Boy & Bear “Suck On Air” (Nettwork Music Group, 2019)

Great art often comes out of personal suffering. This new album from Australian band Boy & Bear may not be great art but it’s certainly good music. ‘Suck on Air’ is the fourth studio album from the Sydney based band and it comes on the back of three years of battling debilitating illness for vocalist/guitarist Dave Hosking. Produced by the band along with Collin Dupuis, who’s previously worked with the likes of Lana Del Rey and The Black Keys, this is much more Indie rock than Americana. Continue reading “Boy & Bear “Suck On Air” (Nettwork Music Group, 2019)”

Will Bennett and the Tells “All Your Favorite Things” (Independent, 2019)

Rabbitt’s’ is Will Bennett’s hometown local and the opening track from ‘All Your Favorite Songs’ reintroduces the listener to the narrative of the small-town escape. Only this time the focus is on the return journey. Grinnel, Iowa is the small town in question and having already left, formed the band and chronicled the events on debut album ‘Wichita’, the boys are now back in town. Continue reading “Will Bennett and the Tells “All Your Favorite Things” (Independent, 2019)”

Longriver “Of Seasons” (Hullaballoo Records, 2019)

Moving on from the electric guitars and R&B swagger of his time with The Black, David Longoria’s project, Longriver, and his debut album ‘Of Seasons’ is a folk album showcasing Longoria’s excellence as a guitarist and singer-songwriter. Yet the album is missing something, calling out for an upbeat song or two, with them all sounding very similar, other than the final song, ‘Kuku Ree’.
Continue reading “Longriver “Of Seasons” (Hullaballoo Records, 2019)”

Deep Dark River “King of the Forest” (Independent, 2019)

Self-described as artsy, folksy, classical “Deep Dark River” are a Toronto based duo comprising Morgan Rider on guitar, piano, synth and vocals and Nathen Morrison on cello. “King of the Forest” is their second album, though the first for Nathen, and features seven original compositions for guitar, cello, piano and voice; and they do feel more like compositions than songs if that makes sense. By way of context their previous work includes an eponymously titled ten-track debut album released in 2018 and prior to that a cover of “Wayfaring Stranger” sung deep and dark a la Nick Cave. Continue reading “Deep Dark River “King of the Forest” (Independent, 2019)”

Ana Egge “Is It the Kiss” (StorySound, 2019)

When you’ve shared the stage with the likes of John Prine and James McMurtry; when Steve Earle says that it’s like you’re telling us your “deepest darkest secrets”; When Iris DeMent shows up to help you cover a Diana Jones tune . . . you’ve been doing something right. After twelve years, ten albums, and a sizeable pile of awards and accolades, Ana Egge isn’t hitting her stride – she’s grabbing another gear. The songs on “Is It the Kiss”, her 11th album, exhibit a mastery of the craft even as she continues to push the boundaries of her own abilities as a songwriter.
Continue reading “Ana Egge “Is It the Kiss” (StorySound, 2019)”

Nicholas Altobelli “Vertigo” (Dalton Records, 2019)

“My name Nicholas. I write sad songs”. It’s an honest salutation written by the man himself on his Bandcamp page. And if first impressions stick, it seems to be the light in which Altobelli feels comfortable being illuminated; read past interviews and a certain self-deprecating melancholy figures almost as much as people conversant with his music throw in Woody Guthrie as a comparison and reference point. Continue reading “Nicholas Altobelli “Vertigo” (Dalton Records, 2019)”

Clever Square “Clever Square” (Bronson Recordings, 2019)

Described as the Italian golden boys of American indie rock by their totally unbiased record label, Clever Square main man Giacomo D’Attore has pulled together a new band following the original version’s split in 2015. D’Attore is unambiguous in citing US indie rock as his inspiration and this eponymously titled new album certainly does take a nod in that direction. And all without a hint of an Italian accent. Continue reading “Clever Square “Clever Square” (Bronson Recordings, 2019)”

Josh Rennie-Hynes “Patterns” (Soundly Music, 2019)

After making a name for himself in his native Australia, Josh Rennie-Hynes upped sticks from his home in Queensland and – upon being granted the impressive Nashville Songwriters Residency grant by the Australian Council for the Arts – made Music City USA his permanent base and where he would record his third solo record. The opening lines of the album (from the track ‘Standing Still’) feel like Rennie-Hynes is speaking to himself of the importance of pushing his creative and geological boundaries: “Oh my love you won’t / Ever find the things you want / If you don’t trust yourself once in a while.” Continue reading “Josh Rennie-Hynes “Patterns” (Soundly Music, 2019)”

Jacob Faurholt “Shake Off the Fear”(Raw Onion Records, 2019)

One of Denmark’s most prolific songwriters, Jacob Faurholt is well known in Alt-Folk circles in his home country and while this is his 8th solo release it is the first to be recorded in a proper studio. His voice could politely be described as something of an acquired taste – think fingernails and blackboard. One thing the album could have done with was someone to help him find more suitable keys in which to sing. His voice often sounds to be straining for the note, leaving something of a harsh grating tone. Continue reading “Jacob Faurholt “Shake Off the Fear”(Raw Onion Records, 2019)”

Ben Davis Jr. and the Revelry “Suthernahia” (Broken Jukebox Media 2019)

Ben Davis 2019Ben Davis is a native of Ohio and lives close by the river of that name – which features prominently in the penultimate track of his new album ‘Suthernahia’ (Suthern-a-hiya). Davis is described as a veteran performer though as far as I can gather has only two releases namely, ‘The Day After Payday’ and ‘Leaving Cincinnati’ prior to this offering.  The current batch of songs are performed in conjunction with The Revelry his current touring band, though as names go, the previous incarnation, The Dirt Poor Troubadours, takes some beating. Continue reading “Ben Davis Jr. and the Revelry “Suthernahia” (Broken Jukebox Media 2019)”