Everest Gets A Lift From Neil Young and My Morning Jacket
Aidin Vaziri | 08.14.2008
WHO? Los Angeles quintet made up of a constellation of indie-rock musicians that have previously put in time with outfits such as Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion, Earlimart, Alaska!, Stanford Prison Experiment, John Vanderslice and the Watson Twins. Whew! The group recorded its debut, Ghost Notes, at Elliott Smith's old hangout, New Monkey Studios, and released it in August on Neil Young's Vapor Records. Everest has already spent time on the road supporting My Morning Jacket and Young. "The band started over tacos at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles," Pollard says." As friends and collaborators, we talked about focusing our energies from our various projects into one band."
PLAYERS: Russell Pollard (vocals, guitar, drums), J. Soda (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Rob Douglas (bass, vocals), Joel Graves (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Derek Brown (drums)
IT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT
Celebs Flock to Neil Young's Tour-Closer
Oasis' Noel Gallagher, Bill Murray, Norah Jones, and others turn out for the New York gig, featuring openers Wilco and Everest.
BY WILLIAM GOODMAN 12.17.08 5:50 PM
NEIL YOUNG / PHOTO BY JONATHAN BAYER
After two months on the road, rock legend Neil Young closed out his North American tour last night with a catalogue-spanning set at New York City's Madison Square Garden. And the gig -- a celebratory event with openers Wilco and Everest -- drew a who's who list of celebs, including actor Bill Murray, singer/songwriter Norah Jones, and Oasis' Noel Gallagher.
Young protégés Everest welcomed the audience with tunes off their latest album, Ghost Notes, and a cover of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," which saw gorgeous country lasses the Watson Twins and Wilco bassist John Stirratt on backing vocals.
Buzz Bands: New heights for Everest
09:28 AM PT, Jun 20 2008
On “Black Covers,” one of the sylvan gems on L.A. quintet Everest’s debut album, “Ghost Notes,” frontman Russell Pollard sings, “Sometimes you’ve gotta step out of line to be seen.” Ain’t it the truth.
Pollard who’d played with the likes of Alaska!, Sebadoh and the Folk Implosion, never really envisioned himself leading a band — he just had some songs he’d been working on, and some friends he’d been hanging out with, when serendipity arrived in the form of advice from producer Mike Terry.
“Mike told us, ‘You guys need to pay attention to the signs in your life,’.” guitarist Joel Graves says.
So when Pollard, Graves, guitarist Jason Soda and bassist Rob Douglas connected the dots, Everest is what took shape. Abetted by Great Northern drummer Davey Latter (and now including Derek Brown on drums), the quintet last summer fleshed out Pollard’s compositions in Elliott Smith’s old digs, New Monkey Studios. Karma? Maybe. “It feels like home,” producer Terry says. “It’s a place you have to see and feel.”
Written by Mike Greenhaus
Tuesday, 06 January 2009
AROUND THE TIME EVEREST CAME TOGETHER,Russell Pollard saw a YouTube clip of Humble Pie and The Small Faces’ Steve Marriott singing Ike and Tina Turner’s “Black Coffee.” “It just blew my mind,” Pollard remembers. “It’s a trippy thing when someone gets so into what they are doing that they become the song, and I thought, ‘That’s what music is about.’”
At that point Pollard had already flirted with fame—or least hipster buzz—on his own. In the late 1990s, the guitarist joined a latter-day incarnation of Sebadoh and, over the course of the next decade, moved from co-founding indie rockers Alaska! to playing drums in fellow underground sensations Folk Implosion to producing an album for Jenny Lewis’ country-infused collaborators The Watson Twins. But in his heart, Pollard was searching for something a bit more “classic.”
Russell Pollard (guitar and sing)
Having rocked Hop Farm, we quizzed Everest:
Looking at their collective resumes it's tough to imagine that Everest haven't been buried in fawning press; you see Everest features current and past members of the bands Earlimart, Sebadoh, Alaska!, The Watson Twins, Great Northern, and Stanford Prison Experiment, and that leaves a lot of room for comparisons, and more importantly, high expectations. Happily, they live up to the expectations, and most of the story lately has been focused on how generously they've rewarded fans of Neil Young, Wilco, and Death Cab For Cutie who arrived early enough for their opening set on the recent US tour they did together. In fact, several reviewers commented that Everest absolutely delivered as the new face of American rock and roll. Well, since we can't get it dark or smokey enough in here for a real rock show, we've talked the guys into stripping it back and showing us their softer side. It didn't take much convincing, you see as great as they are drowned in sound, this is a band that shines when they're quiet almost as bright as when they're full out blazing - you can see a video of a couple stripped down tracks here http://www.myspace.com/everest (they are about halfway down the page).
