Carry Illinois: Garage Sale [Album]

In my attempts to simply create some background noise during the sometimes bore of editing a website, I wasn’t looking to be moved. I wasn’t looking to feel compelled to stop dead in my digital tracks, and start anew. But, I will be god damned if that didn’t happen when I threw on Garage Sale from the amazing Austin based group Cary Illinois. After only two tracks, just under 8 minutes, I was hooked. What was this gorgeous singer/songwriter led frontier-ship that my ears did hear? I was instantly hooked.

There is something absurdly whimsical about the 8 tracks that make up Garage Sale. It’s sad, but it’s uplifting. It’s catchy yet powerful at the same time. These are qualities that I am constantly searching for in music, but sadly just don’t hear enough of these days. But thankfully, a group like Carry Illinois can come along and make us all believe in the power of music once again. Reading up on the band, I learned that tragedy struck the band hard when their original bassists John Winsor took his own life in March 2016. And this is when I started to understand what was so brilliant with what I was hearing. It was one certain song transition that left me feeling something unexplainable. The beautiful ode to something truly dark entitled “Goodnight”, I would learn was a beautiful bit of poetry dedicated to Winsor’s memory, which made sense. But, then there is this amazing transition from this saddening tale into the uplifting perfectly choreographed track “Electric Charm”. And that is where it hit me. This is a rebirth of self. Garage Sale is a means of continuing on when the storm has passed. It is starting over. It is a proverbial garage sale of all the old memories that have been stewing and causing grief and hopelessness. By slapping a hypothetical price tag on this sadness, and presenting it to the world, front woman Lizzy Lehman and company are able to move on with their lives, yet never forgetting a man who obviously touched their lives so much.

It would behoove me to say that this is one of the greatest track lists I have heard this year. It becomes abundantly clear just how personal these songs are to Lehman, and how fortunate enough we are that she has continued on through her pain to share with us a bit of light even if it may have been extremely hard to do when you are “getting older, seeing darkness you don’t want to see”, to quote the woman herself. And while Lizzy’s brilliant vocals and songwriting are an obvious highlight, it must be pointed out that Darwin Smith shreds perfectly, and keyboardist Derek Morris shines brighter than the sun in his contributions, and is somebody I am definitely going to be keeping tabs on.

I seriously can not recommend Garage Sale enough. This album is 8 tracks of pain-soaked songs that somehow become uplifting in their brutal honesty and perfectly choreographed fortitude. If you’re looking for a bight of light in your darkest days, Carry Illinois is a force you should definitely turn to. I simply cannot say enough great things about this wonderful band that should rightfully be a mainstay in every true music lover’s heart and mind.

Carry Illinois will be officially releasing Garage Sale on May 12th at The Mohawk in Austin, Texas along with acts Star Parks and Lex Land. For more information and tour dates, check out the band’s website for all the details you need to know and love Carry Illinois.

And check out this amazingly produced music video for their track “Alabaster”, performed live at The Ball Farm in Dale Texas:

Sadistik: Altars [Album]

It is absolutely insane to stop and think about what time can do to us all. It has almost been 6 full years since I first wrote a few words on this very site about the “underground” sensation that was/is Sadistik. “The bourbon in the espresso” I called him. And I will still stand by that one. So 6 years and  3 albums later, I can still only find great words to say about the legendary moody rapper that is Sadistik. He is a man who is constantly perfecting his craft, and always getting better at it as you can all hear right now on his latest album, Altars.

Altars is an album that brings us back a bit. It is a brilliant collection of poetry that is reminiscent of Flowers For My Fathers, in only that it reminds me personally of what it was that made me fall in love with this guy’s work. I’ve constantly referred to this man as “your favorite indie rocker’s favorite rapper”, and with Altars he only proves my point further. Just listen to “Roaches” and try to soak in all of the elements that went into telling this very dark story. You will soon realize that Sadistik is so much more than just a dude spitting bars over a some sounds with a heavy bass line. But, that is if you are a new listener, of course. Die hard listeners of Sadistik will definitely not be too surprised by some of the insane content he provides on Altars, but I guarantee they will be pleased! This dude has branded himself very nicely as the dark horse in the rap game, and his latest album proves just why he is the king of moody and gothic oriented hip hop.

With a solid track list, and some very nice cameos from old favorites like Kristoff Kane and P.O.S., Altars is an album that is destined to go down in history as one of his finest collections of poetry to date. Because in the long sighted view of his career, that is what Sadistik truly is: A fucking poet. And Altars is a brilliant addition to his catalogue that you absolutely must hear.

