Thursday, February 9

Heypenny and my trek to Music City

Just got home from a trip to Nashville to see The Selmanaires and My Relationship with Gravity play at The Basement. Great show, and all indications suggest my recordings turned out quite well. Gotta love small venues with great sound.

Before leaving Nashville today, I spent a couple hours at Grimey's, a kickass record store on 8th Street in the city. While I was there, I asked the staff for some recommendations with regard to local artists I might like. They were happy to oblige. One such artist that I was told to check out is Heypenny. I bought their debut album, Use These Spoons, and listened to it a good 4-5 times on the way back to Atlanta. My other purchases (Old Time Relijun, Giant Sand, Ladybug Transistor, Liz Durrett) just weren't cutting it as driving music.

Heypenny is primarily the project of Ben Elkins, though it has since expanded into a full band. Heypenny apparently came to Nashville via Chattanooga and has been getting a lot of attention locally; the Chattanooga Pulse named Heypenny's Use These Spoons its local album of the year for 2005. Elkins explained to the Chattanooga Pulse that the album was very much a DIY project, but the production is still solid in the end. The liner notes say tunes were recorded in "several homes, a church, and a performance hall in Chattanooga." One has to wonder if the album would have retained its personality if it had been recorded in a proper studio.

I hear shades of Beulah, Of Montreal, Slow Runner, and Rogue Wave in the album. Maybe some Sufjanesque theatrics and restrained vocals as well. While solidly in the indie pop genre, Use These Spoons includes an array of sounds and styles. There are strings, an organ, and a gaggle of guest vocalists. Here are a couple of tracks to give you a taste:

Heypenny - Secreterror
Heypenny - Walnut St. Bridge

By the way, listen for when Elkins "plays" a ceiling fan in "Secreterror." How cool is that?

You can sample more tracks from the album on Heypenny's site or MySpace, and it's available for purchase here. I'll have more to say about Nashville bands in the future. Thanks again to the staff at Grimey's for being friendly and helpful, and for generally kicking ass. If you're in Nashville, pay them a visit.


Hope For Agoldensummer is offering a pre-sale of their forthcoming album. Those who order the pre-sale will also get a bonus CD of live and unreleased goodies. Those girls are good. Plus they have pocket knives and homemade lye soap in their online store. That rules.

Muzzle of Bees has a Devendra Banhart appearance on KCRW for download.

Creative Loafing has a feature on Of Montreal, who play at the Variety Playhouse this weekend. They discuss Kevin Barnes' coping with fatherhood, a forthcoming remix album, and the band's planned return to the studio in the spring.

May be old news to avid blog readers, but those who haven't (and have a taste for indie pop) should check out Oh No! Oh My!. I Guess I'm Floating had a nice post on them recently. And while you're at it, go buy their demos. It's a whopping $3.50 for both, and they're good. Seriously.


Anonymous Kate said...

Wow, thanks for posting about Heypenny. I'm listening right now and they're great! (They do seem quite reminiscent of Sufjan though. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you.) :)

7:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey there! i missed that show! can you tell me about it? email me at please thanks! i'm really interested in how the openers sounded MRWG. who was in the band and all that stuff. thanks!

2:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yah I agree. Heypenny reminds me of Sufjan with funk.

1:47 PM


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