Music you should be listening to

Lisa Hannigan – “I Don’t Know”

You may know Hannigan and her haunting voice from her collaboration with Damien Rice on his breakthrough debut album. Where Rice’s compositions usually explore the dark, sparse, lonely corners…this song off of Hannigan’s debut solo album Sea Sew is light and bouncy.

Musically, the song is driven by a small string section, a trumpet, and brushed drums. This might be the one of the unlikeliest pop songs and yet it’s only a matter of time before it’s in an iPod commercial.

Check out “I Don’t Know” if you like: Feist, Jenny Lewis, Erin McKeown

K’naan – “Waving Flag”

K’naan spent his childhood in the middle of the Somali Civil War and received one of the last visas out of the country. He found refuge with his family in Toronto and began learning English from hip-hop albums. All of his experience and familiarity come to form a reggae-tinged socially conscious rap with a catchy chorus. And bonus points for looking like that guy on “My Name is Earl”.

Check out “Waving Flag” if you like: Bob Marley, Wyclef Jean, Flobots

Coconut Records – Davy

Coconut Records is really just the one-man solo project from actor Jason Schwartzman. Whether you like Schwartzman as an actor or not (Rushmore, Shopgirl, etc), I think his real calling may be in music. 2006 saw the release of their first record (Nighttiming) and perhaps the best song of that year, “West Coast”. Nothing here comes up to that lofty standard, but Davy is a tight, compact set of pure pop songs echoing the Beatles and Jon Brion-produced material.

Songs to download: Microphone, Drummer, The Summer

Check out Davy if you like: Beatles, Aimee Mann, Phantom Planet

Ryan Adams – “Fix It”

Compared to his earlier solo work, Adams has worked at paring down his songwriting since forming his latest backing band (the Cardinals). Released on last year’s Cardinology, this is by no means a complex song; yet I still find myself coming back to it based on the emotion and attitude of the song. Adams seems ready to burst at the seams in response to a relationship gone awry.

Check out “Fix It” if you like: Drive-By Truckers, Old 97s, Counting Crows

The Gaslight Anthem – “The ’59 Sound”

Due to their New Jersey roots and their rock and roll sound that harkens back to another time, these guys have been compared to Springsteen. However, I think they owe much more to the roots movement that came on the heels of the punk revolution. The bad news for The Gaslight Anthem is that unfortunately in 2009 there was no way this song was going to be a hit.

Check out “The ’59 Sound” if you like: The Replacements, Joe Strummer

As always, please feel free to comment below and thanks for coming and suckling on Daddy’s Sugar Ball.


  1. Wow... Thoughtfulness, insight, and a caring attitude about something that will enrich the lives of our readers… Did DSB get taken over? That post lacked even one F-bomb and was completely lacking of any anger or spite. That being said… I thought it was a great post.

  2. I live for the music reviews on this site.