Mont “Snow in the New Year” (2013)

Mont - Snow in the New Year

Self Released
Buy: Soundcloud

Bath, UK’s Mont have been on my radar ever since randomly searching the term “snow” in the Hype Machine many moons ago. There, I discovered the brilliant, etherial, musical collage that is “Snow in the New Year.” The vocals float in on a breeze of warm beats, leading up to a cacophony of sound that, given the right mood, can give you goosebumps. It is truly a beautiful song. Of particular note, Mont also has a new EP out November 4th, If You Got it Wrong, and after checking out that first track… damn… I love this band.

Bottom Line: “Snow in the New Year” was certainly a highlight from my 2014 mix, Jolly Snow Sculptor Santa, and remains one of my favorite winter-season/new years songs. They just flipped the switch to allow downloads too – so grab it while you can (and buy their new EP too!)

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Pdxmas 2014 (2014)

PDXMAS 2014

PDXMAS
Buy: Bandcamp

PDXMAS is back for its third installment since its debut in 2009. Those old tracks from 2009 & 2010 can also be found on their revitalized Bandcamp page. As I recall, when I originally hunted the PDXMAS comps down, they had a full, standalone website. They then disappeared, then reappeared on Bandcamp with a very incomplete tracklist – but everything appears back now. The third installment benefits a charity, as most of these local comps do, specifically Mercy Corps NW. This fact leads me to want to talk up the compilation a bit more than I likely would. Honestly, I find most Christmas comps so hit-and-miss, that I would equate baseball batting averages as comparable (as in .300+ batting average is stellar). PDXMAS 2014 however, just can’t get above that Mendoza line. There are some notable names on here, Typhoon being perhaps the most recognizable outside the Portland, OR area. Their take on “Silent Night” is just fine, but certainly nothing to write home about. The lone standouts (for me) are Ben Darwish‘s soulful “All I Need,” and Timmy Straw‘s mournful “Hard Times.” There are certainly other songs that were fine, just not many that spoke to me. I am most certainly not the final word on taste, so please judge for yourself. I have been known to be wrong… I remember when I didn’t quite get Father John Misty. Then, one day I did, and my world became better for it. Perhaps a song lives on PDXMAS that I’ll come back to, and truly love.

Bottom Line: There are a few special tunes on here, and its for a good cause. Listen for yourself and support some local Portland communities. 3/5

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Jonti “Christmas Worm” (2012)

Stones Throw vs. Serato 2

Stones Throw
Buy: LP

I am officially obsessed. This is 100% guaranteed to be on my mix next year. Jonti’s “Christmas Worm” appears on Stones Throw’s new Stones Throw vs. Serato II LP, and while I really don’t quite have a clue what the Serato II tone accomplishes, the b-sides are a compilation of Stones Throw artists… including this fantastic gem. I am considering the $40 simply to get a high bitrate version of this song. Fight it Jim, fight it.

Bottom Line: Hot damn! 5/5 (for the track… not a review of the actual album… which is crazy $$$)