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Saturday, October 12, 2019

New sounds from Bonnie Bishop, Bryan Hansen Band, Van Andrew, Seratones, Swearingen & Kelli

Bonnie Bishop: "Every Happiness Under The Sun"
We became big fans of Bishop as soon as we heard her 2016 album Ain't Who I Was, featuring great soulful-Americana songs like "Too Late" and "Mercy." This track from her brand-new collection, The Walk, is now our favorite. Strains of gospel, blues and funk weave together in this paean to the sunny side of life. "In the valleys I walk through / in the shadows I come to / I just want to say thank you for the happiness under the sun." By the end of its four and a half minutes, you'll want to be clapping and singing along to that refrain. The album wins this praise from American Songwriter: "It’s a powerful, likely career-defining work that will hopefully bring the talented Bishop the popular recognition she undoubtedly deserves." Mixes well with: Amy Helm, Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Bryan Hansen Band: "Untitled #3"
We've previously featured a couple of singles from this New Jersey indie band's new LP, Gas Money. With its official release this week, we're now jumping on the opening track. Despite indecision about what to call the song, the band has made it a staple of its high-energy live shows. "We thought it’d be funny to have the first song on our album technically be #3," says bassist Will Blakey. He and drummer Cwan Merritt provide the funk-rock backing to Hansen's jazzy vocal. Mixes well with: Dave Matthews Band.

Van Andrew: "Highwire" This singer-songwriter from the Northwest corner of Washington State has been self-releasing music for a couple of years, mostly acoustic ballads. (We recently featured his "Building a Home" on The Birch Street Bistro.) This new single is more of a rocker - opening with a bit of electronic keyboard, joined by electric guitars and drums that build to an anthemic crescendo behind Andrews' warm-with-a-touch-of-grit vocal.

Seratones: "Over You"
We haven't had enough yet of Power, the recent album by powerful singer A.J. Haynes and her killer soul-rock band from Louisiana. So after featuring the title track and "Gotta Get to Know Ya" over the summer, we're now dropping this mid-tempo but burning-hot track into the New Music bin.

Swearingen & Kelli: Exile
The indie country-rock duo of AJ Swearingen and Jayne Kelli brings a sense of haunted isolation to this track from the new album Cold-Hearted Truth. (Fittingly, the music video was shot in a Texas ghost town.) S&K describe their third album as inspired "old-school icons of country music" such as Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris. It was recorded in a series of live takes, Swearingen said, to "capture that 3D sound where you're together in one room, focusing on the songs, and finding that human element."

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