CD Reviews

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The Phoncurves – Heartstrings EP

Pretty sweet pop-duo out of Brisbane, The Phoncurves, are oh so delightful with their honeyed harmonies. The latest single Lover off their recently released second EP Heartstrings is a sugary serve of soulful sounds that you’ll want to play over and over and over again. Full of harmonised ba-ba-badaaays, Lover is layer upon layer of melodious bliss. Taking turns to lead the track’s deep earthy vocals, Naomi Hodges and Abbie Roberts’ simple but illustrative lyrics send you...
 
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LiveWire - Drivin' You Outta My Mind

Over the past few years, LiveWire has made quite the name for themselves as both a recording act - as well as a live performing act. On their new single - and first from their upcoming full-length set, the group comes as close as they have yet to parlaying the excitement of their live shows on record. That last statement is not meant to say that they haven't done this before. But, the new single - penned by lead singer Andy...
 
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I, A Man – Gravity Wins Again

Post-hypno ambien-rock band with the bold and somewhat phallic name of I, a Man will surprise you with their dreamlike debut Gravity Wins Again. The album promises to instill the sun’s warmth, while embracing the approaching winter’s cool and refreshing ambiance. It may rain sometimes in this temperamental wintery climate, but your spirits won’t be dampened because you are in safe hands with these guys. The band consists of Melbournites Dan Moss, Ash Hunter, Sumner...
 
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Tarzan – L’Homme Singe EP

Back in the heady, dubstep filled days of 2009/10, one of my mates who was just getting into electronic production invented a genre. It was called Moat, and he published a guide to making Moat music, which contained these tips: You will need: 1. Some sort of music making program (like the one they used to give out in Nutrigrain boxes). 2. A shitload of sample packs containing afro, jungly, tribal sounding percussion loops. 3. Some deep as fuck basslines...
 
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Lexi Larsen - Good Memories

Growing up in the American heartland of Nebraska, you get the feeling that when stunning songstress Lexi Larsen sings about "Good People" in this album's energetic title cut, she knows what she's talking about. Moreover, when you hear her bouncy and energetic take on the song, you also get the idea that she's one herself - just a small town girl with a dream that is quickly becoming a reality. Artists that...
 
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Saintseneca – Dark Arc

Named after a first-century Roman philosopher, fronted by a lean ginger Nietzsche (as rich in lip-hair as meditative wit), and knee-deep in the theses of Descartes and Sartre, Saintseneca splash around in something of a metaphysical melting pot. The Ohian quartet walk ponderously down that trail blazed by bands like Modest Mouse and Okkervil River, crafting lyrical and meticulous folk songs that are as much melon-scratchers as foot-stompers. In so many words, these dudes have a hard...
 
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Katey Laurel - Periscope

“I chose this collection of songs because they represent some picture of the struggle and the hope that is life,” says Denver artist Katey Laurel about her latest release “Periscope” on Roaring Twenties Records. This is the third, full-length studio album for the folk pop singer/songwriter, who wrote or co-wrote all ten of the featured tracks. Produced by Warren Huart and Adam Newcomb, it was recorded in four major hubs: Toronto, Nashville, Denver and Hollywood, California.
 
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The Smoke Wagon Blues Band - Live In Hamilton

A lot of acts sing Blues Music. That's evident by the number of CD's that come across this desk through an average week.But, in the case of The Smoke Wagon Blues Band, they perform the blues - like nobody else out there! On this live collection, the musical thrills are many, kicking off with a wailing version of the Bill Withers classic "Ain't No Sunshine,"and continuing on with the churning "Hen House Hopping," which benefits from...
 
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Lanks – Knife and Spear

Melbourne has always produced next level music and Lanks is absolutely no exception. The solo side project of Will Cuming, who also fronts seven piece band Farrow, has only just begun to emerge from the murky city’s music scene but holds a lot of promise in its synthesized magic. With a debut EP due sometime this year, Lanks has already begun to drop tracks from the forthcoming release and it has my taste buds tingling. Knife and Spear is the latest taste of the new...
 
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North Arm – Hollow Days

North Arm comes from a place north of Sydney, called North Arm Cove. It’s in Port Stevens, where the man behind the project, Rod Smith, spent important years of his childhood. Those who are familiar with North Arm’s Thought Lines EP, released last year though Spunk Records, will know of it’s nostalgic qualities. From the EP cover, which is an early 80′s snap of a freckly Rod, taken by his dad, to the accompanying video clips, to the songs themselves, each piece of work ...
 
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Luke Howard – Night, Cloud

The wonder days of piano geniuses (may they rest in peace and not turn in dusty graves) who haunted the courts of the rich and super-swanky, have long since been supplanted by a million different genres of electronic music. With its army of synths, it is all the rage right now. This bit of information could mislead you into being presumptuous and could even push you into making cocky suppositions about the piano being passé, but then you run into a guy who...
 
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Old 97's, Keb' Mo', The Clash and Stevie Ray Vaughan Legacies Soar On New Titles

The latest LP releases from alt-country rock heroes Old 97's and bluesman Keb' Mo', and several must-see DVD titles highlighting the lasting influence of The Clash and blues and soul legends including the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bo Diddley and Billy Preston are featured this week. Artist: Old 97's. Album: Most Messed Up (ATO Records). You might like if you enjoy: Wilco, Rhett Miller, Drive-By Truckers. Tell me more: Twenty years...
 
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Robert Ellis - The Lights From The Chemical Plant

Judging from yesterday's announcement of the Americana Honors nominees, Robert Ellis is on the right track with his music these days. The singer-songwriter notched three nominations for the upcoming September awards, and just like many of his fellow nominees, Ellis doesn't stay confined to one musical style or lyrical slant. Kicking off with "TV Song," Ellis starts on a roll, and only gets better. The lyrics are about how...
 
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Jesse Terry – Stay Here With Me

“…I was maybe chasing stuff that wasn’t me…I learned over the years that I needed to be 100 percent who I was, and the money and other things would…always come to me after I’d written from a place of truth and not a place like, ‘Let me get a big old cut by Kenny Chesney,’” says indie artist Jesse Terry during his January 2014 Pollstar interview. The Berklee-educated, award-winning singer/songwriter (John Lennon Songwriting Contest; NSAI/CMT Song Contest) walked the...
 
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Steven Padilla - Good At Goodbye

A native of Hoover, Alabama, the word "Real" is very important to Steven Padilla. That commitment comes through when you listen to the first singe, "Peaches & Pines." It's a perfectly Country cut, complete with a very traditional arrangement. The lyrics have a spiritual overtone about it that evokes some of the latter day work of Johnny Cash. He can also take you on an emotional journey through your life as well. I don't know if...
 
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