Like the sonically similar Jayhawks, Wilco and Lampchop, there is something immensely likeable about Everest's sound. It combines Neil Young guitars (1971 vintage), laconic, soft and soulful harmonies and Paul McCartney bass lines. You can believe in Everest's songs - even Neil Young and Devendra Banhart have included them in their myspace top 10s.
Everest: A Crushworthy Ode To Hesitation
By Barbara Mitchell
CD: Ghost Notes
NPR.org, January 16, 2009 - "Trees," a beguiling love song by the indie-rock band Everest, plays out like a John Hughes film in a parallel universe: Boy meets girl at party; sparks fly; boy goes home alone with his thoughts, only to wake up to the trees calling out his sweetheart's name. This time, however, the hold-up to the happy ending isn't James Spader, but the arrival of actual maturity.
"I need time to make things right," Russell Pollard sings repeatedly in the chorus, repeating it like a mantra before sweetly confessing, "I want you by my side." It's rock at its most alluring and innocent, a crushworthy ode to hesitation that plays out with a combination of naivete and sprightly gorgeousness. Pollard seems dazzled by the rush of feelings the song captures, but he's also more than a little protective of it. It's hard not to be swept up in his sense of revelation.
Everest's Ghost Notes | Making Hay While The Sun Shines
In music, a ghost note is a musical note that is purposely de-emphasized—sometimes to the extent of near-silence—in order to convey a subtle yet much more affecting piece altogether. Moreover, there is a lot more that can be said if the overall presentation is less forceful: Sometimes, less is more. And that is exactly what is underscored in Everest's forthcoming album Ghost Notes.
In a predominantly digital world, the notion of recording directly to analog tape could be interpreted as simply inane. Although the computer-less process may seem almost anachronistic, producer Mike Terry is masterful at exploiting it. The resulting disc exudes a pervasive warmth and, furthermore, harbors an unutterable quality unique to classic recordings.
Los Angeles-based alt-country band Everest was formed in 2007 by veteran musicians from the multi-faceted indie-rock scene of that city. Their debut album Ghost Notes was released last May on Neil Young’s Vapor Records and in September, Young hand-picked Everest to tour with him, alongside Wilco and Death Cab for Cutie, on a North American tour. Everest’s Jason Soda (guitar, keys, vocals) found some time between shows to tell Relix.com about his favorite Minneapolis haunt and the best part about touring with Mr. Young.
What are you listening to these days?
The Byrds - Live at Royal Albert Hall ‘71, Dead Meadow, Dungen
What’s your favorite venue to play?
The Cedar in Minneapolis!
Besides Neil Young, who would you most love to perform with?
Wilco...oh wait, that IS happening! Band of Horses.
What was the last live show you saw?
A very weird cover band Halloween night.
What's the best perk about touring with Neil Young and Wilco?
Being able to get in the door without a ticket.
Everest the mountain sure is a hard hill to climb. But Everest the band shouldn't be a hard band to enjoy, especially for fans of indie rock. Name an indie rock band that you like, and chances are that one of the guys in Everest has some connection to the group. Russ Pollard has played drums for Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion, and Earlimart, and is married to a Watson Twin. Here he handles main vocal and guitar duties. J. Soda has played with Jenny Lewis. And other Everest members can also be found in Biirdie, John Vanderslice's backing band, and other groups. Ghost Notes was recorded in the same Los Angeles studio that Elliott Smith used to make music in. Everest's music tends towards the tender and sublime; even a song with a name like "Angry Storm" is a piano-based beauty. - John Zeiss
Feature:: Everest Interview
Tue Feb 24 12:38:20 2009
by Katy Sansbury
Room Thirteen caught up with Everest for a chat, and Russell Pollard was good enough to answer some questions about how the band is getting along these days. Here's what he had to say:
R13: For those who don't know, who is Everest and how did you guys get together?
RP: Everest is me, Russell Pollard, Joel Graves, Jason Soda, Davey Latter and Elijah Thomson. We formed in Los Angeles in 2006, at a Taco stand.
