How ironic is it that singer/songwriter Matt Andersen's new studio album is entitled Weightless. His vocals and lyrics are the antithesis of that. Maybe that's what he was going for. Either way, the bluesy and soulful singer is a talent you simply cannot ignore. It's no wonder Maverick Magazine has praised him, and he's drawn comparisons to Joe Cocker. But, he's the real deal - an authentic artist with his own distinct sound who's been opening recently for Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang. Weightless, which is out now on True North Records and was produced by Grammy-winning producer Steve Berlin, is Andersen's eighth record. Play some catch up, people. The New Brunswick (Canada) native recently filmed an A-Sides, and brought the house (or classroom anyway) down with a deeply-rich performance of "My Last Day" off the new LP. He also sat down for a chat with yours truly (spot the Threadless tee?). Watch and listen below. Love me for it right now.
Shifting gears - not literally because I shouldn't operate heavy machinery - A-Sides goes from soul to power pop. "Wise Girls" was a horrid movie starring Mariah Carey and Mira Sorvino. It had every right to end both of their careers, but let me digress a bit. The similarly named Wise Girl is a winning pop rock band from New York who are set to drop their sophomore EP Sing Me To Sleep next week. It's definitely a more stripped-down feel then their previous release, and it rocks way harder than anything in that Sorvino/Carey mash-up. The band, which consists of Abby Weitz on vocals and guitar, Harry Keithline on drums, guitarist Tim Basom and bassist Paul Taite have been gaining traction since they formed in 2010. As a matter of fact, Weitz herself has been singled out as a female Rivers Cuomo, which is pretty complimentary and accurate. But Weitz is her own artist, and the NYC band have their own, distinct pop-rock sound. Last month, Weitz and company performed the EP title track on A-Sides and sat down for a very low-key interview from an A-Sides pinch-hitting interviewer (equipped with a falling cat!). Watch the song below, and see the interview here.
A-Sides "Delve Into Twelve" Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its Top 12 tracks of the week AKA the "Delve Into Twelve"based on the following contributing factors: songs I'm playing out that particular week NO MATTER WHEN THEY WERE RELEASED (think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks, and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, posts and trends I've noticed on my friends' Facebook walls, and - most importantly - the songs my two-year-old son gravitates toward by stomping his feet in approval. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week's rank).
12. "Rollercoaster" (debut) - Bleachers
11. "Elevate" (LW-12) - St. Lucia
10. "In Our Prime" (debut) - The Black Keys
9. "Peaches" (LW-7) - In the Valley Below
8. "Scare Away the Dark" (LW-6) - Passenger
7. "Habits" (LW-4) - Tove Lo
6. "Now Hear In" (LW-5) - Cloud Nothings
5. "Stolen Dance" (LW-3) - Milky Chance
4. "Who Needs You" (LW-8) - The Orwells
3. "Would You Fight For My Love?" (debut) - Jack White
2. "Chandelier" (LW-1) - Sia
1. "Glory" (LW-2) - Wye Oak
About A-Sides Music
Jon Hartman's "A-Sides Music" series was established in August 2011 and usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing. Artists have included: fun, Courtney Love, Air Supply, Birdy, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Pharrell Williams, American Authors, Imagine Dragons, Gary Clark Jr., and more! A-Sides theme written and performed by Blondfire.