Smoke Fairies “Darkness Brings the Wonders Home (Independent, 2020)

‘Darkness Brings the Wonders Home’ was recorded by the South London based duo, Smoke Fairies during a month-long sojourn in Seattle in conjunction with producer Phil Ek. The album is a departure from the earthy folk of their earlier work such as 2011’s ‘Through Low Light and Trees’ to a more rock orientated sound with … Continue reading “Smoke Fairies “Darkness Brings the Wonders Home (Independent, 2020)”

My Darling Clementine “Country Darkness Vol. 1” (Fretsore Records, 2019)

‘Country Darkness Vol. 1′ is a four-track EP of Elvis Costello songs performed by Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish AKA My Darling Clementine. The duo has been described by the Guardian as “a bravely unfashionable British Band who set out to play tribute to those great country duos Tammy and George, or Johnny Cash … Continue reading “My Darling Clementine “Country Darkness Vol. 1” (Fretsore Records, 2019)”

Glenn Yoder & The Western States “Inherited Darkness” (Independent 2017)

Glenn Yoder’s been churning out top-class Americana for a dozen years or so, and is now managing to both move with the times while remaining true to his roots. Since 2013, he’s been working with The Western States, a band of no-nonsense harbingers of swing who know they bring out the best of each other in an environment … Continue reading “Glenn Yoder & The Western States “Inherited Darkness” (Independent 2017)”

Ron Sexsmith “Hermitage” (Cooking Vinyl, 2020)

Songsmith Sexsmith arrives with his sixteenth album and it’s a notable departure from much of his earlier work. The Canadian singer/songwriter sounds positively chipper. In the wake of a move from his habitual home city of Toronto to the more rural setting of Stratford, Ontario, Sexsmith seems to have discovered a new sense of well-being … Continue reading “Ron Sexsmith “Hermitage” (Cooking Vinyl, 2020)”

Clem Snide “Forever Just Beyond” (Ramseur Records, 2020)

Clem Snide was a character created by William S Burroughs and adopted by Eef Barzelay as the name of the band that he created in 1991. Burroughs’s writing was often informed by personal tragedy. These included a lifelong heroin addiction and a conviction for the manslaughter of his second wife, who died in a gun … Continue reading “Clem Snide “Forever Just Beyond” (Ramseur Records, 2020)”

Video Premiere: Lazer Lloyd “Tomorrow Never Comes”

Here is the characterful voice of Lazer Lloyd, sharing wise words about the needs to simplify our lives.  The video shows Lloyd recording the final take in the studio and it’s a chance to see a great artist at work.  ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’ is the title track from Lloyd’s forthcoming album, due for release in … Continue reading “Video Premiere: Lazer Lloyd “Tomorrow Never Comes””

Mavis Staples “All In It Together” – Listen

‘We’re all in this together” is a strap line that lost a little impact when it turned out that austerity was more for the poor than the rich, time will tell how true it is in its current revival for the pandemic.  However, when it comes from Mavis Staples then you can bet your bottom … Continue reading “Mavis Staples “All In It Together” – Listen”

Studio Life: Jonathan Hultén

Jonathan Hultén has just released his debut solo album, ‘Chants From Another Place’.  It’s mesmerising music inspired by acapella folk and church choir compositions. Hultén says the album, which was recorded in his own studio in Sweden, “…will thematically take you through landscapes of ecstasy, passing mountains of death and rebirth, sailing seas of adventure, … Continue reading “Studio Life: Jonathan Hultén”

Songs for the Rehearsal

As AUK’s resident miserabilist (self-appointed, though there is clearly plenty of competition) I feel it is incumbent on me to offer some kind of alternative background music for the approaching doomsday scenario. Now I’m not saying that we are heading for the end of days, just that sometimes when you wake up and your day … Continue reading “Songs for the Rehearsal”

Ten great “Los Angeles” songs

Los Angeles seems like some kind of paradise from its iconic images and its magnetic pull on many who work in the visual and audio arts. Yet in song it can seem a much bleaker place than the constant sunshine of the sunshine state might lead one to imagine – it seems to retain the … Continue reading “Ten great “Los Angeles” songs”