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Saturday, June 19, 2021

New releases from Amy Helm, Keeton Coffman, Whitehorse, Cold War Kids, Joy Formidable

Amy Helm: Calling Home

Her new album, What the Flood Leaves Behind, is effectively a homecoming for Helm, recorded at the Levon Helm Studios she built with her dad in Woodstock, N.Y. “Going back to the place where I learned so much about how to express music, how to hold myself in music, how to listen to music,” she says, “I could see clearly where I came from and where I am now in my life. I was singing from a different place now and for a different reason.” The album is excellent from start to finish. We previously featured "Breathing" and "Are We Running Out of  Love," and will be adding other tracks to our big playlist in the coming weeks.

Keeton Coffman: Hard Times

This Texas singer-songwriter-guitarist's new LP, Hard Times, is filled with songs written while he took a break from performing to deal with bipolar disorder: "When I got back to myself, I had these 10 songs." He told The Main Edge it was "a great surprise" when he played them for his producer, Ryan Cecil, "and he said, 'This is the best record you’ve ever written.'" Coffman added: "The songs start with something I’m going through, then I wrap up these emotions and things I want to say in a fictional character or story."

Whitehorse: Why So Cruel

The wax was barely dry, so to speak, on their March release, Modern Love, when the duo of Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet announced that another LP, Strike Me Down, would arrive in September. The couple started out as a folk duo. but their sound has evolved into a wide range of rock. Sometimes it has a country tinge, but the press release for the upcoming album says it leans into "dance-ready nightclub noir." We hear a hint of Blondie's "Heart of Glass" in this single. 

Cold War Kids: What You Say

The kids have come a long way from their early-2000s indie days and their 2006 major-label debut Robbers & Cowards, which included their offbeat breakout single, "Hang Me Up to Dry." As AllMusic puts it, they "grew from quirky blues-punks into polished, anthemic rockers." They take a turn to the dance-y on this single from their upcoming album, New Age Norms 3Ear To The Ground Music says of the track: "It is always fun to hear different influences with an act who keeps getting better."

Joy Formidable: Chimes

Here's another single from what's shaping up to be a fine album, the upcoming Into the Blue. 
Lead singer-guitarist Ritzy Bryan said she wrote the song at a low point, "going through a difficult breakup that left me feeling quite lost and questioning myself. In the middle of that sadness, I had a whole week of strange little serendipitous events that ended up inspiring the lyrics for ‘Chimes’. I felt like something or someone was looking out for me."

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