CD Reviews

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Blue Mother Tupelo - Only Sunshine

Blue Mother Tupelo isn’t kidding when they call themselves “genre-blenders”. Husband-wife duo Ricky and Micol Davis’ fourth-album, Only Sunshine, was recorded in JukeTonk, their home studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee, allowing them to experiment with organic sounds. The first tune, “Country Fun”, carries a playful attitude as it introduces listeners to the many elements they will be experiencing in the music that fills this album. The soulful, upbeat vocals of Micol and Ricky...
 
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Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds In Country Music

The music of Sturgill Simpson takes the listener to a forgotten era in Country Music. One listen to his music, and you will be transported back in time to the days of Waylon, Willie and the 4/4 beats! Needless to say, this IS your daddy's Country Music. Nowhere is that any more apparent than on the opening cut, "Turtles All The Way Down," on which you can hear the afore-mentioned artists, as...
 
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Super Magic Hats – More Than Words

Melbourne based producer Rob Masterton’s Super Magic Hats is a fresh and vibrant cast of electronic sampling and eclectically nostalgic composition. With a sound reminiscent of the likes of M83, Miike Snow and Two Door Cinema Club, it gives the impression of a rhythmically familiar, yet melodically pleasing summer soundtrack. This reminiscent flashback can be felt across that of Happy Jazz with its laid back, head twiddling melodies toHangin with refined, driven bass and...
 
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Jo Dee Messina - Me

Jo Dee Messina has recently made a huge career leap of faith. After close to two decades with Curb Records, she and the label parted ways recently. Going on her own from a label standpoint is a little bit scary of a proposition, but Messina has always rose to career challenges, and done so in style. Me is no different. Working with her fans through Kickstarter is also a career first for the bubbly performer, as she experienced...
 
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Eyedress – Hearing Colours

Eyedress is a psychedelic electronic project straight outta Manila – the solo laptop project of 23 year old Filipino producer, Idris Vicuña. Thoroughly modern and contemporary, the artist tackles that indescribably frightening part of your acid trip about 3-5 hours in, where the walls are still moving, your lips still feel weird, and you’re not sure whether you’re coming back. The latest release from Eyedress is a collaborative mixtape, primarily with vocalist Skint Eastwood, who provides...
 
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Big Al and the Heavyweights – Sunshine On Me

“We recognize and encourage music as a vital part of education in our schools. We pray for UNIVERSAL PEACE,” is the sliver of liner notes that caught my attention on “Sunshine On Me,” the latest CD by Big Al and The Heavyweights, released on the Blusiana Music label. And that’s not all that got me sitting up in my chair while listening to the longtime New Orleans-based blues band’s sixth album of original music. Recorded in Slidell, Louisiana and produced by Anders Osborne...
 
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Luna Ghost – Self Titled EP

If you’re from any other state capital, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the phrase “It’s better in Melbourne”. This phrase applies to a whole range of things, from food to coffee to transportation to nightlife to the price of rent, but most pertinently to this blog, these words are so often quoted regarding the music scene*. In my humble opinion, the strongest contender for any truth to the theory is the prolific and extensive psychedelic noise-rock scene down south – but that might just be because I ...
 
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Mary Sarah & Friends - Bridges

It should go without saying that Dolly Parton doesn't collaborate with just anybody. The same could be said of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard or Vince Gill. So, going by that set of rules, Texas newcomer Mary Sarah must very well be the real deal, right? That answer is positively and unequivocally - yes. On this, the singer's very first project, Mary...
 
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West Thebarton Brothel Party – Chemotherapy

Remember those kids we introduced you to a while back? You know, the ruckus music makers from Adelaide that had no recordings, let alone releases, but were still scoring kick-ass support slots? Well, feast your eyes on this. It appears as though the boys from West Thebarton Brothel Party were able to coordinate all fourteen hands for long enough to give birth to their debut single Chemotherapy*, aka a very loud ten pound love child of seven dudes. It’s first word was probably...
 
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Blush Response – Telltale

Blush Response are a dreamy nu-gaze band / project / whatever from Adelaide. Listening to his brand of light vs heavy, reverb-porn it’s hard to imagine this dude is making music in the same city as Bad//Dreems and Tkay Maidza. We’ve already dealt with a shoegaze band in today’s zine, so I’ve already used up all the good words to describe this sorta music so this one’s gonna be considerably shorter. Sorry Blush Response – don’t think for a second that this means that we didn’t...
 
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The Grascals - When I Get My Pay

There's a little bit different of a sound on the latest disc from Bluegrass supergroup The Grascals. That can be heard on the opening title cut. It's a little more gritty than what you might have expected from the band in the past. Jamie Johnson offers one of his most spirited vocal performances on the cut. However, that being said, they haven't forgotten their laid-back style. "Two Boys On A Dirt Road" will be a little bit more in line with what you might expect from the ...
 
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Cactus Honey - Groovy Life

Taking nothing away from the sounds that fans are hearing every day on the radio in 2014, but there is somewhat of a disconnect with the 35 and over demographic. We've lived life, been knocked around a few times - whether it be of our own doing or not. Enter the duo of Kim McLean and Eve Selis. There's not many references to falling in love for the first time. They've done that - and survived the after effects of what came after. This duo sings about real life - and the art of surviving it...
 
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Tammy Van Zant - Freebird Child

The name Van Zant has been a well-known one in American music for over four decades. Ronnie Van Zant, frontman of Lynyrd Skynyrd, died when the band’s plane went down in 1977, and his brothers Donnie and Johnny continued the tradition he began, with Donnie singing for .38 Special and Johnny taking the helm with a re-formed Skynyrd. In addition, the brothers recorded together as Van Zant for Columbia in Nashville. Now, Ronnie’s daughter, Tammy, who was 10 when he died...
 
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Perfect Hair Forever – Sad and Blue

From the genius that is directional outfit THUNDERLIPS comes the quality, gif based video to the equally genius Perfect Hair Forever’s tune, Sad & Blue. Perfect Hair Forever is the mysterious, bedroom-produced pop coming out of Auckland, New Zealand. There is a serious lack of information on the internet about it, but I’m pretty sure it’s a solo project. I started listening in January after stumbling upon and consequently falling in love with VOID, the ten-track album of...
 
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Rod Picott - Hang Your Hopes On A Crooked Nail

Be forewarned - The music of Rod Picott is not for the faint of heart or mind. That is simply a way of saying that if you put in this CD and are just going to attempt to listen on a casual level, not investing into the lyrics - you probably aren't going to "get" this disc. He's a little too deep and thoughtful for that. But, if you choose to take time...
 
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