While we are sadly a bit behind in getting our words out to you, there is still time to catch Sadistik on tour with wonderful support from the great Nacho Picasso and the stellar Rafael Vigilantics, especially those of you out there in the cold midwest. And if you weren’t able to catch him on this round, you can definitely rest assure that Sadistik is far from being done with you. The demons in this man’s mind have to freed, and he will sure release them upon you for many years to come.

To check out Altars in it’s beautiful entirety, just go HERE.

 

 

Check out this amazingly produced video for the single “Free Spirits”:

Cas One Vs. Figure: So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us [Album]

By the time you are reading this, Cas One and Figure will be wrapping up their nation wide tour in support of this album (I believe they are in Portland Maine tonight!), and the explosion of So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us should have already exploited your ear holes and hearts and sad minds by now. So, just consider this a fan note if you will. And if you haven’t quite gotten around to hearing this incredible album, stop what you are doing, and either go listen to the album right now, or just park your running car in a garage and sit there, because I don’t want to know you. It’s that serious, People! I am going to straight up say it here and now…So Our Egos Don’t Kills Us is one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. A bold statement, I know, but arguable to the death. It’s just that damn good!

Long time readers will know that we have proverbially been on Jacob “Cas One” Snider’s nuts for quite sometime. We’ve even covered SOEDKU‘s debut single “Murder Media”, which is still a gem from the album, but just one of 15 now that we are hearing it all. I’ve personally talked about how his opening bars on the track “Savior Self”, released by another old friend Sadistik, are some of the most pivotal words ever put to record. And his long time connection with another dear friend of ours, Alexander “Bodi” Hallet, has come up from time to time. And I’m only bringing that last part up because Bodi produced another one of the finest hip hop albums, of all time, The Fall of Atlas, just a few years ago, and I want it to be on record when I say that So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us is the best hip hop album since Atlas. It is truly fascinating how amazing this album is, and I can’t express enough just how infatuated I am with it. There is a power in this duo that I simply was not expecting to hear, and am so happy with how surprised I am by its power. I knew I was going to love this record, but I didn’t realize just how fucking amazed I was going to be by it. And that is always a treat.

I will admit, I was not aware with the work of the 50% of this record, the widely successful in the electronic genre, Figure. I had honestly only heard his name brought up by Cas One himself. Upon further investigation, I realized that this was a big fucking deal. Figure has been one of the leading DJ’s in the industry for quite sometime. But, not being a part of that world, I was still clueless as to what Figure would bring to the table. And then I heard it. Holy shit, did I hear it. It is suffice to say that I can guarantee that I would not be as obsessed with this album if it were not for the beats that Figure provided and garnered strength for each track on this album. Snider is one of the greatest wordsmiths in the world of hip hop right now, and I will definitely get into that, but I have to say….with the production that Figure added to this album, this album could have been just Cas One reading the phone book in his best Mickey Mouse impression, and it would have surely still have been pretty dope. What I grab most from the music of Figure on this album, is the space. Through whatever spiritual algorithm that goes through this guys head, he knows how to fill the space in a track, with a perfectly delicate yet rash precision. He doesn’t over do it with extravagance, but he still manages to hold NOTHING back. It’s down right fucking brilliant how this man can fill the space perfectly on each and every track on this album. It flows together so beautiful that Cas One’s lyrics become just another piece of the the masterful jigsaw puzzle that is So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us. So simplify it all, it is fucking perfect!

And to make it all spin right back around, this album is a prime example of lyrical excellence! Though Cas One could have phoned it in on top of the beautiful production, we knew that just wasn’t what he is about. I honestly don’t believe it is possible. Jacob is known to cut deep. I honestly wasn’t sure how he could top his work on his last solo album, The Monster and the Wishing Well, but the motherfucker did it once again proving that his talent is almost unparalleled in the rap game. Whether he is making a political statement, or he is exposing is most inner demons for your god damned entertainment, he is telling a haunting tale that everyone should take heed form. There is a subtle difference on So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us from his previous work that has to be addressed as well….it’s not ALL sad shit! Jacob actually tends to lighten up a bit on some tracks (i.e. “Razor Blade Mark” and is 50 ft vape cloud), and proves that he doesn’t have to be brooding to tell an amazing story. His stories on this album will surely answer the questions that fellow followers of him in the social media world have surely been asking themselves, “How is the guy who writes all of these sad ass songs, so damn funny!”. Well, one quick listen through this album will give you all the answers. The album is not without darkness, of course, but beyond that darkness is a light that is undeniable and starts to shine through in a huge way. Cas One provides a perfect emotional balance within Figure’s perfectly filled musical space.

