Five can’t-miss tracks from the Northwest’s best songwriters.
Bendito Y La Bamba
This song from Portland’s Y La Bamba is sung entirely in Spanish, which means I can’t understand a word of it. But thanks to the talents of the Latin folk troupe, led by the enigmatic Luz Elena Mendoza, I do understand that there is something dramatic happening here… and that the proper response to that drama is dancing!
Hallelujah (live) Daniel Blue with Hannalee
Recorded during the Bare series at the Fremont Abbey, Daniel Blue’s a capella rendition of Leonard Cohen’s modern standard is shot through with the Motopony frontman’s unmistakable warble, which holds up well under the hard work of making the song Blue’s own.
One of Us Cannot Be Wrong Father John Misty
Yet another Leonard Cohen cover, Father John Misty’s version of “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong” is a lovely trainwreck, filled with love and anguish and horns, and landing right in the twisted folk artist’s sweet-and-sour spot.
Gone In Love (live) Kelli Schaefer
A tremendous, heartbreaking song about the complicated love she feels for her family, is the most beautiful song from a recently released live performance Kelli Schaefer gave to a few dozen lucky fans.
Drunken Poetry (a capella) Fatal Lucciauno
This song, recorded during Fatal Lucciauno’s visit to The Song Show in March, features the performer alone, sans beat, exploring hazy ideas about his heroes. When he asks, “How would the world react to having a president who is black if Huey made it instead of Barack?” it hangs there.
For future recommendations, follow @TheSongShow on Twitter.