Car Seat Headrest – ‘Vincent’

The lead single from Car Seat Headrest’s forthcoming album is a powerful rock song about parties. This isn’t usually a topic that I find interesting in music, but Will Toledo has a way of making the least inherently introspective song subjects, personal, reflective and relatable. Ultimately, ‘Vincent’ is a song about a guy having a really bad night, and this is expressed incredibly poetically. The music itself is also incredibly endearing. The use of a full band here, really brings out the full potential of this song, with powerful moments punctuated with horn blasts and drum fills. The use of rests and pauses in this song is particularly effective and the simple yet satisfying bass line, combined with Toledo’s strained yet accurate vocals, give the track an enduring sense of character.

The eight minute, album version of this track features a haunting, guitar intro. This can be heard on this week’s episode of All Songs Considered on NPR.

Mike Dawes – ‘Scarlet’

Mike Dawes is a British, fingerstyle guitarist, who is known for experimenting with alternative tunings, percussive and harmonic techniques. He has made a name for himself arranging popular songs, such as ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ and ‘Superstition’ for his unique guitar playing style. His newist arrangement, is a captivating version of Perifery’s ‘Scarlet’. Where Dawes is able to perfectly capture the stylistic features of metal, whilst still keeping to his folky, fingerstyle roots. One feature that is particularly satisfying, is the percussive picking of the lowest string of the guitar that is so typical of the metal style, but when mixed in with Dawes’ graceful fingerpicking and use of harmonics and light-as-a-feather guitar percussion, the technique has an entirely different effect.

You can support Mike Dawes by dowloading ‘Scarlet’ here: