Posts Tagged ‘Woods’

Dungen and Woods, photo by <a href="http://www.alexmarksphotography.com/">Alex Marks</a>

The third in the Marfa Myths series of releases will be seven all-new songs written and recorded by Stockholm’s psychedelic masters Dungen in collaboration with adventurous Brooklyn indie-folk pioneers Woods.

Dungen and Woods teamed up for a new collaborative album titled: Myths 003 (due out March 16th via Mexican Summer) the tracks were born from the bands’ recording residency at the 2017 Marfa Myths festival in Texas. Along with the LP announcement, the groups have shared a new song called “Turn Around.” This year’s Marfa Myths takes place April 12th-15th. The 2018 artists in residence will be Bradford Cox (of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound) and Cate Le Bon.

On the face of it, it should be a match made in musical heaven and judging by the languid, exploratory, and dynamic, first track “Turn Around”, we’re in for a treat with the full album. Listen below to the track . The album is out on March 16th.

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“Singing Saw”, was the solo album from Los Angeles singer-songwriter (and former Woods bassist) Kevin Morby, was one of the great “growers” of 2016. Dusky and unassuming, it revealed its considerable charms slowly but surely. Morby’s follow up, City Music, mines a similar aesthetic, though its songs in general seem to endear themselves more quickly. Where Singing Saw was inspired in part by Morby’s sleepy neighborhood in the hills northeast of L.A., City Music is about the metropolis: city life, city noise, city people, a city’s pace, and so on.

Morby has said Singing Saw was Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, while City Music is Lou Reed and Patti Smith, and the comparison is clear in Morby’s speak-sing deadpan and bulging crescendos from brooding guitar-folk to driving rock. (The barreling “1234” makes a beeline for the Ramones.) City Music doesn’t hustle and bustle. But it won’t let you miss it, either so cool.

Kevin Morby’s title track off his excellent record, “City Music” nearly hits the 7-minute mark and challenges what fans may have come to expect from him. The song builds like a slowly accelerating subway train, as does this deeply impressionistic video.

Kevin Morby “City Music,” from his album, ‘City Music’, out 6/16 on Dead Oceans Records

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Love Is Love was written and recorded in the two months immediately following the election, but it’s not a record borne entirely of angry, knee-jerk reaction to what America is becoming. Instead, it’s a meditation on love, and on what life means now. Taking cues from last year’s City Sun Eater In The River Of Light, it feels very much like a record made from living, shoulder to shoulder, in a major city: weaving psychedelic swirls of guitar between languid horns reminiscent of the best Ethiopian jazz—Love is Love is a distinctly New York record. It is a document of protest in uncertain times and an open-hearted rejection of cynicism in favor of emotional honesty. It is bright, and then, unexpectedly, a little dark sometimes too.

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“Wisdom comes with age, so it’s no surprise that Woods have grown more sage in the twelve years since they formed, expanding from sylvan drum circles into increasingly elaborate, transcendent psychedelia.” – Pitchfork.

 

There will be parts of life where we will watch as events unfold and we will feel helpless. We will not be sure of the future. On good days, we’ll have each other. On the bad ones, we’ll turn to the art that helps us feel something. Love is Love is a document of the new world we live in, proof that light can come from despair and hope is still possible. We just need a little help remembering it exists.” –

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“I wasn’t planning on making a record,” says Juliana Hatfield, of her new “Pussycat” album. In fact, she thought her songwriting career was on hiatus, and that she had nothing left to say in song form; that she had finally said it all after two decades as a recording artist. But then the presidential election happened. “All of these songs just started pouring out of me. And I felt an urgency to record them, to get them down, and get them out there.” She booked some time at Q Division studios in Somerville, Massachusetts near her home in Cambridge and went in with a drummer (Pete Caldes), an engineer (Pat DiCenso) and fourteen brand-new songs.

