Bruce Springsteen “Western Stars – Songs From The Film” (Columbia Records, 2019)

Bruce Springsteen’s 19th studio album, ‘Western Stars’, which came out this summer, has found its way on to many critics’ ‘best of the year’ lists, and quite rightly so – it’s one of his finest records. Influenced by the Southern California pop music of the late ’60s and ’70s – namely Glen Campbell and Burt Bacharach – the songs are lush and cinematic epics, with sweeping strings and Easy Listening horns, and are inhabited by a cast of lost and lonely characters, such as a faded cowboy movie star and a veteran stuntman.

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Fallon Cush “Stranger Things Have Happened” (Independent, 2019)

The title of  ‘Stranger Things Have Happened’, the fifth album by Sydney- based power pop/Americana act Fallon Cush, is very apt – this record very nearly didn’t happen. Singer-songwriter Steve Smith, the brains behind the band, has admitted that after finishing their last long-player, 2017’s ‘Morning’, which was fraught with difficulties, he thought that it was the end for them. However, against all odds, they’re back and on the anthemic opener ‘Burn’, they’re in fine form, with big country-rock guitars, warm organ and a killer chorus. Continue reading “Fallon Cush “Stranger Things Have Happened” (Independent, 2019)”

Li’l Andy “All The Love Songs Lied To Us” (Sainte Cécile Records, 2019)

The ghost of Leonard Cohen looms large over the new album by Montreal’s Li’l Andy – in fact, the music for the title track, ‘All The Love Songs Lied To Us’, is based on Cohen’s 1984 song ‘Coming Back To You.’  The similarities don’t end there – like fellow Canadian, ‘Laughing Len’, Andy is a singer-songwriter with a rich, deep voice who tackles subjects such as love, loss and war.

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The Wolff Sisters “Queendom of Nothing” (Independent, 2019)

From listening to ‘Queendom of Nothing’, the third full-length album from Boston’s The Wolff Sisters, you get the impression that they’re a restless bunch. On the opening song, the moody and twangy country-rock of ‘Drive’, they’re asking to be taken down to the river and then driven through the mountains, while on the poppy ‘Come Back To Me’ they’re ‘on a sailboat ride under the indigo sky’. Continue reading “The Wolff Sisters “Queendom of Nothing” (Independent, 2019)”

Leeroy Stagger “Strange Path” (True North Records, 2019)

‘Strange Path’, the new record from Canadian, alt-country singer-songwriter Leeroy Stagger, certainly lives up to its title – it’s an album that frequently veers off into unfamiliar territory – electro-glam-rock, anyone? – but, sadly, it also ends up in the middle of the road far too often. Continue reading “Leeroy Stagger “Strange Path” (True North Records, 2019)”

Jeremy Squires “Poem” (Independent, 2019)

North Carolina’s Jeremy Squires has been battling his personal demons for the past few years by writing songs – they’ve helped him to overcome depression and anxiety. His previous releases, including 2017’s ‘Collapse’, have recounted his struggle with mental health issues, and his latest, ‘Poem’, which is his fifth album, also isn’t afraid to deal with the darker side of life. Continue reading “Jeremy Squires “Poem” (Independent, 2019)”