Owlbiter “Stud Farm” (Independent, 2018)

Owlbiter is the moniker adopted by Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Matt Cascella and August 10th saw the release of his debut LP ‘Stud Farm’ which also premiered right here on AUK. Utilising the people around him, namely James Downes, holding down guitar and production duties, Jeff Doyle on keyboards, Jimmy O’Donnell on trombone and Cascella’s fiance, Jen Cordery providing backing vocals, Cascella set out to record a minimalist set of songs, especially in terms of percussion, (which might come as a surprise as he was formerly a drummer) and the result is a lo-fi collection that lets the music speak for itself without the glitz and glamour of a big studio affair. Continue reading “Owlbiter “Stud Farm” (Independent, 2018)”

The King Heat Ensemble “Songs” (Independent, 2018)

The King Heat Ensemble released their debut EP, simply entitled ‘Songs’ back in March of this year. An interesting choice of title as it gives nothing away – a title allowing whoever might stumble upon them to make their own mind up about the music within with no expectation whatsoever. This allows for the group, comprising predominantly of Jeff Kightly on guitar and vocals and accompanied on drums and keys by Dave Goldsmith with a few friends to round off the ensemble, to explore the different avenues within the ever-broadening Americana genre and experiment with sounds, textures and instruments without giving the listener a preconceived  idea of what the identity of the group, or the sounds within, could be. Continue reading “The King Heat Ensemble “Songs” (Independent, 2018)”

Hawks and Doves “From A White Hotel”(Jullian Records, 2018)

The story behind Portland’s Hawks and Doves’ debut album ‘From A White Hotel’ and how it came to fruition is a curious one. Five years ago, after a prison sentence and free from a number of personal struggles, front-man and lead songwriter Kasey Anderson had decided he was finished with playing music until a friend asked him to contribute a song for a benefit compilation to help pay for a friend’s cancer treatment – at which point, Anderson, now five years sober, went about putting together a group of four to record a cover song. The group consisting of producer/engineer Jordan Richter, Ben Landsverk and Jesse Moffat adopted the moniker Hawks & Doves and recorded a cover of Tender Mercies ‘Wiseblood’ (which is included as a bonus track on the record) and that studio session led to the birth of the band and the album ‘From A White Hotel’. Continue reading “Hawks and Doves “From A White Hotel”(Jullian Records, 2018)”

Luna Waves “Seafoam Dream (Part 1)” (Independent, 2018)

Luna Waves is the moniker adopted by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire, Rob Muir and the first part of his two album release ‘Seafoam Dream’ is due for release at the end of this month, with the second part following in early 2019. Drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources and genres from the musician who admits to being heavily influenced by some of the greats of the 80’s and 90’s as well as some more modern references, Luna Waves debut LP is something of a musical tapestry woven together with different sounds, instruments and styles to create its own original identity. Continue reading “Luna Waves “Seafoam Dream (Part 1)” (Independent, 2018)”

The Mulligan Brothers “Songs For The Living and Otherwise” (Independent, 2018)

Some artists spend their whole careers trying to find their sound or create a piece of work that defines them as a band and The Mulligan Brothers have done just that on their third full-length album in five years, the magnificent, ‘Songs For The Living and Otherwise‘. Following on from their excellent self-titled debut and sophomore record, ‘Via Portland‘, The Mulligan Brothers have capitalised on the formula that has worked so well for them in the past and then some. Continue reading “The Mulligan Brothers “Songs For The Living and Otherwise” (Independent, 2018)”

Jessica’s Brother “Jessica’s Brother” (Fika Recordings, 2018)

Jessica’s Brother are a group from London formed in 2016, after drummer of The Wave Pictures’ Jonny Helm’s girlfriend (Jessica) introduced him to the man who would become primary songwriter in the group, her brother, Tom Charleston and with the inclusion of bassist, Charlie Higgs, the trio was complete and Jessica’s Brother was born. A mere nine months afterwards, the trio entered The Booze Cube in Stoke Newington to begin recording what would become their self-titled debut album. Continue reading “Jessica’s Brother “Jessica’s Brother” (Fika Recordings, 2018)”

Speedbuggy USA “Kick Out The Twang” (Wagon Wheel, 2018)

Speedbuggy USA are a classic sounding, country-rock and roll band coming out of Los Angeles with their newest release ‘Kick Out The Twang’. Taking inspiration from country acts like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and American life itself and adding their own rock and roll twist, Speedbuggy USA take that inspiration and put their own stamp on it and they play it very well indeed. Continue reading “Speedbuggy USA “Kick Out The Twang” (Wagon Wheel, 2018)”

Kerri Powers “Starseeds” (Independent, 2018)

Kerri Powers newest release ‘Starseeds‘ is the first full-length album since her debut record ‘You, Me and a Redhead’ released back in 2001 and after a brief hiatus, a self-titled EP in 2014. Having had the time to hone her craft and take inspiration from her personal experience over those tumultuous years, this largely picks up where she left off with her brand of lyrically rich, vocal-driven folk music and should only see her build upon her previous successes as she expands on what made the first two records so appealing with more ambitious lyrical content and versatile musical arrangements. Continue reading “Kerri Powers “Starseeds” (Independent, 2018)”

Various Artists “Johnny Cash: Forever Words” (Sony Legacy Recordings, 2018)

Johnny Cash was one of the most iconic musicians of all time and also, one of the most hard-working, with 60+ recorded albums throughout his career, however, his legacy didn’t end with the music he recorded during his lifetime and when he passed, he left a catalogue of poems, writings and musings to his son and co-producer of Forever Words, John Carter Cash. With this material in hand, John Carter Cash enlisted another producer, Steve Berkowitz and an assortment of musicians to bring their interpretation of the words to life, and after two years, we have Forever Words. Continue reading “Various Artists “Johnny Cash: Forever Words” (Sony Legacy Recordings, 2018)”

I’m Kingfisher “Transit” (Fading Trails Recordings, 2018)

  • Hailing from Sweden, I’m Kingfisher is the moniker of folk singer-songwriter Thomas Jonsson who returns with his sixth solo recording and third under the name I’m Kingfisher entitled ‘Transit’. With over 600 shows under his belt and having achieved significant recognition from the likes of Uncut magazine for his prior releases ‘Arctic’ and ‘Avian’, Jonsson is no stranger to his craft and has returned to stake a claim for the hole left by Bon Iver after the latter’s recent, and experimental change in direction. Lazy comparisons aside, ‘Transit’ is the sound of an accomplished songwriter deserving of the recognition already bestowed upon him and much more.

Continue reading “I’m Kingfisher “Transit” (Fading Trails Recordings, 2018)”