TS10: Falling

Tomme Suab was officially launched in 2013, but 2012 was an important year in it’s development. During 2012, I was engaging with local and indie music for the first time and it was like a personal renaissance for me. I was discovering new-to-me music left and right by attending local events like Volume One’s Sounds Like Summer and through NoiseTrade. If you’re not familiar with NoiseTrade, it’s a site where you can download music for free, legally, from a multitude of artists. During 2012, I dove into NoiseTrade and began discovering a variety of musicians for the first time. One of the bands I first heard on NoiseTrade was The Civil Wars.

The star-crossed duo of John Paul White and Joy Williams were in their heyday in 2012, winning a variety of awards with their debut album, Barton Hollow. I was immediately captivated by their sound. I’m sure the “southern-ness” of it was part of the reason. I also loved the blend of their two very distinct voices. But there was something else at work in their music that grabbed a hold of me.

The record I downloaded from The Civil Wars was a live album and at the start of the show, John Paul White told the crowd, “If you’re not sad yet, you’re gonna be.” That sadness, that deep, deep melancholy pervading their music was, for some reason, resonating with a deep sadness living in me. It was that sorrow that drew me to their music in the first place, and it was the sorrow that helped me process some of my own sorrow during that time.

2012 was a pivotal year for me. As I was engaging in the sadness of The Civil Wars’ music, I was simultaneously dealing with some very difficult relational struggles. I was going through a period in which I realized some relationships which had always been central to me were changing. I was seeing, for the first time, how dysfunctional and toxic these relationships really were. Their song Falling especially spoke to me.

I’m glad to share that song with you on this week’s TS10, along with nine other potentially emotive tracks. Falling has been a part of my healing process, maybe one or more of these songs can be part of yours.



TS10: Eaux4Pools

Welcome to a special edition of the TS10. It’s special in that there are several strains running through this playlist which carry different kinds of significance. Eaux Claires is this week and I’m excited to partake in that incredible event once again (I’ve undergone something of an evolution in my thinking about the festival over the last couple of years, which I will likely share more about later). With the impending “return to the river,” the playlist kicks off with Bon Iver and The National, a small nod to the creators of Eaux Claires, Justin Vernon and Aaron Desner. J.E. Sunde is also included because of the festival, not because of his involvement, but because in my opinion he really ought to be involved!

Independence Day is also upon us here in the States. I am quite ambivalent about the 4th of July. While I’m grateful for the immense freedom we possess here, I am also aware of the racist and bloody past (and present) we tend to whitewash not only this time of year, but pretty much all the time. As a follower of Jesus, it’s hard for me to be excited about celebrating rebellion from our governing authority (wink wink, Jeff Sessions) and the facilitators of that rebellion who were, by and large, slaveholders and/or proponents of the slavery as well as the subjugation and dehumanizing of indigenous peoples. I find the  4th to be a prime opportunity to grieve and repent, personally.

Based on this approach to July 4th, we have Derek Webb’s King and a Kingdom, an anthem from what has become a functional time-capsule in Webb’s 2005 album, Mockingbird. Even though Webb disavows what he once believed, the truth in this song stands: “My first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man…” Sylvan Esso’s Parad(w/m)e adds a little political commentary regarding current events. Muse’s Uprising is a call to stand up against the bullies. Marvin Gaye invites us to sit at the table, have a conversation, and bring “a little love in here today.” Lastly, Jimi Hendrix’s legendary version of The Star-Spangled Banner closes out this “Americana” aspect of the TS10.

Lastly, I am very pleased to debut a new song from what is quickly becoming one of my favorite bands, LASKA, rooted right here in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Their new track, Dirty Pools, is creative, a little mesmerizing at times, and rife with anger and pain. Those spill out throughout the song and eventually manifest in a few choice F-bombs at the end (you’ve been warned).

So, yeah, there’s a lot happening in this week’s TS10. So, take a listen and let yourself feel through it all!


TS10: Tiny Little Sparks

Image from Bri Murphy’s website

The talented Bri Murphy released Things We’d Rather Not Say, her first full-length album, last week and it is pretty gorgeous. Her Tiny Little Sparks anchors this week’s eclectic TS10. Take a listen!