I first saw Aimee Mann back in the early 90s twice in Liverpool – once at the Royal Court supporting someone I now can’t remember and once at a jazz club on Hope Street whose name I also can’t remember. Ageing is fantastic. Bob Harris would often play her on his overnight show on Radio 1 – she was one of those artists who started great and just got greater. The pinnacle of greatness for me was ‘The Forgotten Arm’ from 2005 which still stands out as one of the most superbly arranged albums ever recorded – the most americana-tinged of all her records, it tells the story of two characters who run off with each other to escape their problems, but end up in more trouble. The fact that this track wasn’t a hit proves once and for all that there is no justice in this awful world we live in.
Well, gosh darn it, it appears to be that time of year again. Here at Americana-UK Towers we are as divided about the festive season as a country pondering Brexit. There are those of us, The Editor for example, who go all squishy and fluffy and impossible to live with at the prospect of a mince pie, some new pairs of socks and the chance to bestow goodwill to all men (and women). Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Aimee Mann “I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up For Christmas””
Lovely news overnight from the Grammys with some so well deserved wins for Jason Isbell and Aimee Mann amongst others. RS reports: “Jason Isbell, Alabama Shakes and Reba McEntire were early winners at the 60th annual Grammy Awards when the Americana and roots music categories were announced during the pre-telecast Premiere Ceremony, streamed live online. Isbell triumphed in both the Best Americana Roots Song and Best Americana Album categories, for “If We Were Vampires” and The Nashville Sound, respectively. Emerging from the back of the Theater at Madison Square Garden, Isbell ambled to the podium. Continue reading “Isbell and Aimee Mann win best americana/folk album at Grammys”
Aimee Mann’s ‘Mental Illness’ which was released at the end of March went straight to number one in the UK americana charts – we were rather keen on it too, calling her work “rarely less than exceptional, and this effort is no different” – and in celebration of our review (probably), she’s announced some European dates this October including three UK/RoI shows with tickets on sale from 9am on Monday. Links are below and you can see the full list of her European dates over at her website here. Continue reading “Aimee Mann announces UK/Ireland dates”
The work of Aimee Mann has decorated the pages of this site almost from our inception. Mann is one of our touchstones, a yardstick for other female performers. Her work is rarely less than exceptional, and this effort is no different. It is softer and gentler, more acoustic, but the barbs and the songwriting are as strong as ever. If you had to characterise her work in one word, I’d go for melancholy and here You Never Loved Me is melancholy in a nutshell, quiet, elegant with a simmering ache of strings and velvety violent percussion, nailing those feelings; hangs, draws and quarters them. Continue reading “Aimee Mann “Mental Illness” (Superego Records, 2017)”
If Stewart Lee is the comedian’s comedian, then Aimee Mann is the songwriter’s songwriter. The Oscar-nominated, Grammy-winning singer is a hugely observant student of human behaviour, drawing not just on her own experiences to form the characters in the songs but tales told by friends, and her new album ‘Mental Illness’ (which you can now stream in its entirety courtesy of NPR music) shows off her rich, incisive and wry melancholia in an almost all-acoustic format, with a “finger-picky” style inspired by some of her favourite 60’s and 70’s folk-rock records, augmented by strings arranged by her longtime producer, Paul Bryan. Mark Whitfield spoke to her about the new record, her feelings about the new era in US politics and what she thought about the ending of Mad Men. Continue reading “Interview: Aimee Mann”
Aimee Mann’s new album “Mental Illness” (with a fantastic cover) is out next week, the follow up to 2012’s “Charmer” where she returns to a more musically soft-spoken but still lyrically barbed approach, exemplified by her current single, Patient Zero. She’s released a video today for the first track on the record Goose Snow Cone which is rather lovely and features a cat called Goose (and her vet). Continue reading “Aimee Mann releases new video from “Mental Illness” album – Watch”
The new album by Aimee Mann ‘Mental Illness’ will be released on March 31st via SuperEgo/Membran, and she’s released her first video from it today. If you’ve ever seen any of her videos previously you’ll know she sets the bar high and this new track “Patient Zero” is ostensibly a song about Hollywood disappointment, influenced by the writings of Raymond Chandler and Nathanael West (‘Day Of The Locust’). The video is directed by Daniel Ralston and loosely based on Ronald Harwood’s 1980 play ‘The Dresser.’ Continue reading “Aimee Mann releases first video from new album – Watch”