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Saturday, May 1, 2021

New releases by Carsie Blanton, Screens 4 Eyes, Edgar Road, WKNDR, Dumpstaphunk

Carsie Blanton: Sufferin' Fools

With her unique sound and view of the world, this indie singer-songwriter that we've been following for years is drawing well-deserved attention with her new album, Love & Rage. Across its 11 tracks, Blanton's subjects range from love and lust to injustice and protest. We can't do a better job of capturing the album's spirit than this review by National Public Radio or this one by PopMatters. We previously featured singles "Party at the End of the World" and "Be Good," and with the release of the LP we're picking this cheerfully bittersweet song about a brief affair: "Knowin' it was just one night / Why'd it have to feel so right?"

Screens 4 Eyes: At Dawn

This is the latest single from the Tel Aviv synth-pop group's pandemic-delayed-but-still-forthcoming third EP. On this track, dawn brings darkness as keyboardist-vocalist Yael Brener sings of finding a lover missing at morning: "Why did you walk away? / This is how it feels, a fading presence walks away." Bright piano notes and sharp drumbeats accent the moody synths, creating a mesmerizing sonic atmosphere.

Edgar Road: Breakout

Here's the latest track from another indie band we've been following and featuring for a few years now. The five-piece from northern Scotland has released several singles in recent months, building toward its planned third EP. The band features vocalist-guitarist Mark Conti, Magdalena Wellenger on keyboards and vocals, Simon Watterson on guitar, Michael Byiers on bass and Allan Hall on drums.

WKNDR: Rising

Photo: Nick Wasch Photography
The title track from Richmond, Virginia-based "alterna-folk-rock" band grabs us right away with its opening flute notes (we always enjoy a rockin' flute) and then busts out into a joyful sound suitable for dancing on the lawn at a summer music festival (Can we have those again, please?). The band consists of Jim Wright (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Ali Foley Shenk (vocals, flute, bass, ukulele), Adam Powell (drums and percussion) and Elliot Johnson (lead guitar, keys, bass, vocals). In their words, they play "original music deriving from their conviction that life is beautiful, love wins, and mean people suck."

Dumpstaphunk: Make It After All

This is the title track from the New Orleans band's jam-packed new album. From their bio: "Founding members Ivan Neville (vocals/keyboards) Ian Neville (guitar) Tony Hall (bass/guitar/vocals) and Nick Daniels (bass/vocals) along with newest members Alex Wasily (trombone) and Deven Trusclair (drums), have built upon the Neville family’s iconic NOLA legacy, as they’ve transformed into the city’s pre-eminent 21st-century funk-fusion export, after being birthed originally from a spontaneous set during New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2003." We only wish we could get down to Tipitina's and catch their shows this weekend!

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