Richie Havens “Grassy, Grass, Grass” – Listen

Well, it was five years yesterday since we lost the beautiful Richie Havens (Guardian Obituary).  He was still working on new songs, some of which have never been given a formal CD release but are available in the usual places.  Here’s one you might not have heard – from a children’s literacy project – a duet with Kris Kristofferson on Woody Guthrie’s ‘Grassy, Grass, Grass’.  Enjoy.

 

Lewisburg “Terminal” – Listen

Well, as we mentioned yesterday Lewisburg’s new release is a Double A-side single, and ‘Terminal’ is such a great burning Southern rocker we thought “what the hell, flip that one over”.  Recorded earlier this year in the band’s own studio in Haringey, they are now working on an EP for the early Summer.  Should be worth a spin. And a flip.

Ciara O’Neill “Dreamer” – Listen

Ciara O’Neill is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Portadown, Northern Ireland who is gearing up to release her new album ‘Arrow’ in July of this year, which will be preceded by the double A-side ‘Hurtin” and ‘Dreamer’ at the end of this month. Ciara has shared one of those two tracks exclusively with AUK which is a lovely atmospheric indie folk thing. She told us: “Dreamer is about the mysterious world of dreams, a place where we are truly alone, where no one can follow, where no one can know the place we end up when we close our eyes. Dark or light, it’s a private place which not even our closest love can follow. I got the idea for the song after reading ‘The Wishing Box’ by Sylvia Plath’ one of my favourite writers!’” And ours too. Her and Stephenie Myer.

HYWAYS “The Line” – Listen

HYWAYS’ (upper case) self-titled album will be available on Record Store Day this Saturday April 21st on every format under the sun: vinyl, CD, digital and streaming via the Union Zero label. A new Seattle project led by singer-songwriter Mike Giacolino, it features an all star line up with members of Son Volt, Sera Cahoone and Rose Windows. The album pushes the boundaries of genres by seamlessly mixing country and psychedelia with indie rock, folk and prog rock, as this particularly fine example evidences (apart from the prog rock bit, which is a good thing).

Lewisburg “Slow Morning” – Listen

Lewisburg are a band from North London born out of the solo project of singer-songwriter Ali Robertson.  Now a four piece with Julien Baraness (guitar), Alessandro Taglione (bass) and Adrien Latge (drums) they make a music they call “dark-country” showing the influence of the likes of Phosphorescent and Eels.  ‘Slow Morning’ is one side of their new Double-A single, it’s slow and sinuous and downright groovy in its tentative indecision.

The 502s “What To Do” – Listen

Americana sometimes has a reputation for dwelling on the bleak, of wilfully embracing the darker side of life.  Like most generalisations it isn’t completely true.  Take the Orlando-based The 502s’ new release ‘What to do’ which sounds almost exactly like your Americana  summer  party record 2018.  There’s a bit of The Felice Brothers in it, some Avett Brothers too – lots of brothers (although The 502s’ core is built around cousins) making for a big, boisterous sound.  Oh, and it’s about trying to figure out whether a relationship has run its course or not.  That’s Americana for you – wilfully bleak.

Juanita Stein “Forgiver” – Listen

Juanita Stein doesn’t need any introduction, but in case you’ve been living under a rock for a few years (rent’s low, comfort is too) – having been the lead singer for Howling Bells Stein released a debut solo album ‘America’ last year to much acclaim and has now polished off the follow up ‘Until the lights fade’ which is out at the end of August.  It has a rockier edge than the previous release, as showcased perfectly on ‘Forgiver’, a cynical tale of a male ingénue, which is the lead single.

Track premiere: Young Valley “Howlin'”

‘Howlin” is the frenetic new song by Mississippi-based Americana band Young Valley taken from their new sophomore self-titled studio album, out April 20th on all formats via  Matt Patton’s (Drive-By Truckers / The Dexateens) new label imprint Dial Back Sound. You can pre-order it here. Singer-songwriter Zach Lovett told AUK: “People inherently seem to think you have this never-ending wealth of knowledge on the blues if you’re from Mississippi. For me, my youth was spent blaring Neil Young, Lucinda Williams, and Steve Earle. ‘Howlin” is a hodgepodge homage to all of the things that shaped me. Where I’m from, what I grew up on, and, of course, a little fire and brimstone.” Which sounds better than gruel and Rick Astley, thank you the North of England.

Josh Rouse “Love In The Modern Age” – Listen

The title track of the new album from Josh Rouse sees him heading off in a somewhat different direction to hitherto.  Somewhat gone are the mumbled vocals and in comes hints of The Blue Nile, The Style Council, Prefab Sprout and later Roxy Music.  The acclaimed Nebraskan folk/roots pop singer’s new album is out on April 13th – and there’s a UK tour to come later in the month.

P.D. Liddle “You Shouldn’t Have Called” – Listen

Previously Peter Liddle was the frontman of East London folk-rock band Dry the River.  After almost a decade of making music, including a pair of album releases, the band decided to call it a day in 2015.   P.D. Liddle has since signed to Xtra Mile Recordings, and ‘You shouldn’t have called’ marks the first fruits of his new solo recordings.  It’s chamber-folk coupled to a delicate and painfully introverted vocal.  He’ll be playing this, and more, at Omeara on April the 13th.