The Holly and the Ivy

In previous years, Splendour Hyaline (the band consisting of my brother and myself) has enjoyed recording some music for the Christmas holidays. Now that we are past Thanksgiving, David and I decided to produce a few songs to add to the collection. The album is called The Holly and the Ivy, and has just two tracks (can you guess what one of them is?) which are available for download below. I’m also including for download all our previous Christmas songs, from the albums we recorded in 2006 and 2007: Christmas and Holy Night, respectively. Enjoy this Christmas gift from us, and please feel free to share these songs with your friends and family! (Also, be sure to check out Splendour Hyaline’s new Backlight.org profile).

To download, right-click the links and choose “Save Target As” (or your browser’s equivalent).


The Holly and the Ivy (2008)

  1. The Holly and the Ivy
  2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Holy Night (2006)

  1. We Three Kings of Orient Are
  2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  3. O Holy Night

Christmas (2005)

  1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  2. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  3. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

CREDITS:
Songs arranged and performed by Jonathan and David Lipps
Produced, recorded and engineered by David Lipps at Spareroom Studios
Cover art by Chris Nyffeler (except “Holy Night” by Jonathan Lipps)

Summer of Rock 2008

Summer of Rock 2008I am very pleased to announce the arrival of the third installment of Summer of Rock, my annual summer music compilation. Summer of Rock ’06 and ’07 have been (I flatter myself to think) great successes, and I’m hoping this year will continue the trend.

As we all know, summer is a time for making memories, and nothing goes with memories like good music. From the high-energy, sunny days to the lazy, reflective and romantic nights, this compilation will be the perfect soundtrack to your summer adventures. I’m showcasing primarily songs that have been released in the past year, though there are a handful of older favorites.

Two songs in particular deserve special mention. “Ndikumaka” was recorded by a Tumaini kid (Rosemary) and myself while in Kenya, and is a wonderful example of the talent latent in those kids. “Hello” is a new Splendour Hyaline song (Splendour Hyaline is the band name for the songs David and I write and record). Be warned: it’s a non-final mix of a song from an album we are recording this summer, so stay tuned for the album’s release to hear the final version. (Both the Tumaini album and the Splendour Hyaline album will be available for download later this summer).

Here is the playlist (you can download the songs immediately below it):

  1. Let It Ride, by Ryan Adams (from “Cold Roses (Disc 2)”)
  2. No Sunlight, by Death Cab for Cutie (from “Narrow Stairs”)
  3. Viva La Vida, by Coldplay (from “Viva La Vida”)
  4. Skinny Love, by Bon Iver (from “For Emma, Forever Ago”)
  5. Coconut Skins, by Damien Rice (from “9”)
  6. Killing for Love, by José González (from “In Our Nature”)
  7. Apartment Story, by The National (from “Boxer”)
  8. Lovesong Of The Buzzard, by Iron and Wine (from “The Shepherd’s Dog”)
  9. Not California, by Hem (from “Funnel Cloud”)
  10. Come Out Of The Shade, by The Perishers (from “Victorious”)
  11. Baby, It’s Fact, by Hellogoodbye (from “Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!”)
  12. Ndikumaka, by Tumaini (from “Songs of Hope (Pre-Release)”)
  13. Here It Goes, by Jimmy Eat World (from “Chase This Light”)
  14. The Modern Leper, by Frightened Rabbit (from “The Midnight Organ Fight”)
  15. Not What You Wanted, by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (from “Baby 81”)
  16. Lake Michigan, by Rogue Wave (from “Asleep At Heaven’s Gate”)
  17. Hoppipolla, by Sigur Rós (from “Takk”)
  18. Leap Year, by +/- (from “Let’s Build A Fire”)
  19. Hello, by Splendour Hyaline (from “When Love Leaves Its Hiding Place EP (Demo)”)
  20. Why You, by Joe Purdy (from “Only Four Seasons”)
  21. Dash, by DeYarmond Edison (from “Silent Signs”)

Download and setup instructions (sorry, but you will need iTunes):

  1. Download the zip file here: Summer of Rock 2008
  2. Unzip the files to your desktop or some other location (this will create a folder called Summer of Rock 2008).
  3. Drag the folder into your iTunes software (typically, dragging it onto the “Music” label underneath “LIBRARY” is the safest way to do this — you’ll see a “+” sign before you know it’s OK to release the mouse button). This should copy the song files to your iTunes library.
  4. Finally, in iTunes, go to File > Import. In the file browser, navigate to the Summer of Rock 2008 folder, and select the file “Summer of Rock 2008.xml”. Importing this playlist file will create the playlist “Summer of Rock 2008” in your iTunes library, which you can use to play the songs in the intended order!
  5. Now, you can safely delete the “Summer of Rock 2008” folder and the zip file, as the song files should be safely organized by iTunes.

Unfortunately, doing things this way has its drawbacks as well as its benefits. The primary benefit is increased song quality. One of the drawbacks is that, in my version of the playlist, I have opted to cause some songs to end earlier than their actual finish time, to make the compilation flow better (for example, Lovesong of the Buzzard takes way too long to finish, and I modified its options in iTunes to end at 3:52). It will be up to you to do this if you want! It will also be up to you to burn a CD from this playlist to take in your car or wherever.

As always, the point of this compilation is to introduce you to new music and encourage you to buy songs and merchandise from the artists you like, through legal channels. If you are not open to supporting the artists financially, please don’t take advantage of my offering these songs for download!

Thanks, and enjoy! I look forward to hearing any comments. If the playlist or song files change, I will post a notification in this entry.

Splendour Hyaline in Paste Magazine; Album on iTunes

I have some great Splendour Hyaline news to share! First of all, Paste magazine (my favorite music magazine) has run a short “review” of our new EP, Hope (A Sliver, Like the Moon), in their March edition (with the Norah Jones cover).

This is a first for David and me, and we’re super excited about it–as it turns out, the review is (in my opinion) overwhelmingly positive! Please go and support Paste by picking up a copy (they should be at places like Barnes & Noble, etc…). Our review is, I’m told, on page 69, right underneath Bright Eyes!

Second, if you’re interested in purchasing Hope…, it is now available for sale on iTunes! We have pressed CDs as well, but as I’m out of the country for a while, iTunes is an excellent way to get your hands on a copy now. You can preview tracks in iTunes, or listen to full-length tracks at Splendour Hyaline’s myspace. If you decide you’d like to purchase the album, simply click the link below. Thanks for your support! If you do buy the album, I’d really appreciate it if you also wrote an honest review on iTunes, describing your reaction to the music. Having a lot of reviews helps us out when people are browsing music!

Check out Hope (A Sliver, Like the Moon) on iTunes!

Holy Night by Splendour Hyaline

Now that we are in December, and are therefore allowed to start thinking about Christmas (whereas consumer hegemony would have us believe that time was three weeks ago), I am very pleased to present Splendour Hyaline’s 2006 Christmas EP, Holy Night:

(To download the album, right-click the above links and choose the option to download the files to your computer.)

David and I hope that these songs can accompany your 2006 Christmas season, as our previous Christmas EP did last year; if you have not downloaded those songs, you can get them here. Unfortunately, we had a very limited amount of time in which to record the three songs above (very few takes each), so the performance quality on my part is less than superb. (In addition, I just realized I didn’t catch an error in the lyrics of “O Holy Night”. Oh well.) Equally unfortunately, neither David nor Rachel were able to add their talents to the mix. David did, however, produce, mix, engineer, and master the whole album, which is happily noticeable.

That being said, I think things sound great on the whole, and am excited especially about a few classical guitar interludes in the songs. So, please download and enjoy them and, as always, listen with headphones!