AUK’s Chain Gang: Caitlin Rose “Dallas”

Last week’s chain gang song was ‘House of my Soul‘ by Longhorne Slim. Longhorne Slim lives in Nashville, so I’ve gone for a geographical connection. As you can imagine, this opens up quite a lot of options… The track this week is ‘Dallas‘ by the brilliant Caitlin Rose, taken from her 2013 album ‘The Stand In‘. The song was written by the Felice Brothers and first appeared on their 2011 album ‘Celebration, Florida’. Plenty of potential connections there!

Arbouretum “Let It All In” (Thrill Jockey, 2020)

Baltimore based band Arbouretum’s latest offering is an eclectic mix of folk, blues, Americana and 70’s psychedelia. At its best it is fresh, nuanced and absorbing. At its worst it is a so-so retreading of well worn musical paths. Opening track ‘How Deep It Goes’ is a stylish political statement. Jangly guitars give the feeling of sun-dappled forests and reverb galore increases the trancelike atmosphere. This is Arbouretum at their best. Dave Heumann’s vocals pierce through the wall of sound but don’t overpower it. Everything sits in a perfect balance and the song clicks along wonderfully. Continue reading “Arbouretum “Let It All In” (Thrill Jockey, 2020)”

Your first week in isolation: Seven songs about loneliness

With working from home and self-isolation the new normal for the foreseeable, we’ve put together a soundtrack of daily tracks to get you through the first week. Feeling lonesome and blue? These artists are too… Continue reading “Your first week in isolation: Seven songs about loneliness”

KaiL Baxley “Beneath the Bones” (Antifragile, 2020)

“I’ve been running for such a long time”, sings KaiL Baxley on ‘Beneath the Bones’, the title track from his latest album. Indeed, it seems that he has, having lived a life that is almost filmic; full of highs and lows, strange characters and, finally, redemption. When he was a child his father ran out on him and his mother went to prison. He was raised by his grandfather. He came to know James Brown as a child as Brown was incarcerated in the same prison as his mother. They used to sing in the prison church. Continue reading “KaiL Baxley “Beneath the Bones” (Antifragile, 2020)”

Bonny Light Horseman “Bonny Light Horseman” (37d03d, 2020)

Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats), and Josh Kaufman (Josh Ritter, The National) formed Bonny Light Horseman in 2018 after being invited to play at the Eaux Claires festival in Wisconsin. The success of this show led them to an artist’s residency in Berlin, during which their self-titled debut began to take on a more solid form. Continue reading “Bonny Light Horseman “Bonny Light Horseman” (37d03d, 2020)”

The Epstein “Burn The Branches” (Zawinal Records/PinDrop Records, 2020)

the epstienOxfordshire natives The Epstein return for their third album, which transcends genre-limitations with surety and flair. To say they are an alt-folk band or an indie-rock band is probably accurate, but to put them in either of these pigeon holes is to overlook one of the best qualities of the band. Their ability to effortless combine and alter genre conventions makes this album brilliantly listenable – it manages to sound genuinely fresh in an immensely oversaturated part of the sonic-landscape. Continue reading “The Epstein “Burn The Branches” (Zawinal Records/PinDrop Records, 2020)”

Buffalo Jones “Standing By” (Independent, 2019)

Buffalo Jones have been releasing music and playing together for over ten years now, and their latest release is shot through with a suitably reflective tone. There are songs about loss, heartbreak, the realities of touring, and, through it all, the hope and joy of playing music with your friends. The band describes itself as a rock band with “just enough twang to keep it interesting”,  and they are in danger of selling themselves short.  Continue reading “Buffalo Jones “Standing By” (Independent, 2019)”

The Mining Co. “Three Kings” (PinDrop Records, 2019)

Irish born singer/songwriter Michael Gallagher is back with his second release of the year, the Christmas themed EP ‘Three Kings’’.  We reviewed his full length album ‘Frontier’ earlier in the year, describing it as “a gently, intelligently romantic record”, and ‘Three Kings’ is very much more of the same, but with added festive flavour. Continue reading “The Mining Co. “Three Kings” (PinDrop Records, 2019)”

Kirsty McGee & The Hobopop Collective “The Deafening Sound of Stars” (Hobopop Recordings, 2019)

Over a decade since her initial founding of the band, Kirsty McGee is back with her Hobopop Collective, a band that she describes as ‘an ever-changing bunch of leftfield misfits’. Their sound is wide-ranging and clearly wrought from years of touring and collaborating. McGee’s website describes the sound as sitting in a nameless space, somewhere between Jazz, Folk, Gospel, and Americana, and this sums it up perfectly. Continue reading “Kirsty McGee & The Hobopop Collective “The Deafening Sound of Stars” (Hobopop Recordings, 2019)”

Jonah Tolchin “Fires For The Cold” (Yep Roc, 2019)

Jonah Tolchin grew up surrounded by music; his father worked at a record store in Mississippi, and Tolchin fell in love with the blues at a young age. As a teenager he met legendary guitarist Ronnie Earl, after which he became obsessed with making music himself. He hit the road straight out of high school, and  self-released an EP and an album before making his debut at the historic Newport Folk Festival in 2012. In the following years he signed to Yep Roc records and continued to produce music – his first studio release in 2014 garnering much praise from the Continue reading “Jonah Tolchin “Fires For The Cold” (Yep Roc, 2019)”