I won’t attempt to try and analyze each track on this album, as it would take a novel length set of  descriptors to truly do so, but I do have to point out that Cas One has some amazing company on this record to go along with his brooding yet light-hearted at times lyrics. There are some legendary names on this record even. Being that the album is a Strange Famous release, it was excellent to hear Sage Francis appear on “Time Bomb”, who will ALWAYS deliver. And of course, Del the Funky Homosapien and Carnage the Executioner fucking KILL on a track that is heavy on the old school vibe, “Lone Wolves”. And P.O.S. is on there murdering as well. These are golden names here, people. It should be no surprise that they brought an additional amazing element to this record. But, if I have to choose a favorite addition to the record, it would be difficult to choose one, so I have to make it a two way tie between Sean Little’s hilarious antidotes on the battle rap themed “I Should Just Warn You” and the return of Bitter Stephens on “Madness”. Stephens appeared twice on Monster and the Wishing Well, and was always a highlight to me. But, this is without a doubt one of the best verses I have heard from this cat to date. He absolutely slays in his role on this seminal album.

Look, I just have to say it one more time for you all….This is one of the finest hip hop albums I have ever heard! I come at this from a fan of lyrically based, or “alternative” as it may be called in some circles, hip hop music, and not just as another desperate for views Blogger with low self esteem and anxiety issues. I am absolutely in awe of So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us, if I haven’t quite made that abundantly clear. This is a brilliant collection of tracks that will forever be engrained into my mind as a reminder of why I love hip hop music so much. Very few artists today manage to bring this emotion out in me. Barely a handful actually, and the majority of them have actually already been mentioned in these words! The greatest take away from this pivotal album would have been that with the musical stylings of Figure and the lyrical madness that Cas One creates, Cas One Vs. Figure is a project that proves once again that hip hop IS an art form, and should be respected as such. If more artists would treat it with the respect that these cats have, the lack of respect would not exist. So, I implore each and every single one of you…..don’t just listen to So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us, experience it! I honestly don’t know how you could treat this album as anything short of a full on experience that will torture and delight your heart and mind. Again, it is that damn good!

Pick up a copy of So Our Egos Don’t Kills us directly from the Strange Famous website, available on vinyl, CD, cassette, and MP3.

Also you can catch a back end of their tour with DJ Abilities and B. Dolan. East coast get on it!

As a bonus for you fine folks, please check out this amazing music video for “Staying Gold”:

Brian Vander Ark & Jeff Daniels: Simple Truths [Album]

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Longtime reader(s) of Trainwreck’d will definitely remember an interview we did with Brian Vander Ark a few years ago that was a real treat to add to the collection. Such a sweet and wonderfully talented dude. And in that interview, we brought up the fact that The latest album from his group The Verve Pipe happened to feature some guitar work from a man that I had always assumed was just an amazing actor, Jeff Daniels, (one of the greatest performances in a film since Nicholson in Cuckoo’s Nest was from Jeff with his performance in The Squid and the Whale), but turned out to have a bit of guitar chops to him as well. I remember going back and checking out some more work and live videos and what not of Jeff playing and singing and seriously had a thought that went sort of like this: “Man, it would be so cool if Brian and Jeff put out an album together. That would be so cool.” Well folks, I am hear to tell you that I might be a god damned fortune teller, because here we are now. Although I will admit, I could have never guessed just how great a full blown collaboration between the two would be. And I’m also here to tell you folks, it’s really is that damn good. I’d like tell you more if you would care to listen.

Simple Truths is a spectacular album through and through. I feel like I need to get that out first off. For fans of very straight forward country & blues driven songs, this album will simply blow your mind. The songs are mostly dark, yet only mildly depressing. But the sadness seems to only walk the brink along the lines of Johnny Cash’s work with Rick Rubin in his later years before circling back into their own special brand of cool & collective brand of exploration into the simple truths (pun intended) of life, love, worry, regret, and the metaphorically emptied bar stool of death and loss. And I can’t forget to mention, the tracks are catchy as hell at points!

