Some of you may have noticed that we added a new feature to the site recently in the form of a page that allows readers to submit their own tracks for review. We added this in hopes of uncovering even more new music for our readers that we may not have otherwise found through our more traditional means of acquiring tunes. Over the last few weeks we have been very pleasantly surprised by the amount and (in most cases, at least) quality of tracks that have been shuffling in via our new toy. A few of them have already been featured here in the pages of Citizen Dick, but in an attempt to encourage more submissions and to acknowledge the one that we have already received I am dedicating today’s column exclusively to reader submissions. Most of these artists are so under the radar that they barely even exist, so as tastemakers it is our duty to give them the exposure that they deserve. Of course, I am writing this while sitting in a coffee shop on the Lower East Side that happens to to be spinning Grizzly Bear’s seminal Yellow House, and while most of these tracks are not quite on that level they are certainly worth a few minutes of your time. So enjoy!
First up is a band(?) called Caretaker. From what I can surmise from the artist’s MySpace page, it appears to be the work of one man who goes by the name of Jason Kane. That is him over there to the left, the one who looks a little bit like Charles Manson (that’s a good thing, in case you were wondering). We actually received a couple tracks from Mr. Kane, but the one that I am featuring here is called “Peoples’ Say,” an eclectic, retro-sounding number with a little bit of edge to it. The vibe reminds me a bit of Richard Swift with a little more less weirdness. There’s quite a bit going on here for just one guy, though I’m not sure if there were any other musicians involved or how the track was produced. Big, orchestral percussion, some Santana-esque guitar strumming, a little bit of twang, a hint of what sounds like an organ, and a whole lot of AM Radio style mellow. Hopefully we will get word from the man himself for a bit more insight on the track, but all you really need to know is that it sounds great. Unfortunately the dude doesn’t have much info on his page and he has only three friends at the moment, so I can’t tell you where to purchase any of his music or where you may be able to catch him live. I suggest shooting him a message if you are interested and letting him know that you heard it here on Citizen Dick. And maybe throw a friend request his way while you’re at it.
Next up is a track from an Argentinean artist by the name of Ezequiel Claverie, who records under the name Ezequiel Ezequiel. According to the message accompanying the submission, this track (and, I assume, the others on his current EP) was recorded in his home studio in London, where he now resides. The song below, called “Raise the Dead,” is a delicate and somewhat breathy tune sure to appeal to fans of Sam Beam, Bon Iver, and, if you have been following my previous recommendations, Barzin. The production quality is quite good for a home recording, and the arrangements and melodies show a lot of promise. Like our last artist, Ezequiel could use some more friends on MySpace, so be sure to hit him up there as well (he only has 30 friends at the moment). In addition to his presence on everyone’s favorite dying social media platform, Ezequiel Ezequiel also has his own website, so click the link and navigate on over. There isn’t a whole lot of info to be found, but if you are feeling this track you should definitely check it out because you can stream it there along with four others. And you can even download the entire EP for free, which is nice.
The last submission of the day definitely skews a bit poppier than the first two, but it is Friday after all so we can all use something just a little more twee to brighten up our day. And know that when I say twee, I mean it in the nicest possible way. The band is called Early Ghost, and if the track that I have been listening to is any indication, their sound reminds me of a slightly more mature rendition of The Boy Least Likely To. The track that we received is called “Witch in the Cherry Tree” and as you may imagine from my description, it is not nearly as ominous as the title makes it sound. It is actually a beautiful pop gem that features (what sounds like) a toy piano and contains just enough sugary-sweetness to draw you in without pushing you away. Not to turn this whole day into a PSA for MySpace, but this is another artist in desperate need of friends, as they, like Caretaker, currently have only three of them. And yes, one of them is Tom. In fact, there aren’t even any photos on their page and Google wasn’t much help in that department either. As such, I took it into my own hands to accompany this post with the first result that came up in a Google image search for “Early Ghost.” Because, you know, we like visuals around here. What you see to the left is not in any way official or related to the band, as far as I know anyway, but it is a drawing titled “Early Ghost” from an artist named Hector G Romero. And it’s actually pretty cool. Personally, I think they should use this as the cover art for their next record and give me a shout out in the liner notes. I’ll check with Hector and the guys in the band and let you know how that turns out. For now, just enjoy the track and have a great weekend.