Bon Iver- Blood Bank EP
This short offering has soundtracked the cold winter we've gotten in CH/Durham. Justin Vernon's voice still harkens back to his Wisconsin winter ballads to Emma, but that was forever ago. Now he finds true love in society, at the Blood Bank in fact. The title track paints a picture of developing love reminiscent of Zach Braff and Natalie Portman in the waiting room in Garden State. The other notable track is 'Woods,' mostly for going where only rappers and Cher have dared and employing the pop-trick of Auto-Tune in Indie-land. In the words of Randy Jackson, "It's just alright for me, dawg." Overall, I'm glad this was an EP and not an LP. It satiated my desire for more Bon Iver, it backdropped my January snowy (yeah, snow!) walks through Duke Forest, and went in a couple new directions. Recommended for those who enjoy "chewing on candy bars" or trying to "slow down the time."
Fleet Foxes- Sun Giant EP
Drops in the River
If Bon Iver sonically portrayed my winter, these Fleet Foxes songs welcome and even beg for the coming days of spring. Immediately the short first track chanting (a la Brian Wilson), "What a life I lead in the spring," this album shifts the mood from their successful debut to leave us anticipating what's next, be it calendrically or musically. I'll admit it doesn't forge any new insight or break any new ground, any of these tracks could have fit on the eponymous album. But the fact that they presumably, despite of a lot of touring and appearences (SNL was awesome), have all these solid tracks just laying around somewhere. By far the best track is 'Mykonos' which, I gather, is both the home of some Greek gods and a modern vacation spot. This is definately the type of music you play just before it is warm enough to roll your windows down and abolish the thought of winter coats and a high heating bill. Not warm enough for short sleeves and screen doors, but definately on the thaw.