free album

There were big chunks of the year where I had my head up my ass. Blessed with a toddler and infant at home and busy managing a large workforce for the day job, early 2011 piled on some busy days and sleepless nights. Here at the end of 2011 (just a couple months ago), I relocated from Atlanta to Kansas City. This just two years after moving from the Bay area to Atlanta which was 4 years after moving from Chicago to the Bay area. Whew. If you noticed some dry spells on HearYa with limited activity, I’m to blame.

Somehow I manage to keep my head above water with music, but it’s not hard for albums to slip by me. Now that Woody and I are starting our annual mud wrestling matches over our Best Albums of the Year list, I’m starting to discover a few of the gems that haven’t found a firm place in my music library. The Milk Carton Kids are my biggest regret of the year.

I should first say that I love acoustic folk music filled with melancholy. There’s just something about sad songs that elicit an opposite emotional reaction in me. Maybe I’m a musical sadist. Milk Carton Kids have a desolate folk sound that matches the gray, wintry cityscape of their album art. “Michigan” opens the album, a ballad that could have penned by Ryan Adams. You’ll get a glimpse of the fragile, beautiful harmonies of Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan which get stronger throughout the album. By the time “No Hammer To Hold” arrives at the midway point, the duo play more equal roles and it’s impossible not to draw comparisons to The Jayhawks.

I picked up this album on eMusic before discovering that it’s available as a free download via their website. Do yourself a favor and download it as you start stoking your fires to combat the chill of winter.

The Milk Carton Kids – Michigan

The Milk Carton Kids – Milk Carton Kid

The Milk Carton Kids – No Hammer To Hold


Up and coming Athens, GA act, The District Attorneys, have released a free EP full of demos and one excellent cover of Gillian Welch’s “Wrecking Ball.” Lucky for them they chose one of my favorites by Gillian Welch.

As I mentioned in our original post, if you dig The Futurebird, you’ll most likely enjoy these fellas as well. Look for a full debut in 2012.

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I reviewed Three Blind Wolves’ Sound of The Storm back in May and compare their sound to a blend of Frightened Rabbit, Mumford and Sons, and Frontier Ruckus. The band hails from Scotland and, thanks to a tremendous debut and a tour with Frightened Rabbit, they are garnering some buzz in the UK.

The band has graciously allowed us to offer Sound of The Storm as a free download. (Removed at request of band due to miscommunication).

Three Blind Wolves – Captain of a Ship

Three Blind Wolves – Echo On The Night Train

Video: Three Blind Wolves – Emily Rose

Episode #33.1: Three Blind Wolves – “Emily Rose” from Off The Beaten Tracks on Vimeo.


I feel really bad for snubbing Centr0-matic in our best albums of 2011 so far post. Candidate Waltz really is one of my favorite albums of the year. The band recently released a new video for one of my favorite tracks on the album, “Iso-Residue” as well as a 24-song sampler. Here’s what Will Johnson has to say:

People often ask what Centro-matic or South San Gabriel album to start with. There’s no easy answer to this, so we are giving away a couple of songs from each album spanning the band’s 15 years of making music together. Please share this with your friends who might not know about Centro-matic or South San Gabriel.

Download Centro-matic’s 24-song sampler here.

Video: Centro-matic – Iso-Residue

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Ivan and Alyosha’s Fathers Be Kind EP, available for FREE

May 11, 2011

Ivan and Alyosha are one of our favorite discoveries in 2011 and one of our favorite sets at SxSW 2011.  They have offered up their EP entitled Fathers Be Kind for free. You can also catch them on tour with Brandi Carlile and The Low Anthem. Ivan and Alyosha – Glorify Download Father Be Kind […]

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Get some Joe , Free albums from Joe Pug and Joe Purdy

December 22, 2010

Joe Pug and Joe Purdy each have free albums to give away for the holidays. Pug, in conjunction with XRT, is offering his 2007 debut Nation of Heat EP (also available via the widget below).  It’s my favorite debut album of the past three years. Maybe more. Joe Purdy is giving away all 15 tracks […]

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White Denim – Fits Review and a New Free Album

October 9, 2010

White Denim just released a free album on their site, so now seems like a good a reason to finally toss up a review of their last album, Fits. They are also going to be doing some dates with Portugal, The Man. I have yet to catch them live, but they were one of SafariMan’s […]

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The Interns, Futurebirds side project offers album download [Free Album]

September 2, 2010

We know some of y’all are Futurebirds fans out there. The band has given fans a free EP, released their debut LP, and then graced us with a live session. In all the hubbub, this little gem was lost in the fray. Futurebirds’ Thomas Johnson has a side project called The Interns and they have […]

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Glossary – Save Your Money For The Weekend [New Video, Free Albums]

August 4, 2010

Glossary is a go-to band in my music library. They are perfect for driving with your windows down, preferably in a T-top. Believe me, I know. I had me one of them T-tops in high school and had to beat the ladies off with an aluminum Louisville Slugger. Glossary plays American rock music made memorable […]

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I don’t want to hear the results of Jay Bennett’s autopsy.

May 28, 2009

I’ve been holding out on dropping the RIP post for Ex-Wilco band member Jay Bennett, but I’ve been watching the blog community mourn. If you haven’t heard, Jay Bennett died in his sleep on Sunday. I think most humans have a morbid curiosity to understand one’s cause of death, especially when they perish before their […]

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