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Sunday, June 9, 2024

The Wild Feathers, Ray LaMontagne, Burnstick, The Hard Luck, Arkells now in our New Music Bin

The Wild Feathers: Sanctuary

The Nashville group will release its next LP, Sirens, in October. It's billed as a collection of "road-worn, sharply-woven tales chronicling a life worth living, love worth holding and the hard-earned lessons found along the ride." This first single is about standing up for oneself in a one-sided relationship.

Ray LaMontagne: Step Into Your Power

The singer-songwriter's next studio album, Long Way Home, is coming out in August, and this is the first single. "Anything that your heart can dream, you can make it reality," he sings, as The Secret Sisters provide choral backing vocals. (Photo by Brian Stowell)

Burnstick: Closer

The indigenous Canadian contemporary-folk duo of Nadia and Jason Burnstick recently released their sophomore album, Made of Sin. This song is "about the willingness to do anything necessary for loved ones - inspired by the birth of the couple's son.

The Hard Luck: Tonight

This track is billed as the debut single from a new solo project by Canadian singer-songwriter Cory Dee, a member of the alt-rock band Owls By Nature. But we found another single released several months ago, called "Still Having Fun," and we'll be add that to our mix, too.

Arkells: Big Feelings

The Ontario band is out with this new single, asking the musical question, "Are you afraid of big feelings?" Frontman Max Kerman says: "In the studio, this track was a burst of energy and felt like it came together quickly. ...Immediately, we understood it would be unruly, and that the spirit of the song was more about the collective unvarnished expression than any conventional 'songwriting rules.'"

Saturday, June 1, 2024

New tunes by Richard Thompson, Crowded House, Lynne Hanson, Vanishing Shores, The Metal Byrds

Richard Thompson: Maybe

One of the pioneers of folk-rock returns with Ship to Shore, his latest collection of "curious characters, love laments, dark chords, dark humor and peerless guitar work," as The Associated Press puts it. AllMusic calls calls the album "one of the tightest collections he's made in the past quarter-century, exhibiting a wide tonal palette and a vitality belying his 75 years." Our pick for the New Music Bin is this ditty about infatuation: "There’s a girl I know / I want to know her better." As Thompson catalogs her virtues - "She rolls with the punches / Follows her hunches" - we're reminded a bit of Cake's "Short Skirt / Long Jacket."

Crowded House: The Howl

In 2020, Neil Finn and Nick Seymour, original members of the 80s hit-making band, were joined by Finn's sons Liam and Elroy, along with Mitchell Froom, who produced the band’s first three albums, and released Dreamers Are Waiting the next year. The new lineup is back now with Gravity Stairs. Rolling Stone Australia says "the five-piece gell[s] wonderfully on this loose, gently psychedelic LP that’s still guided by Finn’s immaculate pop instincts." 

Lynne Hanson: Outlaw Lover

This Ottawa-based singer-songwriter is billed as "too tough for folk and too blues-influenced for country." But in fact there are traces of all those styles, and more, in her music. On this track from her new album Just A Poet, Americana Highways says her "smoky, seductive voicing" results in "a jazzy lounge performance that shimmers." The lyrics combine a love-'em-and-leave-'em history with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude: "I lost count of the goodbye notes / No fixing all the hearts I broke / Roll the dice, take the leap."

Vanishing Shores: We Still Own the Night

Cleveland's Kevin Bianchi and company have just released Possible Light, Pt. 1, consisting of a few previously released singles along with a half-dozen new songs - including this one. Bianchi says he wrote it "to promote a feeling of defiant love. ... I wanted to affirm the reality that love can truly conquer whatever attempts to tear us down and separate us from having meaningful relationships and welcoming communities."

The Metal Byrds: I, Fall

Here's the first single to emerge from an new album, Lights Out, coming soon from this Houston indie-rock band. London-born vocalist Suzanne Birdie and lead guitarist Sly Rye founded the band in 2018. Bassist Mac Jacob and drummer Charlie “Breeze” Janto round out the current lineup.