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Sunday, June 11, 2017

New Iron & Wine, Oh Wonder, Ruen Bros & more

The sixth Iron & Wine album, Beast Epic, is set for release in August. So far we have one track, and it's a beauty. "Call It Dreaming" is a gentle rumination on the passing of time and the importance of loving each other while we're here. Sam Beam says the album was recorded and mixed in about two weeks, and the result is a loose, natural sound. "By employing the old discipline of recording everything live and doing minimal overdubbing, I feel like it wears both its achievements and its imperfections on its sleeve."

We dip again into Justin Townes Earle's latest collection, Kids In The Street, to feature "There Go A Fool." The first-verse story of romantic frustration reminds us a bit of Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" but with a heavier dose of melancholy. AllMusic.com writes of this album that Earle "sounds as good as ever ... carefully shaping these tales with smart, subtle phrasing. ... This is among his very best work to date." (The reviewer also shares our love for "Champagne Corolla," which we've been playing for weeks.)

Earle's roots are in Nashville, and from that city's busy music scene comes The Daybreaks. Singer/songwriters Kaleb Jones and Heather Bond and producer and multi-instrumentalist Bobby Holland had separate projects before coming together in 2015 and deciding they should be a band. Their debut album, Find Me At The End Of The World, is due later this month. The opening track, "The Machine," was actually released as a single about a year ago, but it qualifies for our New Music bin under the "hey, it's new to us" rule. Hat tip to NoiseTrade.com for bringing it to our attention.

The London alt-pop duo of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West are about to release their second album as Oh Wonder. The title track, "Ultralife," has an upbeat sound and unabashedly happy lyric in the now-that-I've-found-you vein: "Ever since you came, I'm living ultralife."

Rounding out our New Music picks this week is a new single from the Ruen Brothers. Siblings Henry and Rupert Stansall, who hail from Scunthorpe, England, caught our attention last year with their retro-60s sound on "Aces." They're back with a jumping little number called "Genevieve, Come Out Tonight" that we just couldn't resist - only partly because we love that name!

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