Archive for the ‘indie christmas’ Category

A Starbucks Ad Featuring Matt Pond PA

December 27, 2017

Matt Pond PA is a band from Pennsylvania led by Matt Pond (clever). Pond formed the band back in 1998 – they’ve changed members frequently but have released 13 records since. In 2005 the band released Winter Songs and I’m featuring the song, Snow Day from it tonight. Ten years after its release, the song was featured in a Starbucks ad. I’m guessing that made them more money that they had previously ever seen.

The band writes catchy, poppy tunes and they’re very good (good enough to get featured in a worldwide ad campaign).

Matt Pond PA – Snow Day

Starbucks Ad



Feels Like Christmas To Me

December 13, 2017

Liz Longley started writing songs at a very early age and first performed an original song in front of a crowd when she was nine. She began recording a demo record while performing in clubs, competitions and local festivals while in high school (where she also played clarinet and was a drum major in the marching band).

She attended Berklee College of Music and was taught by Livingston Taylor (James Taylor’s younger brother) and John Mayer. During her time with Mayer, all of the students had the opportunity to play an original tune for him.  No pressure right?

“I got so nervous I didn’t know what the heck to play for him,” Longley excitedly recalled. “So I played this song (called “Queen,” available on 2009’s Somewhere in the Middle) that was kind of new. … But he gave me advice on how to restructure it and where to change a chord. And then the next day I remember we were in the studio and he came in and it was a morning where we’re all just like eating our breakfast and he was like spinning around in his studio chair and started singing one of my songs that was on my MySpace page (that still exists) and it was just unreal to hear someone like John Mayer singing back one of my songs, saying he couldn’t get it out of his head. I think I cried right on the spot. … I had to text my mom right away.”

Longley has won several songwriting competitions including the BMI John Lennon Songwriting Scholarship, the International Acoustic Music Awards and the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.

Her music has also been featured on several TV shows including Army Wives, Switched At Birth and MTV’s Scream: The TV Series.

In December 2013 Longley released Feels Like Christmas To Me. It’s a lovely song available only via her bandcamp site (for a buck). I’ll feature it tonight.

Humming House – Winter Dress

December 2, 2017

Humming House is a “folk/roots-rock” band based in Nashville. I happened across them after discovering NoiseTrade videos on youtube. (More about Noise Trade in a second). The band formed back in 2012 and has just released their 6th record, Companion this past October.

Some accolades:

“Put Humming House on your list of Must-See Acts of 2015.” Huffington Post

“Party-worthy roots music.”

“…infectious and grin-inducing.” American Songwriter Magazine

“…they have a sense of fearlessness that allows them make the kinds of musical choices that lift their music far above the average.” Roughstock

“…a solid Americana band with Irish folk influences and a tight live show.” Consequence Of Sound

“A new Nashville band with a throwback sound.” All Things Considered – NPR: Blake Farmer

And after listening to a lot of their music, all of the accolades are well deserved. They’re very good.

The song I’m featuring tonight, Winter Dress, is not available via iTunes or Amazon. But is available for a free download via NoiseTrade.

The way NoiseTrade works is:

  • you register
  • and then to stream or download entire songs/albums, you give your email address to the band or label. they send you occasional info.
  • you can tip artists or bands too.

It’s a pretty cool system and there is a TON of really good and diverse music available (books and blogs too).

More from Humming House:

Official Website

Humming House – Winter Dress

Winter Song

December 28, 2016

The Head and The Heart is a Seattle-based band that formed in 2009 and released their first record in 2011. Their style and sound has been described as a cross between the Avett Brothers and Fleet Foxes.

Included on their self-titled first record is Winter Song — it’s not a Christmas tune per se, but it is indeed a Winter Song. It’s officially been winter for a week — so I’ll feature it tonight.

For what it’s worth, I live in Wisconsin — The Head & The Heart is playing at The Orpheum Theater in Madison, WI Feb 21 & 22, 2017 (the band Whitney opens the show).

Interesting read on The Head & The Heart via Rolling Stone here.

The Head & The Heart


Winter Song – The Head & The Heart

Travelling Day

December 23, 2016

I reserve December 23rd for songs about travelling home for Christmas as this day is traditionally knows as the busiest travel day of the year.
Tonight I’m featuring The Jigsaw Jam & Keith O’Brien singing, I’m Coming Home, The Clever & The Casual with Home For The Holidays and Hey Rosetta! with Carry Me Home.

Other than they’re a alt-folk band from Dublin, I can find very little information on The Jigsaw Jam & Keith O’Brien. They have a Facebook page that has a very recent post (the video I’m featuring tonight) but then nothing since October of 2015. They have no tour dates and their website, is dead. And just try googling “Keith O’Brien Dublin.” It’s a pretty big list.

The band released I’m Coming Home in December of 2012. The song’s video features clips from Irish people now living abroad, sending messages of love to their families and friends at home in Ireland. It’s very good.

Likewise, other than scant information on their Facebook page, I could find very little background information on The Clever & The Casual. Their FB bio simply states they are Alex & Chuck who are “just two guys with nothing better to do”  while their bandcamp page says they’re from Carol Stream, IL (not terribly far from me in Wisconsin). Very humble description from two very good songwriters. You can listen and download (for free) their excellent EP, Greetings From here. On that EP is Home For The Holidays — there isn’t a video for this song so I’ll link to soundcloud below. Well worth a listen.

Lastly is this amazing tune Carry Me Home from Hey Rosetta! I came across this song within the last week and I don’t recall how. But I’m very glad I did. Hey Rosetta! is from Canada (the third Canadian band I’ve featured this year Fortunate Ones on Dec 6 and Lost Fingers on December 7) and formed in 2005. They’ve released four studio albums and several EPs. The Christmas EP, A Cup of Kindness Yet is tremendous. I’ll feature Carry Me Home tonight and then New Year Song on New Year’s Eve.

The Jigsaw Jam & Keith O’Brien
Purchase I’m Coming Home

The Clever and The Casual

Download “Greetings From”

Hey Rosetta!

Purchase “A Cup Of Kindness Yet

I’m Coming Home – The Jigsaw Jam & Keith O’Brien

Home For The Holidays – The Clever & The Casual

Carry Me Home – Hey Rosetta!

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