An interesting and unique tribute to Peter Gabriel as well as a fantastic new EP from Atlanta-based indie folk group von Grey prove to be among the first noteworthy releases of 2014, while a recent DVD title celebrating a legendary music festival staged back in 1983 that paved the way for Coachella and other modern-day events also demands music fans' undivided attention before closing the door on last year's wealth of outstanding titles.
Various artists: Bon Iver, Randy Newman, Arcade Fire and more
Title: And I'll Scratch Yours (Real World Productions)
You might like if you enjoy: Peter Gabriel, Elbow, Arcade Fire, Lou Reed
Tell me more: It has taken more than three years, but the companion disc to Peter Gabriel's 2010 covers collection Scratch My Back (where he covered material by the likes of Radiohead, David Bowie and Arcade Fire) is being released this week. And I'll Scratch Yours (out Jan. 7, 2014) finds the majority of artists covered by Gabriel on Scratch My Back now reciprocating and covering some of his songs. Highlights abound; what's not to love about Elbow's tender "Mercy Street," Arcade Fire's artful "Games Without Frontiers" and the late Lou Reed's Neil Young & Crazy Horse-styled approach on "Solsbury Hill." Information: PeterGabriel.com.
Get And I'll Scratch Yours now
Artist: von Grey
Album: Awakening (VG Publishing)
You might like if you enjoy: First Aid Kit, The Corrs, Clannad
Tell me more: Blending the Celtic stylings of Ireland's Corrs with the Americana strains of the Civil Wars and First Aid Kit, von Grey is something special. The group, which features four real-life von Frey sisters Annika (lead vocals, violin, banjo, guitar, keyboards), Fiona (lead vocals, guitar, violin, percussion), Petra (keys, lap steel guitar, backing vocals) and Kathryn (cello, bass, mandolin, keys, background vocals), shines on Awakening. The six-song collection (set for release on Jan. 21, 2014) boasts material ranging from textured harmonies-rich song craft ("Keep It Cool," "Upset Me") to modern pop-mining uptempo songs ("Come On," "Ashes"). Information: vonGreymusic.com.
Pre-order Awakening now
DVD title: '83 US Festival (MVD Visual)
You might like if you enjoy: U2, Men At Work, The Stray Cats, INXS
Tell me more: Long before Coachellafest began its yearly run in Indio, the groundbreaking US Festival ("US" was an acronym for "Unite us in Song") was staged at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California over the Memorial Day weekend in May 1983. Now comes the first official DVD release featuring highlights from the epic event, with a documentary and performances capturing the excitement of the three-day festival. Highlights include a young INXS tearing through "The One Thing," rockabilly trio the Stray Cats' one-two sonic punch "Double Talkin' Baby" and "Rock This Town," and Men At Work's infectious "Who Can It Be Now" and reggae-charged "It's A Mistake." One of the decade's most illustrious performances is revealed via U2's rousing "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Electric Co." Information: mvdvisual.com.
Get US Festival 1983: Days 1-3 now