Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Bottom String Compilation Vol. 1

After a long wait the day is finally here!  I'm incredibly appreciative of all of the wonderful artists who were gracious enough to contribute their music for this compilation.  It's been a long time coming, and while some tracks that I adored didn't make the cut for complicated reasons I'm still very proud to present these eleven songs from some of my favorite North Carolina artists.

As a preface to this, there was a gorgeous Baobab track that was slotted for this compilation that wasn't available for streaming on Soundcloud due to copyright issues with Hand Eye Records.  Sadly the business side gets tied up in these things sometimes, but alas you can soak up the entrancing sounds of "Ganymede" below:

For the rest of the tracks though you can look towards our Soundcloud page.  Since January I've been contacting local acts from across North Carolina and requesting them to contribute tracks, be they old or new for this compilation.  The reception was overwhelming to say the least.  On top of my favorite musicians contributing tracks, the incredibly talented Dan Barbour lended a hand in the project as well by producing the beautiful artwork (which is actually hanging in my room now.)

I must thank everyone involved once again for their contributions.  It's been a treat putting this release together and I can't wait to bring you more!  Below you can find the entire tracklist with a brief summary of the artists.

The Bottom String Compilation Vol. 1
1.  "Up All Night" - Free Clinic
  • Free Clinic is the brainchild of Ben Rose.  This powerful pop crew from Wilmington has perfectly encapsulated those muggy summer nights, washed in a haze of nostalgia and excitement.  "Up All Night" is featured on Free Clinic's new EP, I'm Better When I'm High
2.  "Tender Wishes" - Most Golden
  • Most Golden is one of the acts I blindly stumbled upon while recruiting acts for this compilation and I was blown away by his music.  Most Golden is David Adusei's project of future R&B/pop tunes with a soulful yet dancy appeal.
3.  "The Sky" - Libraries
  • I promise I didn't intentionally lump these Wilmington acts together!  Libraries are a swiftly rising electronic duo from Wilmington that have been brilliant bangers and slow-brooding head-nodders for a few years now.  Their effortless blend of funk with contemporary EDM stylings is entrancing and "The Sky" showcases some of this uncanny talent.
4.  "Good Girl Spells" - Old Soles
  • A mathy pop band from Charlotte that blew me away on my first listen, Old Soles are one of the bands that I absolutely knew I HAD to have on this compilation.  They're a mesmerizing group of musicians that have the ability to create absurdly catchy music without feeling like an abrasive pop act.  Smooth melodies glide easily over sharp rhythmic instrumentation to make an incredibly exciting musical experience.
5.  "Love Is Loathing" - Ghostt Bllonde
  • If you've been following The Bottom String for the past few months then you're already aware of this rising gem of the Carolina music scene.  Rising from the ashes of Coastal Vision, Marc Kuzio has captivated local listeners yet again with an incredible blend of garage rock and upbeat, swinging pop tunes.  His self-described "trash can pop" sounds are lo-fi and gritty, but filled with deeply personal yet relatable woes and anxieties that come with the young adult life.
6.  "Shadows" -  Ryan Christopher Dean
  • If it weren't for a random post on Annuals Facebook I'd have never known Ryan Christopher Dean existed, but boy am I glad I do.  Dean's music can easily draw comparison to acts like Cursive or Bright Eyes, but his first release displays far more focus and direction than one could imagine.  Filled with guest spots from members of Annuals and Lost in the Trees, Dean's debut album It Finds Us is one of the year's biggest pleasant surprises for me.  Can't wait to hear more from this absurdly talented songwriter!
7.  "Tell-Tale Heart" - Villa Verde
  • I'll never forget the pretense that I met Villa Verde under because it's absurd and hilarious, but now that it's long in the past I must admit that I've begun to see the band in a different light.  They started as "those guys I ran into outside of Kings who are in a band" and swiftly became a group whose music I was wonderfully excited about.  Their sound is that of a passionate group of musicians who are gradually finding their direction, but their eclectic sounds are what drives this group.  Fans of Pedro The Lion and Death Cab will feel right at home with this straight-forward rock group that's filled with overwhelming amounts of heart and promise.
8.  "Lengthy Days" - First Person Plural
  • This solo project from Mike Robinson of Annuals has gone relatively unnoticed, an absolutely criminal offense.  First Person Plural has the lyrical approach of folksy singer-songwriters, but his aesthetic is far from that.  Robinson's music displays the depth and texture that can be found within his full-time project of Annuals, but it's got a personal spin to it that feels noticeably more southern-rooted.
9.  "My Love" - The Fair and The Foul
  • An expansive folk group from Greensboro, The Fair and The Foul slipped under my radar for far too long.  Led by a powerful female vocalist, The Fair and The Foul tows the line between folk rock and ambient goodness.  The group explores a wide soundscape with gorgeous results and "My Love" is a perfect representation of this.  While the group is capable of bare-boned acoustic ballads, they shine brightest when they're exploring the horizons of their sounds.
10.  "Mild Winter" - Little Hollow
  • I've got to admit this straight out of the gate, I'm a massive Little Hollow fanboy.  I've been following Logan Pate's music for a few years now and I've never understood why his powerful blend of soulful R&B never caught on.  Pate's voice captures a deep place inside of us all, his words seem to pour from his mouth with powerful imagery and the utmost sincerity.  I kind of geeked a little when Logan agreed to have his music featured on the compilation and I'm not ashamed to admit it.  Little Hollow is one of the most promising North Carolina acts.  Period.
11.  "Lilly Molusco" - Virgins Family Band
  • When I first heard this track I knew it had to be the closer.  Mostly because it's one of the finest album closers in recent memory.  Virgins Family Band were formerly just known as Virgins, but this group of Chapel Hill students have grown into something that left this listener absolutely floored.  Virgins Family Band display powerful dynamics and passionate vocals.  Ethereal instrumentation and beautiful harmonies make it easy to lose yourself in their music, so relax and do just that.

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