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Friday, September 1, 2023

New: Pretenders, Death Cab, Bryan Hansen Band, Vanishing Shores, Shayla McDaniel

Pretenders: A Love

On the new album Relentless, the band consists primarily of the indefatiguable Chrissy Hynde and multi-instrumentalist James Walbourne. "The tender yet tough tunes are instantly identifiable as emerging from the iconic band," says American Songwriter. "Hynde’s voice, at 71, is just a shade weaker than in her prime, but the songs are strong, the lyrics as strident as you’d expect, and Walbourne’s playing remains professional without sliding into slick." 

Death Cab for Cutie: An Arrow in the Wall

Photo by Jimmy Fontaine
This single comes out as Benjamin Gibbard launches a tour with both DCFC and his other band, The Postal Service. The song, says Gibbard, "is about the warning signs all around us in the 21st century that society-at-large is in decay. The arrow lodged in the wall might have missed this time, but it would be naive to assume the next one won’t also.” (Presumably meaning, "also won't strike us.")

Bryan Hansen Band: Death of a Yes Man (feat. Jeff Coffin)

This band from Central New Jersey has been a favorite of ours for years. Since their last album, Gas Money, came out mid-pandemic - thwarting their plans to tour behind it - founding members Hansen (lead vocals, guitar) and Will Blakey (bass) have been working with other area musicians on tracks for a new LP, and this is the first single to emerge. Grammy winner and Dave Matthews Band member Jeff Coffin provides the horns. The song "is about moving past burnout and reclaiming your life and creativity," says Hansen. "The band has done just that and they’ll come out swinging."

Vanishing Shores: There Is No Distance (Between Us)

This Cleveland indie-rock band has confirmed that it has an album on the way, entitled Possible Light and presumably containing at least some of the singles it has released in the past couple of years. "This song is a summer anthem that affirms the truth that love casts out all fear," says frontman Kevin Bianchi. The background vocalist is credited mysteriously as Claudia X.

Shayla McDaniel: Good Thoughts for Bad Times

Another indie fave of ours, this singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Knoxville, Tennessee, just released Mental Filing Cabinets, a self-produced collection of six songs, plus a live acoustic version of this one. The lyric contains the EP's title: "I haven’t felt this good in a while / I don’t want this time to end / Storing up the memories like photos / In my mental filing cabinets" - to be retrieved as needed on darker days.

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