Song of the Day

ktsos_2013

KATE TUCKER & THE SONS OF SWEDEN
Hangover


DOWNLOAD: Hangover

It should come as no surprise to long-time SOTD listeners that with me being back in the groove of kickin’ out free music for you guys, a new song from Kate Tucker wouldn’t be long in coming. Since ditching all her of dear, dear friends in New York for Nashville a couple of years ago, Ms. Tucker has been bouncing between her solo work and the K+NIKKU project with Nic Danielson, but she recently decided to reform The Sons of Sweden with a new group of Sons…Matthew Thompson on bass, Wes Chandler playing guitar and Ethan Place on drums. Kate and the Sons have been recording new material for a while and have just launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help them release “The Shape, The Color, The Feel”, described as a collaborative audio/visual venture to record the album, release it on vinyl, complete with music videos or short films accompanying each song. ‘Hangover’ is the little tease she’s dropping to get you interested, so give it a listen, head on over to the Sons of Sweden Facebook page and hit the ‘LIKE’ button, and if you have a few extra bucks burning a hole in your pocket, don’t waste it on a Powerball ticket…why not help them out on the Kickstarter campaign?

Click HERE and donate until your wallet is empty!

Song of the Day

KATE TUCKER
Get You Over


DOWNLOAD: Get You Over

January is almost over and we’ve been so damned busy here at Damn Ugly (we’re havin’ a record-setting month, thanks for asking!) that we have yet to put out a single new Song of the Day this year! I’m gonna rectify that by offering up a song off of Kate Tucker’s beautiful new EP and also send you guys a link to where for a limited time you can download the entire EP for free. Ghost of Something New includes songs she recorded with her former Sons of Sweden bandmates and other collaborators in Seattle, Brooklyn, and Nashville. The deluxe version will be released March 13 with some exclusive songs, but like I said, for the time being she’s giving it away (don’t be a cheap-ass…you can still tip her a few bucks!) over on www.noisetrade.com and you can follow Ms. Tucker over on her facebook page.

The Songs of the Year 2011

The other day, a friend pointed out that this past year the usual high output of songs that got put up on The List was decidedly less than past years, to which I replied, yes…the necessity to work from time to time had certainly put a crimp in my ability to give away my usual amount of free music, but what did get tossed up was of such high quality as they more than made up for the diminished quantity. And with that in mind, here are the best of the best…the Songs of the Year…

#1. LOW ROAR
Give Up


DOWNLOAD: Give Up

Ryan Karazija didn’t just come up with the best song this past year, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t also have the best album, too. I could have put any one of the twelve tracks from the album on the annual list…they are all that good…and it’s only a coincidence that ‘Give Up’ is the first track on the album. I’ve already yelled at you guys enough to BUY THIS RECORD, but if you haven’t, do it now! And mark your calenders kids, cuz Ryan’s gonna be taking a flight from Iceland over to New York to play a gig at Piano’s January 19 and MilkBoy in Philly on January 22nd.

#2. CAMERAS
Polarise


DOWNLOAD: Polarise

If not for Low Roar, Cameras would have certainly been sitting on the top of the heap this year. I’ve played ‘Polarise’ so often, I’m pretty sure even Camille is getting sick of it! Nothing like a wall of hard-to-understand, harmonic, atmospheric, shoegazey melodies to win my heart.

#3. WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS
Act On Impulse


DOWNLOAD: Act On Impulse

We all should have a dose of sweaty, angst-ridden rock to wake us up from time to time. They’re almost unheard of over here, but these four Scottish lads are burning up the clubs in Great Britain. Powerful, lotsa fun and yes…very sweaty!

#4. BIRD CALL
The Ballad Of New York


DOWNLOAD: The Ballad Of New York
I swear Chiara Angelicola may have been plucked out of a Jazz Club from the 50’s and transported to the Here & Now to remind us what real music is like. She’s got a voice that can drop so low it will rattle your bones…and then outta nowhere she’ll crack a high note that will give you goosebumps. The Ballad Of New York is going to be on her next album, but in the meantime she’s got a lot more sitting over at iTunes just waiting for you to enjoy.

#5. CASS McCOMBS
The Same Thing


DOWNLOAD: The Same Thing

There’s just something so comfortably reassuring about the way Cass McCombs sings. From the very first time I heard ‘The Same Thing’ I was won over. The melody, the slightly syncopated vocal style, the sad/lazy way it made me feel…it all works.

#6. WYE OAK
Civilian


DOWNLOAD: Civilian

Another strong contender for my favorite album this year was Civilian by the Baltimore duo, Wye Oak. It’s a noisy mashup filled with masterful guitar work, shoegazey distortion, wonderful storytelling and Jenn Wasner’s languid voice holding it all together. It’s another record that you should seriously consider buying!

#7. GABRIELLE AIMEE
Have You Ever


DOWNLOAD: Have You Ever

We’ve been friends for quite a while and I even shot her album cover earlier this year, but when Gabrielle Aimée sent me ‘Have You Ever’ I was knocked out. I had never heard her slide into such a bluesy place and be so damned sexy on a song before, and the vibrato from the Farfisa-like organ transported me back in time.

#8. K+NIKKU
The Search


DOWNLOAD: The Search

Kate Tucker has been a staple on The List from the moment we first heard her with the Sons of Sweden and since then we’ve followed her from Seattle to Ohio to New York and now to Nashville, so when she recorded an EP with Nic Danielson as K+Nikku we were on board. I’ve been goofin’ on her…calling her Katemau5…because of the slightly electronic edge to the EP, but she knows I love her…

#9. THE PACK A.D.
Sirens


DOWNLOAD: Sirens

The Pack A.D. is Becky Black & Maya Miller and they’re a hard-hitting garage duo outta Vancouver B.C. that has released four albums of stripped-down, pissed-off, dirty punk rock…and they’re bloody great! ‘Sirens’ is off of their latest release, Unpersons.