Hatfield produced and played every instrument other than drums—bass, keyboards, guitars, vocals. From start to finish—recording through mixing—the whole thing took a total of just twelve and a half days to complete.“It was a blur. It was cathartic,” says Hatfield. “I almost don’t even understand what happened in there, or how it came together so smoothly, so quickly. I was there, directing it all, managing it, getting it all done, but I was being swept along by some force that was driving me. The songs had a will, they forced themselves on me, or out of me, and I did what they told me to do. Even my hands—it felt like they were not my hands. I played bass differently– looser, more confident, better.” Pussycat comes on the heels of last year’s Hatfield collaboration with Paul Westerberg, the I Don’t Cares’ Wild Stab album, and before that, 2015’s Juliana Hatfield Three (My Sister, Spin The Bottle) reunion/reformation album, Whatever, My Love. “I’ve always been prolific and productive and I have a good solid work ethic but this one happened so fast, I didn’t have time to think or plan,” says Hatfield. “I just went with it, rode the wave. And now it is out of my hands. It feels a little scary.” Pussycat is being released into a very tense, divided and inflamed America. The songs are reflective of that atmosphere—angry (When You’re A Star), defiant (Touch You Again), disgusted (Rhinoceros), but also funny (Short-Fingered Man), reflective (Wonder Why), righteous (Heartless) and even hopeful (Impossible Song, with its chorus of ‘What if we tried to get along/and sing an impossible song’).

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Eighteen months on from debut album, The Fire Inside comes Time Is A Riddle, the second album Luke Sital-Singh was determined to make solely on his terms. No interference, no scheduling issues, nor elaborate musicianship, nothing big or brittle. Just care, and effort, and time well spent – values he shares with the Slow Movement to which he subscribes, and with the crafts people up and down the country with whom the musician has some special projects planned. It’s a lovely record of self-written songs, a crafted distillation of the ideas and tastes that have been percolating through Sital-Singh since he was a teenager in suburban southwest London.

Having written a brace of songs – simple songs that moved him – Sital-Singh followed his long-held artist’s dream: he escaped to a remote studio, Attica Audio, in Donegal, with nothing on his mind other than making the record of his life. The studio’s owner, producer Tommy McLaughlin (a member of Villagers’ touring band, who Sital-Singh has opened for) pulled together a small group of musicians. Well-used to playing together, the band slotted together effortlessly for a series of recordings over ten days. Time Is A Riddle is a record where you can smell the graft, see the joins and hear the sweat on the frets – and the occasional live-recording misstep. It’s that real. Luke Sital-Singh wouldn’t have it any other way.

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On PWR BTTM’s new album Pageant, glammed and glittered duo Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce tackle their diary-like explorations of life, identity and existential crises head-on. Pageant is a vital exploration of self that’s hot with friction, angst and hope, both hilarious and heart wrenching.

Pageant is ferociously emotional, with passionate narratives set to cutting rock and roll anthems. The album builds upon PWR BTTM’s sensational debut Ugly Cherries with a further refined song craft and sonic flourishes including horns, flutes, keyboard and even an impromptu choir. The result is thirteen original songs that burst with laughter, tears and triumph. Pageant was produced by Christopher Daly and Cameron West, and was recorded primarily in the top floor of a furniture factory in Geneva, New York. Ben Hopkins takes his guitar playing and vocal fierceness to new heights, and with newfound openness. The duo swap instruments on the record and live, constantly alternating between Hopkins’ finger-picking solos and Liv Bruce’s tremendous drumming.

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Hazel English is a 25-year-old Oakland-based artist who makes beautifully blurry indie-pop music powered by transcendent melodies and caked in layers of Californian sunshine and redolent reverb. She finds herself something of a scene queen amidst the burgeoning jangling happenings of the Bay Area, which count the likes of her producer Jackson Philips aka Day Wave amongst it ranks, as well as kindred spirits like Craft Spells and Hot Flash Heat Wave, to name but a few. Despite the fun being had locally, Hazel describes her music as, “Transportive. It makes you feel like you’re in a different place”. A very literal example is the title track, which charters the bittersweet abandon of her runaway journey from her native Australia to her new adopted home in an near-cinematic narrative. She’s drawn comparisons to everyone from Alvvays and Pains Of Being Pure At Heart to touring partners Ride, while her soaring, hypnotic, vocal arrangements have been likened to everyone from Grimes to Diiv.

2LP – Double LP on Pastel Pink and Pastel Blue Vinyl.

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Manic Street Preachers’ eighth studio album Send Away The Tigers celebrates its tenth anniversary in May and to mark the occasion a 10 Year Collectors’ Edition of the album packed with unheard music, unseen footage and artwork from the band’s own archive is released.

3CD – 2CD / DVD folio book featuring the original album remastered by James Dean Bradfield, a second disc of b-sides and rarities and a DVD including the band’s full 2007 Glastonbury performance plus previously unseen rehearsal footage, an album track-by-track and promo videos. This comes packaged with a beautiful folio book of artwork and handwritten lyric sheets from Nicky Wire’s personal archive alongside photos and liner notes.

