You know when you were younger and your parents would say “I can’t believe it’s Christmas again” while to you the last time Christmas happened felt like half your life away – maybe because if you were 2 years old, it literally was. Anyway you are your parents now and yes we’re here again – if nothing else, let’s celebrate that, these days it’s not a guarantee. Head over to our voting page to make your choices – as always, some of these categories do come down to a handful of votes, so every one really will count. You can vote until December 15th 2019. Happy votings!
It’s always interesting as a reviewer when you get presented with an album from an artist you’ve never heard of and know nothing about. The good news is that it’s listened to with an open mind and with no pre-conceived notions about what to expect regarding musical style or quality. Such as it is with Charlie Hager and his second album ‘Truth and Love’. Hailing originally from Nashville you could probably guess that his musical influences will be derived from traditional country and to an extent you would be right but there are tinges of bluegrass and the judicious use of trumpet throughout makes ‘Truth and Love’ difficult to categorise – and that is the strength of the album in many ways. Continue reading “Charlie Hager “Truth and Love” (Flour Sack Cape Records, 2019)”
Andrew Combs has looked to explore new territory since venturing out of his hometown of Nashville, not just in a literal sense, but also with the release of his latest album ‘Ideal Man’ whose recording technique is more experimental than previous releases. Continue reading “Andrew Combs ventures out of Nashville for UK tour dates this December”
Katie Dahl’s fifth album ‘Wildwood’ is a very personal affair centred around Door County, Wisconsin where her family has lived for six generations. There are umpteen examples of songwriters paying homage to their homelands or hometowns. The best, through shared experiences and common emotions, are able to resonate with a wider audience. This is where ‘Wildwood’ falls short. It’s a bit too personal, parochial even, to make a more inclusive connection. Continue reading “Katie Dahl “Wildwood” (Independent, 2019)”
The Delines played the second night of their second UK tour of the year at The Stables, which offered quite a contrast to the venues they packed back in February. Back then it would be somewhere like Cambridge’s rammed full Portland Arms that they were gracing for an all standing gig. The Stables is much plusher, larger and all seated – and was perhaps a little over half-full: the perils of playing on Bonfire Night one can only assume. For The Delines are riding high on the back of their second album ‘The Imperial’ which came out several years and a car crash after their superb debut ‘Colifax’. Continue reading “The Delines + Those Pretty Wrongs, The Stables, Wavendon, 5th November 2019”
From New Zealand comes this new single from country singer Tami Neilson. It’s a fun song and video with a serious message taken from her album ‘Chickaboom‘, out on February 14th next year.
Leading off with a stately piano line, ‘Swoon‘ is the third single from The Deer’s new album ‘Do No Harm.’ It showcases the band’s psych-folk stylings, as it quickly gives way to a wordy tongue-twisting verse buoyed along by a catchy folk arrangement, with equally prominent mandolin and drums before finally and exuberantly launching spacewards. Continue reading “The Deer “Swoon” Listen”
We leave you this week dear reader with a new video from Jesse Malin for the song ‘Chemical Heart’. It’s taken from his ‘Sunset Kids’ album which was released in August and produced by Lucinda Williams and Tom Overby. We described the record as “a brilliant album of future classics.” He’ll be performing it live in its entirety for the first time on December 19th in New York, with Williams joining him as a special guest. Have a good one.
November’s issue of Uncut Magazine has got a free cover CD which features some of Jeff Tweedy’s favourite artists covering Wilco songs. The album includes covers by artists such as Kurt Vile, Sharon Van Etten, Low, Parquet Courts and Courtney Barnett and the always superb Handsome Family who have recorded a cover of Wilco’s ‘Capitol City’, from their album ‘The Whole Love’. Nothing will beat Rennie’s pictures of dressed-up cats but still.. Have a listen below.
From their fourth album ‘Malin Head‘, available now, this is the new single from Scots outfit Ardentjohn. It’s out on November 22nd and has a great tune, beautiful guitars and is rich in the sort of melancholy that is heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting. We like it.