Jeremy Johnson “Insecuriosity” (Independent, 2019)

If you saw the album’s cover and then just heard ‘A Song For Agnes’, ‘Unrelenting’ and ‘The King And The Thief’, the first three tracks of Jeremy Johnson’s debut studio album ‘Insecuriosity’ you’d think here was a traditional English folk troubadour following in the storytelling footsteps of the likes of Nick Drake, Richard Thompson, Ralph McTell and Clifford T Ward – even the titles sound like folk songs. However, when you get to the fourth track on the album ‘I Roam’, everything changes – the album throws the listener a curveball and there’s suddenly a funky bass intro, drums and a distinctly pop feel to the track. This continues with ‘Runaway Train’ which features drums, bass and electric guitar and ‘Predictable’ another track with a pop sensibility. Continue reading “Jeremy Johnson “Insecuriosity” (Independent, 2019)”

Wildwood Kin “Wildwood Kin” (Silvertone Records/Sony 2019)

‘Wildwood Kin’ is the eponymous second album from the Exeter based three-piece,   consisting of sisters Beth and Emilia Key and their cousin Meghann Loney. On the album, the band have co-written a number of songs with the likes of Gabrielle Aplin (‘Wake Up Sleeper’), Angelo Petraglia (‘All On Me’), Alex Davies (‘Signals’) and Ed Harcourt on the album’s opening track ‘Never Alone’, which he also produced. All the other tracks were produced by Ian Brimble. Continue reading “Wildwood Kin “Wildwood Kin” (Silvertone Records/Sony 2019)”

The Good Graces “Prose And Consciousness” (Potluck Foundation 2019)

‘Prose And Consciousness’ is the fourth full album from The Good Graces, a band that is basically Kim Ware and some backing musicians. Ware started out as a drummer but in 2006 found a beat up old guitar in an Atlanta flea market which she named Buzzy and it inspired her to become a singer-songwriter. Continue reading “The Good Graces “Prose And Consciousness” (Potluck Foundation 2019)”

Harvey Russell “Liquid Damage” (Independent, 2019)

If you listen to Harvey Russell’s new album ‘Liquid Damage’ on SoundCloud, then there are three hashtags: #Americana (we’ll come back to that), #honkytonk (lots of that on the album) and #alt-country. Well this album shouldn’t really be filed under that as the nine songs on the album are pure, traditional country – in fact it could be #country&western! Continue reading “Harvey Russell “Liquid Damage” (Independent, 2019)”

The Living Street “It Won’t Last” (Independent 2019)

If you only heard ‘Home On The Road’ the first track off The Living Street’s second album ‘It Won’t Last’ you might think you were about to hear the last great summer album of the year before autumn takes a firm grip. With its banjo, acoustic guitars and a little bit of what sounds like a penny whistle, you’d be yearning for some sun whilst warming yourself to the band’s delightful harmonies. However, the rest of the album doesn’t really live up to the opening track and the other eight songs disappoint a little in comparison. Continue reading “The Living Street “It Won’t Last” (Independent 2019)”

Emily Mae Winters “High Romance” (Independent 2019)

Some albums are all about the songs, some albums are all about the production but ‘High Romance’, the second album from Emily Mae Winters is all about the voice. That’s not to say there aren’t some terrific songs and Matt Ingram’s production isn’t superb, but Winters has a wonderful voice and it’s superbly showcased on the eleven songs that make up ‘High Romance’. Continue reading “Emily Mae Winters “High Romance” (Independent 2019)”

Origami Ghosts “Healthy Travel Potions” (Independent, 2019)

If you put “wacky” into a thesaurus you get words and phrases like madcap, weird, zany, way-out, off the wall and mad, amongst others. Origami Ghost’s new album ‘Healthy Travel Options’ is all of those adjectives and more. Many of the songs are straight out of left field with tongue in cheek lyrics such as “My suitcase has a broken wheel – boing, boing” from ‘Lost & Proud’, “I wanna know what the other person is saying” from ‘It’s Not A Séance’, “If you’re not feeling well, take a grumpiness pill” from ‘Grumpiness Pill’ and “Blobby, blobby, blobby” from (of course) ‘Blobby’! Some of the lyrics may have been even wackier than those but unfortunately the vocals are often so low in the mix, that it’s difficult to hear exactly what’s being sung. There are also other unusual song titles such as ‘Brisket’, ‘Doing the Dishes’ and the play on words of ‘Keeper Sutherland’ – this is not your typical, run of the mill Americana album. Continue reading “Origami Ghosts “Healthy Travel Potions” (Independent, 2019)”

Dylan Stewart “The Scarecrow Sessions” (Independent, 2019)

They used to say that Leonard Cohen wrote songs to slash your wrists to and whilst Dylan Stewart’s fourth album ‘The Scarecrow Sessions’ isn’t quite in that league, it certainly isn’t an album to blow away the blues. Dylan Stewart is renowned for writing some of his best work in the dead of night, or when he’s in the depth of grief, and it shows on this collection of twelve numbers.  Continue reading “Dylan Stewart “The Scarecrow Sessions” (Independent, 2019)”

Molly Thomas & The Rare Birds “Honey’s Fury” (Independent 2019)

‘Honey’s Fury’ is the debut album from the Alabama based Molly Thomas & The Rare Birds. Molly is best known for her violin work on other singers’ albums such as Todd Snider, Will Hoge and Matthew Ryan, but for this album she’s teamed up with The Rare Birds who consist of Rick Hirsch (guitar), John Milham (drums) and John Keular (bass). Continue reading “Molly Thomas & The Rare Birds “Honey’s Fury” (Independent 2019)”

Union Duke “Golden Days” (Independent, 2019)

Album coverUnion Duke are self-styled “folk quintet” from Toronto made up of Ethan Smith, Jim McDonald, Matt Warry-Smith, Will Staunton and Rob McLaren, five long-time friends who have in their third album ‘Golden Days’, made a very friendly album. It’s radio friendly, headphone-friendly, stereo system friendly and when they tour or play festivals, live friendly too. Continue reading “Union Duke “Golden Days” (Independent, 2019)”