Posts Tagged 'The Monsters of Folk'

Monsters of Folk Release Self-Titled Album

The idea of combining indie rock darlings Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, Jim James, and M. Ward, conceived in 2004, finally came to fruition yesterday with the release of The Monsters of Folk‘s self-titled album. The fifteen track disc defeats the old adage, often applied to super-groups, of the sum being less than its parts.

Monsters of Folk

The four artists, each already having their own successes with bands Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket, and She & Him, highlight the best in each other. All four players share songwriting and vocal duties, and no one artist steals the spotlight completely; however, Oberst’s trademark sound does permeate most of the songs. His distinctive wordplay lyrics and jaunty folk-rock are predominant.

James’ past work with many different genres and influences in his band My Morning Jacket comes through on the trip-hop opening song “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.),” and the funk inspired “Losin Yo Head.” The evocative harmonies typical of Ward and Oberst are pervasive. And Mogis, originally of Oberst’s band Bright Eyes, plays a more minor role in the forefront of the album, but was major behind the scenes working as producer.

All four artists brought their best to the table, and created a disc of enjoyable, catchy folk tunes.


Release of Jim James’ “Tribute To” EP

Last Tuesday, Jim James, front man of My Morning Jacket, released his new EP, “Tribute To.” Under the quirky pseudonym Yim Yames, James pays tribute to George Harrison with a collection of six covers of songs from both Harrison’s Beatles days and his solo career. Although James does very little tailoring of the songs to make them his own, his beautiful vocals compliment the slow moving, simple tunes. His voice sounds particularly sweet and haunting on “My Sweet Lord,” a song inspired by Harrison’s practice of Eastern-based religion.

James has had a very busy year thus far, as he is also preparing for the release of a full-length album and an international tour with his collaborative group The Monsters of Folk, made up of himself, M. Ward (successful solo artist, and also the “him” of She & Him with Zooey Deschanel), Conor Oberst (ringleader of Bright Eyes, and more recently, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band), and Mike Mogis (musician/producer of Saddle Creek Records fame). The self-titled album is due out at the end of September, but three tracks are already up on iTunes for purchase.

In other fun Beatles-related news, last week was also the forty-third anniversary of the release of Revolver. To celebrate, enjoy a free track from “Tribute To,” “Behind That Locked Door,” available on James’ (or Yames’…) website.

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