At AUK we are on a quest to find the ‘top 10 americana albums ever’. Over the last few weeks our writers have been going through the mental anguish of trying to narrow the whole history of americana down to just ten albums. When every writer has had their say, a shortlist of the most frequently chosen albums will be drawn up and voted on, in order to generate the definitive AUK writers top ten. Having last week featured one our most senior writers, this week we turn to our youngest. I must admit I’ve been looking forward to this one and a younger perspective. Ewan Lury, of course, has not disappointed. A fascinating list. Enjoy. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Ewan Lury”
Another week in the life of AUK passes by like sand through a pair of glasses. I had an interesting conversation with AUK reader Barry Cooke this week about The Avett Brothers and how some fans feel that Rick Rubin’s heavy-handed production almost drowns out the essence of their songs these days. Barry pointed me to this version of 2016’s ‘True Sadness’ which is indeed a very different beast to the album version, and despite my defence of the band’s recent direction, I do agree on reflection it’s probably superior. Foiled again! Curse you kids, etc. Anyway we leave you this week with the first track to be released from their forthcoming album ‘The Third Gleam’ which lands on August 28th, a record which sees the band returning to their roots, playing as a trio with longtime bassist Bob Crawford. The black-and-white, stripped-down video is directed by Crackerfarm and “echoes the vulnerability and intimacy of the track as they contemplate darkness and the power to persevere.” On that cheerful thought, have a good one.
From the opening line: “I grew up with reverence for the red, white and blue,” this song sets out to explore American history and what it means to be an American today. The subject is handled with intelligence and sensitivity and is well supported by an atmospheric video that features paintings by Jason Mitcham. ‘We Americans’ is taken from the recent album, ‘Closer Than Together’, which was their most political and socially-aware record to date. Sit back and absorb this beautiful, thought-provoking song for America.
The Avett Brothers have announced ‘The Third Gleam’, the third instalment in their ongoing Gleam series, to be released August 28th on Loma Vista Recordings. The album marks a return to The Avett Brothers’ roots, both sonically and in form with Seth and Scott Avett playing as a trio with longtime bassist Bob Crawford, and follows in the band’s tradition of sharing what’s on their minds as their lives, and the world around them, continue to evolve. Continue reading “The Avett Brothers announce “The Third Gleam””
It’s the end of another sad and odd week dear reader – it’s Record Store Day tomorrow of course, and although your favourite local store will be shut, do go and buy something from them online if you can – they need our help more than ever right now. In the meantime what better way to gently go into the weekend than with this lovely clip from Clem Snide (aka Eef Barzelay), the latest video from their Live From Just Beyond Youtube series which features the song ‘Don’t Bring No Ladder’ recorded with Scott “Avett Brothers” Avett. “It was illuminating for me to see through [Avett’s] eyes,” Barzelay explained of working with Scott. “I’d just been looking at myself for so long, and it’s really hard to do this alone. If you have a partner, someone who can come in where you need a little something and just see it with fresh eyes, it helps.” Take care – see you on Monday.
Rolling Stone Country published a really interesting piece just before we had our Christmas break which described how americana was once a niche genre (rude), before finding a wider audience in the last decade citing artists like the Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and the Avett Brothers. Cue the heated debate over what constitutes americana but hey, if a band causes a banjo to be played on Radio 1, who are we to cast the first stone. Continue reading “RS Country: “How Americana Went Mainstream in the 2010s””
2019 – what a f-king year (and that word is being censored for you daily digest readers). Sometimes music was the only respite there was from the sheer abject misery and terror of the outside world. Sometimes nestling down with a mug of cocoa and some good americana was the only thing that blotted it all out (spiced up with about 5 shots of vodka). These are the ten songs that kept my sanity intact throughout the last 12 months. Continue reading “AUK’s editor chooses his favourite 10 tracks from 2019”
It’s part two of our writers picks from 2019 where we collectively list the albums that made the biggest impact on us over the last 12 months. There’s one album repeated from yesterday’s list which I guess by default makes it our album of the year but we’ll leave you eagled-eyed beavers to work that out for yourself. So once again, here we go! Continue reading “Americana UK writers choose their albums of 2019 – part two”
Prior to its release, Seth Avett laid out a mission statement for the Avett Brothers’ 10th full-length album by way of a four-paragraph letter. In it, he opines that “the last thing the world needs is another piece of sociopolitical commentary,” before going on to explain why some of the tracks on the album seem to break with the band’s tried-and-true formula and veer in that direction. He concludes the letter with the observation that “the Avett Brothers will probably never make a sociopolitical record. But if we did, it might sound something like this”. Continue reading “The Avett Brothers “Closer Than Together” (American/Republic, 2019)”
We leave you this week dear reader in a similar place to the way we left you last week, with The Avett Brothers (whose name, thanks to this clip, I now realise I have been mispronouncing for years) playing a live version of a track from their lovely new album ‘Closer Than Together’ which is currently being dogpiled by Trump voters on Amazon for daring to have an opinion other than “USA! USA!” Stick with it boys, you must be doing something right. Have a good one.