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Sunday, November 19, 2017

This week's picks: Band of Rascals, The Elephant Trees, Sunflower Bean, I'm With Her, LOZT

Music variety is our brand, and this week our New Music picks range from hard rock through pop to acoustic folk.

Vancouver Island-based rockers Band of Rascals have just released their second EP, Tempest. Noisetrade.com calls it "an in your face rock album, which pairs guitars with thundering drums that underline the soaring rock vocals of lead singer Sam Trainor." There's a lot of energy packed into our featured track, "Seas Coming Down." But it's not all loud-hard-fast on this record. They also try out a folksier, Mumford/Lumineers-ish sound on "Fell Into The Love Of You," and we'll be giving that some spins, too.

Veering into a poppier style of rock, we bring you the debut single by an outfit from Manchester, England, called The Elephant Trees. As far as we know they just have a few singles to their name so far but they're picking up airplay and fans in the UK. We're picking up the single "Open Up." Songwriter and vocalist Martha Philips says it's "a story of falling in love with someone when you're not ready to fall," and the bouncy two-and-a-half-minute track captures that head-spinning feeling.

It's not such a big jump from that to the smooth new single from Sunflower Bean, "I Was A Fool." It's the Brooklyn trio's first release since it made a splash last year with its debut album, Human Ceremony. Consequence of Sound says "the jaunty number recalls Fleetwood Mac, and features more of the buoyant guitars and call-and-response vocals of Nick Kivlen and Julia Cumming that helped make the band’s debut so charming."

Now we shift to a couple of new numbers featuring acoustic instruments and harmonies.

I'm With Her, the folk super-trio of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan, will release its debut full-length album, See You Around, in February. The recent single "Little Lies," which we featured this summer, apparently won't be on the LP, but we now have the lovely title track. The album was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath, England - much of it in live takes. This is flawless music produced by masters of their craft.

Back in March we were introduced to Tom Ryder, a singer-songwriter from Essex, England, and we picked up his amusing song "Here We Go Again." Now Ryder and California singer-songwriter Lauren Scudder have formed a "trans-Atlantic folk-pop duo," called LOZT. They plan to release their debut single early next year - but in the meantime, we have a song they recorded live for Cambridge-based Bridge Sessions, called "Turmoil." Their interwoven voices, with the simple accompaniment of acoustic guitar and caj√≥n, produce a beautiful sound on this ballad about the confusion that comes with new love.

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