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The fourth installment of In Dee Mail Special Year-End edition spills over into the new year with 2009 songs from noteworthy artists and bands (who sent their music to us in dee mail and unsolicited).

There will be more of these songs featured in this series alone over the next few weeks, in addition to dozens and dozens of the best new 2010 songs off recent and upcoming releases.

First up is a band that sent in two tracks that have been on regular re-play in the past two months. Austin is a hard place for a band to break through nowadays due to the saturation of musicians who have flooded this southern music mecca during the past few years.

But the latest release from the band Tiny Tin Hearts is quite good. Sure the band doesn't exactly have a 'cool' name, but dorkiness has become an asset for other bands, why not these guys? Tiny Tin Hearts deliver flourishing, sprawling pop rock embellished by trombones, violins, cellos and French horns.

The eclectic band actually came together as a result of ads placed on Craigslist by band leader Seth Osborn; his previous attempts to form a band in New Jersey did not pan out. Tiny Tin Hearts, now numbering eight members, definitely have a sound that is worth checking out, and they have started to build a following. Last March, they were selected as one of the top five best new bands at the Austin Music Awards.

"Small Catastrophe" - Tiny Tin Hearts from Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator (2009)

"The Aviator" - Tiny Tin Hearts from Last Flight of the Martyr Aviator (2009)

Tiny Tin Hearts on MySpace

Columbus, Ohio band Flotation Walls mix choral, psych-folk, and orchestral music with a beautiful cinematic quality on their debut album, Nature. Next, Provo, Utah musical duo and couple Adam & Darcie craft soft folk pop songs with a revolving cast of musicians; this year they released their sophomore LP, California Trail.

"Willis The Fireman" - Flotation Walls from Nature (2009)

Flotation Walls on MySpace

Boston's unsigned band Sidewalk Driver offer up a powerful mix of power pop, glam and rock on their latest release, For All the Boys and Girls. The band's music is high energy, highly-infectious and hook-driven. Lead singer Tad McKitterick's voice has power and clarity, is expressive, but forceful, without canceling out his vocals more subtle moments. The songs are delivered with unique oddity but are accessible enough to welcome you to join in the celebration like a carnival barker hyping a freak show.

"Jenny Don't Really Like The Boys" - Sidewalk Driver from For All the Boys and Girls (2009)

The Sidewalk Driver on MySpace

The New Platz, New York progressive folk band Oryan - which could have easily been called something like 'The Band of Ryands' - formed in July of 2008 after co-workers Ryan Megan and Ryan Schoonmaker decided to do something about the "dismal state of the local music scene."

Teaming up with bassist Ryan McCann and guitarist Adam Gosney, Oryan released their self-titled EP earlier this year, featuring music they tag as: "Tom Waits on a strong dose of acid." The band has opened for Rusted Root, The Kin and The Rhodes.

"The Ride" - Oryan from s/t EP (2009)

Chicago's Americana indie rock/power pop band Twilight Revival (formed in 2006 via Craigslist) have won the praise of the city's big daily newspapers, influential blogs and music lovers, often drawing comparisons to Wilco, REM and The Replacements.

Part raucous rebellion and part folk revival, Twilight Revival's 2009 release, Parlour, alternately growls with rock and roll intensity and simmers in the more mellow aspects of folk rock, featuring tales of heroes and ghosts, loss and redemption, despair and salvation.

"Helicopter" - Twilight Revival from Parlour (2009)

Twilight Revival on MySpace

You may not have heard many modern songs featuring the lute - afterall, it was an instrument that enjoyed its heyday centuries ago - but musician Rolf Lislevand excercises the power of the ancient instrument to a degree that a "guitar-slinging rocker" would be hard-pressed "not to be impressed by his fleet-fingered playing," according to

"Satlarello" - Rolf Lislevand from Diminuito (2009)

Rolf Lislevand on Andante

Get more great songs from IRC's popular In Dee Mail playlist series.

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   January 7, 2010   


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