Doe Paoro’s artsy R&B with Tibetan roots

Both Sasha and I love strong, powerful ladycrooners: Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian, Lykke Li, Grimes, Angel Olsen, Laura Marling, Lorde, Shannon & The Clams, Lissie, Little Scream, Azealia Banks, Solange, Beyoncé… the list goes on. Across all genres, the common element remains a mutual admiration for women who express themselves in a kickass, bombastic way, riffing like we do on car rides, but sounding ten thousand times more impressive and on pitch.

Sadly, Sasha and I work and live in separate cities, so we rarely get to hang out in person. Hence, Music Between Friends is both a mutual appreciation music funnel and a means of keeping in touch. This post is all about sharing some music with Sasha.

Brooklyn’s Doe Paoro makes self-described “feral wailing” but comes across as smooth as liquid silk. The video for her new release New Lows is nothing short of entrancing – I kept watching so I could find out what the hell she was starting that damn fire for.

This is my favourite track from her 2012 EP Slow To Love, an album written while she was sequestered in a cabin in Syracuse. She trained as a singer and pianist in Lhamo (Tibetan opera) while traversing the Himalayas which makes her infinitely cooler than that chick I know from yoga.

This cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is absolutely lovely and very Lana Del Rey (if I actually enjoyed Lana Del Rey).

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#MusicVideoMonday – Who’s That? Brooown! by Das Racist

For a long time, Who’s That? Brooown! by the late Brooklyn trio Das Racist has been a favourite music video of mine – you can actually PLAY the game and this hella catchy track has a way of getting stuck in my head all day. Of course, I’ve never beaten it because I always seem to take my sweet time. If you haven’t given it a try yet, here’s your morning time-waster. Good luck dodging your supervisor!

#MusicVideoMonday: Friends Of Friends – Hospitality

Hospitality – “Friends Of Friends” from stereogum on Vimeo.

The adorable Alia Shawkat stars as a girl getting over her ex-boyfriend in the music video for Friends Of Friends, the sparkling single off Brooklyn’s Hospitality 2012 self-titled album. This album was probably one of the best understated pop albums of last year, so do yourself a favour and check out Betty Wang and Eighth Avenue stat.

Perfect pair: “Higher (Flume Remix)” by Ta-ku and “Marijuana” by Chrome Sparks

Higher (Flume Remix)Ta-ku (Perth)

The first time I listened to this track – and I mean really listened – I was hurtling down Mont Tremblant with a snowboard strapped to my toes, white earbuds jammed under a thick black toque and an even thicker helmet. Day three of a soggy and exhausting trip, and I had given up on trying to keep up with my friends. Still a beginner with raw joints and tender bruises, I had fallen on my tailbone and popped back up so many times, it had lost its significance. I decided to master toes and turns, or “The Dance” as my friends from Nantes called it. Calves burning, snow blindness sparkling wickedly into my unshielded eyes, I strained and struggled and suddenly this song came on, and everything fell into place. I spun like a little corkscrew and turned like a champ. After three days of falling, I was doing The Dance and nothing could stop me.

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MarijuanaChrome Sparks (Brooklyn)

When I got to the bottom, it was time to unbuckle my straps and shed my woolen trappings. I drank in this song like it was written specifically for me – like I actually deserved every bit of how it made me feel. Like a boss. I stuffed myself into the back of a tiny car with bits of vacationing equipment poking into my back and lay quietly for eight hours while these two tracks echoed around me.

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Brooklyn’s The Planes do homemade light grunge well

I look so cool with my matching yellow harness!

If you do a Google search, a lot of things turn up when you search “The Planes”.

There’s a band from Belgium called The Planes who seem to be high off their collective ass, if the one track on their Myspace Music account is anything to go by. They claim to be a “music lovers cover band”. You can listen to them here (but I don’t recommend it).

There’s a group from British Columbia with a vocalist reminiscent of Alec Ounsworth of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. You can listen to them here.

And yeah, there are a ton of pictures of planes.

However, I’m most interested in a band that hails from Brooklyn that only formed just last summer. They’ve already recorded their first album, The Planes, a handmade effort on 1/4″ tape. Sure, it sounds rough and unpolished at parts, but the potential is there and you can hear it in tracks like Sleeping Contest and Secret Show.

The Planes definitely need to work on defining their unique hook that will grab listeners by the balls, but then again, they’re still a young band! I look forward to their future EPs with relish.

Sleeping ContestThe Planes (free download)

With twangy, abstract guitar chords, Sleeping Contest is a clash of sounds. It channels the roomy, loose-skinned drums of 60’s rock and pairs them with vocals teeming with compressed teen angst. One of the most lo-fi tracks on the record, it carries a direction that the band would do well to pursue.

Secret ShowThe Planes (free download)

The opening riffs sound like the band is actually warming up for their own secret show. The song sounds like a swiftly fleeting ode to classic punk circa 1974 with its petulant lyrics and grimacing vocals.

Both of the above tracks and the rest of The Planes are free to download on Bandcamp right now, so grab them while they’re available.