2LP – Double gatefold heavyweight vinyl, featuring a remastered edition of the album alongside demos recorded at Faster Studios and at the band’s homes. The vinyl release includes download codes for the album and demos.

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2017, marks the 40th anniversary of Paul Weller’s first album, In The City, which he released with The Jam in May 1977. For most artists such a landmark would be greeted with extensive retrospective celebrations: lavish reissues and all that jazz. But Paul Weller is not like most artists, instead releasing a new studio album, because releasing new albums is what Paul Weller does. Always moving forwards, almost clinically averse to nostalgia or checking his progress in the rear-view mirror. And so, continuing his never-ending creative peak, Paul Weller releases his eagerly awaited 13th studio album A Kind Revolution on Parlophone Records.

Weller started work on A Kind Revolution immediately after finishing 2015’s Saturns Pattern, first tickling out the funky strut of New York and the beautiful slow-mo gospel of The Cranes Are Back – a song that ties in the changing face of London with the power of nature. The album’s title is taken from a line in the aforementioned song. Musicians on the album feature most of the touring band faithful with Andy Crofts and Ben Gordelier being the top mainstays. Steve Cradock and Steve Pilgrim also feature on several tracks. Opening track Woo Sé Mama sees legendary soul singers PP Arnold and Madeleine Bell supply their distinctive vocal skills while the exceedingly funky One Tear features the unmistakable voice of the one and only Boy George. Paul even managed to lure Robert Wyatt out of retirement to sing and play trumpet on She Moves With The Fayre. Finally, and once again, The Strypes’ guitarist Josh McClorey has been drafted in to add his magic to 3 tracks.

A Kind Revolution features ten absolute classic modern Paul Weller songs. By “modern Paul Weller songs” we mean, instantly recognisable but in no way predictable. He doesn’t make a “kind of” album, he fits together all his influences – rock, R&B, soul, jazz, funk, folk…whatever – and builds a song from them, delivering something that drifts through genres un-selfconsciously and at ease. Two great examples of this are two of the most reflective, contemplative songs, Long Long Road and Hopper, which in lesser hands might have been delivered as ballads, but Weller adds so much texture and colour to each that they defy categorisation. With great age comes great wisdom. Written and recorded at de facto HQ, Black Barn Studios in Surrey, A Kind Revolution was produced and arranged by Jan ‘Stan’ Kybert and Paul himself.

CD – 10-track album in Gatefold card wallet with lyric booklet.

3CD – 8-panel fold-out card wallet containing the original 10-track album A Kind Revolution, plus a bonus CD featuring instrumental versions of A Kind Revolution and a third CD with remixes / alternate versions of A Kind Revolution tracks and another brand new track, Alpha. Also includes a booklet containing album lyrics.

LP – On heavyweight black vinyl, housed in a Gatefold sleeve with lyric booklet, art print and a download card with access to MP3s of the 10-track album.

10″ – Deluxe rigid board box set with lift-off lid containing A Kind Revolution pressed up on 5 x pieces of 10” black vinyl with individual artwork. Includes 10” art print, lyric booklet and download card to access MP3s of all 29 tracks from Deluxe formats of the album.

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Limited to 500 Copies on Seafoam Green Vinyl with Vaughan Oliver and Chris Bigg’s artwork beautifully repurposed in a shiny gold mirror board sleeve. Ask Me Tomorrow has been unavailable on vinyl since its release on 4AD in October, 1995 and original copies now change hands for three-figure sums. The reissue is timely as it follows the recent announcement of Slowdive’s fourth album, and this could well have been that record, but after being dropped by Creation following the release of Pygmalion, the band – reduced to a three-piece of Neil Halstead, Rachel Goswell and Ian McCutcheon – rechristened themselves Mojave 3 and experimented with stripped-down, acoustic songs more in thrall to Leonard Cohen than LFO. As a result, Ask Me Tomorrow is essentially Slowdive Unplugged; a special record, with a unique, hushed grandeur all of its own. For fans of Nick Drake, Townes Van Zandt and Gram Parsons.

