Friday, February 9, 2018

Straight Arrows - "Out & Down" / "Franchisee"

Friday demands garage rock.  Or, at least, on Friday we demand some garage rock.  And here to satisfy our desires are Sydney's Straight Arrows.  Their two-song single "Out & Down" / "Franchisee" is out now via Rice Is Nice, and is as authentic as garage rock can be.  And it has brought work to a standstill around here.  You can purchase it in vinyl (with a digital download) or digital formats.  US fans can avoid high import costs for physical by using Austin's Spacecase Records; their website link is below.

Rice Is Nice page for single
Spacecase Records

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ewan Cruickshanks - A Glasgow Band

A Glasgow poet and musician, Ewan Cruickshanks is energetic and given to somewhat offbeat humor.  Thus, it is no surprise that his debut album, A Glasgow Band, arrives as an energetic and somewhat offbeat take on indie pop.  It also is charming, accessible and loads of fun.  Ewan is no slave to genre, so you will find love songs, rockers, dance floor instigators and whatever interests the man, but that just keeps it all fresh and interesting.  And the one consisted thread is positivity.  This is uplifting music that should help you get few the next few months of winter.  The two tracks below are especially good, so give them a listen.

A Glasgow Band is out in digital and vinyl formats on Friday, February 9, via Armellodie Records.

Bandcamp for A Glasgow Band
Armellodie Records

"Canyons" by Barrie

"Canyons" is a dream pop song with heft and mystery.  It also is your introduction to a Brooklyn based band of which we expect to hear much more in the future.  A warm WYMA welcome to Barrie.

Bandcamp for "Canyons"

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"London Calling" and others by The Clash

I can't let International Clash Day pass without a few from the boys.  I love this band.  While I rotate music on my phone so I can prepare posts for this blog, I permanently have London Calling, The Essential Clash, and the singles box set on my phone.  That will never change.

H.C. McEntire - Lionheart

Mindful that our job is to inform you about music we like in enough detail to tell you why we like it, with enough brevity to avoid wasting your time, we sometimes resort to word association about a subject album.  When so engaged about Lionheart, the solo debut album from Mount Moriah frontwoman H.C. McEntire, the common words associated with the record were "sincerity" and "authenticity".  Lionheart is a southern rock/alternative country tapestry of incredible craftsmanship and beauty, and infused with both a love for a region and its traditions, and the songwriter's claim for a queer southern woman's place at the table.  The result is beautiful, fierce, vulnerable, and brave.  Triumphant rockers like "Quartz in the Valley" and "Baby's Got the Blues" are balanced by gospel-styled "A Lamb, A Dove" and downtempo country ballads like "Wild Dogs", "When You Come for Me", and the exceptional "One Dark Thunder".  Well written, deeply felt and superbly performed, this may be your favorite country album of the year.

Heather McEntire wrote and sang all of the songs.  Of course she had help with the performances, and you can read credits at the Bandcamp link below.  Lionheart is out now in all formats via Merge Records.

Bandcamp for Lionheart
Merge Records

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

"Change" by Mummy Short Arms, from upcoming FITD anniversary compilation

For the past decade Glasgow label Flowers In The Dustbin  has thrilled us with the quality of their releases.  Their motto is "be reasonable -- demand genius".  Of course, plenty of musical genius shows up on other labels, but the stuff that is on FITD never fails to inspire.  Next month the label will celebrate its tenth anniversary by releasing Under The Paving Stones - Flowers In The Dustbin  Records 2007 - 2017, a select compilation of songs that have appeared on its releases.   The final tracklist is not public at this time, but one of the songs will be the excellent "Change" by Mummy Short Arms.

Flowers In The Dustbin's Website

Monday, February 5, 2018

Montero - Performer

In a magician-worthy trick, Melbourne's Montero has awakened '70s pop and soft rock and zapped it into 2018.  Lush, widescale, colorful, dynamic, melodic and hook-filled, it may just remind you of Harry Nilsson, late-era Beatles, ELO, some of John Lennon's and Van Dyke Parks' solo work, pre-disco Bee Gees, and Emitt Rhodes.  But if you are like us, it most definitely will remind you that this sort of thing can really hit the spot, and belongs in your music collection.  The vocals soar, well-balanced by authoritative bass and percussion, and each track reaches to make claim on your musical pleasure sensors.  It seems that Montero didn't reign in his ambition one iota in crafting Performer, which makes the resulting quality and consistency even more triumphant.  Remind yourself of how good this sort of pop can be by streaming a few tracks below.

Montero is musician and visual artist Ben Montero.  His debut album was Loving Gaze, released in 2013.  Performer is out now via Chapter Music

Bandcamp for Album
Chapter Music page for album
Link for other digital sources for Performer

Kyle Craft - Full Circle Nightmare

Kyle Craft has a throwback '70s rock voice, and on his new album, Full Circle Nightmare, he uses it ably to sing his tales of dangerous females and dodgy situations.  The soundtrack is an addictive concoction of southern rock, classic rock and a dose of glam.  If it reminds you of the Rolling Stones and Bowie, it won't offend Craft, because he admires those artists and uses them as a touchstone for his efforts.  As a songwriter, he takes great care with his lyrics, but he doesn't shirk his duties as a performer and arranger, either.  These songs have plenty of punch and drama, and if the tales are a bit lurid, well, that's entertainment, folks!  Cue up this album and you can imagine yourself in a roadside bar listening to Craft and the band while similar tales are unfolding all around you.  Good fun.

Full Circle Nightmare is out now via Sub Pop.

Bandcamp for Full Circle Nightmare
Sub Pop page for Kyle Craft