Some of the songs touch on some very serious matters that feel deeply personal and the likes of which we can only imagine spark a fire deep in the soul of both Brian and Jeff. Brian’s tearjerker of track “Behold the Brave” made me want to reach out to my own father as fast as digitally possible to remind him that I love him. And Jeff’s political lament within “Another American Down” can fuel the fire of anyone searching for answers in these strange and trying political times, but just can’t quite seem to find the answers. Some very serious shit is happening here, and it is truly amazing. But, it’s not all gloom and sadness, I must add. The Vander Ark voiced “Four Wheel Drive” is a nice twang infused down home country song that will get your toes a tapping’ before the blues come back around. I wouldn’t say it is a “silly song”, but it’s about as lighthearted as you are going to get, and is just a truly fun song to embrace before the dark.

But, the darkness definitely comes swiftly back around with two tracks that are personally my favorite of the bunch. “Forevers Over Just Like That” is a seriously dark track that brings the album as close as it ever gets to the fore mentioned Cash & Rubin sessions. It’s so dark, yet might be able to be misinterpreted and as a full on suicide note to the average listener. But, a listener who may dig deeper into a listen should recognize that that is not entirely true. I won’t pretend to know what exactly Daniels is getting at (I’d love to ask him someday!) with the song, I just know that it is so damn real and beautiful and is just about one of the most beautiful blues heavy country songs I have heard in the last decade (and I listen to a shit ton of Blitzen Trapper, mind you!). The other track, and my favorite by far I have to had, is another one fronted Jeff called “Hurry Home” that is absolutely mesmerizing with it’s old school country vibe that feels like it could have been toured with the Highwaymen several decades ago. It’s absolutely brilliant, straight forward, blues driven country music. It has all of the elements that make country music incredible, and none of the elements that make it a disgusting mess at time. I don’t say this too often…but I truly believe that “Hurry Home” is a a perfectly arranged song. The chorus is catchy, the story is heart felt, and Daniels is at his height of blues craftsmanship on this track.

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Overall, I have to say, listening to this album is an all around wonderful experience. It has taken a lot of effort lately for me to really dig in to find new music that is worthwhile and can make me turn off a podcast every now and again, to hear a story set to some well played music. And that is exactly what Simple Truths can be summed up as: A brilliant collection of stories with some amazing guitar work and outstanding vocals. Just a damn good album altogether.

You can pick up a copy of the album at jeffdaniels.com, which also where you can discover a lot more of his music work that is also incredible. You can find more stuff form Brian and brianvanderark.com. And for those of you who may be new to TWS, you can check out our previous interview with Brian, as well as our review for The Verve Pipe’s Overboard, in which we originally talked about how great Jeff’s guitar work was, and what would eventually lead me to realize that maybe I can see the future, but I may never understand just how bright it can be. Because these guys exceeded all expectations with this amazing album!

Andrew Joslyn: Awake at the Bottom of the Ocean [Album]

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It seems almost surreal to think that I may have stumbled upon what could already be in line to be the finest album of 2017, considering the fact that the year has only just begun. Of course there is plenty of year left to check out, but at the very least I have found the work that will act as the standard in which every other artist will have to meet and/or exceed in order to be considered great. And with the career that Andrew Joslyn has already had thus far, it really shouldn’t be a surprised that his debut solo album Awake at the Bottom of the Ocean, is a brilliant ride through the world of classical music blending ever so manically into the world of hip hop and R&B. To keep it simple: This is an album that only takes the positive elements of modern music and ignores the junk food for the ears that we have been fed over the last couple of decades. Personally, this is the type of album I have been waiting to hear for such a long time.

Joslyn has already secured his title as one of the finest musical composer of the modern time. But now he has boosted himself to an even higher level with his own album, which features some of the best voices in the game belting out lyrics over his beautiful instrumentals. He recruited such talented folks like Will Jordan, Shelby Earl, Billy McCarthy, Adra Boo, and more to act as just another crucial instrument in the sound that Joslyn needed to display, and does it so damn well with Awake at the Bottom of the Ocean. And even when lyrical element isn’t entirely necessary, it still plays out beautifully. This album is more than a collection of songs, it is a full bodied experience. And it really needs to be listened to as such.

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It seems almost unfathomable to me that Andrew Joslyn wouldn’t break out in 2017 as one of the greatest acts I have heard from in a very long time. I’ve loved his previous work with the likes of his fellow Seattle native & hip hop sensation Macklemore, but Awake at the Bottom of the Ocean simply smashes his previous efforts, and brilliantly portrays how evolving and brilliant this man is in the world of music. He’s the Frederico Felini of modern classical music, arguably one of the best in the game, and deserves to be treated as such.

