CD Reviews

Timeless Masters Shine on New Sets

A wide-range of groundbreaking musical voices spanning the 20th century are celebrated via a number of noteworthy releases that have been released over the past month. Artist: Burt Bacharach. Title: A Life in Song (Eagle Rock Entertainment). You might like if you enjoy: Burt Bacharach, Joss Stone, Justin Hayward, Laura Mvula. Tell me more: A songwriter as unique as he is...

The Black Queen - Fever Daydream

A fair few weeks ago I let erryone know about The Black Queen, an upcoming supergroup-ish project featuring Greg Puciato from Dillinger Escape Plan, Joshua Eustis (Telefon,Tel Aviv) and their mate Steven Alexander. Back then there were only three songs; now there’s eight more and they’ve crammed ten of them into their first album Fever Daydream. True to early...

Dying Adolescence - Dear You, It Can’t Wait

Michael Barker describes his little musical project Dying Adolescence as “bedroom pop”. It’s arguably the most apt description for his debut album, Dear You, It Can’t Wait, given the whole thing was recorded and produced in his very own boudoir. Of course it’s not the first time a record has been made in this way, but such solitudinous experiences rarely fail to throw up some magical...

Songcraft Takes Center Stage on New Discs

Americana and classic songwriting takes center stage on a number of new releases, including an essential Johnny Cash live disc, two JD Souther reissues and new albums from genre-defying master artist Emitt Rhodes, Aussie country music outlaw Henry Wagons and North Carolina-based songstress Skylar Gudasz. Artist: Johnny Cash. Title: Koncert v Praze (Columbia / Legacy Recordings)

The Ocean Party - Mess and Noise Critics Poll 2015

A couple of days ago you might have woken up to a little pressie from The Ocean Party as they decided to release a cheeky album more or less overnight. Titled Mess & Noise critics poll 2015, the work is eight tracks long and oozes some classic Ocean Party sounds, with a couple of twists chucked in there to keep it real (they’ve joined the synth party).

Home Lives - Cool Waves, Young Blood

I’m not someone who is hugely familiar with the indie-pop / jangle scene, so when I stumbled across the debut EP of NY duo Home Lives I didn’t really know how to feel about it. I couldn’t relate it to anything in my stacks of ancient hardcore-punk and garage records, but then I started to dig a little deeper and discovered an intriguing three-track that has something for everyone – even people like myself.

Georgi Kay - Origins

I shouldn’t even have to tell you that female Aussie indie pop artists are just killing it right now. If you don’t believe me, do yourself a favour and feast your ears upon acts like Gordi, Le Pie, St. South, Meg Mac, JOY., Jess Kent, Montaigne, Rin McArdle,Ayla… I could go on. It’s a little overwhelming to be honest. The combination of a Spotify subscription and intense bouts of musical FOMO...

Strong Releases Should Bring Attention to Under-the-Radar Artists

A number of artists relatively unknown in the U.S. may see their profiles grow thanks to the release of strong new albums. Artist: JD & The Straight Shot. Title: Ballyhoo! (JD & The Straight Shot, LLC.). You might like if you enjoy: The Civil Wars, Shawn Jones, Michael Ubaldini. Tell me more: Fans of Americana will want to introduce themselves to JD & The Straight Shot via...

The Jezabels - Synthia

With two well received LPs behind them already, The Jezabels smash it out of the ballpark with their third studio album, Synthia. This time round they set out to create an 80s synth-pop influenced epic that explores, criticises and celebrates concepts of women and femininity in the music industry. With this album the band seems to have strayed form their usual approach, utilising synths and...

Roy Irwin - S.O.D.A

Despite already having three albums under his belt, plus a staggering eleven EPs and a compilation tacked onto the list, Roy Irwin isn’t down with being described as prolific. Identifying more with artists like Jay Reatard, who’s extensive catalogue included demos and outtakes, Irwin prefers to simply get it out there. His latest creative effort is his fourth LP, S.O.D.A, which is due for release next month.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - (Ever Such) Pretty Girls

The latest wonderful fun-filled release from this talented, eclectic - at times, downright mad - bunch of ukulele-toting British musicians is a 13-track collection mostly culled from their back-catalogue of marvellous, inspired covers of modern popular music. A seven-piece outfit, the UOGB (as they're often known) is a genuinely superb band of wandering minstrels creating ...

UV Boi - L-UV

UV boi is a young Brisbane producer making noise on SoundCloud and getting ‘L-UV’ all across Australia, as well as the far reaching corners of the globe. With, what he calls, “mellow yet heavy-hitting 808 music” UV boi can only be likened to such artists as Yung Gud, Ryan Hemsworth and Flume. However, these artists pale in comparison to his far more original sound.

Lydia Brownfield & The Jagged Hearts – Ghosts & Lovers

A year and a half ago I wrote about Lydia Brownfield’s album Wanting’s for Sinners, which was a fine album. But it pales in comparison to her new release, Ghosts & Lovers. While her last album saw her projecting Tori Amos or Aimee Mann (at least a little bit), this new album finds her in territory that suits her much better. Imagine a grown-up Exene Cervenka meeting an edgier and...

Paul Cowley - Rural

This is a twelve-track album stuffed with tasteful, acoustic and slide guitar picking from an Englishman now resident in rural France - hence the title. Cowley, originally from the Birmingham area, includes strong covers of many standard traditional acoustic classics including a couple from the ever-popular, melodic Mississippi John Hurt - 'Monday Morning Blues' and 'Pay...

Reissues and Retrospectives Conjure Up Masterworks Anew

The burgeoning effort to reissue under-the-radar lost classics has allowed listeners to discover a wide range of seminal albums in recent years. This year has already seen a slew of notable reissues, including essential titles from Game Theory and singer-songwriter JD Souther, as well as a collection honoring songwriter Rod McKuen and an exclusive 1959 live recording featuring Wes Montgomery.
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