AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Alasdair Fotheringham

After a week off to catch our breath, AUK’s quest to find the ’10 best americana albums ever’ returns this week with the selections of Alasdair Fotheringham.  Each week a different AUK writer offers his or herself up to scrutiny by presenting their personal selections of the top 10. When all have had their say (and you try shutting them up), the most frequently chosen albums will be compiled into a shortlist on which we will all vote to produce the ultimate AUK writers top 10 albums ever. But you knew all that didn’t you? – and if you didn’t, where the hell have you been? Take it away Alasdair! Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Alasdair Fotheringham”

Video: Leonard Cohen “The Hills”

When Leonard Cohen sings, “I can’t make the hills,” one can’t not be moved.  Before he died, Cohen left behind a set of songs that his son, Adam, completed and released as the posthumous album ‘Thanks for the Dance’.  This starkly beautiful song is the only one on the album that Cohen actually scored himself.  Adam Cohen has said of the song, “..it’s the voyage; it’s what you wanted versus what you got.”  Continue reading “Video: Leonard Cohen “The Hills””

Video: Leonard Cohen “Thanks for the Dance”

Is there a more darkly distinctive voice in music than Leonard Cohen’s?  Last year his son, Adam, completed and released a set of songs they had begun working on before Cohen’s death.  This posthumous collection was an unexpected final flourish of undimmed creativity from an inspiring artist. Leonard would be pleased with the outcome.  Continue reading “Video: Leonard Cohen “Thanks for the Dance””

Hadnot Creek “Winter” (Independent, 2018)

Hadnot Creek released ‘Winter’ back in February for those of you wondering why this bleak and desolate collection of spit and sawdust Americana appears on these pages to coincide with some of the hottest days in recent memory. We might be breaking out the strawberries and cream for Wimbledon over here but Cliff Richard this is not. Formed in 2016 by Charlottesville, Virginia’s self-confessed shoegazer Rober Sawrey, Hadnot Creek brings to mind windswept log cabins on lonely mountains. Opener ‘Everyone Is Guilty Of Something’ sets the mood. It’s not just the Cash-esque depths of Sawrey’s vocals, the whole vibe is lo-fi, the lyrics harsh and the guitars delightfully fuzz-boxed in the style of Beck or early Radiohead. Acoustic guitar also plays a large part on the album, you can feel the frostbite on tracks like ‘I’m Never Far Away’ as Sawrey uses his unique talent for melancholy to suck the listener into his Neverland of unrequited love and twist the powers of sonic interpretation to make the listener hear rather an unholy perversion. Oh, the power of a well-timed violin draw! Continue reading “Hadnot Creek “Winter” (Independent, 2018)”

Mark Huff “Stars For Eyes” (Exodus Records, 2018)

Mark Huff gives the impression of being one of those people who can pick up a guitar and make up a song on the spot that will be dripping with hooks and full of memorable melodies. He makes it sound so easy,  as if he’s not even trying. The songs just flow out of him, flitting between styles without missing a beat. ‘God In Geography’ slides in some new-wave organ and lightness of touch, it seems to be his natural habitat. But so does the pedal steel licked ‘Carolina Blue’ and that’s Huff’s great strength: he can switch styles without it feeling forced, it’s all just part of one big dressing up box. Continue reading “Mark Huff “Stars For Eyes” (Exodus Records, 2018)”