#10. SHERLOCK’S DAUGHTER
Reprise


DOWNLOAD: Reprise

Going from the grungy goodness of The Pack A.D. to Sherlock’s Daughter shoegazing their way through ‘Reprise’ might be a bit jarring, but I’ve had their EP near the top of my iTunes folder all year and there was no chance it wasn’t making it on this list. Call it nonsensical aural wallpaper if you must, but Tanya Horo’s voice always has a calming effect on me…like a neural tranquilizer…I can feel any tension I’m feeling fall away as soon as she whispers in my ear…

#11. THE BOOZE
Hit Me Where It Hurts


DOWNLOAD: Hit Me Where It Hurts

We’ve come to the end, but I’ve turned it up to “11” and hearing Chaz Tolliver channel Mick Jagger one more time seems like a perfect way to close out this years Best Of List. The Booze play boogie-rock that can’t help but make you think of the early Stones and The Kinks, and Tolliver seems to have mastered the fine art of Jagger-esque posing…in a good way!

Song of the Day

photo ©2011 Marshall Burnette

K+NIKKU
The Search


DOWNLOAD: The Search

When Kate Tucker and Nic Danielson were little kids, they lived down the street from each other in middle-of-nowhere Ohio. Nic played the piano and Kate sang songs, but they were just far enough away that they never heard each other. They both dreamed of being rockstars, but Nic left Ohio before they could ever meet and form a plan. However, in a wonderful bit of cosmic kismet they found each other years later in far-away Seattle, when they both rented an apartment in the same building. Kate had teamed up with three local guys and formed Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden and for five years Nic was the driving force behind The Kindness Kind. And even when Kate moved to Nashville and cut off her hair and Nic folded up the tents on The Kindness Kind earlier this year, there was still a burning need to work together, so for the past months they have been collaborating remotely on new music. This week they released a few new songs as K+Nikku. The music has decidedly more electronic touches than anything Kate has ever done and it’s more Pop-driven than Nic’s work with TKK, but it perfectly showcases their songwriting abilities, along with Kate’s sweet, high-register vocals and Nic’s musical mastery. They call the new collection of songs ‘Antarctica’ and you can download all four for free over on their website…then head on over to their facebook friends and hit the ‘LIKE’ button.

Short Film of the Day



KATE TUCKER
Bullet Train


DOWNLOAD: Bullet Train

The temporarily Nashville-based Kate Tucker and her favorite video director, Miriam Bennett, have just released a short film based on one-time Song of the Day, ‘Bullet Train’, off the White Horses album. The film features Kate and Cleveland actor Darryl Dickenson and was shot over the course of a year in Akron, Ohio. If you look closely, you’ll also see members of the Akron pop group, Dolson, chewing up the scenery. You can follow Kate…and maybe find out where she’ll be living next…over on her website. And if ya happen to be in Nashville next week (August 8th), Kate will be playing with Johanna and the Dusty Floor and Bird Call as they make their way across America on tour…I predict a very cool show!

Song of the Day

KATE TUCKER
Roman Candles


DOWNLOAD: Roman Candles

I think this must be the third time I’ve put up Kate Tucker’s Roman Candles as a Song of the Day. The first was way back when she gave me the Ball Of Wax compilation CD where it first appeared and I was still firing off email versions of the SOTD before it morphed into the blog you’re mired in. The second was about a year ago after I saw her rock it at her release party for White Horses at Spike Hill, and today I get an email telling me she’s gone and released a new version…recorded with Patrick Boyle (Lead Guitar), Andy Dolson (Keys), Michael Shepard (Backing Vocals), Andrew Cushman (Bass), Eric Baltrinic (Drums) and dedicated it to yours truly…and is offering it as a free download over on Bandcamp. And she even put together a little DIY video to accompany the latest version, too. You can listen & download more of Kate’s music over at Bandcamp and head on over to either her MySpace or Facebook pages and say hello!


Roman Candles
Recorded December 20, 2010 in Alliance, Ohio
Released 03 June 2011

Where o where can my true love be
Is she running circles away from me
In the morning she’s sailing in
With her gold and silver
In the palm of her hand

Tell me tell me you’re telling lies
I can see through circles into your eyes
You say haven’t we had the finest times
And there’s no one like us
There’s no one under the sun

Lay your head down just lay your head down
There’s no surprises with these disguises
Lay your head down just lay your head down for me

Baby one day I’m gone for good
They will never find me they never could
You’ll remember our finest times
How there’s no one like me
There’s no one under the sun

Lay your head down just lay your head down
There’s no surprises with these disguises
Lay your head down just lay your head down
These highway vandals shoot roman candles
Lay your head down just lay your head down for me

Song of the Day

KATE TUCKER
I’m On Fire


DOWNLOAD: I’m On Fire

This time of year it gets pretty damned hard to find anything new to put up on The List, so I was happy when Kate sent me this one the other day…

This is at least the second time Kate Tucker has covered Bruce Spingsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire’…the first was when her and The Sons of Sweden did it for ‘Sweetheart’, a Starbucks Valentine’s Day Compilation of covers. I liked it enough to put it up on The List way back in February of ’09…you can listen to it HERE…but that version, with it’s up-tempo country feel high-register vocal…pales in comparison to this much more somber version she recorded for Gary Benz, one of her benefactors who helped sponsor her Kickstarter campaign to release White Horses earlier this year. Quiet and haunting, with no production tricks getting in the way of her voice, it’s a much more fitting homage to Bruce’s original.

Check out more of Kate on her MySpace page or over on her website