Odetta Hartman “You, you” – Listen

Love is a beautiful thing, and Odetta Hartman clearly agrees.  She gets quite effusive about her partner Jack Inslee (who provides the electronica and found sounds on this track).  Almost too effusive, as she gushes “this song illuminates the fuzzy feelings of first love. We’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to travel the world, exploring & playing music together. From rainbows & waterfalls in Iceland, to Medieval medinas in Morocco, we have climbed mountains & crossed rivers, blossoming our love along the way.”  Yeah, ok, don’t go overboard.  ‘You, you‘ is a strange blend of different styles all supporting Hartman’s distinctive vocal – it’s taken from the album ‘Old Rockhounds Never Die‘ which is out later this week.

JP Harris “When I Quit Drinking” – Listen

As mainstream country continues to becomes hollow and glitzy pop music about trucks and beers and dogs and girls (or boys) then this lead single from JP Harris’ new album ‘Sometimes dogs bark at nothing‘ is definitely alt-country.  With a quavering vocal, strummed guitar and weep-weep-weeping pedal steel this is a classy track with lyrics you can’t forget “When I quit drinking / all my memories come back clear / you’ll find me weeping / and sipping off a bottle filled with tears  / …./ when I quit drinking / I start thinking / of starting up again.”  Harris’ voice has a lived in timbre which comes from his life credentials of travelling the USA, often alone, hitchhiking and hopping freight trains while making his living as a farm labourer, shepherd, woodsman, and carpenter.  This is the real thing.


Ruen Brothers “Finer Things” – Listen

Ruen Brothers have announced their new single ‘Finer Things’, written in Nashville with Brendan Benson of The Raconteurs. It’s the second single from their recently released, debut album ‘All My Shades Of Blue’.   The album was produced by Rick Rubin who brought in Chad Smith to add the high energy beat and a soaring brass section made up of Dana Nielsen, Mitch Manker and Gabrial McNair.  Rick Rubin explained his thoughts on making the album “I liked that their songwriting seemed like it was from another era… The idea was, what would a modern album with Roy Orbison and The Everly Brothers produced by Phil Spector sound like?”

Starry Skies “Starry Skies” – Listen

Who could argue with such a sentiment? Starry Skies have an album, their second, of the same name due out on the 12th of October on Fox Star Records.  The title song ‘Starry Skies‘ showcases the Glaswegian band’s power-pop credentials , but the album will also feature their eclectic mix of folk, pure Americana, and blues driven rock.  The band’s songwriter and singer Warren McIntyre explained the thoughts behind the album: “There are not enough people being kind to each other… It’s really clichéd but it’s nice to be nice. I decided I wanted to be more straightforward lyrically and send a simple message about spending the rest of my time on this planet being as kind as I can as much as I can.”  We agree – but do make an exception for wasps.


Carousel “Don’t Let it Die” – Listen

Hard to believe but Carousel are a new band – on their new single ‘Don’t Let it Die‘ they sound just so assured – with harmony vocals zinging around over a perfect Summertime high energy folk-rock backing.  Glorious.  The four piece, based in Southend-on-Sea will be taking their music on the road in September.  They explain that the song is an open letter to creative minds. Within the lyrics, we wanted to encapsulate the feeling of being inspired but misunderstood, as many of us artists are. Equally, we felt the need to reiterate how important art is to society. It is so crucial that art plays its part in people’s lives in times of political and social struggle, that they welcome it in and find some respite within.”.  Right On! Continue reading “Carousel “Don’t Let it Die” – Listen”

Besides Daniel “If You Ask Me To” – Listen

Danny Brewer, the mastermind behind Besides Daniel, pulls from his own experiences and life lessons to craft his songs. His new record, “T E E M I N G” (with the letters spaced out) is set for release on August 24th, described as “a subtle reflection on the adventure of putting roots in the ground, committing to love, healing through long-suffering and the celebration of new life.” On the rather lovely new single, ‘If You Asked Me To,’ tenfold vocals croon of devotion, fidelity, and hope, with a moody groove with deep pockets and creative soundscapes. “It’s a song about giving. The concept is describing a willingness to do whatever it takes,” says Brewer. Although childhood memories of “would you jump off the edge of a cliff…” should give the listener pause for thought.

The Herbert Bail Orchestra “Hold Your Own” – Listen

Los Angeles indie-folk rockers The Herbert Bail Orchestra have officially announced their sophomore LP, ‘History’s Made At Night’ and along with the announcement, the band have shared their new single ‘Hold Your Own’ which LA Record pitched as them “putting a Springsteen-style ethic into an indie Americana sound.” “I took five years to make this album—I’ve seen bands rise to great success and fall in the time I’ve been working on it,” vocalist Anthony Frattolillo says. “At some point, I wasn’t concerned with the idea that I should have released a follow-up four years ago, right after we had all of that momentum with the first album. I thought it was more important to get it right—that in the long run, in a hundred years when I’m dead and gone and somebody listens to this, they’re going to hear it and say, ‘Damn, this is good. It’s thoughtful,  intentional—it’s timeless.” Yeah alright Anthony!!!  (It is pretty good).

Lewisburg “Wasted/Clear the Air” – Listen

We normally only post one tune in our tracks section but this double A-side is such a belter it feels unusually cruel to post one and not the other, kind of like favouring one of your children. Lewisburg are a band from North London born out of the solo project of singer-songwriter Ali Robertson. Described as dark-country they are influenced by acts such as Phosphorescent, Eels and The Deep Dark Woods, crafting mellifluous, nostalgic songs with occasional widescreen sensibilities. Roberston says: “Wasted feels so bittersweet to me. Bitter in that it draws from the sadness of nostalgia, but also is about finding the courage to walk your own path, no matter your doubts. Clear The Air is about how things are a bit screwed, it’s basically saying we gotta get out of this mess of a society we’ve created for ourselves.”

Jim Lauderdale “Wearing Out Your Cool” – Listen

In preparation for his new album due out August 3rd on Yep Roc, Jim Lauderdale has released his new single ‘Wearing Out Your Cool’. Powered by a slinky noir sax line and female backing vocals, the 60s spy-thriller groove with a touch of twang comes from one of two records the two-time Grammy-Award winning Nashville legend is releasing on the same date — the other being Jim Lauderdale and Roland White. Both are “new albums,” but only ‘Time Flies’ was recently recorded.  The other, Jim Lauderdale and Roland White, is a bluegrass collection originally recorded at the home of Earl and Louise Scruggs in 1979. Look out for reviews of both soon on AUK.


Josh McGovern “Weight” – Listen

The new single from Brighton singer/songwriter Josh McGovern, ‘Weight’ is a beautifully haunting piece of dark alt-folk/Americana addressing mental health. The song features Josh’s vocals pairing with some rather lovely harmonies alongside lush string and brass sections, the sound being reminiscent of the songwriting work of Nick Cave, Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen. Josh says, “Weight is the most black and white thing I’ve ever written. It’s a stark survey of the end of love and my mental health – the bits no one wants to talk about. I’m not the best at talking about that stuff, but so many people struggle with the same situations. I think it’s important to have songs that people can relate to, I wouldn’t be half of who I am without the beautiful music of my peers.”