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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.

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