Tag Archives: ep

Friday Favorite: Marie Hines

single cover

single cover

I’ve been listening to Marie Hines for years now, and what’s more, I’m proud to say that I have contributed in a small way to her success by writing bios for her past three releases. I’ve been so impressed with the young Nashville singer/songwriter’s bright, blushing melodies from the beginning, but her newest effort, a collection of love songs called The Tide and the Sea, is as bold and mercurial as I have ever seen her, and I cannot praise it enough.

The Tide and the Sea begins briskly, a crisp breeze fluttering through spring grass, playful and steady. “My Love Will Never Fail You,” the expansive, glittering single, makes confident declarations on the origins of love with lyrics like, “I don’t believe in chance. I think it’s the choice we make, and I choose you for the rest of my days,” its melody expanding into broad, undulating layers of a soaring orchestral spectrum. “In My Arms,” co-written with fellow Nashville songwriter Justin Halpin, is a richly textured, sanguine tune with a spirited rhythm. The golden, ebullient “Always Been You,” another Justin Halpin co-write, boasts the title lyric – “You be the tide; I’ll be the sea. The rise or fall brings you home to me, brings you home to me. It’s always been you, love.” – and acts as the magnetic, whimsical cornerstone of Marie’s silvery tunes.

“Forever Falling for You,” co-written with Justin Tam of Nashville folk band Humming House, is a glowing, ethereal track with lyrics warm and hopeful: “We’ll build a house someday; we’ll build a home in the meantime.” And the lilting, dramatic “Forever Mine,” co-written with Justin Halpin and featuring background vocals by Marie’s new fiancé Ben Ringel of Nashville blues band The Delta Saints, swells and diminishes in arresting, elegant strokes, closing the album with an exultant, richly resonant ballad of halcyon love, repeating the chorus: “Oh my love, my life, always you and I, steady as we rise; be forever mine.”

Listen to the new single on Spotify, and look for the love song EP, The Tide and the Sea, on 02/12/13. I highly recommend her past work as well, Worth the Fight and HeartCrash in particular, and for more info about Marie, see http://www.mariehines.com.

Discovery Thursday: Ivan & Alyosha

not pictured: Ivan, Alyosha

Ivan & Alyosha first drew me in because I read somewhere that their name was taken from characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Any band with such highly literary minds is worth a listen in my book. And thank goodness I did! The Seattle-based quartet has become another new favorite. They have yet to release a full length album, but their two EPs – 2009’s The Verse, The Chorus and their early February release, Fathers Be Kind – are enough music to get you started.

The band’s folksy melodies are just so eeeeasy to listen to. Sometimes the vocals remind me of an old, very acoustic Rufus Wainwright, but other times, I hear something more along the lines of The Decemberists. Either way, Ivan & Alyosha’s catchy rhythms and casual instrumentation are simply magnetic.

One song in particular from the new EP (which can be purchased on Amazon (you’re welcome)) really hit me. The whining harmonica, careful harmonies, and cleverly penned lyrics of “Glorify” just melt me: “Glorify the Lord above, with your drink and making love / Glorify the Lord my son, with your whiskey and your gun.”

NPR featured Ivan & Alyosha in one of their Tiny Desk Concerts, which I highly recommend if your interest is piqued. You can also go to their MySpace and listen to tracks from both EPs and download “Glorify” for free. Now go!

Update (3.20.11): Just found this incredible video of the band performing “I Was Born to Love Her” at SXSW earlier this week. Had to include it.