R13: You seem to have a pretty flexible line-up- how did that come about?
RP: As a band, you do what you can to stick together and support each other. But sometimes people want or need to follow a more personal path. The line-up is now solid and I don't expect it to change.
R13: How does being a part of Everest compare to the other bands that you've been a part of before now?
RP: It's a different band.
R13: Your album was recorded in two weeks using old analogue equipment; why did you decide to record it like this? What did it bring to the sound?
Getting to Know: Everest
by Cameron Bird | 09.17.2008
Orphaned, creatively malnourished and looking for a place to stay, the five men of Everest recently gained entry into a very, very fine house. Inside, an adoptive father led them to the kitchen and offered them something far more caloric than bread and far sweeter than wine. This sagacious Daddy Warbucks, none other than rock patriarch Neil Young, reached from within and doled out a rare nugget of wisdom.
“Do what you want and if you persevere, then hopefully you’ll make a living,” said guitarist and keyboardist Jason Soda, paraphrasing Young’s admonition to the Los Angeles band. “You know, as opposed to, ‘In ten months, if you don’t do this or that, you’re on the fucking sidewalk.’”
Bonnaroo Festival: 25 Must-Hear Acts
Hometown: Los Angeles
Why they matter: Attention fans of Tom Petty and Neil Young: This fivesome channel the American greats in dusty acoustic ballads with searing electric riffs and poetic lyrics about wide-open spaces and love lost. And with vet session musician Russell Pollard (Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion, the Watson Twins) at the forefront, Everest put on an excellent, emotive show -- a festival must!
You should know: Neil Young was so impressed with Everest's sound that he signed them to his label, Vapor Records, and hand-picked the band to open his 2008 tour.
Everest – “Ghost Notes”
Published July 30th, 2008
Celebs Fete Neil Young at MusiCares Gala
By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — Friends and disciples led Neil Young on a journey through the past, singing his songs and his praises at the 20th annual MusiCares gala Friday night.
"He made the free world a better place to rock in," said actor/musician Jack Black, host of the benefit at the Los Angeles Convention Center. "Long may Neil run."
Named 2010's Person of the Year, Young, 64, was celebrated for his artistic and philanthropic contributions, especially his longtime commitment to Farm Aid and the Bridge School for children with severe speech and physical disabilities.
The Recording Academy charity event, which provides financial and medical assistance to musicians in need, drew a record crowd of more than 2,200, including such brand names as Jeff Beck and Brian Wilson.
Black discouraged civilians from confronting celebrities with convoluted tales of adoration. "Keep it caveman," he said.
Ghost Notes is the perfect moniker for this album, Everest's first. The group may be new, but the members have been kicking around the L.A. indie scene forever, finally coming together in this amalgamation to resurrect the sounds of the past. Recorded mostly live in the studio entirely on analog tape, the entire set has an early-'70s feel, as well as a glow to the sound that reflects Mike Terry's expert engineering and production. The album divides rather nicely into two halves, just like a vinyl set, with the first half a bit brighter with pop undertones, the second more shadowed and pushing into jam and prog rock territory. "Trees" is buffeted by a breeze blowing out of the South, "Into Your Soft Heart" is tinged with British Invasion R&B and a whip of Who-esque power chords, a styling taken to its logical upbeat conclusion on the wildly infectious "Reloader." In contrast are downtempo numbers like "Rebels in the Roses" and "Black Covers," the former folk-tinged, the latter lusher in sound. Each one has its own many distinctive charms, but it's the gorgeous, introspective "Only in Your Mind" that is the centerpiece of this half of the set.
Meet Everest -- Neil Young's Hand-Picked Opening Band
Find out why the rock legend tapped this Los Angeles, CA, act to open his North American tour.
BY WILLIAM GOODMAN 10.15.08 2:11 PM
Rock icon Neil Young's North American tour kicked off Tuesday night in St. Paul, MN. Opening the show? Everest, a SoCal rock outfit known for churning out fuzz-caked Americana riffs and rollicking acoustics that Young personally tapped for the job.
The quintet of Los Angeles vets -- fronted by Russell Pollard, who has played with Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion, and the Watson Twins, among others -- made their live debut in 2007 and then recorded their first record, Ghost Notes, for Neil Young's Vapor Records in Elliott Smith's former digs, New Monkey Studio.