So please people, do yourself a huge favor, do yourself a favor and be sure to add Awake at the Bottom of the Ocean to your 2017 playlist when it is released, February 10th, 2017, wherever you buy music from these days. Check out more details at andrewjoslynmusic.com.

Again, I’m hesitant to call this album the best of 2017, but I will say that it is going to take a hell of a lot to beat it.

From The Vault Part 9: Goldy Locks – Rewind and Undo

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I really feel that I need to preface (as I always seem to do) this piece by stating that I am not usually an avid listener to hard rock music. I do find myself appreciating certain artists though, especially female driven groups. There is something very compelling about the idea of a female with a delightfully upbeat voice, just rocking out so hard to screaming electric guitars and thunderous bass lines. So, while I don’t really cover many artists along the likes of Goldy Locks, I do appreciate her/them as wonderful artists. It’s that type of music that really brings me back to the glory days of when I first heard a group like Soul Distraction or the beginnings of punk bands like Forever or Tacocat. And speaking of glory days……

One of the main reasons I wanted to write about this wonderful album, is that it plays almost directly into the origins of this very site where you are feeding these words into your eyeholes. I shall explain. In the summer of 2011, I spent a couple of months holed up in a hotel room (for the most part) watching every Netflix documentary available, drinking cheap vodka, and basically doing all I could not to delve deep into pits of sadness as very important people passed away back home or just plain missing my wife and three daughters. It was a pretty ugly scene, but something great came out of it. This website! And one of the biggest reasons was because of Goldy Locks.

You see, I would occasionally venture out of that musty hotel room in Biloxi. There were two casinos within walking distance of my hotel, so I felt, why the hell not. I’m not a gambler, but I do appreciate the idea of smoking indoors, and tossing a dollar into a video poker machine and getting served free gin & tonics. One such casino was actually Hard Rock Casino. So, it meant a bit of rock and roll was all around you. And within that Casino, there was a center stage. I know you can see where this is going, it’s not that complicated. One such weekend in July, I managed to catch Goldy Locks performing their hard rock ballads for two nights in a row. At the time I wasn’t certain if I was going to be a huge fan, or if I was just enjoying a bit of relief from my own mind. Eventually, I just became a solid fan. But, I’ve never forgotten how music would bring me out of a funk for a short period of time. Especially live music.

Goldy Locks at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, MS (2011).

Goldy Locks at the Hard Rock Casino in Biloxi, MS (2011).

So how did Goldy Lock’s magnetic and drawing sound bring about the beginnings of Trainwreck’d Society? Well, at this point, I was a solid 3 years into a “career” as a freelance blogger, mostly working (mostly) for the brilliant indie rock-centric Fensepost. I had just gotten Children of Mercy into a couple of shelves across the country, and was in a sort of “what the hell do I do now?” state of mind. Then two things happened. I had an experience with music that didn’t quite fit the world of Fensepost, so I didn’t really have an outlet for that, but I wanted one. The second thing was actually a two parter: I did this strange “questionnaire based interview” with College Magazine about COM where I simply answered some questions in an e-mail and suddenly a pit of press was born, and I drunkenly watch the Netflix documentary I Think We’re Alone Now, which was about two very devote followers of pop singer Tiffany. And something clicked, I am interested in so much more than just introducing new music to readers. I wanted to write about the occasionally hard rocker, and maybe try one of these questionnaires to talk to some people that might peak my interest. So I stole a title from a close friend’s unpublished song he performed once in high school, got some friends on board, and Trainwreck’d Society was born.

And here we are 5 1/2 years later, finally attempting to give a bit of credit to a wonderful hard rock group that inadvertently helped form this little website you are looking at. Simply by being their truly gifted selves, they inspired this silly man-child with a laptop to because an idiot with overflowing promotional e-mails, an IMDb Pro account, and a dream. So, I have to show love to Goldy Locks for guiding me into this mess of an existence.

Now, I know you are thinking…but, the album is good, right? You just spent 700 words barely mentioning the fucking actual album, you Dope! And you are correct. I am a dope. But, I will say that Rewind and Undo is a brilliant record for serious rock and roll fans. They have a bit of everything on here for everyone. There is beautiful orchestration on “Dirty Secret”, there is a beautiful power ballad with the likes of “Today I Won’t Be Afraid”, some very real hardcore, throw your fucking hair around rock and roll in the aptly titled “We Like To Party”. There is a touch of that old school 80’s mentality, but very obviously modernized for today’s crowd. Personally, it is one of the best types of hard rock you can listen to. Why? Because I don’t like to feel frightened or threatened when I listen to loud music. I’m sensitive, I guess. And there isn’t much of that when it comes to Goldy Locks. It’s just pure adrenaline pumping fun, and genuine rock and roll in all its glory.

