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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Rubblebucket, Daniel Pearson, Ennor, Ay Wing and more Eels music added to our big mix

We're pleased to have new music from Rubblebucket, even though they're no longer the full band that we'd come to know and love. For the upcoming album Sun Machine, the Brooklyn-based group basically consists simply of founders Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth, coming out on the other side of health and personal issues. Judging by the first song to spin out, "Fruity," their sound is a bit more subdued than it was with the bigger band, but still bounces along with a rich mix of percussion, winds, guitar and synthesizer. We look forward to the full album in August.

Daniel Pearson is one of those artists whose sound more-or-less fits the Americana category - but who isn't American (Mumford & Sons being a well-known example). Pearson is an English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who cites the likes of Springsteen, REM and Ryan Adams among his influences. His most recent album was 2015's Alone, Together, but he's put out a string of singles in the past couple of months, and we're picking up the latest, "Until The Sun Comes Up." Pearson brings a full-band sound to this upbeat song, which he describes as being "about refusing to take things lying down and never giving up."

Also from England, and hewing a bit more to an English-folk-rock sound, is Ennor. This four-piece is from Cornwall, the southwestern-most part of the U.K. that juts into the sea, and the band's name is that of a large island that's believed to have once existed off the coast where the smaller Isles of Scilly now lie. So it's fitting that we're introduced to them with a song called "Wave After Wave." It's described as "a melancholic reflection on climate change," pondering the question, "at what point will we have gone too far?" Starting quietly with acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies, the track swells to a rock crescendo.

Mixing things up as we usually do, we turn from folk-rock to the "beat-driven fluorescent synth-pop" of Swiss-born, Berlin-based Ay Wing. Her new EP, Ice Cream Dream, does tend toward the sweet side, but we're picking up the slightly edgier "Strange." In a bit of a St. Vincent vein, the song comments on "digital narcissism" -- the modern urge to turn one's life into a show on social media, showing off your strange-ness because you're "afraid to be forgotten." In the song's video, the singer casts herself as various movie characters taking selfies.

Also entering our New Music bin this week is another track from the new album by Eels, The Deconstruction. "Today Is The Day" (like our previous featured track, "You Are The Shining Light") fits the album's theme of casting off old ideas and attitudes, taking life as it comes and making the best of it. "Today is the day that you see me / As a man who will always change / Who knows the only things to count on / Are life is quick, and life is strange."

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