BY JAMIE BERK | Nov 03, 2009 10:41 PM
L.A. folk-rockers EVEREST have had their share of disappointment. Its members have been in and out of bands like Earlimart and Sebadoh, searching for a creative home. Now, with a critically-acclaimed debut and an international tour with Neil Young under their belts, the band is on the cusp, putting together a key follow-up.
JAMIE BERK caught up with the five-piece at Bonnaroo and found an unusually honest and unsentimental portrait of what it takes to make it in today's music industry. Here's a hint: it's not about the money.
You guys have been in a bunch of different bands. What was it about those bands that turned you off to them?
Everest- Mercury Lounge, June 4
Tripwire, by Miguel Banuelos
IT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT
Neil Young Kicks Off North American Tour
The master rocks the classics in St. Paul, with his disciples Death Cab for Cutie and Everest opening the show.
BY JEN PAULSON 10.15.08 4:20 PM
Last night at St. Paul, MN's Xcel Energy Center, Neil Young kicked off his North American tour with a solid opening lineup that demonstrated the contemporary influence of his storied catalogue -- and breathed new vitality into songs more than three decades old.
First up was SoCal five-piece Everest, who held their own with a dynamic sound rich in countrified guitars that supplemented their effortless harmonies. The outfit's relatively short performance set a tone that could have segued seamlessly into Young's performance.
Words by: Dennis Cook
Big Light/Everest :: 03.04.10 :: The Independent :: San Francisco, CA
Rock 'n' roll is alive and well, and I know this because of another faith affirming night at The Independent. There's so many winning, pleasure inspiring aspects to rock as it is that often the best times occur when bands simply rub our noses in all the musky, tormented, turned-on, foot stomping things that keeps the genre rolling along. However, this only really works if the participants onstage truly believe rock has the power to liberate us – a potential beyond merely putting together songs and playing them for folks. And the sweat and strut of all three bands on this bill announced that they'd long ago committed their souls to the cause and were ready to take the rest of us along with them.
It’s not hard to see why Neil Young would want this new L.A. group for his Vapor capers. This is the sort of mostly mid-tempo, rustic-hued, Americana-tinged organic/edgy guitar rock he and older L.A. mates perfected 35-40 years ago—brought back with patient riffing majesty, timeless soul, and importantly, inspired singing. That last bit comes courtesy of smoldering-looking/sounding Russell Pollard, late of Louisville, KY, well-recalled in this mag as the final drummer for Sebadoh when last we interviewed them circa 1999’s swansong The Sebadoh, as well as helping Lou Barlow’s side-project Folk Implosion, Earlimart, Alaska!, and The Watson Twins (he’s married to Chandra Watson, lucky bugger). His combo contains similar salient sidemen, veterans who know enough to record analog (hurrah!) using vintage gear in Pollard’s late friend Elliott Smith’s old haunt in the Valley, New Monkey Studio.
Everest - Ghost Notes
4 Stars, By Giov
Piccoli pezzi di sodio, come teste di spilli, brillano e cadono dal soffitto. Ho qualche melodia in testa ma niente di definito: sotto la luce del neon siamo scoperti e indifesi. Mi ritrovo a respirare piano e ad osservare la mia pelle verde perdere consistenza sotto i colpi del sonno. Il cervello non pompa più oggi e di bruciare ancora olio per dormire non ne ho voglia e credo di essere diventato immune anche ai suoi effetti spaziali. E allora ecco le radiazioni dello schermo. Sposto lo sguardo di qualche centimetro verso il tavolo, ma non muovo la testa: un pacchetto FedEx. Wow…stiamo diventando professionali, cazzo. Lo apro: dentro, un altro pacchetto giallo…wow…stiamo diventando anche paranoici al massimo in America eh… .
Photo Credit: Zoran Orlic
Latest release: “On Approach” (Vapor/Warner Bros., out May 11)
Who: A rootsy Los Angeles five-piece, led by singer-songwriter Russell Pollard (who's logged time with everyone from Sebadoh to Alaska! to Earlimart). Their 2008 debut album “Ghost Notes” was good enough to catch the ear of Neil Young, who brought the band out on tour and signed them to his Vapor Records label.
