The Long Ryders are one of those truly seminal bands in americana and they’re back with their first new song in thirty years when the UK was feeling the worst excesses of Thatcherism and things felt very different to now… oh wait. Songwriter Tom Stevens says of it: “The message is complex. I wrote this song about a bear, a friendly one, approaching it like a children’s song. But what emerged under its surface was different. I likely had the state of politics on my mind. The bear in this song may not be the friendly, all-knowing guru that he appears. But in real life, it’s up to us to seek our best hopes and not our worst fears in our gurus. Lately I feel that too many have done the latter.” Yup, change is slow.
This has been an amazing project, we’ll miss it when it’s over for the time being at least. Consequence of Sound report: “We’re nearing the end of the ambitious Our First 100 Days project and, though the great orange beast is still in office, at least we can find respite in the onslaught of amazing new music and the charitable contributions made by this collaboration between the Secretly Group and 30 Songs, 30 Days. As a reminder, a donation of $30 to the project gets you downloads of all 100 songs and will directly benefit issues affected by Trump’s presidency, including climate change, reproductive rights, immigration, and more. Get more info here. Day 90’s contribution belongs to Okkervil River, who on “Denomination Blues” sing of religious hypocrisy in the age of Trump. “The follower follows whoever’s in front,” Will Sheff sings, “He’s weak and he’s hollow and his edge is blunt / He’s small / I bet he feels pretty tall.” Like the best Okkervil River songs, the rollicking track shambles along on rhythmic acoustic strums, jaunty piano plinks, and urgent percussion. Stream it below.”
‘Save Yourself’ is the debut single from Ferris & Sylvester (Ferris is no relation to Tweety Pie), and it’s a bittersweet love song, with some haunting harmonies and delicate guitars, recorded in Youth’s Space Mountain Studios in Spain. They will be touring Ireland this month in support of Ánie Cahill. The pair also have a number of London shows booked throughout April and May. You can find their full tour dates here.
This is by way of Stereogum this morning who report that “Country singer Terry Allen is the latest artist to contribute a song to the anti-Trump Our First 100 Days project. He’s offered up a new track called “Stroll” that was recorded during the sessions for his most recent album, 2013’s Bottom Of The World.” We’re probably going to be in need of our own 100 day project here in the UK beginning June 9th. Oh God…
Rolling Stone have posted another track from Justin Townes Earle’s forthcoming album “Kids in the Street” which they describe as “a pedal-to-the-metal Memphis boogie… a return to form – with a twist. “Faded Valentine” conjures up Earle’s earlier days, when he’d slow down the cadence and let his rasp get soft and sticky in a relaxed country waltz or honky-tonk shuffle. But it’s also a little more lush instrumentally, thanks to production from Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, M. Ward), who invited Earle to his Omaha studio to make the LP. It’s the first time Earle has worked with an outside producer, and Mogis made sure to never trade spontaneity for polish.” Listen to the song below.
Americana singer-songwriter Marie Danielle releases her debut UK single “Soldier” today which features The Felice Brothers/Fleet Foxes’ Christian Wargo on backing duties. She’s currently touring the US, working on a new album with Simone Felice & Drive-By Truckers’ Mike Patton and will be touring the UK later this year. And if you needed any more proof that anything involving the Felice Brothers sounds anything less than perfect, just hit play.
Following 2016’s “Echoes Of The Dreamtime” album, LA-based Miranda Lee Richards has announced the release of new album “Existential Beast” on June 16th via Invisible Hands Music, a “beautifully constructed album characteristic of the effortless, 70’s influenced, country-tinged psychedelia, evident through Miranda’s work.” The first track to be released from the album was chosen as Lauren Laverne’s Headphone Moment on her BBC 6 Music show, although even the non-headphone moments on her show are recommendation enough. Don’t be disappointed by the lion not moving in the clip below incidentally, it’s audio via YouTube, although what the girl’s parents were thinking of when they let her choose her first pet…
“The Right Stuff” is the new single to be released by The Americans who have just signed to one of our favourite americana labels, Loose. Hailing from Los Angeles, the quartet blend country and blues with fiery blue collar rock’n’roll, absorbing and reconfiguring the history of American music from Chuck Berry and Tom Waits to Bruce Springsteen. The band have appeared on US TV talk shows such as The Late Show with David Letterman, and served as a backing band for Lucinda Williams, Nick Cave and Courtney Love. They will release “The Right Stuff” as part of a four-track EP in April, with a one-off show at Sebright Arms in London on 3 May.
The new single from Joe Innes and the Cavalcade comes from their upcoming album ‘Foreign Domestic Policy’, and has been described as “post-Brexit indie.” It is a document of Joe’s life as it currently is, on both a macro and micro scale. It’s about the artist’s relationships, his mental health and his experience, all framed by the political events of the past year – “it’s how I feel about where I am as a person, as a husband, and as a citizen of the UK in 2017”. In this vein, new single ‘Moscow’ weaves a familiar narrative of lost love, but one framed by the West’s uneasy relationship with the Russian Federation. Have a listen and then forward on to Donald Trump if you think it’d be helpful.
From this month’s Friends Of compilation (out now on digital download!) there’s been some discussion of a striking track by Hurray for the Riff Raff called “Pa’lante” which is an incredible listen. Pitchfork have written a piece about it here which is worth a read while you absorb the track – the audio is below. “In an ever-desensitized world, Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Lee Segarra is skilled at making violence human. “Pa’lante,” a ferocious highlight from her forthcoming record The Navigator, examines the spiritual death that occurs when ancestral histories and identities are abandoned in order to assimilate. The song’s title is a Spanish affirmation that means “onwards, forwards,” borrowed from the name of the newspaper published by the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican community activist group that agitated for change in the 1970s. Segarra also samples a recording of Pedro Pietri’s seminal 1969 poem “Puerto Rican Obituary,” which illuminated the rigged game of naturalization to a generation. But her lament is entirely her own. Continue reading “Hurray for the Riff Raff’s “Pa’lante” – Listen”