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Girlpool made their mark with a spare, simple sound – two guitars and two voices, with absolutely nothing else accompanying them. It was an original, intimate sound, and it made the two sound like they were united against the rest of the world. But on their new album, Powerplant, they’re trying something else. They’re playing with a full band. Over 10 days in August 2016, Girlpool holed up at Los Angeles’ comp-ny studios to record and mix Powerplant with Drew Fischer. For the first time, Harmony and Cleo were joined by a third performer, drummer Miles Wintner, a friend who easily meshed with the tightknit duo. The 12 tracks that compose Powerplant grow and burn with greater fire than the duo have possessed heretofore. Both bandmates were heavily inspired by Elliott Smith, the Cranberries, the Cocteau Twins, Brian Eno, Arthur Russell, and Graham Nash; the influence of each appear in the record’s deliberate and intricate guitar work (Fast Dust, She Goes By) as well as its embrace of dissonant noise (Corner Store, Soup). Perhaps what really makes Powerplant a home run is that Girlpool understand exactly how to use their incisive lyrics, soft textures, hushed harmonies, and soaring hooks for maximum emotional impact. In these moments, when Harmony and Cleo’s voices join together to deliver transcendent transmissions straight from their hearts, Girlpool become a league of their own.

LP+ – Translucent red vinyl with Download – 300 copies.

LP – Black Vinyl with Download.

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Nomad stands as Martha Tilston’s most compelling work to date, an album full of experimentation and impulse. Across the album, musical arrangements realm from the pinhead intimacy of acoustic guitar and voice to the expansive electric guitar, slide guitar, rolling beats, deep bass, banjo and string arrangements. There are subtle undertones of old country music flittering throughout, suggestions of rock and pop and a good dose of stripped back acoustic cinema for the listener to submerge in. Recorded in Cornwall, Martha and her frequent collaborators Matt Tweed, Nick Marshall and Tim Cotterell, amongst other new faces, would pick up instruments in the late hours and the outcome of these sessions arising from spontaneity, experimentation and maturing songwriting was to become Nomad. Martha Tilston has grown up immersed in music from a young age. Her singer-songwriter father Steve Tilston and the late Maggie Boyle (step-mother) were obvious influences, with their musician friends Bert Jansch, John Rebourn and John Martyn often gathering and singing in the family kitchen.

Martha’s own musical journey has taken her from the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury to touring the far reaches of the globe. Originally one-half of folk duo Mouse (alongside Nick Marshall), Martha often shared the stage with the likes of Kate Tempest and Damien Rice before earning a nomination from the BBC for best newcomer and featuring on the Zero 7 album, Yeah Ghost.

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Concord release Thank You Friends: Big Star’s Third Live…and more celebrating the musical legacy of one of rock’s most influential bands – Big Star– and their legendary Third album. Experience this classic of late ’70s power pop through the prism of a collective of immensely talented fans, including members of Wilco, R.E.M., Yo La Tengo, and, of course, Big Star. Following the untimely death of Alex Chilton two days ahead of Big Star’s SXSW performance in 2010, famous friends and fans came from far and wide to play the gig in his honour. Much of that spontaneous ensemble, along with other musical titans, assembled at Glendale, CA’s Alex Theatre in April 2016 to record and film an epic performance.

2CD – Stand Alone Double CD.

3CD – Double CD and DVD Version.

3CD+ – Double CD and Blu-Ray Version

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When bands play at Third Man Records in Nashville, the shows are usually recorded to be released on vinyl as part of their Live at Third Man series. If you are fortunate enough to be in attendance, then at the show you can preorder a special Black & Blue split vinyl attendee version of the night’s performance.

Right now on Third Man Record’s site you can order the Black & Blue version of the recent performance by the great Brooklyn band Woods. The order page lists it as in stock, but the performance was just earlier this month and the usual turnaround on the Black & Blues is months and months. So, be forewarned that this may actually be more of a preorder.

As far as I know this is the first time that Third Man Records has sold the Black & Blues online outside of the refresh-athon sale they held a few years back.

Certain bands in this supersaturated, hyper-fragmented, temperamental internet era that rise above ephemeral popularity not because they perpetually reinvent themselves or stay ahead of trends or make headlines with crazy antics or write a mega hit or have a super dreamy frontperson… there are certain bands that rise above because of one characteristic that trumps all others: consistency. Woods is one of those bands, and their wheelhouse is a decidedly mellow blend of folk, psych, soul, and funk that’s wise beyond its years in timbre and lyric. It’s a comforting kind of music Woods makes. It doesn’t take you anywhere you don’t want to go, even if they world they depict is less and less hospitable with every passing day. It’s a soundscape reflective of the world it was created in, and its lack of call-it-action and angst makes it endlessly listenable for those of us with regrettably overactive minds. With over ten years and nine studio records under their belt, this Brooklyn band also runs their own label and 2-day festival at Big Sur, and has carved out a loyal legion of appreciators who extol their steadfast artistry and work ethic. We got to see the Nashville Chapter of this legion, as well as a whole slew of new members, at their live taping in our Nashville Blue room, Monday May 2nd. All captured on their Live at Third Man Records LP.

