Something for the weekend: Passenger “A Song for the Drunk and Brokenhearted”

Well that’s it from us for another week dear reader. Passenger aka Mike Rosenberg, who headlined Black Deer 2018, hasn’t had a new album now since that same year’s ‘Runaway’ which was billed as his first foray into Americana, but in fact there’s always been a twang to his music, and the (almost) title track from his forthcoming album ‘Songs for the Drunk and Brokenhearted’ (which you can preorder in various nice limited edition formats here) is his twangiest yet. The record was originally due to land in May of this year, and then you know, that thing happened. He comments: “I decided to hold it back as it just felt like a bit of a waste to put it out during lockdown with no real means of promoting it. I’m soooo glad that I made that decision. I ended up writing a bunch of new, and frankly better songs.” The album is now due out in January, but in the meantime this is a flavour of its sound, and it’s as warm and inviting as ever, a real tonic for the times with a great video too. Nice one Pash! Have a good one.

Video Premiere: Motel Sundown “Before Midnight”

Motel Sundown are steadily building a following with a couple of well-received single releases to date: ‘Chicago’ and ‘Light of My Life’.  We are very pleased to share the premiere of the Liverpool-based trio’s latest video as they work towards putting together a debut full-length album.  ‘Before Midnight’ is notable for the excellent vocal harmonies and melodies that the band is becoming known for. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Motel Sundown “Before Midnight””

Video Premiere: Pete Gow “Happy Hour at the Lobby Bar”

We are delighted to share the exclusive video premiere of ‘Happy Hour at the Lobby Bar’ from the 2019 AMA UK Album of the Year nominee and former AUK writer Pete Gow.  This beautifully crafted song is released as a double-a side single with ‘Cheap and Shapeless Dress’, both of which will appear on Gow’s next album, to be released on Clubhouse Records in 2021.   Until then, this pair of songs will only be released as a 45 rpm single with a limited edition pressing on heavyweight vinyl – they will not be available on any other format. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Pete Gow “Happy Hour at the Lobby Bar””

Video: Rosanne Cash “Crawl Into The Promised Land”

Rosanne Cash has released a new single ‘Crawl into the Promised Land’  featuring her husband and producer John Leventhal. It’s a topical song, in which she references the pandemic and Black Lives Matter amongst other issues. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Cash told them: “My tour was cancelled and I was off the road, sequestered in my own home, with time, a stack of writing journals, and a recording studio in the basement. The only thing to do was write songs.” In a post on social media she commented: “We can get back to our dream of America, where the ‘enemy’ is an individual burden, inside each of us, aching for a truce. We’re exhausted. We’re disoriented. But I know we have the strength and will to deliver ourselves.” Continue reading “Video: Rosanne Cash “Crawl Into The Promised Land””

Video: P.J. O’Connor “Indecisive Moon”

New York is like a ghost town in the  video for ‘Indecisive Moon’, directed by Emmy Award-winner Chris Cassidy.  We see P.J. O’Connor busking on the empty streets of the city he loves, performing without an audience in the eerily still lockdown cityscapes.  The video is as effective as the song is catchy, benefitting in particular from O’Connor’s excellent vocal melody and delivery.  It’s like a love letter to New York, beginning with the text of John Steinbeck’s famous quote: “New York…its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous.  But there is one thing about it – once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.”   Continue reading “Video: P.J. O’Connor “Indecisive Moon””

Video: The Heavy Hours “Ache”

This piano-based ballad is full of emotional intensity.  Lyrically, ‘Ache’  focuses on the loneliness that can be felt by both partners within a relationship in troubled times.  The song builds effectively, centred around the vocal melody and powerful delivery from Michael Marcagi.  Produced by Simone Felice, the second single from The Heavy Hours is a departure from their upbeat first release, ‘Don’t Walk Away’, demonstrating their songcraft and versatility.  The Cincinnati-based group is definitely one to watch.

AUK’s Chain Gang: Simone Felice “Bye Bye Palenville”

Following on from last weeks, ‘Satan & St Paul‘ by John Fulbright, another sensational writer, performer and producer, who expresses and tackles life’s demons with charm and elegant imagery, is Simone Felice.
Having come back from the dead twice himself, once aged just thirteen and again in his thirties, Felice is more capable than most in depicting dark thoughts and events. Still, he does it with a faith which casts grace over the shadowy subjects. And, as if that was not sensational enough, his prolific work as a producer for the likes of Bat for Lashes, Jade Bird and The Lumineers to name just a few, is to be celebrated also. Enjoy this live performance of his song ‘Bye Bye Palenville‘ (and while you’re at it veer off-piste for a couple of minutes into a sample of his production work with Bat for Lashes, and the haunting In Gods House from the Mercury Prize (2016) nominated album ‘The Bride‘)

Video Premiere: Martin Wardley “Resurrecting the Show”

This excellent video premiere is all about Martin Wardley’s gorgeous vocal.  His characterful voice and lyrics have a storytelling quality that bring to mind Tom Waits.  The video is superbly shot on location at the seafront in Blackpool where the images of people living their lives in the background, sometimes at great speed in comparison to Wardley, fit perfectly with the song’s themes.  Lyrically, the single explores the passage of time and losing one’s way as things change.  As the music builds, it reflects the idea that, with reflection, one can begin to move forward again.  Continue reading “Video Premiere: Martin Wardley “Resurrecting the Show””

Something for the weekend: Toad the Wet Sprocket “Starting Now”

Well that’s it for another week dear reader, and we leave you from the most locked-down place in the country (or at least England) with the first video and title track from the forthcoming new album from California’s Toad the Wet Sprocket. The last album from Toad was seven years ago, and in that gap amongst other things lead singer Glen Phillips played the AmericanaFest over here in 2017. ‘Starting Now’ was written before the pandemic hit but its lyrics almost seems prophetic in their aptness. “I wrote this song about two years ago after listening to an On Being podcast”, said Phillips, “They were talking about optimism and pessimism being passive states where the future is presumed to be set so no action is needed, but hope being the acceptance that the outcome is uncertain but the good work is worth doing regardless. That’s only become more important as time has gone on.” Amen to that. Have a good one.

Video Premiere: Arborist “The Mountain Will Come To You”

The plan had been to re-record two songs for a double A-side single – with a string accompaniment making them sound significantly different.  And then, like everyone else, Mark McCambridge (a.k.a Arborist) found that Covid had come into his life.  This led to a slight change of plan – the songs were completed at home and prepared for release initially digitally with ‘The Mountain Will Come To You‘ out on October 9th  and ‘A Heart In Minor‘ on November 6th.  The pair will also get a physical release as a limited edition double A-Side 7″ on 24th October as part of the third instalment of Record Store Day 2020. Continue reading “Video Premiere: Arborist “The Mountain Will Come To You””