Weekly Music: Harmony Mix

April 4th, 2012

Much like I collect beautiful songs, a close companion to that collection is beautiful harmonies. A lot of things influenced that, namely being in choir for many years, but the biggest influence is my mother. My mom may have not passed down to me much traditional motherly-like knowledge, but I’m most grateful for the fact that she gave me the gift of song. I have vivid memories of sitting next to her in the car as a kid listening to her quickly find the harmony to any song you could ever think of. She passed that obsession onto me and I am such a sucker for a song with beautiful layers of voices – even if it’s outside of my usual genres. Digging through my music and collecting a few new favorites, I put together a collection of great harmonies to share – most on the slow, folk side, a plucking guitar theme running through most of them. Definitely let me know if there’s anyone out there I need to check out who would fit on my list.

  1. Buffalo Mountain Man
  2. Mexico The Staves*
  3. a swallow song mimi & richard fariña
  4. Funeral Beat Peggy Sue
  5. Burn That Broken Bed Iron and Wine | Calexico
  6. In the Morning First Aid Kit
  7. Kingdom Come The Civil Wars
  8. Undertow Warpaint
  9. Casimir Pulaski Day Sufjan Stevens
  10. Gold Interference
  11. Someone You’d Admire Fleet Foxes
  12. Worried Mind Blues Ida
  13. Love That Conquers The Swell Season
  14. Bleecker Street Simon & Garfunkel
  15. Plans (Grizzly Bear cover) Band of Horses
  16. 24-25 Kings Of Convenience
  17. Tomorrow Tomorrow Elliott Smith
  18. Guinnevere Crosby, Stills & Nash
* thank you Andrea for sending me The Staves – please check out there EP, it’s 3 magical songs. Can’t wait for a full album someday. The video is beautiful, too.

Harmony from shespeaksoceans on 8tracks.

photo from the NYPL Digital Gallery

27 Responses to “Weekly Music: Harmony Mix”

  1. Haley Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Thank you.

    [Reply]

  2. Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Oh I’m the same way, such a sucker for layers upon layers of vocals. Being in a college a cappella intensified it. And in my own music, I’m always compelled to stack it with as many vocal layers and harmonies as possible, or else it just doesn’t feel complete. This is such a great mix, thank you! :) xo

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  3. petra Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    thank you. just listening my way through your list. there is a lot of new-to-me stuff on it :)

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  4. Rachel Anastasia Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Wow, what an amazing mix! I am a member of a Doukhobor choir (background info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doukhobor) and while I wasn’t raised in the Doukhobor community, the choir members who grew up singing the music could improvise harmony with enviable ease. There’s no written/sheet music in Doukhobor music as it’s all learned by ear, so this skill is pretty vital. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    How interesting, I’ve never heard of that before!

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    Rachel Anastasia Reply:

    There’s music here if you want to listen: http://vidca.ca/index.php?action=music. I have a real soft spot for the “Rabeena” duet :)

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    so beautiful! thank you for sharing, Rachel.

    [Reply]

  5. Catherine Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Oh I’m so glad you mentioned Mountain Man in this mix! I saw them live last year and fell in love!

    xx, C

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  6. Kate {Something Fabulous} Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I’m listening my way through the list, love these songs! x

    [Reply]

  7. Ali Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Just so you know, you’re awesome. I needed some music to get in the mood to write a french paper and sure enough I could count on you. Merci :)

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  8. Roxanne Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    such a great mix…thanks for sharing! I was in need of some new tunage w/ all of the projects I’m working on…

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  9. Clare Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    These are all so beautiful, thank you for sharing. I love so many of these artists and will be looking into the unknowns shortly. The only song I can’t listen to is Casimir Pulaski Day. I’ve never really been able to because it makes me bawl. This mix makes me take a lovely look at my life, though, and remember listening to Simon & Garfunkel, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in the back of my parents’ car. Like you, I’m so thankful for their musical influence.

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  10. Jackie Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    What a great collection of songs- my boyfriend is a huge fan of The Staves and he is eagerly anticipating the US release of their album in late May (it comes out in the UK this month).

    P.S.- I am a long time reader but never comment, so thanks for the consistently great content and voice you’ve put together on your little corner of the internet :)

    [Reply]

  11. sally Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I love this, thank you so much. I thought I was the only one who found singing along to the harmony parts the most fun (to the confusion of friends!).

    I think you might like The Dutchess and the Duke (por ejemplo “Scorpio” or “Hands”). Lucy Schwartz can really nail her harmonies (“I Know You,” “Gone Away”). The Chapin Sisters, La Sera, Tennis, Avett Brothers, Bowerbirds (“Beneath Your Tree”), Slow Club, and of course anything from the ’60s is my car-time sing-along jam! (I guess I’m a sucker for harmony-laden pop…) But I think you’ve nailed all the best ones. :)

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  12. indreams Says:

    April 4th, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    i always find myself singing harmonies too! except then i start singing the harmonies, the guitar notes, and the synth notes (if they exist)…even the piano notes sometimes, which i’m sure complicates things exponentially. really, i kind of just want to make entire songs composed of vocal notes. i should get on that!

    anyway, i always love your mixes…you’re always combining such amazing bands/songs, and there’s always someone new to download after i listen to them. so…thanks! :)

    [Reply]

  13. Rebecca Says:

    April 5th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Just beautiful! Helping to calm me down during a extra stressful day at work!

    [Reply]

  14. good voyage Says:

    April 6th, 2012 at 5:09 am

    [...] NOTE: This is a great mix to listen to on a rainy spring [...]

  15. allie Says:

    April 6th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    The Staves are beautiful – thanks so much for sharing!

    [Reply]

  16. Hannah Says:

    April 10th, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Hi Kate, thanks for the awesome mix(es)! I’d say give Aluka a try: they’re a vocal trio from Melbourne, Australia who make lovely songs featuring affecting lyrics and endlessly intricate arrangements.

    http://alukamusic.bandcamp.com/album/aluka-ep

    http://youtu.be/_NcUuEg8_Kc

    http://youtu.be/xWydg5AX9s8

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  17. Beka Says:

    April 11th, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Also, consider exploring Storyhill, phenomenal harmony. Two samples: Boulder River (just guitar), Paradise Lost (fuller band)

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  18. Amy Says:

    April 11th, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Fantastic mix! BTW, I tried to listen on Spotify, but the playlist is empty.

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    hm, that’s odd, it works for me and others! Strange.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    I closed and reopened Spotify and now it’s there. :)

    [Reply]

  19. Gaby Says:

    April 11th, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Hey there, just wanted to say a big thank you for posting such awesome music and on a regular basis. Im starting to get a gross cold and I love that I can sit here with a cup of coffee wrapped in blankets and just click play, instead of having to look up songs individually on youtube! Good work X

    [Reply]

  20. i heart rachabees - life on the west coast of british columbia Says:

    April 13th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    [...] Jack”. I was surprised to recognize one of their songs from Kate Miss’ excellent mix, Harmony. Me and Jordy coined them “Al & Kath” because they reminded us of our friends Alana [...]

  21. jamie Says:

    April 17th, 2012 at 9:03 am

    perfection! love all of these artists… and some songs are new to me :)

    [Reply]

  22. this week’s creative resources. | THE FLOOD Says:

    April 22nd, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    [...] Harmony Mix – I couldn’t help but feature another one of Kate Miss’s wonderful playlists from her blog – this one features dreamy, almost all acoustic songs with great harmony. I’ve been listening to it all rainy weekend! [...]

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