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Sunday, March 20, 2016

New Jayhawks, Frightened Rabbit, White Denim

We hesitate to use the phrase "country rock" these days because so much so-called country music is really southern-fried pop-rock. But to those of us who remember The Byrds, Poco, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Buffalo Springfield and early Eagles, "country rock" means bright guitars, smooth harmonies and wide-ranging lyrics. Maybe "alt-country" is the best modern label for this sound. One band that's practicing in this vein today - and has been for some 20 years - is The Jayhawks. We've just added "Quiet Corners & Empty Spaces," the title track from their latest release, to our New Music Bin.

From a very different musical direction comes Frightened Rabbit, a Scottish band whose latest single, "Get Out," starts out as a pleasant mid-tempo song and then explodes with tension, musically and lyrically. The subject is the love that you don't want but can't escape: "She won't get out of my heart," Scott Hutchison sings amid urgent percussion in the chorus. The band's upcoming album is called Painting of a Panic Attack.

Meanwhile, Austin-based White Denim is out with some rollickin' good party music. We've added "Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah)" to the New Music Bin. From the early previews, it seems like the rest of the band's new album, Stiff, is in the same raise-the-roof style. It's coming out this week, in plenty of time to soundtrack your summer beer blast.

We're also picking up some music by an indie artist from New York, Scott Krokoff. We'll have more to say about him in another post soon.

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