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Saturday, January 22, 2022

The latest from Spoon, Abby Bryant & The Echoes, Christian Lee Hutson, Phillip-Michael Scales, Whole Damn Mess

Spoon: Wild

Here's the second single (following "The Hardest Cut") to be released ahead of the upcoming Lucifer on the Sofa album. "And the world, still so wild, called to me," Britt Daniel sings. "I was lost, I'd been kept on my knees." Stereogum calls the track "a shimmying strut ... a song with some serious heft to it. It’s a big rock song without the pretensions that load down so many big rock songs."

Abby Bryant & The Echoes: Not Your Little Girl

From North Carolina, this singer and guitarist Bailey Faulkner "have been hanging out and playing music together since they were kids," according to their bio. Now with their band The Echoes, they've released their debut album of "vintage-inspired southern soul rock," and landed in our New Music bin with the title track. Americana Highways gives them high praise by comparing their rock-band-with-horns sound to that of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, and Bryant's "generous bluesy-warm voice" to that of Bonnie Bramlett.<

Christian Lee Hutson: Rubberneckers (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)

This single precedes the Los Angeles singer-songwriter's second album, Quitters, due in April as the follow-up to 2020's Beginners. AllMusic writes that Hutson has "an acute gift for intimate and detailed introspection. ... [He] threads through avenues of light Americana, smart indie pop, and lo-fi folk storytelling." After releasing a couple of albums and EPs in the 2010s, he co-wrote songs for Boygenius, the collaboration of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker, and contributed to the Bridgers-and-Conor Oberst project Better Oblivion Community Center. Bridgers, in turn, co-produced Beginners, and returned with Oberst to produce Quitters.

Phillip-Michael Scales: Find a Way

Astute music listeners may recognize that this track was originally released in 2020, but a new publicity push brings it to our ears this month, as Scales embarks on a U.S. tour. Now based in Nashville, he was born in Detroit and grew up in Chicago, where he picked up influences from B.B. King, a family friend he called "Uncle B." Initially he steered away from blues into writing and singing folk-pop, but later began blending alternative rock and blues influences into a style he calls "dive bar soul." Music-defined.com wrote that this song has "a funky, bluesy vibe that drips with confidence and a rock 'n' roll attitude" and some echoes of Michael Kiwanuka.

Whole Damn Mess: Some Big Something

Four Los Angeles musicians who have belonged to various bands and worked on film and TV projects came together a few years ago to form their own group - while continuing with their other gigs. This is the title track from their latest album. Band member Don Miggs says it's a "song about embracing the beauty of being and living. Being OK where you are but not giving up if what you like to do is dream big."

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