Beth Bombara “Map & No Direction” (At The Helm Records, 2017)

St Louis resident and punk rock refugee, Beth Bombara, might lack some of the credentials and accolades of her long-serving influences, Gillian Welch and Aimee Mann, but on this, her fifth album (sixth if you count her release with The Robotic Foundation), she delivers a collection of songs that strongly suggest that she deserves attention. Continue reading “Beth Bombara “Map & No Direction” (At The Helm Records, 2017)”

Jason Eady “Jason Eady” (Old Guitar Records, 2017)

Six albums in and Jason Eady goes eponymous… could there be a hint of self-reflection and insularity in the mix? This album is certainly a distinct departure from the overt twang and clatter of his previous work, and the subtlety and far more gentle vein prove a welcome relief. Acoustic throughout (pretty much without exception) and deviating little from the ‘original Nashville sound’ (think Willie Nelson meets Kris Kristofferson meets [albeit latterly] Lyle Lovett),  the record presents the artist as a purveyor of familiar musical staples – indeed there are no rules that come even close to being broken here. Continue reading “Jason Eady “Jason Eady” (Old Guitar Records, 2017)”

Dirty Dozen: The Harmaleighs

The Harmaleighs craft honest passionate and poetic songs cut from a pastiche of indie-folk, pop and Americana and released the Hiraeth EP on May 5. The Nashville duo released the empowering Americana anthem, “Lady Brain”, where delicate electric guitars entwine with hypnotic and heavenly vocals before crashing into an unforgettable refrain. And the inspiration for the track is as ridiculous as the title implies. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: The Harmaleighs”

Listen to the Mountain Goats’ new album, Goths

John Darnielle’s the Mountain Goats release their latest album Goths on May 19th. NPR are streaming it from today and you can listen to it here. For their 16th full-length album, Darnielle takes a conceptual detour. As its title suggests, it’s about growing up goth — about establishing a place for yourself among other outcasts — but it also finds the band shedding guitars and adding a fourth permanent member in multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas. Continue reading “Listen to the Mountain Goats’ new album, Goths”

Track premiere: Viking Moses “Clown School”

Brendon Massei, aka Viking Moses, has been writing, recording music since he was a teenager. He’s toured with Deer Tick, Scout Niblett and Nat Baldwin of the Dirty Projectors. Strongly lyrical, his songs are played out through tunes that flirt with pop, soul and Americana, all strung together with a unique pulsing guitar, and by Massei’s robust voice, which ebbs from delicate whispers to throaty howls.  This track is from the new split 7″ from our good friends at Song, By Toad which also features the track “Oxygen” by Sam Goodwill who accompanied Viking Moses on his recent tour – there are more tour dates coming up listed below.

Continue reading “Track premiere: Viking Moses “Clown School””

Nathan Bell “Love > Fear (48 hours in traitorland)” (Stone Barn Records, 2017)

What to do when you’re a singer songwriter who, after a an early shot at fame petered out, spent a lifetime grafting in business before returning to the music world and slowly carving out a reputation as a commentator on the current stare of the nation only to find that, overnight, the world was turned upside down? Nathan Bell was comfortably ensconced in the (somewhat) hermetic world of roots music with a set of albums (his Family Man Trilogy) which saw him rooting around themes of family, work and middle age and which were noted to be following in the footsteps of Woody Guthrie, Dylan, Steve Earle, Guy Clark and Springsteen. Plans were afoot for the next episode with Bell wanting to delve into the intricacies of relationships and love surviving everyday issues but on November 8th 2016 it all went belly up. Continue reading “Nathan Bell “Love > Fear (48 hours in traitorland)” (Stone Barn Records, 2017)”