I’ve already mentioned in passing that 2008 was a really good year for me musically; not only because of all the great new stuff that was released, but also because I discovered loads of fantastic “old” music that I’d not previously been aware of. Foremost amongst these new discoveries was my ever growing obsession with The National. I’d really enjoyed The Boxer LP when it came out in 2007, particularly the 3-on-4 feel of Fake Empire, but last year – at the suggestion of a good friend – I checked out their back catalogue and promptly fell head over heels in love.
Unfortunately I hear they’re not releasing a new album until 2010, but I’ve finally found an excuse to post about them: brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner, from The National, have produced possibly the greatest compilation album I’ve ever heard about. It’s being released by the ever-popular-on-these-pages label 4AD, it’s called Dark Was The Night, and it’s in aid of the Red Hot Organization – a charity aiming to raise awareness about AIDS and HIV through popular culture.
The list of contributing artists is quite frankly phenomenal. You can see the full list here, and almost every single act on there is a personal favourite of mine, and from what I’ve heard so far the songs live up to their pedigree. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about a random sample of the thirty-odd acts throws up Bon Iver, Beirut, Conor Oberst, The Decemberists… I’m tempted to list all of them, in fact, because the list is just SO good.
It’s all for charity, so sneaky downloading of it is exceptionally deplorable, but they have released one promotional mp3 from the Dirty Projectors and David Byrne, which I’ve included below. They have a widget for streaming some of the tracks but I can’t seem to get it to work here. To remedy the situation I’m including a stream of another track: a cover of Nick Drake’s Cello Song by Jose Gonzalez and The Books. I’m particularly excited about this one as it’s the first new track from the fantastic The Books that I’ve heard in ages.
All things considered, this is the record I’m most looking forward to at the moment. It’s released on the 16th of February, and I’d strongly recommend getting it.
The Dirty Projectors and David Byrne – Knotty Pine
Jose Gonzalez and The Books – Cello Song
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Posted on January 24, 2009 by Tom