"It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection; through art and art only that we can shield ourselves from the sordid perils of actual existence." - Oscar Wilde

First Aid Kit

I was raised on American folk music, so when I hear heart melting vocal melodies I feel at home. A few weeks ago I was listening to the radio online and heard such a thing, but to my surprise this americana inspired music was from Sweden. Now for something as beautiful as this female duo, to be that far away from where the music originated and at the ages of 21 and 18, prove that they fully understand American folk music with their celtic influence.

Their latest release, "The Big Black & The Blue", opens with an a cappella track of a powerful duet by the two swedish sisters. The whole album sends chills down your spine of empowering melodies and harmonies that few can pull off. As the album progresses, you can be sure to hear celtic roots which will put you in a good mood while you listen to meaningful story. Lyrically, there are dark undertones which are masked by the calm music.

In earlier releases, you'll find they have known what they have wanted to with their music since the very beginning. A highlight of their 2008 release, "Drunken Trees", is the song "You're Not Coming Home Tonight." Most would argue the term "ballad" in music nowadays is loosely used. I would agree, but would have to self myself out and use that term, because for a love song this carefully paints the story in your head.

First Aid Kit - You're Not Coming Home Tonight from correa on Vimeo.

Now they don't have any shows lined up in the near future, but have recently acquired a very large spotlight, so we will see them in the near future. They have many releases at the moment that you can get your hands on. I would recommend the seven inch produced by Jack White, released on Third Man Records. So by the next time they're on tour, you'll be the biggest First Aid Kit fan out there.

Band's website.

Dan Sartain

Going into the american south for this post, I found myself immediately thinking of Dan Sartain from Birmingham, Alabama. Dan has always been the underdog in his music scene. Carrying the title of "rockabillly" comes with a lot of elitism. Unfortunately the rockabilly scene has gone in a terrible direction in the states, preoccupied with judgmental "fans" who revolve their lives around tattoos rather than their angsty teenage forefathers who didn't want to be the next Elvis Presley. So his true fans are mostly in England, where American garage rock has always been admired. After three albums, he finally has gained some mainstream success with his latest release "Lives."

Now don't let his clean-cut image throw you off, this man means business when it comes to his music. From easy-listening swing rock songs to gritty slide-guitar ballads, his influences reek of classic American rockabilly music. A highlight track on the album is the song "Atheist Funeral", which gives off his "f*** you" attitude which his music truly represents. Now this "too cool for school" persona usually turns me off from a musician, but his music has so much passion in it with his frustration of the modern world and fills your ears with the finest cryptic lyrics to date.

One thing that caught my eye about this musician, is his passion for vinyl records. In an age where records are still on the verge of extinction, he still insists to press limited copies of his music on seven inch records on independent labels. But, surprisingly the label he is currently on, One Little Indian, refuses to let him press his latest long playing record to vinyl due to the fact it is a "waste of time." In a recent blog post by Dan himself he comments on this situation.
"Ok guys and girls, now it's all up to you. Right now, a vinyl version of the Dan Sartain Lives album is out of question. Why? Because the label can't justify its cost ... What can we do? Spread your love for Dan Sartain, tell your friends/family/enemies to buy the CD or the digital version of this album. They don't want to? FORCE THEM!"

Now does this mean the end for a musician who primarily focused their career on releasing their music on vinyl to his enthusiastic fans? Despite his album produced by Liam Watson (producer of The White Stripes album "Elephant"), which should be enough of a reason, he will be here to stay. Why? Because live on stage this man single handedly conquers an entire stage. He's on tour over the pond currently. All his shows are listed in detail on his site.


Detroit "motor city" Michigan has always been known as one of the fastest moving cities in the US, in the sense of production. With factories spitting out automobiles faster than you can count, you can't help but be on your toes at all times. With this fast-paced and poverty-stricken city, comes a very unique form of music.
This music is blues punk, which was primarily created by The Stooges early 70's. Their aggression has infiltrated the garage music scene repeatedly throughout the past decades. Punk itself may be dead, so to speak, but the band TYVEK refuse to call it quits and in doing so reinvent the genre.

TYVEK have recently put out their second "official" long playing record, entitled "Nothing Fits". The record itself is a different game entirely from their previous releases. With the first track "4312" simply cutting to the chase, by titling a song from counting down in punk's traditional time signature of 4/4, they quickly establish the mood of the record. There is no doubt that they are sincere and actually angry. At times you get a bluesy psychedelic side on tracks such as, "Outer Limits". The music speaks for itself. They're passionate, angry, and just having a good time.

As far as recording goes, most punk has a lo-fidelity feel to it. TYVEK took a different approach with this album and polished up their gritty sound, but at the same time didn't lose their distinct garage rock sound. Recording their record on an eight track reel to reel recorder, gave all the tracks that hard hitting kick, but not losing the aggressive punk side.

TYVEK are currently on tour in the United Kingdom for the month of March, so for you guys in the states, you'll have to wait. But since they're from Detroit, they'll be back soon enough to play in an area near you. In the meantime, here is a live performance of "4312" to hold you over.

Buy the record at INSOUND

Label: In the Red