5 Reasons: “Sand & Lines” by Venice Is Sinking

5 Reasons You Should Pick Up Sand & Lines, the new album from Venice Is Sinking:

1. Tugboat (see above): This song is typical of the overall feel of the album — it’s a gem.
2. Recorded Live: The band recorded the album live in the Georgia Theatre, which burned to the ground a year later (in 2009). So it has a raw, immediate, even prophetic feel to it that is enhanced by the spectre of the venue’s doom.
3. Jolene: Their haunting cover of Dolly Parton’s classic sounds like they are singing from beyond the grave.
4. Harmony: The inter-twined voices of Daniel Lawson and Karolyn Troupe work magic throughout the record, creating dense and dreamy harmonies.
5. Bardstown Road: This one’s a great little drinking song, and you can sample it for free via Daytrotter.

Sand & Lines will definitely be in the running for one of my favorites of the year, and I will likely begin exploring their back catalog. Of course, if you subscribe to Paste VIP, you can download the entire album for free.

Here’s what others have to say:

the Paste Review

the Pitchfork Review

5 Reasons: The Five Ghosts by Stars

5 Reasons I’m Pumped for The Five Ghosts, the latest full-length from Stars…

1. Fixed: The lead internet-release single sounds fantastic, with a healthy dose of 80’s synth and a throwback, new wave vibe to boot.

2. A Solid Run: They’ve been on a pretty solid run of albums since Set Yourself On Fire, and there’s no indication they are letting up with this one.

3. Mysterious Concept: The album title along with the accompanying album art and overall aesthetic seems to be heading in a numinous direction. Concept albums well executed can be great!

4. Tom McFall: Album producer Tom McFall helmed the studio for the band’s masterpiece, Set Yourself On Fire.

Track Record: This is the band that wrote “Ageless Beauty“, “Elevator Love Letter“, “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead“, and “Take Me To The Riot“, just to name a few.

Anyone else psyched for Stars’ latest?

5 Reasons: Frontier(s) debut 7″

5 Reasons I’m Psyched About The New 7″ From Louisville’s Frontier(s):

1. Lead-off internet single “Abul-Abbas” sounds fantastic – I’d call it angular, dressed-down Elliott. Download it here: http://nosleeprecs.com/home/index.php?viewrelease=40

2.  It’s been 5 years since an official release from Chris Higdon.

3. I always favored Elliott’s early, hard rock stuff, and A-side “The Plains” is compared to Husker Du and is said to contain “buzzsaw guitar.” Amen.

4. It’s a reason to buy a 7″ record – what I’ll call the most aesthetically satisfying of all recorded formats – plus it includes the digital download.

5.  It was recorded by former Elliott drummer Kevin Ratterman – a musical magician in his own right.

Anyone else excited about this release?

5 Reasons: “So Runs the World Away” by Josh Ritter

5 Reasons I’m looking forward to Josh Ritter’s new album So Runs the World Away:

– This is the guy who made The Animal Years, one of the best albums of the last decade.
– He’s now happily married to another excellent songwriter, Dawn Landes. One would hope this spells good things for his songwriting.
– He just previewed a few of these songs during a Daytrotter session, and they sound great.
– I was not completely enamored with his last album, “Historical Conquests.” Usually, that means I REALLY like the artists’ next album. See Wilco (A Ghost Is Born => Sky Blue Sky), Radiohead (Hail to the Thief => In Rainbows)…
– He’s been re-recording his back catalog in solo acoustic mode. The process of getting back to basics tends to improve a songwriter’s artistry.

So Runs the World Away is out May 4th on Pytheas.

Are you looking forward to this album? Why or why not?