M. Butterfly is based in Brighton and does a lovely line in that kind of interesting slightly bleepy americana that the likes of Darlingside do so well these days, such as this track ‘Yes, Always’ . He told AUK: “I play slow sad Americana. I usually sing about death, love, tragedy, depression and sexuality. I try to always record on tape, as it’s what I had when I was little and I prefer the work ethic it creates. I’m very passionate about lyrics which is why the music is slow and simple.” You can get his album ‘M Butterfly I’ from Bandcamp here.
Rolling Stone have listed Charley Crockett as one of ten “artist you should know”. And say what you like about those old hippies, this time they’ve nailed it fair and square. Like the rest of Charley Crockett’s new album, ‘Lonesome As A Shadow’, this lead single was recorded at Sam Phillip’s Recording in Memphis and it’s as rootsy a honky-tonking rocking tune as you’re likely to hear this side of Texas.
You may recall that recently we were asking what’s Laura Veirs being doing? Well, one thing she’s been doing is recording with Neko Case for the latter’s new album ‘Hell-On’, which is out on Anti- on the 1st of June. Neko Case has also been working with Beth Ditto, Mark Lanegan, k.d. Lang, AC Newman, Eric Bachmann, Kelly Hogan, Doug Gillard, Joey Burns, and more. The title track is available to listen to now. Of the new work Neko Case has said “I write songs from a feeling of solidarity with folks who feel alone or isolated, I think I’m trying to comfort people in this way”. Well never let it be said that we’re adverse to a little comfort here at Americana-UK.
Here’s a chance to have the first listen to Ralegh Long’s ‘Super Blue Moon’ which is officially released on the 9th of March. With something of a Nick Drake vibe to its gently thrumming folk guitar ‘Super Blue Moon’ captures an eerie, but not unpleasant, feeling of isolation, and the wonder of an observed natural phenomenon. It crackles icily, and Long’s double tracked vocal breathes out with a frosty edge. Hypnotically beautiful, and well worth that listen.
Taken from their new album ‘II’ this atmospheric track is very typical of Woods End who exhibit a far too precise English Folk feel for a band that hails out of Sweden. Much of the album was recorded in a summer house and makeshift studio by the Baltic Sea, with the guitars and vocals added at several different locations (including a rehearsal space, a sauna and a record shop), the album taps into the darker side of Americana – spectral doom laden landscapes abound.
Dear old RS are pointing us today towards another new track from John Prine’s first solo album of new material since 2005, ‘The Tree of Forgiveness’. The track is called ‘Knockin’ on Your Screen Door’ and is co-written with Pat McLaughlin, whose credits include cuts by Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood and some other cheesy country. As they describe it “the tune is prime Prine, an uptempo folk song with a downbeat message from the perspective of a lonely, destitute man whose only possession is a George Jones 8-track tape.”
Maine-based southern-infused rockers The Mallett Brothers Band have an album due soon for which this current song serves as the title track. One could be forgiven for thinking they’re Cajun inspired, the tradition being honoured here is French but it has Canadian roots as Luke Mallett explains : “The Acadians wound up being Cajun, but they’re a French, Canadian and Irish mix of people that ended up in the woods up north. Their influence is all over Maine. Our grandfather came from Salmon River, Nova Scotia. If you go back up there, there’s a whole cemetery full of Malletts.”
No Dry Country, or NDC as they sometimes go by, may have started out as a covers band, but nine years on from forming they’ve honed their own style and put out a few releases with their second album “Panhandle Music” due out soon. Musically they weave in a love of Ryan Adams and Hayes Carll with Kings of Leon and other classic rock bands, lyrically they’re willing to challenge – ‘Fifteen Piece Band’ is the wedding day dread of a war veteran struggling with PTSD.
When Winston Churchill felt the heavy hand of depression falling on him he would bestir himself and build a wall – bricklaying was his distraction. And whiskey in copious amounts. Ivan Moult has a different cure for the “black dog”: the pursuit of vice and philandering. The second single from Moult’s upcoming album ‘Longest Shadow’ deals with this bleak subject matter – whilst trying to recall that there’s light around the corner in even the darkest of times.
Showing his youthful musical influences of 1960’s American and English folk, Christof van der Ven is a singer-songwriter who is about to release his debut album from which ‘Killed this stone dead’ is taken. In his own words, he has had “ten years of dragging myself around and playing to whoever would listen, putting out EPs in the hope that they would be heard, and frankly procrastinating in the hope that the elements would combine with enough force to kick my arse into making this album”. Judging by this gentle multilayered track it’s been worth the wait.