Music to Keep You Warm - Firekites and Seagull

We seem to have missed autumn this year. As soon as the leaves started to turn the cold, cold weather set in, more winter than autumn for my money. Thick fog in the morning, frost on the windshield. Bitter winds that cut right through you and tell you somewhere, not far away, it's snowing. When I was a kid my brother and I would fill a frisbee with water and leave it, upturned, on the grass outside. In the morning we would have a perfect disc of ice, with a couple of perfectly preserved insects in it if we were lucky. I'm pretty sure it's ice-frisbee time of year already.

There are upsides, of course. Coloured stockings. A renewed interest in knitting. Soup, oh, so much soup. And a certain kind of music that lends itself to stillness. Music to listen to huddled up on the bus, or snuggled down under the doona. I imagine if I were walking through the cold city, looking pensive, perhaps warming my hands at a convenient barrel fire, then the following two albums would be my soundtrack.

Seagull - Goodbye Weather

Seagull is a lovely Australian band. Seagull is the project of bright young thing, Chris Bolton, and his friends. Their debut long player Goodbye Weather promises, according to the band's most excellently written press release, "tragical romanticism" "universal melancholy" and "distorted folk apocalypses". Now, I'm not sure I'd enjoy a folk apocalypse, but I do enjoy Seagull.
Simple, sparse, melodic. Minimalist lyrics, deceptively complex arrangements, and a kind of fondness for feelin' blue.
I think Seagull is a good band to have in your headphones when you've missed the bus and have to walk to the city in the cold. Push your hands into your pockets and enjoy the grey sky.

Seagull - Half Sleep
Seagull - Joy
Seagull - Label page
Seagull - Myspace

Firekites - The Bowery

Newcastlians and all 'round nice people Firekites have been making a scene with their debut album The Bowery. But the scene is a rather nice one, with a fireplace, drawn tea, and maybe someone teaching you how to crochet. (I really would like someone to teach me to crochet.)
The Bowery is careful and considered, sweet without being twee and subtle without becoming background music. There is a depth to the melodies, and an intricacy behind the pleasing vocals and violin motifs. Firekites are nice music to have on the stereo of a winter evening when dishing up lovely big bowls of pumpkin soup to friends and loved ones. And the film clip for Autumn Story is just beautiful.

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