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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Our latest picks: Carsie Blanton, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lost Leaders, Foals and The Interrupters

Faithful Birch Street Radio listeners know we're big supporters of New Orleans-based singer, songwriter, musician and mischief-maker Carsie Blanton. Her music doesn't stick to any particular genre. In fact, she says, "I love songs, but I hate genre. I think making music is like making love: if you only know one way to do it, you must not be very good at it." She makes sexy songs, sassy songs, serious songs and mixtures of those and other ingredients. We recently featured the title track of her upcoming album, Buck Up, an optimistic take on the current state of the world. Now we turn to a less sunny view: "American Kid," a song of concern for what the next generation will have to deal with.

The forthcoming album Signs looks to be another instant classic from the Tedeschi Trucks Band, based on what we've heard so far: "Hard Case," which we began playing a few weeks ago, and now joining our playlist, "They Don't Shine." Built around Susan Tedeschi's expressive vocals and Derek Trucks' guitar mastery, TTB is without question one of the best touring bands in the land. This album was recorded live on analog tape at Susan and Derek's home studio in Jacksonville, Fla. The result, says NPR: "There's such warmth to the playing, you can picture the band members standing in the studio — playing together and off of each other, blending rock and blues and soul, accompanied by Trucks' impassioned guitar work and Tedeschi's soulful vocals."

Lost Leaders, the on-and-off project of Peter Cole and Byron Isaacs, returns March 1 with a new album, Promises Promises. As the band describes it, the record "takes the permanent background noise of anxiety and pushes it through a large collection of vintage synthesizers, guitar pedals and tea soaked vocal chords." Now entering our New Music bin is the first single, "Extra-ordinary."

U.K. alt-rock quartet Foals is bringing out Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 next month, with Part 2 due in August. The first track to spin out, "Exits," is a haunting meditation on climate change and other modern dangers. Atwood Magazine says the track "feels like it’s set to a low simmer, drawing out as much electric tension as possible" in an expression of "existential claustrophobia."

To round out this week's picks, we jump back about six months to Fight the Good Fight, the breakout album by Los Angeles-based The Interrupters. We've been playing several of its tracks in our big mix, but one we'd overlooked, "Gave You Everything," has started climbing the radio charts lately, and we couldn't resist jumping on the bandwagon. Consisting of vocalist Aimee Allen and brothers Jesse, Justin and Kevin Bivona, this female-fronted punk-ska band brings fresh fire to the genre.

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