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Today, the Brooklyn-based, genre-defying band Woods released the physical copy of their latest album, and the lyric video for the album’s penultimate track, “Hit That Drum.” The video, filmed from a highway with a skyline view of New York City, slowly pans in black and white across the city’s urban topography.

The song hums with an acute melancholy—the song and album are written about Woods’ process of adjusting to the Trump years. in a press release shared by the band:

There will be parts of life where we will watch as events unfold and we will feel helpless. We will not be sure of the future. On good days, we’ll have each other. On the bad ones, we’ll turn to the art that helps us feel something. Love is Love is a document of the new world we live in, proof that light can come from despair and hope is still possible. We just need a little help remembering it exists.

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Love Is Love was written and recorded in the two months immediately following the election, but it’s not a record borne entirely of angry, knee-jerk reaction to what America is becoming. Instead, it’s a meditation on love, and on what life means now. Taking cues from last year’s City Sun Eater In The River Of Light, it feels very much like a record made from living, shoulder to shoulder, in a major city: weaving psychedelic swirls of guitar between languid horns reminiscent of the best Ethiopian jazz – Love is Love is a distinctly New York record. It is a document of protest in uncertain times and an open-hearted rejection of cynicism in favor of emotional honesty. It is bright, and then, unexpectedly, a little dark sometimes too. We argued about what we thought would happen. We preached understanding. We advocated for anger. Some people said that we’d at least get some incredible art, other people said that was a small view of a world we were quickly realizing we’d misunderstood. Everyone was right. Everyone was wrong.

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Art made in precarious times matters as much as we let it matter. There will be parts of life where we will watch as events unfold and we will feel helpless. We will not be sure of the future. On good days, we’ll have each other. On the bad ones, we’ll turn to the art that helps us feel something. Love is Love is a document of the new world we live in, proof that light can come from despair and hope is still possible. We just need a little help remembering it exists.

LP – Black Vinyl with Download.

LP+ – Limited Clear Vinyl with download. Limited to 400 copies – Rough Trade Exclusive.

Love is Love was written and recorded in the two months immediately following the election, but it’s not a record borne entirely of angry, knee-jerk reaction to what America is becoming. Instead, it’s a meditation on love, and on what life means now. Taking cues from last year’s City Sun Eater in the River of Light, it feels very much like a record made from living, shoulder to shoulder, in a major city: weaving psychedelic swirls of guitar between languid horns reminiscent of the best Ethiopian jazz—Love is Love is a distinctly New York record. It is a document of protest in uncertain times and an open-hearted rejection of cynicism in favor of emotional honesty. It is bright, and then, unexpectedly, a little dark sometimes too.

There will be parts of life where we will watch as events unfold and we will feel helpless. We will not be sure of the future. On good days, we’ll have each other. On the bad ones, we’ll turn to the art that helps us feel something. Love is Love is a document of the new world we live in, proof that light can come from despair and hope is still possible. We just need a little help remembering it exists.”

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Woods are an American folk rock band from Brooklyn formed in 2005. The band consists of Jeremy Earl (vocals, guitar), Jarvis Taveniere (various instruments, production), Aaron Neveu (drums), Chuck Van Dyck (bass) and Kyle Forester (keyboards, sax). 

Woods have released nine albums, the latest being City Sun Eater In The River Of Light giving the band its “Best New Music” designation and described the sound as “a distinctive blend of spooky campfire folk, lo-fi rock, homemade tape collages, and other noisy interludes, all anchored by deceptively sturdy melodies.

Singer-guitarist and founder Jeremy Earl also runs the rising Brooklyn label Woodsist, for whom the band releases their work.

Woods performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded July 23rd, 2016.

Songs:
Sun City Creeps
Suffering Season
Creature Comfort
The Take

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ex-Woods bassist Kevin Morby released a really great record this year, and the fact that it went largely undetected is a travesty to ears across the world. There’s still a month of ’16 left— time to buy Singing Saw.

Kevin Morby suddenly seemed comfortable stepping out into the limelight. Whilst unquestionably a record that dabbles with the traditional Americana sound, Singing Saw is also quietly ambitious; whether incorporating Balkan-tinged horns, gospel backing vocals or a healthy dose of fuzzed up electric guitars, Kevin’s songwriting always sounds fresh and exciting.

