Deep Cuts

Deep Cuts, Reader’s Choice Edition: Anne-Marie Schiefer

used with permission

used with permission

Annie is a true friend of Why It Matters — always quick on the draw for a like or a retweet from her @AnnieSchief Twitter account, a frequent commenter, and damned if she didn’t even come out to hear me read once.  She’s also a budding writer, and I’m very much enjoying watching her blog progress.

But you’re here for the music, and Ms. Anne-Marie loves the indie world:

I have a reputation for liking fringe bands with weird names like Handsome Furs (because the other guys have matted dirty ones?); Yuck (hopefully not an indication of your reaction to their tunes); and Chairlift (I guess Chair was already taken by a band of Montessori preschoolers).

Here’s the thing, though: some of these bands actually produce some good music. So here I am, ready to share some tunes I’ve stumbled across through the internet, satellite radio, or other musical archeologists like me.

It’s probably apparent that I am a lyric-centric music connoisseur, and will always be a sucker for the emotional, heart-wrenching melodies that move you from tears to joy within a 3 minute tune.

Sounds good to me. Here’s Annie’s playlist and commentary:

“Bright Lights,” Gary Clark Jr.  A son of the eclectic Austin music scene, Gary Clark Jr. grew up club hopping around Austin’s musical hub. Exposed to everything from R&B, folk, country, soul, blues and rock, each and every genre factors heavily into his debut album, Blak and Blu.

“Viuda Encabronada,” Y la Bamba.  Called an innovative folk band for their intricate and multi-lingual songs, Portland-based Y la Bamba work under your skin and down to your toes with their dreamy and worldly melodies.

“Open,” Rhye.  There’s no other way to say this, so I’m going to come right out in plain English and give it to you: Rhye is sexy sex music. When you finish listening be sure you have a cigarette or a bucket of ice water nearby: you’re going to need it.

“Cheerleader,” St. Vincent.  Cute, odd, poetic, and a downright genius with the guitar in her hands, Annie Clark is one of the most exciting artists in indie rock. Don’t let her angelic beauty fool you: this woman can shred on the guitar with the best of them.

“Always Waiting,” Michael Kiwanuka.  With his soulful crooning that has been compared to greats like Otis Redding and Bill Withers, Michael Kiwanuka will sing secrets held in your soul that you didn’t even know were there.

“Lost in the Light,” Bahamas (Afie Jurvanen): The open and sweet sounds of Bahamas will grab you, making you feel the joy and heartache of love.  This self-taught guitarist gives himself completely over to the music when he plays, and his abandon can be sensed in every chord he strums and every note he sings.

“Hold On,” Alabama Shakes. Brilliantly blending blues-rock with soul, Alabama Shakes produces catchy, hard-to-forget hooks. Fronted by the soaring, raspy voice of Brittany Howard (reminiscent of Janis Joplin), Alabama Shakes have already enjoyed some time in the limelight.

Are you interested in writing your own “Deep Cuts” to share with your WIM-minded brothers and sisters?  Leave a comment or send me an email at:

5 replies »

  1. OMG. I love all of these songs and artists! I hadn’t heard any of them (besides Alabama Shakes) before today, but now I’m a fan. Hard to pick a favorite, but Always Waiting by Michael Kiwanuka was exceptionally beautiful and the video made me cry. Loved Guy Clark Jr. a lot too. Thanks so much Annie, for your great taste in underexposed music…and thanks James for giving her this platform 🙂


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