Free Download: The Oh Hellos- Through the Deep, Dark Valley

I am a sucker for energetic folk music, and The Oh Hellos are my new favorite band in the genre. They mix a great deal of Bodies Of Water, Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire, along with some serious melodies and musicianship. Seriously, play that first track and try not to smile a little. Its just so gosh dern happy!

listen below and enjoy!

Send Christian Music Artists to ACL

Austin City Limits Music Festival is one of the top rock music festivals in the world. When you stroll the fields of Austin’s Zilker Parks every fall you meet music fans who have flown in from Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and Africa to experience the three days of beautiful weather, great Austin food and some of the best hip rock, indie, hip/hop, country and electronic music in the world.

Austin City Limits Music Festival has featured Al Green and Bob Dylan, Arcade Fire and Pearl Jam, Bjork and Wilco and Coldplay. However, Christian music artists are usually under-represented at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. All major music and entertainment media attend and report from the festival.  This year, Mute Math, Billy Joe Shaver and a few local gospel groups were the only Christian artists we saw on the Austin City Limits Music Festival line-up. Mute Math received rave reviews and many are predicting a headline spot for them in the near future.

We have an opportunity to change that. Austin City Limits Music Festival promoter, C3, has sent a note to ask fans to suggest bands to book at the 2010 Austin City Limits Music Festival. We need your help in creating a good sample of music made by Christians that would catch the eye of hip music fans local and national media.

Each of us can only suggest five bands. We ask you to go to the site below and list the following bands for Austin City Limits to book in 2010:

Austin City Limits Music Festival- Be a Booking Agent

These bands represent a broad range of styes, from mewithoutyou‘s post-hardcore neo-folk talk music, to Buddy Miller‘s Americana, to Danielson‘s experimental Indie music to, Over The Rhine‘s jazz driven folk pop to Wovenhand‘s gothic folk hard rock revival meetings.

There are many, many bands that deserve to be on the list so you can go to our Music A to Z page and find your own.  However, if you join us in this concentrated effort to promote the artists we may have chance of pushing a few through.  But, whatever you do, go quickly.  Our opportunity to book Christian music artists at Austin City Limits Music Festival ends on Tuesday, November 17, 2009.

Christian Artists To Know: Bodies Of Water

Bodies Of Water
Genre: Rock
Sub-genres: Indie, Gospel, Folk, Choir
Location: Highland Park, CA
Label: Secretly Canadian
Website: www.bodiesofwater.net/
Myspace: www.myspace.com/bodiesofwater
Christian label: No
Category: The Light whats this?

From the beginning of just about any of Bodies Of Water‘s many songs, you know you are in for something different. Maybe it is the Arcade Fire like guitar progression.  Maybe it’s the fact that you never know what new instrument will pop up at any time. Or maybe it is the sound of a large group of distinct voices singing on top of each other  in some type of off beat harmony for the majority of the songs.  Whatever strikes you, there is no denying that Bodies Of Water doesn’t fit into many molds that people put around music.  Pulling influences from folk, choir music, indie rock, and adding their own sense of progression to the mix, Bodies Of Water have been making a serious name for themselves ever since the release of their first album, Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink, in 2007.  Since that time, they have already released another well received CD, toured, and were even featured on a SXSW Music Conference showcase in 2008. Their strength is in their ability to combine older sounding styles of chamber choir music with more modern elements of progressive rock.  The end result allows the band to explore new sounds and avenues of experimental music without becoming too heavy handed.  Although only a four piece at its core, the band is known to play shows with as many as five other people on stage, giving their live shows and music an experimental communal quality.

The band formed in 2004 under the name Death Of A Unicorn, but after keyboardist Meredith Metcalf was struck with the symbolism of “any heat is bearable next to a body of water”, she , her husband David, and friends Jessie Conklin and Kyle Gladden decided to change the name of their newly formed group to Bodies Of Water.  The name seemed to just work better with their joyous and soulful approach to the indie rock platform.  Although they have been compared many times to folk choir The Polyphonic Spree, Bodies Of Water‘s everybody-sing-at-once approach is more steeped in gospel than hippie sing-along music.  Leader David has said that he loved quartet gospel groups like Swan Silvertones because of the way that music was able to work seamlessly with the group’s faith.  Taking that idea and incorporating some more modern elements have given Bodies Of Water a sound that is unlike any of their peers.

Lyrically, the band tries to deal with matters of faith by talking metaphorically about the body, most often in reference to the body of Christ and the intimacy between God and His children. Hands, eyes,and feet are all images that get visited over and over again in their songs.  Other songs deal with the nurturing and sustenance of that body, many times referring to water and food to invoke images of rest and restoration.  All in all, Bodies Of Water makes you dig for meaning. Their lyrics are not obvious, in fact they’re a little strange.  Bodies Of Water is just not one of those bands who will give what is on the surface, but instead will give you something you won’t forget.

Here is the band preforming the song “If I Were A Bell” in 2008.

I also just had to post their video for the song “Under The Pines”. It is a great little video, a fairytale type story, but be warned that there are some strange images in the video, including a little blood.  We are all grown-ups here though, right?

I (Ian) discovered this band almost by accident last year on Emusic. I was impressed immediately by their very unique sound.  I had heard bands like them before, but I was really drawn to how happy and creative the music was.  A few days later I discovered that they were a band of believers, and I have recommended them ever since. We are always going to present bands to you that we think are doing something different than the rest.  Bodies Of Water openly talk about their faith in interviews but somehow have never been defined or shunned by that fact.  The indie music scene just loves them to much.  I have to agree though, you just cant help but love this band.

You can find Bodies Of Water’s music digitally on Bodies of Water

You can also buy their CDs on Amazon: Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink(2007), A Certain Feeling(2008)