So that is what I got for ya. Again, so much thanks to Goldy Locks for what did for me, and continue to do for others. Find more information, tour dates, and what not at goldylocksband.com. They are still out there killing it at shows and providing their own brand of brilliant entertainment. If they can rock the bar at a Hard Rock Casino, I could only imagine what they could do to a concert hall. Check them out!

Note: Additional apologies for such a late review, as the formation of Goldy’s band has changed a few times since I first saw them, so please inform yourself with the new crew. Still the same wonderful voice though. You can count on that!

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XO For The Holidays Vol. IX [Album]

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As many of you know, there is a whole lot of behind the scenes type of folks who make even the simplest of sites (like this one) operate. And one of the most important types will always be the fine publicity people who push out their clients’ work like it was the work of their own children. Well, at least the good ones do. I have been doing this work for just short of a decade, and I feel like I have seen just about every type of publicity company imaginable. And with that, a small handful have really stuck out and have become a mainstay not only for Trainwreck’d Society or wherever else I may write, but in my life in general. And while I would like to pretend that I love them all equally, my heart will always go out the hardest to Kaytea Moreno Elst & XO Publicity. Kaytea has not only been my favorite oddly named individual on this planet, she has also been one of those persistently supportive individuals who truly cares about the people she is working for, and has an obvious ear for talent that is almost unmatched in her business. And she has a bit of an edge over others in some very fantastic ways. And that is where we begin with XO For The Holidays Vol. IX.

As the title would suggest, this is the 9th installment of a series that XO Publicity has been putting together for, well, at least 9 years right? It is a collaboration of Holiday themed tracks by the artists they are currently representing, and I shit you not, every year has been fantastic. I have been listening to this FREE downloads for years, and am almost ashamed that I am only now getting around to writing some nice words about them. Seriously folks, before I go to far into this thing, please understand that this is some beautiful holiday music for people like me you absolutely despise fucking holiday music. And I don’t care what holiday it is. I’m just not a fan of this crap…..until it is done like this! This FREE (yes, I am overemphasizing this for a reason) compilation is an amazing collection of amazing holiday tracks that will make the most Scrooge-like asshole feel the spirit.

On Vol IX, we actually find a couple of past TWS features throwing their holiday spirit into the proverbial circle, as well as a few that will certainly be showing up on the site soon (Andrew Joslyn, oh boy, this guy is incredible). And I have bow down to the incredible magnetism and electricity that Magnuson creates on their cover of the classic “Silent Night”, which is absolutely as far from “silent” as you could imagine, just short of some sort of speed metal parody around the end. It is masterfully done. And as I sort of mentioned earlier, Andrew Joslyn is on here with a bit of composure alongside The Local Strangers on a beautiful rendition of “Under Mistletoe”. Our old friends from Blue Skies For Black Hearts also have an absolutely captivating track that mash-up that will leave your heart weeping for about 2 1/2 minutes, leaving you stunned for another 2 1/2 minutes after. And then there is Piney Gir showing off her unique and brilliant vocals on “Love Is A Christmas Rose”. There is just so much here people. There are even more great sounds from Eaglewolfsnake, Bill Berry (with a take on what happens AFTER Christmas), Texture & Light, and Occurrence. And did I mention it is FREE?

So, how do you become a part of this delight holiday goodness. Well, it may surprise you to know that this compilation is, wait for it….absolutely FREE! Head on over to the XO Publicity website and pick up this album. And if you are looking for a solid library of Christmas music that will have every hipster cousin and cool aunt grooving during the holidays, why not check out the previous 8 years worth of XO For The Holidays compilations that are also absolutely FREE!

Kaytea and XO have been oh so special to Trainwreck’d Society and myself over the years, not only for their hard work and dedication, but for their creativity to even have a project like this exist. This compilation, and the 8 that prefaced it, are perfect collections made for the avid cookie decorating, mistletoe touting, holiday nut. But, it is also perfect for the agnostic Scrooge in your life who is sick and tired of hearing Bing Crosby every damn hour on the hour!

So whether you love them or hate them, holiday music is never going away. So, why not let XO make them just a bit cooler and easier for you to deal with. I guarantee this compilation will do that and so much more. Enjoy!