Mike Donovan (photo: Christian Faustus)
Jason: Following Sic Alps‘ dissolution earlier this year, frontman Mike Donovan has struck out on his own, releasing his solo debut Wot last week on his old band’s former label, Chicago’s Drag City. The two tracks I’ve heard so far, “Do Do Ya?” and “New Fieldhand Bop”, veer far off the garage rock course of Donovan’s former band, delving into a bluesier sound than we’ve previously heard from this fixture of the SF scene. Listen to “New Fieldhand Bop” below, and watch the video for “Do Do Ya?” here.
Anna: I’m late to the Head and the Heart game. It’s not like I didn’t know enough people who have been singing the band’s praises, and it’s not like I didn’t hear about their various sold-out shows in San Francisco in support of their self-titled 2010 album. I don’t really have an excuse, but either way, I get to experience the Head and the Heart’s new record, Let’s Be Still, and for that I am grateful. Let’s Be Still is out now via Sub Pop, and it’s a gorgeous record, full of floaty vocals and lush, intricate instrumentation, all held together by a strong percussive backbone. “Shake” seems to be the album’s big single, and rightly so – it has a wonderful, thumping momentum that truly drives the listener. I’m especially partial to “Another Story,” wound tightly together by beautiful piano, violin, and vocal harmonies. I mean, Buzzfeed likes it – what else do you need to know?