December 20, 2012
by Lauren
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This is the loveliest and most forsaken thing I have heard in a while. Faster or Greener Than Now by Julie Byrne

Faster or Greener than Now 7″ by Julie Byrne

Recorded by Owen Ashworth(Advance Base, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone)

Released by Orindal Records

Julie Byrne’s Faster or Greener than Now tessellates the stubble of love-worn weariness with the fragile peach fuzz of an open heart for a brave look at the skin just as the bandage has been taken off. On “Holiday,” Byrne pipes with delicate frankness over beautifully barren guitar wire. Byrne’s hollow-of-the-well voice nestles in sparsity gracefully exposed at the still hand of Owen Ashworth’s tape. Her words come off fresh with embedded stutters: “You, you may, you may tra-avel alone but still be accompanied by-y my love.” Byrne’s decidedly unsentimental delivery gapes into a brilliantly expansive blankness that is capsized by her lyrical tenderness and sincere demeanor; this dichotomy unearths a profound desperation. Byrne yearns for rest but presses on, her estranged temperament whittling and bending, both begging for and radiating the warmth that has created it. “Holiday” alleyways the cat of the highest confidence, affording the experience of hurt that leads to openness.

With “Marmalade” Byrne paddles over a disparate contentment both well-adjusted and forlorn. The dimensions of her empty-room vocalization are as resounding as they are pin-drop quiet. Byrne’s call blends clean over assured yet aware guitar plucks and would fare well in heartache with the likes of Sharon Van Etten. Byrne proves herself a brilliant countertenor and a force to be reckoned with. Even upon departing, Byrne’s reserved pawing keeps us yarn-wrapped and in love with the simple and rested feeling of not having a lot but not needing more.

A little fun fact:

According to the Orindal 7″ page, the title Faster or Greener than Now comes from Frank O’Hara’s “Animals”


       Have you forgotten what we were like then
       when we were still first rate
       and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

       it's no use worrying about Time
       but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
       and turned some sharp corners

       the whole pasture looked like our meal
       we didn't need speedometers
       we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

       I wouldn't want to be faster
       or greener than now if you were with me O you
       were the best of all my days

       [1950] "Animals" by Frank O'Hara

*Taken from frankohara.org

Photos and album cover from orindal.limitedrun.com

Audio from soundcloud.com/juliebyrne

Buy Julie Byrne Faster or Greener than Now 7″ and other Orindal releases here

Photo Nov 28, 6 07 46 AM

December 4, 2012
by Lauren
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Brighter Sooner Lookbook + Nick Drake

Do you curse where you come from?
Do you swear in the night?
Will it mean much to you
If I treat you right?
Do you like what you’re doing?
Would you do it some more?
Or will you stop once and wonder
What you’re doing it for?
Hey slow, Jane, make sense
Slow, slow, Jane, cross the fence

Do you feel like a remnant
Of something that’s past?
Do you find things are moving
Just a little too fast?
Do you hope to find new ways
Of quenching your thirst?
Do you hope to find new ways of doing
Better than your worst?
Hey slow, Jane, let me prove
Slow, slow, Jane, we’re on the move

Do it for you
Sure that you would do the same for me one day
So try to be true
Even if it’s only in your hazey way

–From “Hazey Jane I” by Nick Drake

I loved working on this lookbook. These are some renditions of title pages paired with some of the shots from the day. I had a lot of fun with Phonto and Instagram with some of these…too much fun? Maybe. I took all of the photos for Brighter Sooner on our Canon EOS Rebel T2I at my gorgeous pal Mallory’s awesome little tapestried bohemian treefort in Austin. As I was thinking of music to pair with these photos, I continuously returned to Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter, in particular, “Hazey Jane I.” The photos took on a fluidity, a conversation–containing a speed-up-until-you’re-forced-to-slow-down energy. There is a constant internal monologue similar to the desperate search of Hazey Jane: of wanting so badly to belong, but not liking where you land; of somehow still being guided and protected. This song has brought me comfort in times of struggle or doubt. It serves as a reminder of meaning within cloudiness and absurdity and the promise of peace amongst uncertainty.


Northern Sky by Nick Drake

‘Cello Song by Nick Drake

Pink Moon by Nick Drake

All songs taken from brytermusic.com. Read more about and listen to the incredible and wise-beyond-years talent of Nick Drake at Bryter Music: The Official Website of the Estate of Nick Drake

See the rest of the Brighter Sooner Lookbook.


November 29, 2012
by Lauren
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Grand Abandon Loves Julie Byrne

Julie Byrne is the unaffected young of musical expression. Her aloof warmth draws us in. Her singular voice has an inability to be distracted. And her deeply held solitude invites the listener to happen upon her expressionless blink while she simultaneously absorbs the weight of the world in an impossible context of aloneness bereft of loneliness.

Hear Julie Byrne in the lusciously somber pairing with Owen Ashworth on this Advance Base track:

Songs and images taken from www.soundcloud.com/juliebyrne


November 24, 2012
by Lauren
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Saddest Christmas Songs You’ve Ever Heard

“In December, I’m playing a few solo shows around the Midwest. I’ll be playing the saddest Christmas songs you’ve ever heard.”

