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Monday, December 18, 2017

This week's picks: Frank Turner, Michael Jablonka, Danielle Nicole, Amanda Duncan, Kan Wakan

Frank Turner is planning to release a new album in the new year, but in the meantime he's issued a retrospective collection timed to the 10th anniversary of his first solo effort. Songbook is presented as a double album, packed with 29 tracks. Turner describes it "a collection of my favourite recorded songs, 10 new alternative versions of older songs and 'There She Is,' a new song that gives you a taste of what to expect from my next album, sonically." Naturally, it's that new track that we're featuring in our New Music bin.

Also from the UK comes Michael Jablonka, a guitarist who has backed up a variety of artists, most recently fellow Londoner Michael Kiwanuka, with his blend of bluesy/funky/soulful indie-rock. Striking out on his own, he's put out a few singles so far, and we're catching up with his latest release, a solid rocker called "I Found You."

You've heard Danielle Nicole in our big mix both as a solo artist and as the bassist for Trampled Under Foot. Her second solo album, Cry No More, is due in February, and we have the first single. "Save Me" features Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Rather than a plea to be saved, the lyric is a don't-tell-me-how-to-live rebuke. "This song is about knowing what you’re worth and not letting others define you," Nicole said. "It was great to finally work with Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Recording with him is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time - and he killed, of course.”

New Jersey singer-songwriter Amanda Duncan is preparing an album that would be her first release in four years, but she hasn't been idle. She's been playing shows, helping write music for a theatrical production, and producing music videos. She just released one track, called "I'm On Fire," from the forthcoming album, and it's an energetic rocker showcasing her powerful voice.

We round out this week's picks with a much softer sound - the latest single from Kan Wakan, the project of Los Angeles-based Bulgaria native Gueorgui Linev. Our playlist includes several tracks from the 2014 LP Moving On, which featured vocalist Kristianne Bautista. On the new track, "Tuesday," the vocalist is Rachel Fannan of the California band Only You. Consequence of Sound calls the song "one of Linev’s most expansive and gorgeous compositions to date," with a poignant lyric of unrequited love.

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