Sunday, August 13, 2017

Josh Ritter, Hemming, The Kents & more new music added to our mix

Josh Ritter is bringing out a new album, Gathering, next month. Ritter tells NPR Music that the album title is a reference to storms building up, either in the atmosphere or internally. The first song to spin out, "Showboat," is narrated by "a big talker who carries deep inner uncertainties and struggles to keep a strong front against the world raging around him."

We return to the vibrant Philadelphia indie-music scene for the latest release by Hemming, the band led by singer-songwriter Candice Martello that we've featured before on Birch Street Radio. "Counting Stones" is a dark, piano-based ballad with a plaintive vocal lamenting a broken relationship: "I can see right through the ground / And I'm counting every single stone / That's how far I let you get me down." Hemming will be touring with Philly friends Cayatana starting with September dates in Brooklyn, Toronto, Detroit and Chicago.

Another indie act that we've featured before is Ontario quartet The Kents. They put out an EP last year and now follow up with a single, "Is There Anyone?" Lead vocalist and guitarist Warren Frank says it's "about trying to find one's place amidst the constant barrage of opinions that social media has become." Over a jittery, syncopated beat, he sings, "Is there anyone ... to tell me all the things I need to hear."

One of the current practitioners of "retro" or "vintage" rock is J.D. McPherson, who played with a rockabilly band in his home state of Oklahoma before setting out solo. Now living in Nashville (where it seems damn near every type of music is being crafted and innovated these days), he's bringing out his third album, Undivided Heart & Soul, in October. The first single is a tale about a run of misfortune, called "Lucky Penny."

Also joining our new music rotation this week is the latest from Big Head Todd and the Monsters, "Damaged One." The veteran guitar-rockers from Colorado apparently have an album due this fall, although we haven't been able to find its title or any other info. We figure it's a good bet it will also include the band's previous single, last year's "Wipeout Turn."

Hear these five picks-of-the-week in our big 24/7 mix on Birch Street Radio on your favorite media player - Or hear them together right now in this set on MixCloud:

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