What they’re saying: “This fivesome channel the American greats in dusty acoustic ballads with searing electric riffs.” – Spin
What we’re saying: As good as “Ghost Notes” was, “On Approach” sounds like a monster in the making. Pollard’s aching vocals cast him as a more homespun Chris Martin on widescreen anthems like “Keeping the Score”; on folksier numbers like “Unfortunate Sea,” he could pass for Robin Pecknold's Dylan-obsessed older brother. Favorable Wilco, Jayhawks and (naturally) Neil Young comparisons keep floating this band’s way, too. They’d better get used to them. – Andy Hermann
Official Web site: http://everestband.com/
The first track on Everest’s debut release Ghost Notes is damn near perfect. If I listened to FM radio anymore, this is a song I’d expect to hear and actually enjoy. The band is comprised of seasoned musicians out of the Los Angeles scene who’ve spent time performing in acts such as Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion, Earlimart, Mike Stinson, Slydell, eels, John Vanderslice, and the Watson Twins. Not only do they have pedigree, but they have the chops to live up to it.
Ghost Notes is a great listen from start to finish. The album kicks off with “Rebels in the Roses,” a highly addictive tune that would fit nicely in Ryan Adams’ song catalog. The band is made up of a group of good pals that love music and that’s what the album sounds like. It’s effortless. And as the album winds down with the subtly stunning “Stumble Waltz” and the slow burn of “Standing By,” I remind myself that this is Everest’s first effort. This group that started as a few friends playing together just because it felt good, may end up being named in the same breath as bands like The Jayhawks, Whiskeytown, and Wilco.
Everest scales the heights; melancholic indie rockers opening for Neil Young
Hans Ongsansoy, canada.com
Published: Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Everest open for Neil Young on his North American tour. The band's Russell Pollard says their current record, Ghost Notes, is lyrically "a series of letters to people who have passed away or who have moved away or who I've lost contact with for whatever reason."
Why name a band Everest?
Frontman Russell Pollard explains it was a fun nod to the past and a heightened sense of the present that combined to give his L.A. group its moniker. "J. Soda, who plays guitar, and I have a recording space and we named it Everest Recorders," explains Pollard. "It's a Beatles reference. They were going to call Abbey Road Everest. Well, that's the rumour. We also really liked the name, so we kept it for ourselves. In a sense this is our resting place, for all of the guys in the band. This is what we always wanted to do. I think the name fits now. It's, like, the peak of our musical endeavours."
“On Approach is my runaway choice for the best album of the year so far.”
by Ken Shane – Popdose
Making music for themselves
Everest bucks the odds at Spaceland
By Bliss 06/12/2008
Timing is everything. So is chemistry. Just ask the guys in Everest.
A year ago the Eastside-based indie-rockers hadn’t yet recorded their debut full-length, “Ghost Notes.” In fact, they were barely even a band yet. They were a bunch of seasoned players who were also friends, bonded by a shared appreciation of classic pop, 1960s and ’70s California rock, and Silver Lake chic.
Now, thanks to a confluence of experience, events and savvy management, they’re basking in warm reviews for “Ghost Notes,” released last month on Neil Young’s Vapor Records, and gearing up for a European tour with My Morning Jacket. Not too shabby.
Featured Artist Interview: Everest
Between releasing the alternately rollicking and haunted collection of Californicated Americana via their debut LP, Ghost Notes, and going on tour with such acts as Neil Young, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Death Cab for Cutie, 2008 certainly hasn’t been boring for Los Angeles quintet Everest. A genre-spanning band—featuring former members of Sebadoh, Earlimart, Alaska!, the Folk Implosion, the Watson Twins and Stanford Prison Experiment—just as comfortable spinning a sepia-burnished haze of ‘70s country-rock as they are burning through wild and windmilled rock ‘n roll, you can catch them this Tuesday at the Echoplex with the Henry Clay People, Nico Stai and Dazzler for the second installment of Indie 103.1’s Check One Twosdays.
Web in Front recently caught up with frontman Russell Pollard (vocals, guitar) to discuss the recording of Ghost Notes, maintaining a postivie outlook in the face of music industry wackiness, and the possibility of GPS navigation being the savior of rock ‘n roll touring.
Web in Front: First off, how’s the tour been thus far?
by Amanda Hanson
"I'm lost, lost" sings Everest frontman Russell Pollard on "Rebels in the Roses," the opening track of the band's tender debut album, Ghost Notes. It's a fitting declaration and the perfect tone-setter for the reflective and often cathartic songs that lie ahead. Pollard, like so many of his indie/alt-country singer-songwriting peers-Ryan Adams, Jeff Buckley, Jeff Tweedy-seems to be at war with himself and through music, draws upon his pain and missteps in hopes of generating some sort of sonic release.