-Owen Ashworth of Advance Base via Facebook

Here are the solo tour dates for those of you from those parts:

12/01/12 St Louis, MO @ Lemp Arts (w/ Où, Où & Golden Curls)
12/02/12 Champaign, IL @ Velvet Elvis (w/ On And On & Shadows On A River)
12/03/12 Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop (Holiday Spectacular featuring Santa Claus)
12/06/12 Chicago, IL @ The Burlington (w/ Julie Byrne & J Fernandez)
12/07/12 Grand Rapids, MI @ The DAAC (w/ Julie Byrne)

For the rest of us, here’s a little playlist:

Saddest Christmas Songs You’ve Ever Heard Playlist
1. Damien Jurado – Christmas Time Is Here
2. Julie Byrne – Holiday
3. Advance Base – Christmas In Oakland
4. Casiotone For The Painfully Alone – Cold White Christmas
5. Pedro The Lion – I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
6. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Christmas Time Is Here

A happy Christmas song that’s still kinda sad. David Bazan just knows how to do a song right, down to the costuming. Such an awesome artist.

November 21, 2012
by Lauren
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Grand Abandon Loves Finders Keepers

Cut-outs, asymmetrical hemlines, and draped-and-fitted constructions abound in Finders Keepers‘ sweetly bohemian, architectural and feminine line. We’re all about this Aussie gem.

Finders Keepers – Spring Summer 2011 from Aus Labels on Vimeo.

All photos and videos taken from finderskeepersthelabel.com and thefashionbunker.com

November 19, 2012
by Lauren
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“Monuments” by Yann Tiersen

“Monuments” blinks with draped layers of tinkering bells, carefully expanding percussion and guitar line tapestries, and the softly innocent digital echo of Tiersen’s plight. It’s so beautiful it might make you forget ugly exists. That is until you see the video. This might be the saddest video ever in regards to the state of human beings. But I get the feeling it’s more of an exaggerated and darkly humorous reflection on self preservation, man/woman’s desire to be entertained, the objectification of suffering, and the removal of reality in the age of digitization. It’s a beautiful song, and the thought-provoking but disturbing video accompaniment is sure to spin your wheels.

November 8, 2012
by Lauren
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Not ANTI- Fall At All

Really digging this ANTI- Fall 2012 Music Sampler we picked up at last Saturday’s Indie Label Market in Silverlake. Of course there are some tunes I like more than others, but I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Some general sentiments:

1. Is it just me or is Glen Hansard starting to sound a bit like David Gray? Well, I don’t hate it! Glen can do no wrong. And Mr. Gray will always hold a place in the adult-coffee-shop-alternative shelf of my heart.

2. Reminded how simple and at-peace “Whole Love” by Wilco is. I think putting it right after “Hell Broke Luce” kinda accentuates the sentiment. It’s so-o great. Just love it. And “Hell Broke Luce” is amazing as a starter and in general. Tom Waits reasserts himself as a Ginsberg and his caustic accusations of the evils of war and namelessly soldiering on as he spouts off in measured asymmetry hits the fan just right in guttural explosions of poetic and rhythmic genius.


4. Jason Lytle is the king of acquired love. I feel, at first listen, I understand what he is doing and appreciate it, but just can’t quite get there. After a few listens though, Lytle’s tender sorrow, thoughtful character compositions and raspy-brittle synthetic power are inescapable.

5. New to me: Yann Tierson, Milk Carton Kids, Sean Rowe, Tim Fite, and Petra Haden. Interesting facts: Yann Tierson composed the soundtrack for Amelie. Milk Carton Kids’ “There By Your Side” was featured as an NPR Song Of The Day. Sean Rowe toured with Noah And The Whale. Tim Fite illustrates stories and is a visual artist as well. Petra Haden has been a part of The Decemberists and That Dog and contributed to albums by Sun O))). Eager to hear more!

Check Out the Playlist.

ANTI- Music Sampler Fall 2012
1. Hell Broke Luce by Tom Waits
2. Whole Love by Wilco
3. Dawn Chorus by Beth Orton
4. Your Final Setting Sun by Jason Lytle
5. Splitter by Calexico
6. Everything Is Broken by Bettye LaVette
7. Do The Trick by Dr. Dog
8. Hallways by Islands
9. Land Of 7 Billion Dances by The Coup
10. Downwind by Sean Rowe
11. We Can’t Have Nice Things by Kelly Hogan
12. Maybe Not Tonight by Glen Hansard
13. Villain by Lost In The Trees
14. Crest by The Antlers
15. Monuments by Yann Tierson
16. Michigan by Milk Carton Kids
17. Psycho Prelude by Petra Haden
18. Joyriding by Tim Fite
19. Leaving Of Liverpool by Son Of Rogue’s Gallery

Playlist taken from ANTI- Fall Music Sampler. Videos taken from www.anti.com.

November 3, 2012
by Lauren
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Grand Abandon Loves Dusen Dusen

Architectural-print-propogator, neutral-palette-confectioner and collar-enthusiast Dusen Dusen has struck a little chord on my heart string. Designer and creator Ellen Van Dusen creates “basics driven by the prints she creates from scratch each season.” D.C.-bred and Brooklyn-based Van Dusen makes friends with enemies by co-mingling preppy with earthy, clean with loose. Her diy-clean prints, delegation of color, choice of cut and materials are forces to be reckoned with.

All photos taken from dusendusen.com