Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The New Acoustic Popular Music (Part 4) - Elephants, Kings and Duos

By Don Robertson

Say Goodbye! to hard rock as it writhes in dying pain and bid Hello! to Americana, the new acoustic popular music. Thank God you have arrived. 

      In the previous articles of the New Acoustic Popular Music series, I discussed the emergence of new music that is widely divergent from the typical commercial offerings brought to us by corporate America. It is acoustic music that is mainly based on the roots music of Southeastern America. We find that it is innovative, fresh and young. Most of the musical members of this genre are under 30 years of age, or were when they started their careers. In this and the following articles in this series, I will continue to introduce this new generation of music.

Elephant Revival
    Elephant Revival is a group from Nederland, Colorado. Having grown up in Colorado, I know Nederland well, nestled in the mountains on a drive west out of Boulder. Nederland started becoming an alternative community back in the 1960s, when young folk seeking a new way of life started moving there.
     Elephant Revival is an innovative group who draw from a large number of roots influences. Therefore, categorizing them doesn't work well except perhaps as musicians in the new acoustic popular music. They released their first album in 2008. This group is great. 
Elephant Revival Live in 2012

"Sing to the Mountain" by Elephant Revival at the Boulder Theater 

"Ring Around the Moon" by Elephant Revival

First Aid Kit
     Need a little healing? There's a First Aid Kit coming to the rescue. They are two sisters from Sweden who perform with a drummer and a pedal steel guitarist. Check out the sisters' American accents. From Sweden you say? Well, they grew up attending an English school in Sweden and are bilingual.
"My Silver Lining" by First Aid Kit - nearing 15,000,000 views at this writing

    First Aid Kit's 2008 Youtube cover of Fleet Foxes' song "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" got them started (Read about the group Fleet Foxes in Part 3 of this series). Here is that video with its almost 5,000,000 YouTube views at the time of this writing:
"Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" by First Aid Kit

     Last but not least, watch this touching tribute to the ground-breaking singer Emmy Lou Harris. This is my favorite of First Aid Kit's videos:
Tribute to Emmy Lou Harris, by First Aid Kit in 2015

Hey Rosetta!
     This group is from Canada. Their name provides a metaphor based on the rosetta stone. Check out this amazing video, where segments of the song were recorded in different locations:
"Bandages" by Hey Rosetta!

Kings of Convenience
   This duo hails from Bergen, Norway. Their first recordings were made in 1999, which is most likely the year of this video:
"Failure" by Kings of Convenience

    Finally, a song from the 2004 album "Riot on an Empty Street":

"Homesick" by Kings of Convenience

     In the next episode of "The New Acoustic Popular Music" I will continue to present more music that I hope you will love and enjoy as I do. 

Enjoy the music. There is a lot more to come.

So for now, "Good music. Good Vibes." I'm Don Robertson.

© 2016 by Don Robertson