Interview: Simone Felice

A long time has passed since we witnessed a shirtless, sweating Felice clambering over a rickety drum kit hollering “Yankees In The House” at  The Basement in Nashville after an incendiary Felice Brothers show that was described on this very site as ‘the future of rock’n’roll.’ These days Felice is one of the golden boys on the Americana scene, a stunning, at times ethereal songwriter that is known for live shows that really leave a mark. His new album ‘The Projector’ is arguably his best yet, a poignant, lo-fi masterstroke of a record that will only enhance Felice’s reputation as a heart-breaker and soul searcher.   AUK’s Alan O’Hare talks to the New York songwriter ahead of May UK dates.  Continue reading “Interview: Simone Felice”

Lewisburg “Terminal” – Listen

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 “Dreamer” – Listen

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.

Pick of the Political Pops: Chris Murray “Heartache”

Having been residents of Americana-UK Towers for longer than we care to remember we were surprised when, having come back from a stroll in the grounds, we were asked at the door to The Bunker to provide evidence of our right to enter. “Come off it” we said “We’ve been here for, like, ever”. “No good” said The Gatekeeper Terry Might “Where are your papers?” “Well last we heard you had them” we said. “Yeah – well I burnt them.” Said Terry “Get back on the good ship Empire Windrush or however you got here – and go home” “But this is our home” we protested. And so it went on for several tedious hours until eventually Terry Might realised what a colossal balls up they had made and sheepishly gave us leave to remain. What a heartache…

Book Club “Dust of Morning” (Independent, 2018)

Apparently inspired by founding frontman, guitarist, singer and songwriter Robbie Horlick’s travels in Europe, Book Club’s third album, ‘Dust of Morning’ shows the Atlanta-based ensemble demonstrating a growing maturity that has them deserving of a wider audience. That isn’t to say these songs appear inspired by a particular place or places as such – the meditative and reflective nature of this indie-folk typified by the track, ‘Space Between The Days’ from which the album title is drawn: “If the dust of morning shakes/ Itself off you in great escapes/It will return to say its peace/Rearranged but thick as thieves.” Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose, as the French might put it. Continue reading “Book Club “Dust of Morning” (Independent, 2018)”

Alela Diane + Olivia Chaney, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 12 April 2018

Alela Diane’s set on her UK tour’s opening night draws largely from her latest piano-based album ‘Cusp’ along with songs from her 2009 gem, ‘To Be Still’.  The Union Chapel, a functioning church in the heart of Islington, is a perfect setting for the quality of her work performed tonight in a trio format with Diane accompanied by gifted and polished multi instrumentation from Mirabei Peart and Heather Woods Broderick. They cover piano, flute and oboe, percussion and particularly violin and upright bass. They also provide wonderfully haunting echoic background vocals to counterpoise Diane’s dazzling singing. Continue reading “Alela Diane + Olivia Chaney, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 12 April 2018”

HYWAYS “The Line” – Listen

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).

Lindi Ortega “Liberty” (Shadowbox Music Inc 2018)

Canadian singer-songwriter Lindi Ortega has deployed a new approach with a sound that moves away from her traditional roots-influenced sound into what can be described as a more cinematic sound. ‘Liberty’ has a big, sweeping soundtrack feel to it with lush arrangements and songs that quite simply don’t do what you would expect. There is nothing obvious about the melodies or chord progressions in this collection of smouldering vignettes. Continue reading “Lindi Ortega “Liberty” (Shadowbox Music Inc 2018)”

The Milk Carton Kids are back and strong and tough

‘All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn’t Do’ is the mouthful of a name of the new album for the Americana Music Association Award-winners for “Best Duo/Group,” Milky Bar Milk Carton Kids which comes out on the ANTI label on 29th June. Their fourth studio album is heralded by the project’s unprecedented centrepiece ‘One More For The Road’ which has been described as “an epic 10 minute-plus musical excursion through folk, jazz and psychedelia.” The track serves as a signpost of what the album has in store apparently and is available today for individual purchase and on all streaming services (you can hear it below while you boil two and a half eggs) (sequentially).  Continue reading “The Milk Carton Kids are back and strong and tough”