a theatrical voice, reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan with a touch of Kate Bush. The song has a fairy-tale vibe (horses, woods, destiny, etc.) that might be a bit precious were it not for the formidability of the music and arrangement.

check out a more detailed review on Fingertips:
www.fingertipsmusic.com/this_w...

5) "Crown Victoria" - Robbers on High Street
An unmistakeable Kinks-iness animates this boppy little nugget, but that's just the beginning of "Crown Victoria"'s appeal. Working with noted Italian film composer Daniele Luppi, who had previously never worked as a producer on a rock album, the NYC-based trio Robbers on High Street have found their British Invasion-y '60s sound enhanced with a Spaghetti Western-y '60s sound, and damn if it doesn't work like a charm. The swinging, winning melody of the chorus is a particular highlight.

check out a more detailed review on Fingertips:
www.fingertipsmusic.com/this_w...

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