New Music Starts With the Letter “A” – Avicii, Avett Brothers, and Arcade Fire

To cover a lot of musical ground, you don’t need to go beyond the letter “A”.

A few months back one of the biggest electronic dance music DJ’s on the planet, Avicii, released “Wake Me Up”.  He went pretty far afield of typical EDM territory, and the video echoes the country vibe of the acoustic guitar and vocal arrangement.  But the dance beat picks up as the song goes on and the video’s heroine makes the club scene. The vocal on the track is provided by Aloe Blacc, an American singer who co-wrote the song.

The Avett Brothers’ new album “Magpie and Dandelion” is out. We wrote about the band in an earlier post, and they remain a favorite in the folk rock scene. Enjoy this simple studio performance of “Morning Song”.

Arcade Fire’s albums regularly earn critical acclaim, and their recent release “Reflektor” is no different. The Canadian band delivers long, hypnotic tunes, and the video below has got to be one of the longest performances ever on Saturday Night Live.

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The Avett Brothers and Jackson Browne – Folk Rock Now & Then

Folk rock is getting plenty of attention these days.  With Mumford & Sons taking Best Album honors at the 2013 Grammy Awards, and John Mayer recalling the influences of the Laurel Canyon artists of the late 60’s and 70’s in his 2012 release “Born and Raised” (see our post from January 27 John Mayer), acoustic music and heart-felt songwriting are back.

The Avett Brothers were 2013 Grammy nominees for their sixth album “The Carpenter”, a Rick Rubin production.  We don’t know if the Avetts would claim him as an influence, but Jackson Browne’s 1974 classic album “Late for the Sky” shares some of the moods and breadth of “The Carpenter”, and Browne was among the central figures of that Laurel Canyon era.  Enjoy listening to “Winter in My Heart” from the Avetts and the title track of “Late for the  Sky”.

A nice set of interviews with the Avett Brothers and some unplugged performances appeared on CNN.  Start here:

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