Various Artists: Ready for the Sunshine

It’s always a nice bonus when a good album also benefits a good cause. Ready for the Sunshine is a charity compilation CD featuring fifteen indie bands from various countries – including Sambassadeur, Au Revoir Simone, Matt Pond PA, Taken by Trees, Jens Lekman, Camera Obscura and The Submarines. All of the album’s proceeds will go directly to Smile Train, a charity which provides free cleft palate surgery to children in developing countries. The album was sent to me by Ralph Gonzalez of Luminet, who appears on and helped organized the recording.

Ralph Gonzalez originally intended to record the Luminet song, “Pieces of the Puzzle” (which you can download below), as a fundraiser for Smile Train. But the idea gradually grew from that one song to a compilation featuring local and regional bands into this international project. The theme of the charity CD is hope in the form of accessible indie songs and the album flows seamlessly together as a bright, buoyant whole.

Sambassadeur’s “Between The Lines” and Club 8’s “Spring Came, Rain Fell” are shimmering, dreamy Swedish girl pop tunes. Matt Pond PA’s atmospheric pop-folk “Sparrows in the Rafters” and the exotic, eclectic arrangement of Taken By Trees’ “Watch the Waves” are also highlights.

Ready for the Sunshine Tracklist:
1. Sambassadeur (Sweden) – Between the Lines
2. Luminet (USA) – Pieces of the Puzzle
3. Au Revoir Simone (USA) – Stars
4. Matt Pond PA (USA) – Sparrows in the Rafters
5. Club 8 (Sweden) – Spring Came, Rain Fell
6. Lloyd Cole (UK) – Why in the World
7. Taken By Trees (Sweden) – Watch the Waves
8. Jens Lekman (Sweden) – The Opposite of Hallelujah
9. Telmarine (Sweden) – Comfortable Tears
10. Shugo Tokumaru (Japan) – Suisha
11. Camera Obscura (Scotland) – Country Mile
12. The Submarines (USA) – Brightest Hour
13. Jaywalk (USA) – Making Sense
14. Hasta La Otra Mexico (Germany) – Turana Hott Kurdis
15. Lullatone (Japan) – Bedroom Bossa Band

Luminet – Pieces of the Puzzle (mp3 expired)*

*mp3 posted w/ permission of the artist

Ready for the Sunshine Official Site

Buy @ CDBaby

Buy @ Amazon (not yet available)

Mp3 Menagerie: Sambassadeur, Hawksley Workman, Technoir MA

Sambassadeur – Days (mp3) *

Happy, shimmering retro pop from Sambassadeur’s upcoming album European.

Pre-order @ Amazon (not yet available)

*mp3 hosted by & posted w/ permission of band’s PR rep

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Hawksley Workman – Maniacs (mp3) *

Quirky, yodelling ditty from singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman’s debut album For Him And The Girls, which will be released for the first time in the U.S. on November 17th.

Buy @ Amazon

*mp3 hosted by & posted w/ permission of band’s PR rep

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Technoir MA – Roundabout (mp3) *

Kinda sounds like something from a cheesy 1980s action movie soundtrack, which is appropriate for a band named after the nightclub in Terminator.

Technoir MA MySpace

*mp3 hosted by & posted w/ permission of band’s PR rep