There are plenty of highlights, none more so than I Have Been To The Mountain, with its gorgeous backing vocals, triumphant trilling trumpets and joyously fuzzy guitar solo, even the way it fades out on a wash of strings is just so perfectly judged. It’s often only on repeat listens that the complexities and details of a record sing out, and Singing Saw is a record that just demands repeat listens. The charms are never far off, they are there in the way the organ reverberates on the title track, in the twinkling piano breakdown and roaring return in Dorothy and in the gentle swaying rhythms and meandering saxophones of Destroyer. This remarkable record not only shows how good Kevin Morby is.

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Woods have always been experts at distilling life epiphanies into compact chunks of psychedelic folk that exists just outside of any sort of tangible time or place. Maybe those epiphanies were buried under cassette manipulation or drum-and-drone freakouts, or maybe they were cloaked in Jeremy Earl’s lilting falsetto, but over the course of an impressive eight albums, Woods refined and drilled down their sound into City Sun Eater in the River of Light, their ninth LP and second recorded in a proper studio. It’s a dense record of rippling guitar, lush horns, and seductive, bustling anxiety about the state of the world. It’s still the Woods you recognize, only now they’re dabbling in zonked out Ethiopian jazz, pulling influence from the low key simmer of Brown Rice, and tapping into the weird dichotomy of making a home in a claustrophobic city that feels full of possibility even as it closes in on you. City Sun Eater in the River of Light is concise, powerful, anxious – barreling headlong into an uncertain, constantly shifting new world.” .Woods’ second album in a proper studio continues where “With Light..” left off with superb tunes, cool grooves (now funky and even jazzy) and their usual mellow 60’s vibe. There’s also a tangible reggae flavour here, which is a tasty addition to their template (all things transcendent) whilst The Song is still, of course, king. Really good record!
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Working in the sweetly swinging tradition of Serge Gainsbourg and the yé-yé sound of the ’60s, the Limiñanas have a sound that blends sunny psychedelia with vintage pop. Based out of Perpignan, France, the group is composed of drummer and sometime vocalist Marie Limiñana and bassist, organist, and jack-of-all-trades Lionel Limiñana, as well as a host of guest vocalists including MU. With its combination of fuzzy organ, half-spoken/half-sung vocals, and vintage production, the band captures the sexy, ultra-hip sound of classic French pop. After releasing a series of singles, the duo released its self-titled debut in 2010 through the Chicago label Trouble in Mind. The band continued to crank out singles, and a second album, Crystal Anis, followed in the summer of 2012. After taking some time to revamp the Limiñanas‘ sound to introduce more elements of French and Italian soundtrack music, the duo returned quickly with its third album for Trouble in Mind. Costa Blanca was issued in late 2013. The band are now back with new relase “Malamore”.

Malamore is French psych-pop-rock at its finest. Progressive hooks, walking bass and spoken word passages. Never scared to rock a groove or stamp on that wah-wah. This is a varied and exciting collection that reads like a what’s-what of psych/folk/rock tropes, but at no point feels stifled or clichéd. Starry-eyed and swaying passages segue into droning distortion and chanted vocals. A Fulfilling and absorbing ride.

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First impressions matter. Especially on a debut album. Time and attention-strapped listeners size up an artist within a song or two, then move on or delve in further. Fortunately, it only takes Margo Price about twenty-eight seconds to convince you that you’re hearing the arrival of a singular new talent. “Hands of Time,” the opener on Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, is an invitation, a mission statement and a starkly poetic summary of the 32-year old singer’s life, all in one knockout, self-penned punch. Easing in over a groove of sidestick, bass and atmospheric guitar, Price sings, “When I rolled out of town on the unpaved road, I was fifty-seven dollars from bein’ broke . . .” It has the feel of the first line of a great novel or opening scene in a classic film. There’s an expectancy, a brewing excitement. And as the song builds, strings rising around her, Price recalls hardships and heartaches – the loss of her family’s farm, the death of her child, problems with men and the bottle. There is no self-pity or over-emoting. Her voice has that alluring mix of vulnerability and resilience that was once the province of Loretta and Dolly. It is a tour-de-force performance that is vivid, deeply moving and all true.

From the honky tonk comeuppance of “About To Find Out,” to the rockabilly-charged “This Town Gets Around” to the weekend twang of “Hurtin’ (On The Bottle)”, Price adds fresh twists to classic Nashville country, with a sound that could’ve made hits in any decade. Meanwhile, the hard-hitting blues grooves of “Four Years of Chances” and “Tennessee Song” push the boundaries further west to Memphis (the album was recorded at the legendary Sun Studio).