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Waior's 15 Countries, 15 Albums

Hello. Since 2014 has begun, I have been in 12 countries, and will be radding three more to the list within the month. I'd like to share some of the rweird journeys I've had with a few remarks about the beautiful albums that rhelped define some of those hectic times. I was initially destined to go to rRomania for a while, and my work visa for the UK expired earlier this year. rHope you enjoy!
1Caleb McAlpine
All Things New

LONDON, ENGLAND: I?ve now officially lived in England for more than three years, and
have spent the time gigging a lot in London and the surrounding area. I locked myself
in a derelict factory building and recorded a six-song EP that I?m pretty happy with in
December, and I finally released it on March 7th. I?d be honoured if you gave it a wee
listen, you can hear it at calebmcalpine.bandcamp.com -- I hope to be continuing to
tour and record more as I return to Canada. Give ?er a go!
2David Bazan
Curse Your Branches

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS: I took a coach from London to Amsterdam with
nearly no money in my pocket when my work visa in the UK expired knowing I had to
leave England legally. ?Hard to Be? and ?Bless This Mess? in particular struck me as
some of the best songs written last decade -- the degree of honesty and creativity in
chord progressions has inspired me to try and be a better man (after another drink).
3Noah Gundersen

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: Busking on the streets of Amsterdam helped me make enough
money to start traveling south, and I hitch-hiked with a French man who I thought
would take me to Germany, but actually, I ended up (much to my dismay) in Belgium.
Belgium is lovely, but it was in the wrong direction. Noah Gundersen?s emotive voice
and reliably strong songwriting was relieving all stress as I tried to evaluate how the
hell I would get to Germany after this mishap. Strongly recommended. Also
recommended: delicious Belgian beers (Leffe is always a go-to).
From the Bird's Cage

LUXEMBOURG CITY, LUXEMBOURG: One hitchhike journey later, I ended up in
Luxembourg city (which was still closer to my destination). At this point, I?d been
repeating Hrvrd?s latest LP over and over and being mesmerised by the creative
arrangements the bands put together. Vocally, songs like ?New Information? absolutely
astound me as the falsettos climb higher and higher as sparse, haunting
instrumentation throbs forebodingly behind them. What an album.
5Vampire Weekend
Modern Vampires of the City

BADEN-BADEN, GERMANY: I eventually ended up in Cologne, Germany (the same
night I started in the Netherlands). I then hitch-hiked with a Pakistani man who drove
at 220 km/hr to Baden-Baden while blasting Vampire Weekend in a rented Audi. This
was the first, but not the last, moment where I realised I could die on this journey.
6The Civil Wars
The Civil Wars

Seeing the Swiss Alps over the icy bay in the distance is an invasively poetic
experience, and the quiet, gorgeous town has delicious lamb baguettes and truffles as
far as the eye can see. The Civil Wars? newest album I dove into during this time and
I without a doubt think it miles ahead of their debut. It was stirring to ride the water-
side trains of the Zurich area with ?Same Old Same Old? ringing in my ears.
7Half Moon Run
Dark Eyes

VIENNA, AUSTRIA: I busked a lot in Vienna because I had no money. I slept in a park
the first night I was here and performed the next day so that I had enough money to
pay for more travel and a bed in a hostel. I played a couple of songs from this album
and they go over fantastically -- ?Call Me in the Afternoon? was a surprise hit with the
passing Austrian public, and while Vienna is imposingly bureaucratic, the people
proved to be friendly and the public transport system is welcomingly easy to navigate.
8The Dear Hunter

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: I took a train and booked a hotel in Budapest, in one of the
scabbiest hotels I?ve ever laid eyes on. I think I have diseases both sexual and
mental from sleeping here. Budapest is my favourite city from my trip though, being a
fascinating combination of Western and Eastern Europe... wrought with history and
buried in scaffolding, the city is heart-breaking historically and engulfing
architecturally. I also made over ?100 busking in six hours, so there?s that.
9The Lone Bellow
The Lone Bellow

BELGRADE, SERBIA: I only listened to this album for half an hour on my 12 hour train
from Budapest to Bucharest, Romania before things got hectic. I spent my very last
penny on this train and in the middle of the night was stirred out of sleep by the train?s
ticket-verifying men, who yelled at me loudly in Romanian repeatedly on different
occasions over a few hours. I was forced to change train cars, but in true eastern
European fashion, the passages between different train cars was much like one
between a pick-up truck and a trailer attached to it. Trying to get from train car to
train car with a backpack and a guitar with one available hand and 3:00am Serbia
racing past me at ungodly speeds on either side was the closest I?ve ever visited
death, as I swung haphazardly over the speeding train tracks bleating out frantic
prayers. Eventually, the train authorities kicked me out in Belgrade, Serbia at 4:30am
with no money to call my own.
10Lord Huron
Lonesome Dreams

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA: I pulled some cardboard out of a rubbish bin in Belgrade and
whipped out my Sharpie in order to write ?BUCHAREST BY 9:00am?. 45 minutes of
standing on the Serbian streets yielded the attention of a Dutch man who spoke no
English, but seemed to want to take me to Bucharest. I fell asleep in his car and
awoke much later in the morning to see Romanian flags (sigh of relief), and to hear
Lord Huron?s beautiful album playing softly in my headphones.

LYON, FRANCE: Later in the journey, I ended up in Lyon, France. Let me tell you: Paris
is a heaping pile of litter, but Lyon is one of the most beautiful cities I?ve ever been in.
I never expected to like France. But it?s stunning in Lyon, and you need to go there.
12Silversun Pickups
Neck of the Woods

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND: At the end of the journey, I spent a few weeks in the
beautifully hospitable and painfully divided Belfast. If you love history (especially
recent), Belfast is a heartbreaking and compelling place to be. Silversun Pickups
proved to be a beautiful soundtrack to this haunting time, and I am more compelled
than ever to return the Northern Irish coast, one of the most beautiful destinations a
human could ask to be.
13Circa Survive
Violent Waves

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND: In eleven days, I will travel back to my beloved Iceland.
Another stunning country, brimming with bearded men in knit-wear with unreasonably
beautiful children.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: One more stop-over before returning home fully, Seattle is
my favourite American city and one I feel very at home in. Let me know if any of you
from this area are keen to grab a pint or something, I?m eager to spend a few
moments in this great PNW town.
15Ben Howard
Every Kingdom

VANCOUVER, CANADA: In two weeks time, I will be home (if I ever had a place to call
home). It?s been a surreal journey these past three years, and I hope this has given
you some insight into it... or at the very least, some confirmation that there is still
great music to be heard and I am still trying to listen to it, even if I?m regrettably
detached from the Sputnik community. Be blessed.
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