Laish “Pendulum Swing” (Talitres, 2016)

laishThese songs are laced in equal measure with cynicism and charm – at his best Danny Green can produce songs that are lyrically and musically spot-on. ‘Vague’ is a world weary slightly melancholic exploration of ageing with an insidious tune that pushes its way into my affections. It’s a kind of post-millennial slacker-rock, Malkmus by way of Richard Ford. Continue reading “Laish “Pendulum Swing” (Talitres, 2016)”

Watch NPR Music ‘Americana Alphabet’ Peformances

Some amazing clips here if you have time to watch.  NPR.org reports: “During AmericanaFest last month, NPR Music’s Ann Powers and contributor Jewly Hight got together with musicians at Nashville’s historic Union Station Hotel for a series of intimate “Americana Alphabet” performances. Throughout the week, they hosted Dawes and Lydia Loveless, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, The Lumineers, Lori McKenna, Shovels & Rope and Bobby Rush, all of whom set up in the ornate hotel in various stripped-down configurations. Each of these performances celebrates Americana music by challenging artists to engage with some of the genre’s most treasured keywords. Watch the sessions [here].”

Dirty Dozen: Laish

Laish, 2016Danny Green, aka Laish, is set to release his third album Pendulum Swing on Talitres. A set of twelve songs that span the spectrum of gentle fingerpicked acoustic guitar ballads, through to more robust art-rock jams. Laish’s plaintive tenor – rich, deeply textured and affecting – takes centre stage as he sings honest, self-reflective songs of relationships failed and survived.   Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Laish”

The Handsome Family “Unseen” (Loose Records, 2016)

handsome-familyUnseen is a good word to describe the Handsome Family – they are ludicrously underappreciated and often their songs deal with the internal world or take place in the darkness that from time to time envelopes us all, there or in the natural world, away from our eyes. We’re lucky that they continue to pursue their idiosyncratic vision and serve up their worldview for us to share. Perhaps typical of them is ‘Tiny Tina,’ a song about ultimately regretting going to see the world’s smallest horse at the State Fair. Continue reading “The Handsome Family “Unseen” (Loose Records, 2016)”

Grandaddy Announce New Album, UK Dates

If you’ve never heard “Nature Anthem”, watch in awe below and prepare to not sleep for the next 3 weeks.  Uncut reports: “Grandaddy have announced details of their new studio album, Last Place. It’s their first album since 2006’s Just Like the Fambly Cat. Last Place will be released on March 3 on Danger Mouse’s Century Records. Produced by the band’s Jason Lytle, it also features Jim Fairchild (guitar), Kevin Garcia (bass), Tim Dryden (keys) and Aaron Burtch (drums).”  Continue reading “Grandaddy Announce New Album, UK Dates”

Kemper Norton “Toll” (Front and Follow, 2016)

Kemper Norton 2016My old boiler used to sound like ‘Mladic’ by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, so the musicality in machinery’s tonal shifts and sighs, and how it can create melody, isn’t new to me and is, I believe, in our DNA. Try watching Bjork in Dancer in the Dark (without bawling) for another example, and it’s perhaps because of this that I enjoyed much of this record, but inevitably with music like this, there’s a rub, because if you can’t hear sadness and a deep, inexplicable weariness in the hum of your fridge freezer, or find the sound of your boiler oddly beguiling, you should probably stop reading here.  Continue reading “Kemper Norton “Toll” (Front and Follow, 2016)”

Dirty Dozen: Esme Patterson

Esme Patterson, Esmé made a name for herself with 2014’s Woman To Woman, an album of ‘answer songs’ written from the perspective of women such as Jacko’s ‘Billie Jean’ and Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ (more on all that at this piece Esmé wrote for the Guardian). Esmé also collaborated on Shakey Graves’ hit ‘Dearly Departed’, performing in the U.S. on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Esme Patterson”