Saturday Music Interlude — BØRNS performing “10,000 Emerald Pools”

BØRNS is the nom de plume of Garrett Borns.  He originated out of the Grand Rapids music scene that came out of the local community arts college.  After a short stint in New York, he moved to Los Angeles.  On his Facebook page, he is a self-described tree house dwelling resident of that city.  His rise, after years of woodshedding, has recently been on an upward trajectory.  This month he earned designation by XPN’s January Artist to Watch.

He sings with an otherworldly falsetto voice that closely matches by his approach to, and the selected themes of, his music.  He is largely marked as alternative and indie rock, but I would put his music closer to singer-songwriter neo-folk.  Whatever you want to call it, it is engaging and beautiful music.  Here he is with an unattributed accompanist* performing “10,000 Emerald Pools.”

Here is the electro-dream-pop version:

 

*An unforgiveable omission that almost eliminated this post.  Note to artist and record company–attribute your performers.

Weekend Summer Music Interlude — Laki Mera

As a youth summer for me consisted of baseball (both watching and playing), tennis, fishing, exploring the south Jersey pine woods, cookouts, and spending time at the beach with family and friends.  After the age of 15 throw in working a summer job to save for college and help my parents make ends meet.

This activity came to me with the background of the radio playing music provided courtesy of the powerhouse New York radio and television broadcasting center.  Summers consisted of anything from jazz to folk to country to rock to pop, and my favorite stations, some of which no longer exist, made the same transition as the society around it:  the now defunct WNEW-AM, WABC-AM, WMCA (with their “Good Guys” lineup), and a host of others.  It was Jack Spector on WMCA who played the first Beatles song on New York radio.

All of this is a way of saying that, while radio has evolved and struggled since those heady days, music goes on as the backdrop to our lives; informing and influencing us in subtle ways, reflecting the world around us, sometimes providing pleasure and sometimes a respite, mirroring our thoughts, our hopes, our passions, and our fears; providing a backdrop to our happiness during good times, and a sanctuary during hard times.

This weekend’s interlude is a band called Laki Mera, a trio out of Scotland that has been making music for 10 years now.  They make what has been described as electro-dream-pop.  They are often compared to the Cocteau Twins, but this seems to me to be an inexact comparison, which speaks to their unique voice and vision.  What they do, I think, is create both acoustic and electronic musical soundscapes that provide the foundation for Laura Donnelly’s beautiful voice that allow our imaginations to follow the lyrics to wherever they may take us.  They have not yet reached great economic success but their music speaks for itself.  Last year they released their third LP entitled “Turn All Memory To White Noise,” which was actually released last summer.  The only videos online include their lyrics.  “Seraphine” is one of the best–a refreshing moment of anticipation wading in a cool stream.  A welcome respite from a disastrous week for the world at large.