Shakey Graves (Alejandro Rose-Garcia) has a full album out on Star Wars Day (May 4th) called ‘Can’t Wake Up’, and ‘Mansion Door’ , which draws on nineties-indie influences – is one of the thirteen tracks on it. Speaking of the new album Shakey Graves mused that the songs are all in some way reflections of personal experiences dating as far back as high school: “The beautiful lesson of all this is having to trust yourself, to be willing to start something that you don’t know the outcome of, or to lean toward something just because it feels right”.
Sunny Ozell was last in the UK to present Jason Isbell with a UK Americana Award for International Album of the Year. She hails from Reno Nevada, which is a pretty sunny place, and hopefully she’ll be bringing some of that weather with her when she hits the UK again in May for a short tour. As luck would have it ‘The Garden’, her new single, is also a pretty summery-dreamy-floating folk-blues tinged ballad. Synchronicity – we like that.
This don’t dare to breath stillness of a recording by Siv Jakobsen is a version of a song from her debut album that was recorded live in Oslo and will be on her new live album release, coincidentally called ‘Live in Oslo’. Siv will be playing this hauntingly beautiful song, along with others, at her upcoming one-off gig at St. Pancras Old Church on June the 4th.
The first release from an upcoming album ‘Grand ole Otley’, this is the perhaps unlikely combination of Ryan Hamilton, the Texas rocker who grew up on country greats, and Tony Wright of Brit-Rock hitmakers Terrorvision. As ever it’s a shared love of the music that brought the duo together, and they recorded the initial tracks for an album of covers re-worked in their unique style in Wright’s coffee/print-shop in Otley, Yorkshire. The album launch coincides with a gig at St. Pancras Old Church, part of a short UK tour.
‘Steampowered Blues’ is the first single from Phil Cook’s upcoming second solo album ‘People are my drug’, which is due in June. It’s n appropriate choice as it was also the first song recorded for the album. It’s a groovy footshuffler as Phil says “I’ve long been drawn to the swing and swagger of New Orleans’ step rhythms. The left-right bass lines get my feet stepping, whereas the drums channel my hip movements and the weightless carefree melodies often coax my arms from my sides toward the sky.” Us too Phil, us too.
Les Saules Pleureurs are not as French as they might sound – as they are Robert Paul (Severed Limb) on vocals and guitar, and Sophie Loyer (Urban Voodoo Machine) on violin. Their approach is organic vinyl – this song, art of a double-A side limited edition vinyl only release (downloads are available) was recorded straight to quarter inch tape by Marco Nelson (Paul Weller, Primal Scream) at his all-analogue studio in Brixton. ‘Are You Loathsome Tonight’ has that original country feel to it – one-take, played live, no overdubs. Sounds great.
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.
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 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’ (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).