Songs for the apocalypse: The Maureens “Caroline”

Forget everything you know about anyone called Maureen. Namely that woman from Driving School. ‘Bang the Drum’ is the name of the second album by Utrecht quartet The Maureens, and also what I’ve been doing since I heard this record back in 2015 which has in it echoes of everything you could want from a good album – they have a kind of very melodic jangle pop sound with hints of The Byrds or Teenage Fanclub, and in this track ‘Caroline’ the Beatles too (who are still obviously bigger than Jesus here in Liverpool, Ringo’s best efforts notwithstanding). The harmonies, the chord changes, the birdsong at the end – it’s three minutes and five seconds of perfection. If I ever have a daughter I will call her Caroline because of this song.

Bria “Strangest Of Lovers” – Listen

Strangest of Lovers‘ was released last Friday by Bria, a singer-songwriter from Derbyshire who blends a frail almost folky vocal with her Country tendencies on this punchy love song.  There’s an admission here that all love is a peculiarity, or as Bria has it “We’re the strangest of lovers…that’s the way it’s meant to be“.

Tanbark “Heart-shaped Locket” – Listen

Never will a distinctive vocal be deemed less than interesting here at AUK and Chloe Nelson’s  vocals are nothing less than distinctive.  She is one half of Tanbark which started in 2011 as a long-distance songwriting collaboration between Chloe, who was studying art history in London, and James Jannicelli, a musician in Minneapolis.  Getting it together in Minneapolis the duo have moved their folk plus pedal steel, telecaster and on this track most certainly electric organ sound around the States  – first LA then NY City.  ‘Heart-shaped Locket‘ is taken from their eponymous album which is out on May 31st.

Track Premiere: E.G. Phillips “All I Can Share is Photos”

All I Can Share is Photos‘ is taken from the upcoming new album by E.G. Phillips ‘At Home at Sea‘.   It’s the second album from the San Franciscan indie-folk singer/songwriter and features his slyly humorous, and sneakily affecting music.  It’s singer-songwriter folk shot through with a cocktail jazz sensibility.  You might hear touches of Vivian Stanshall, and thereby a frisson of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Continue reading “Track Premiere: E.G. Phillips “All I Can Share is Photos””

Robin Alice “Greed” – Listen

Robin Alice are a folk duo from America that consists of neither a Robin nor even yet an Alice as it’s Kelley Jakle and Jeff “Horti” Hortillosa who unveil this track which reflects on man’s nature.  Taking a steer from Hamlet they declaim “What a piece of work is a man” before heading off in a slightly different direction, adding “tries to be as noble as can be/holds onto everything he wants/in the end is governed by greed.”  It’s a song that came together in the 2016  Presidential elections, as Robin Alice “became apparent that the country is suffering from a great cognitive divide….personal self-interest often wins over altruism…corporate interests dictate our daily actions beyond politics…(the) song is reflecting upon disdain for unchecked capitalism, and the sadness at the lack of fiscal equality and lack of social safety nets. ”

hd hausmann “Recognise Faces” – Listen

Recognise Faces‘ is the new single taken from hd hausemann’s third album ‘Find A Weight, Form A Ground’ set for release on 28 June on Panda Cassettes.  The band are a project by vocalist and songwriter Liam Palmer alongside bass guitarist Alex Oates, and musically take inspiration from The National’s early albums.  ‘Find A Weight, Form A Ground’ is deliberately aiming for the poetic, as Palmer explains “I wanted to write a record about poetry, poetics and words, the starting point of most of the songs was a poem or a phrase, homage is paid to Mary Oliver, Sappho, Maggie Nelson, CP Cavafy, E.E. Cummings and Lisa Robertson.”  Continue reading “hd hausmann “Recognise Faces” – Listen”

Track Premiere : Joanie & Matt “The One Above”

Photo: Shervin Lainez

New York City based folk-duo Joanie & Matt are Joanie Leeds and Matthew Check, and they have a new album out on July 19th called ‘Sterling‘.    On it Joanie & Matt have crafted songs for the marginalised, but have done this by working from their joint interpretations of what they describe as the “inherently misogynistic ancient texts from the Hebrew Bible“.  Recrafting their Jewish heritage they have on ‘Sterling‘ created seven tracks that are provocative tales encompassing the #MeToo movement, the LGBTQ+ community and substance abuse; each chapter unfurling gritty honesty through a modern feminist lens. Continue reading “Track Premiere : Joanie & Matt “The One Above””

Track Premiere: 3 Pairs of Boots “It Ain’t Easy”

There is one thing that we don’t understand about husband and wife duo Andrew Stern and Laura Arias who are 3 Pairs of Boots and it is this – and we fully expect you to be ahead of us on this – two people, but three pairs of boots?  We are not going to make any assumptions about who has 2 pairs and who has but one pair to their name.  What we will mention is that 3 Pairs of Boots make a fine twanging country sound on ‘It Ain’t Easy.Continue reading “Track Premiere: 3 Pairs of Boots “It Ain’t Easy””

Album premiere for Loamlands’ new release

Loamlands hail out of North Carolina and have a sound they variously describe as ‘distorted Country music’ and ‘LGBT Folk’ and they have  new album, their second release, out on the 7th of June on Cruisin Records.  It’s called ‘Lez Dance‘ and we’re happy to say that we’re previewing it in full today right here on Americana UK. Continue reading “Album premiere for Loamlands’ new release”

Thin Lear “Death In A Field” – Listen

Thin Lear is  Matt Long, a record producer and singer based in Queens who has a new album – ‘Wooden Cave’ – from which ‘Death in a Field‘ is taken.  It’s something of a genre twisting cut, moving from a pedal steel intro towards an almost jazzy outro.  It’s languid and dreamlike along the way as it meditates on death and rebirth.   Thin Lear has commented that “the song aims to connect the listener to a feeling or a memory of something sad or wonderful from years ago, maybe something they haven’t thought about in a while…a person or a moment.