#67: I Only Dream of You

That is a beautiful album cover. "Don't leave me, reverse merman!"

I’ve discovered a new artist! Well, new for me anyway, but since she’s from Denmark, she may not be so well known here either, and since I cannot find a place other than iTunes to purchase her debut album (not even eBay or Amazon have more than one or two copies), I’m going to assume she’s not so well-known here in America.

Her name is Oh Land, and her debut album in 2008 is called Fauna. I happened across it by accident; I like to search for a song that I like, usually Tori Amos songs, and then listen to all the various covers by different bands. A choral cover of Crucify led me to choral group Vocal Line, and there are actually a lot of choral groups on iTunes, I like to cherry pick which songs I want from them. Anyway, I went on a little “you may also like…” sidebar adventure, and I came across Oh Land. I listened to some samples and they were beautiful, but the one that really got me was a song called Heavy Eyes.

Heavy Eyes is the only Oh Land song I’ve heard completely through, multiple times, and I’m really impressed with her. The sound of this song is something of a mix between Bjork, Florence + The Machine, IAMX, Jem, and Adele. What’s not to like about that? I highly reccomend checking her out. If I can bring myself to do it, I may just have to buy a bunch of iTunes cards, because as much as I want to buy her album, there’s another that I feel the need to get…

You can't tell how beautiful that cape is from the cover photo, but it has a hood and everything. It's very "White Mage."

Florence released a live album! This is not the first time we’ve heard live performances on an official release, but it is one of the first times we’ve heard live performances that weren’t acoustic. Among her two live EPs and various deluxe versions and re-releases of Lungs, most of the live songs we’ve heard have been in an acoustic setting, and I frankly got tired of hearing Drumming Song and Girl With One Eye doing acoustic a long time ago. They’re beautiful songs, but the energy is not the same.

I haven’t bought the album yet, but since I am a devoted follower of Florence’s music and gladly shell out money for anything she releases, it’s only a matter of time. I even took all of the 30-second sample clips, put them into my iTunes, arranged them in the proper order, and gave them their proper names. See? You didn’t believe that I’m a fanatic until now, did you?

The album is available exclusively on iTunes, and there’s also a film version, but you have to buy the two seperately. The album is priced at about $12.00, which I would probably complain about except for the fact that most of the songs are over five minutes long, so it’s fair. This live performance features every song from the regular edition of Lungs, with the exception of the sexy, dark powerhouse that is Girl With One Eye. It also features Heavy In Your Arms, Florence’s post-Lungs single released on the Eclipse soundtrack and later in two of Lungs’ re-releases. Also making an appearance is the new song Strangeness and Charm, which showed up on the Lungs re-release “Between Two Lungs” with Heavy in Your Arms. Both of these songs are great, and it’s nice to finally be able to purchase Strangeness and Charm in the US.

The arrangements are awesome, for example: Kiss With A Fist is the song that usually stands out from the others. It doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the songs on Lungs, it’s a good songs but even Florence has commented that Dog Days Are Over is more her sound than Kiss With A Fist. I’m really happy with what they did at this show, Kiss With A Fist has an introduction with piano, guitar, harp, all of those great Florence staples, and I imagine that helps it to blend a bit more. The album also features a ten-minute Blinding, My Boy Builds Coffins with the full band, and a nearly a capella Ghosts (or I’m Not Calling You A Liar). We also FINALLY have a live recording of Howl available for purchase; Howl is one of the standout tracks on Lungs, and we rarely ever get to hear it on any of the official releases other than the album itself.

I would, however, like to point out something: iTunes needs to get with the freaking program already. On top of selling music that usually has big 5 second pauses before songs start, they also can’t seem to wrap their minds around a proper tracklisting. I mean really, does no even check to make sure the tracks are labelled properly? “You’ve Got the Love” is labeled “You’ve Got to Love,” “Strangeness and Charm” is labelled “Strangeness,” and “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) is just labelled “Rabbit Heart” (that one I’m almost okay with, but the other ones not so much). Come on people, go to a freaking Wikipedia article if you’re not sure what it’s called!

Tori says, "Get some bootlegs. You KNOW you want to."

But that’s today’s music news. I’ve just been obsessing over these things, along with restlessly exploring bootlegs from Tori Amos’ Dew Drop Inn tour in 1996. Seriously, if you haven’t become acquainted with Tori bootlegs, you really need to, the Dew Drop Inn tour has an energy unlike anything I’ve ever heard. Go here to download some shows for free.

That’s really all from me today! I’ve been saving up to buy a new laptop (mine is most likely beyond all repair and I’ve been using my mother’s laptop for months, and it’s falling apart too), although I may have to make a dent in my savings today by getting some of the aforementioned music on iTunes. I’m also going to be in the bookstore later, and I’ve been really thinking about starting Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles over again. The books can be very dark, and sometimes long-winded, but they really inspire creativity in me.

I lost all of my Vampire Chronicles books (which is okay really, Interview With the Vampire was the only one in decent shape, the others must have got left out in the rain or something because they were warped), so I’m thinking I might have to buy The Vampire Lestat (which, along with Interview with the Vampire and Queen of the Damned have been re-released for like, the third time, with new cover art), as I stopped reading the series halfway through that book.

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