Track premiere: Eugene Tyler Band “Training”

Eugene Tyler Band’s new album “Young Randy” is out today on Cold Folks Home Records, and they’ve shared their new single “Training” from it with us which has some nice intense guitar interplay that recalls the Milk Carton Kids or Mandolin Orange. Eugene told AUK: “With ‘Training’, we wanted to explore this idea that bodies are adaptable, and will get better at anything with repetition. The more times you do something, the easier it becomes. But what stress is harmful, and what stress is beneficial? What if you’ve just been getting better at being worse?”  Which is a feeling I know all too well…

John Stewart “Wild Horse Road” – Listen

Can it really be ten years since John Stewart left this mortal plane? Hard to credit.  John Stewart was one of the voices of Americana – before it was Americana.  If you know John Stewart you know that – if you don’t know John Stewart then you’re missing out.  “There ain’t no wild horses out on Wild Horse Road / There ain’t no wild horses here I know .  Somewhere they’re trucking Mustangs on a lonesome desert road”.  Yeah.  John Stewart.

Track premiere: The Sound of Ghosts “I’m Gonna Be Free”

“I’m Gonna Be Free” is the new single from LA based americana roots collective The Sound of Ghosts who kind of do their own thing in terms of an americana sound and are all the better for it. Vocalist Anna Orbison told us: “This song was written when I quit a job I had been trying to quit for over a year. I took a shower the day I quit and this melody and lyrics just came to me at the same time. Ernesto [the band’s guitarist] then came over and we worked out the song together.” The track really picks up 2 minutes in. It must have been a good shower.

The Cover Letter “In My Soul” – Listen

Founded in the Texas garage of bassist Jarrod Nall and guitarist/vocalist Jacob Shipman in 2013, the band released their debut, self-titled EP just two years later. Their sophomore EP, Cities Made of Sand, came out in 2017. Now a truly dynamic six-piece featuring Evan Runyon (lead guitar), Angie Vanegas (vocals), Fletcher Inzer (keyboards) and Patrick Barrow (drums) there’s promise of more new music this year.

Alela Diane “Ether & Wood” – Listen

‘Ether & Wood’ is the new single taken from Alela Diane’s forthcoming long-player ’Cusp’ which is an album about motherhood. She explains: “‘Ether & Wood’ is a reflection on the different lives that are lived within a lifetime.  The doors along the way that often open and close without notice.  I live in a very old house, and love thinking about all the people who lived and died within these walls.  We’re all in there:  the former selves, the lost loves, and the mysterious ones who came before.” Hopefully not literally.

Courtney Marie Andrews “May Your Kindness Remain” – Listen

Loose has been one of our favourite labels since the beginning of time and their very own Courtney Marie Andrews won best female artist in the AUK end of year poll last year.  Last week shared the title track from her forthcoming new album with NPR and it’s a belter, quietly striking in its suggestion that kindness and compassion are what really make people wealthy: “The richest of people aren’t rich with houses, cars, or fame”.  Look out for a review of the full album next month on AUK.

Kyle Craft “Exile Rag” – Listen

The country-tinged “Exile Rag” is the delightful new single from Kyle Craft’s “Full Circle Nightmare”, his forthcoming second album available on 2nd February worldwide on Sub Pop.   While working on a farm in Northern California, Craft coined the term “Exile Rag” for the little tunes he’d pick out on the guitar while everyone slept. Back in Portland, he developed feelings for a woman that in the end weren’t reciprocated. He’d sit alone in the farm’s workroom, dreaming of his life back in the city and asking himself, “What if?” When he belts out the line “By the time that her doors closing, and you feel like you’re imposing on that brand new boyfriend she has, she’ll be rolling in new love and you’ll be singing on the Exile Rag,” the song’s feeling of unrequited love is captured perfectly.

McGoldrick, McCusker, Doyle “Keane O’Hara” – Listen

Band veterans – Battlefield, Solas, Capercaillie – and old mates for a quarter of a century this trio of talented musicians finally released a debut album at the back end of 2017.  Fresh from the Transatlantic Sessions tour they’ll be going straight back out on tour as a trio in February and March, including an appearance at the City Roots Festival in Cambridge.