First Aid Kit “It’s a Shame” – Listen

Swedish folkericana duo First Aid Kit have released a new single taken from their forthcoming as yes untitled album which they talked to Paste about: “We went to Los Angeles last spring and spent five weeks there writing. It was a tough time for the both of us. We were in this beautiful, sunny place but mostly felt sad and lonely. ‘It’s a Shame’ is a song about the emptiness and desperation you feel after a relationship has come to an end, how you will go to great lengths just to numb the pain and feel less lonely.”

Interview: Yola Carter

Just about the coolest thing in UK Americana right now, Yola Carter, is taking it to the Yanks, Carter is electric live and her sonic boom voice is a force of nature.  You want it real, can you handle it really real? Yola is it the real deal, the fuse is lit, stand well back.

You’re on a great run,  you’ve had a moment to look back? you must be pretty chuffed?  Highlights?   Normally I’m the kind of person to look forward, so I don’t get really overexcited about things, but last year was my first year. I went from not existing as an artist, taking three years out, looking like a loser to my peers, some vocalising their lack of faith that I could work solo- just me and a hack guitar, to winning my category at the Americana music Association awards and getting rave reviews and press in NPR, The Guardian and American Songwriter. Continue reading “Interview: Yola Carter”

Pick of the Political Pops: Glen Campbell “Galveston”

These are strange and troubling times (when weren’t they?) and here at Americana-UK Towers we have a specially created bunker in what used to be the wine cellar. From here we protect ourselves from the harsh and cruel outside world with a cheery smile, a library of good tunes and a weekly dose of political discussion…oh and a goodly supply of the finest wines and spirits we can lay our hands on. These small but important things keep us happy in our own naïve way. At the last discussion we thought “Why don’t we annoy…er…I mean engage our readership with some of these tunes. I bet they’ll love it!” That’s what fine wines and spirits will do to your thinking.  Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Glen Campbell “Galveston””

RS Country asks “what’s real country music?”

And lo and behold, there is no answer, really good article though: “Heard there’s gonna be a new award category,” Sam Outlaw tweeted on Tuesday. “Best Authenticity.” It was a joke dripping with sarcasm, but one that Outlaw is more than qualified to make. Based in Los Angeles, rather than those bastions of country music, Tennessee and Texas, the singer-songwriter has been subjected to a cacophony of “is he country enough” questioning as his career has progressed through two excellent albums. Usually, the slings and arrows have nothing to do with his music. Rather, they target his zip code, the fact that he once held another job (in, god forbid, advertising) and that his artistic presentation skews more sentimental, and clean-shaven, than scrappy. In other words, he’s not “authentic country.” Continue reading “RS Country asks “what’s real country music?””

Louis Brennan “Bit Part Actor” – Listen

If there’s a prize going for the deepest, growliest, vocal, then Louis Brennan is in the running for it. His vocal is responsible for giving a well full of gravitas to the London-based Dubliner’s new single Bit Part Actor. It’s a modern folk song that revels in a familiar world weariness “I watched the narrative fade right off the page / I watched my friends grow up and grow apart, grow cynical with age” which then crystallises into an anguishing personal insight “on Sunday morning 27th July / I woke up from a nightmare and I wanted so to die / I saw every opportunity that ever passed me by / There in your cold blue eyes”.

Joseph Childress “Joseph Childress” (Empty Cellar 2017)

Another record born from an authentic American experience – this time Childress’s time in the Old West, including cattle ranching in Wyoming. Nobody seems to write songs in their dingy flat anymore (apart from the handful that Childress wrote for this album in a small San Francisco apartment!) This is his second album, following 2013’s The Rebirths. Musically speaking, Childress isn’t your hardened country cowboy though. He’s a counter-tenor in the mould of Conor Oberst or M.Ward, maybe even a touch of Neil Young too. Continue reading “Joseph Childress “Joseph Childress” (Empty Cellar 2017)”

Dirty Dozen: Noah Kahan

The 20 year old American songwriter from the small town of Strafford, Vermont (population 1,000), Noah Kahan has just released the new  single “Young Blood” which was produced by Joel Little (Khalid, Lorde).  “Young Blood” debuted at #5 on Spotify’s US Viral Chart and racked up over 9M Streams on Spotify in less than 5 Months. Noah recently sold-out his US tour supporting Milky Chance and  show with Ben Folds. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Noah Kahan”

Woodley Taylor ‘Breathe A Little Deeper’ (2017, Independent)

Woodley Taylor’s bio namechecks many of the classic rock acts that echo through this, his debut album. Perhaps Cambridge is a strange location from which one might develop to pay homage to 1970s Los Angeles, but nonetheless it’s a more than accomplished effort. There’s a handful of conventional Americana influences – some twang and acoustic flourishes – but in the interests of full disclosure, one should state that Fleetwood Mac seem to be the biggest influence on Taylor. Continue reading “Woodley Taylor ‘Breathe A Little Deeper’ (2017, Independent)”

Ryman removes confederate flag for good

Good encouraging piece from Paste this morning in these dark times for the US: “The Union may have triumphed against the Confederates in the Civil War, but did they really win when there are statues commemorating fallen Southern soldiers scattered all over the United States? The efforts to eliminate these symbolically racist relics have stirred protests for equality in the recent past. Continue reading “Ryman removes confederate flag for good”