Sarah Jane Scouten “When The Bloom Falls From The Rose” (Light Organ Records 2017)

Opening with the stately ‘Acre of Shells,’ this album sets its stall out from the very off, with crystal clear production illuminating each instrument and elevating the Patsy Cline like vocals to front and centre. This is even evident in the scuzzy, garage rock style second track ‘Bang, Bang’, a shouty, rocky nonsense that leavens the staid pill of track one. This is echoed by the similarly upbeat ‘Paul’ but otherwise this album is more about reflections in a traditional folky/ country style. Continue reading “Sarah Jane Scouten “When The Bloom Falls From The Rose” (Light Organ Records 2017)”

Dirty Dozen: Juanita Stein (Howling Bells’)

Juanita Stein has just released her debut solo album, ‘America’, on Nude Records. Stein, who is already known as the singer-songwriter with Howling Bells, recorded the album with producer Gus Seyffert (Beck, Ryan Adams) in Los Angeles. Following recent tours with Michael Kiwanuka and Richard Hawley, Stein will follow a North American tour with UK dates over the summer. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Juanita Stein (Howling Bells’)”

Matt Waldon ”Grow Up” (Independent, 2017)

In many ways beginning a record with an instrumental track is a big risk in the days of instant gratification and snap judgements on an artist. However, if you have stumbled across Matt’s music you are likely not to be the kind of listener who is so fickle, since Waldon’s craft is not of sexy radio singles, but of heavy-hitting music bordering on Rock. 7 Beers is our first taste of him as a vocalist, and with a driving electric guitar and drum rhythm, his grungy, gravely vocals match the style very well, much like Steve Earle can on some of his rockier tracks. Similarly, 14 Rooms has a rock vibe, albeit with a more melodic guitar backing and slightly softer vocals. Continue reading “Matt Waldon ”Grow Up” (Independent, 2017)”

Stereogum premieres new Tom Petty cover by Chris Hillman

Stereogum are previewing a track from the country-rock pioneer Chris Hillman, a founding member of both the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, who is putting out his first album in over a decade next month. “Appropriately entitled Bidin’ My Time, the LP was produced by Tom Petty, and Hillman decided to show his appreciation by including a cover of Petty’s own “Wildflowers” on the tracklist. His version is warm, lived-in, and lovely, starting out with just guitar and Hillman’s tender vocals before gradually building up into a lush front-porch symphony.” We can’t embed it sorry but you can hear it over at Stereogum here, and you can hear the lovely original below. Continue reading “Stereogum premieres new Tom Petty cover by Chris Hillman”

Track premiere: Metaxas “Stays On” – Listen

Stays On is the rather lovely new single from New York born singer/songwriter Metaxas, who Music Week described as “the kind of artist who will permanently carve his folk & downtempo infused songs in to your psyche.”  Due out 1st September, it’s about “something or someone that adds purpose, meaning and value to your life”, with echoes of Joshua Radin or Simon & Garfunkel.  He now calls London his home so you don’t have to go far if you love the song so much you become obsessive and want to stalk him. Find out more about Metaxas over at his website (not his home address though).

Dylan LeBlanc returns to the UK for dates next month

The rather dashing Muscle Shoals, Alabaman singer/songwriter Dylan LeBlanc returns to the UK with a tour next month for the first time in almost five years to promote his latest album ‘Cautionary Tale’ which came out on Single Lock Records last year. LeBlanc’s first two releases were the 2010 recording ‘Pauper’s Field’ and 2012’s ‘Cast The Same Old Shadow’ which saw the Guardian favourably compare him with Harvest-era Neil Young and Fleet Foxes.  Continue reading “Dylan LeBlanc returns to the UK for dates next month”

Dirty Dozen: The Roseline

The Roseline is the musical moniker of singer/songwriter Colin Halliburton, and a myriad collaborators. Over the course of ten years and five albums, The Roseline has forged a sound that is at once familiar and singular.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
We’re from Lawrence, Kansas USA. We recently finished our fifth full length album titled “Blood” and it’s coming out October 6th. We recorded it at our local public library’s studio which is free to use with a library card. Just goes to show how dreamy our town can be. 🙂 Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: The Roseline”

Mekons “Existentialism” (Bloodshot, 2017)

It would be a terrible thing were you to be unfamiliar with The Mekons. Over almost 40 years they’ve recorded more than 20 albums of punky, post-punky and folky music that is at worst okay, generally very good and occasionally excellent (see 1989’s The Mekons Rock ‘n’ Roll, for example). That said, if you are indeed unfamiliar with The Mekons, this is either the best place to start, or the worst. Recorded shortly after composition, these 12 songs were recorded in one take around a single microphone in July 2015 with 75 die-hard Mekons, fans who themselves become part of the process, at the Jalopy Theatre in Brooklyn. Part performance art, part album.  Continue reading “Mekons “Existentialism” (Bloodshot, 2017)”

Dan Raza ”Two” (Independent, 2017)

Growing up in the Home Counties to British & Indian descent, Dan Raza is a soft-sounding songwriter of sincere disposition. His record ”Two” is an impressive mix of musical styles and instrumentation, from the electric organ to the accordion and fiddle. This creates an interesting listen and an intriguing record. Silent’s The Night Wind kicks off the record, with an acoustic, sincere vibe. This is a good introduction to Dan as a writer and musician, with a whole host of influences, from celtic folk to the classic rock organ. This erupts in Payday which is a blues-rock song with a slight twist of heavy fiddle in the verses and Dan’s vocals not quite possessing the depth or grit to make it quite as deep as Rock ‘n  Roll goes. Continue reading “Dan Raza ”Two” (Independent, 2017)”