Melodic Tonic, vol. 21

Welcome to another serving of new music cocktails. This week we’ve got some Americana and indie folk because…sports. Sports? Yeah, it seems fitting since mid-October is that time of year when America’s collective interest is focused on baseball and that other kind of football. And since the guitar is the musical equivalent of apple pie – quite the symbol of all things American – then what better way to embrace the season than with complementary tunes? Let’s get started in the heartland of Iowa.

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William Elliott Whitmore – “Civilizations” (Montrose, Iowa, USA)

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William Elliott Whitmore is a soulful indie folk/country singer from a small town in Iowa. He has eight albums under his belt, but his name might not be familiar because he’s not a glitzy, flashy guy trying to make headlines. That’s Midwestern American modesty for you. His music has an honest, down-to-earth quality that you’d expect from someone who’d rather roll up his shirtsleeves and work than chase stardom. So it’s not surprising that the newly released video for “Civilizations” is equally low-key with sketched animation. This song – from his Radium Death album released back in March on ANTI Records – is a gem of an ode to the industrious spirit of the working class man. Whitmore is scheduled to play Stagecoach Festival (Coachella’s country sibling) in May. The album is available via Amazon and iTunes.

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Joshua Hyslop – “Gone” (Vancouver via Abbortsford, Canada)

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Vancouver indie folk artist Joshua Hyslop cites Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, Ryan Adams, and Wilco as influences. The mellow vibes from those artists are evident on this track, but it’s the intimate songwriting that really shines. Hyslop’s lyrics reflect wisdom gained through experience that yielded optimism instead of cynicism. This track is from his upcoming sophomore album, In Deepest Blue, due out October 23 on Nettwerk Music. It is available for pre-order on iTunes. Hyslop will hit the road later this month for a full North American tour that runs through mid-December.

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Moving Mountains – “Deathless” (Westchester, NY, USA)

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The latest track from New York ambient rock quartet Moving Mountains is a languid, seven-minute escape from the stress of life. The subdued layers of sweeping strings on this song float with the grace of falling autumn leaves. If you need to lose yourself in a calming song, look no further. “Deathless” is from their upcoming 12” split (with label mates Prawn) that will be released November 27 from Triple Crown Records. It will feature two songs and is available for pre-order from the band’s online store.

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Lymbyc Systym – “Scientific Romance” (Brooklyn, USA)

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Another chill tune we’re really digging this week is the beautiful (but all too brief at 1:24 in length) “Scientific Romance” from Lymbyc Systym. The Brooklyn-based instrumental duo of brothers Jared and Michael Bell have been making music together since 2004 when they lived in Arizona. Now separated by distance with one brother living in Brooklyn and the other in Phoenix, the split geography has not hindered their creative processes. Quite the contrary: this track captures the bright warmth of the southwest with the bustling, energetic vibe of New York. “Scientific Romance” is from their latest effort, Split Stones, which released October 16 on Western Vinyl. It is available from the band’s online store (vinyl only) and also from Amazon and Bandcamp.

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Cub Sport – “Only Friend” (Brisbane, Australia)

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Since this week’s post started with references to baseball, let’s bring it full circle with this track from Cub Sport. No, they’re not a band of Chicago Cubs fans. (They’re not even American.) This is an Australian indie pop group from Brisbane who originally called themselves Cub Scouts. To avoid a legal kerfuffle, the group became Cub Sport a few years ago. This catchy track is from their upcoming EP, It Kills Me, due October 30 on Nettwerk Music. They will release their full-length debut album, This Is Our Vice, next March.

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