Though certain songs touch upon universal themes and concerns such as the passing of time ("Stumble Waltz") and getting outside of one's own head and way ("Only In Your Mind"); the majority of the album speaks to matters of the heart and the conflict that arises when two souls collide. Fighting for love, fighting personal demons, fighting the one we love, fighting not to lose that love even after admittedly making enough mistakes to warrant the loss. Love, after all, is not for the faint of heart. With Ghost Notes, it's quite apparent that Pollard has gone to battle and not come out the victor.
Words & Images by: Scott Galbraith
Everest :: 10.25.08 :: Hotel Utah Saloon :: San Francisco, CA
Everest is a band poised to make it big. They are in the middle of the first leg of a national tour, playing to thousands of screaming fans every night. Okay, so the fans are actually screaming for the headliners of the show, Neil Young and Death Cab for Cutie, but Everest is opening for them, which is still a huge milestone for any band to reach shortly after releasing their debut album.
So, as a band what do you do when you achieve one of your dreams, i.e. being invited to open for a musical icon on a national tour? Imagine playing stadiums and arenas, gaining thousands of fans a night across the country. Would playing a small bar in a big city seem like the next logical step to acquire a fan base? For most bands it would seem like a huge step backwards, but for Everest it was just another chance to do what they love most – play live music.
Everest are exactly the type of band you should hate: a group of Los Angeles musicians, bit-part players in a number of bands and signed to a record label owned by a rock star. Listen to their debut album, Ghost Notes, however, and you'll see Everest in another light. The bands they've played with - Sebadoh, the Watson Twins, - are not your typically excessive LA rockers, while their label, Vapor, is owned by Neil Young and is also home to Tegan & Sara and Jonathan Richman. It's a wonderfully hazy, 1970s-influenced LP that, you imagine, The Eagles, Crosby, Stills, & Nash or The Byrds might have put together over a loose weekend - main man Russell Pollard's voice even has a touch of Gene Clarke's romantic melancholy. Thoughtful indie rock might have a new peak here. by Aaron Lavery
Everest Stoked To Open For Neil Young and Wilco
December 4, 2008 2:04 PM
Photo: Dominic DiSaia
Talk about the dream gig of a lifetime...
Everest, an up-and-coming alt-country outfit from Los Angeles, are currently in the midst of opening a string of dates with Wilco and Neil Young!!!
"It's the most amazing thing we've ever done," says frontman Russell Pollard, who we caught up with at a tour stop at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. "We get to watch two of our favorite acts perform every night."
Veteran players on the L.A. scene, the five dudes in Everest hooked up in 2006. "One day, we all just sat around my house listening to records and we started playing demos for each other," says Pollard. "A week later we were in the studio."
Everest quickly got picked up by Neil Young's record label, Vapor Records, after Young got a hold of some of their demos. "It didn't involve the stereotypical big label signing bonus BS that never works out," Pollard said. "It really worked out well for us, man." They put out their debut LP, Ghost Notes, last May, and by summertime, they were on the road with My Morning Jacket.
Formed by friends in Los Angeles, who were all established in the city's music community, Everest make rock music for grown-ups while avoiding the pitfalls that implies. Songs such as the gentle opener Rebels in The Roses suggest it could be their time in the spotlight. -by Nigel Thornton
*You Set the Scene's Best Albums of 2008
1) Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes / Sun Giant EP (Sub Pop) – 2008 was a very good year for Fleet Foxes. In six months, they went from opening up for Blitzen Trapper at the Troubadour to selling out a couple of nights at El Rey. Robin Pecknold’s still a kid, but appears to have the whole package – musicianship, songwriting (including good lyrics) and a great voice. A few of the songs on the LP kind of just sit there – but if you factor in the EP and cherry pick the best 11 or 12 – you’ve got an amazing album. Standout tracks: MP3: “White Winter Hymnal” and “Myknos”
2) Everest: Ghost Notes (Vapor Records) – They were number one on my local list. As I said, the songs sound effortlessly timeless; the product of talented musicians who have absorbed rock ‘n’ roll history (Neil Young, the Beatles, the Byrds, etc.). Throw in Mike Terry’s warm ass production and you’ve got a fantastic debut. It’s a really consistent album. Standout tracks: “Rebels in the Roses” and “Into Your Soft Heart”