CREDIT: Hello Hillary Photo

didi are a quartet that got their start in Columbus, OH. Singer/guitarist Meg Zakany and drummer Sheena McGrath met at school and subsequently recruited singer/guitarist Kevin Bilapka-Arbelaez and singer/bassist Leslie Shimizu from the local DIY scene. If you are a fan of Speedy, Diet Cig or Swearin’, I’d check these guys out. Here’s some more info on their sophomore album from the PR team.

On their sophomore album, like memory foam, Zakany, Bilapka-Arbelaez and Shimizu all lend their voices to songs that seek to explore, among other things, the power of an ambiguous identity, be it in terms of race, gender, class or otherwise, to navigate difficult or guarded conversations (“anzaldúa”); the pain of forgetting what once seemed to be an unforgettable love (“heavy ghosts”); and the sting a woman is capable of in the face of an unchecked man socialized to underestimate her (“moon jelly”).

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

didi is here

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Photo credit: Chantal Anderson

It is a common (and annoying) trait of music writers (that is loosely used for me) to compare new artists to more established artists. I do it because a) I’m usually short on time and b) I’m a medicore writer at best. That being said, one name I rarely see when using comparisons is Neko Case. I think it comes down to Neko being a true unique voice and personality in the world of music. So I don’t say this lightly when I say that upon spinning If Only There Was a River, I was immediately reminded of Neko’s music.

Produced by Kevin Morby and Justin Thomas (King Tuff), Anna’s debut LP is an absolute gem. The music is born from folk/twang but with help from Justin Sullivan (Night Shop) on drums and multi-instrumentalist Oliver Hill (Pavo Pavo), she is able to flesh these tracks out to put her own stamp on the genre. The Bells has a foreboding nature to it, making it seem like it would be a natural fit for something like True Detective or a dark Coen Brothers movie. Hello, on the back half of the LP has some wonderful fiddle playing evoking an Appalachia feel to the track. On The Wind, you can see the influence of St. Louis playing in Morby’s band shine through.

All in all, count me in as a fan. This is one heckuva a debut and I’m looking forward to seeing her live.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Anna St. Louis is here

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Lala Lala – The Lamb (album review)

by Woody on October 11, 2018

As I mentioned when I posted about this album, I recently took in a set by Lala Lala (aka Lillie West) when she opened for Courtney Barnett. It was an enjoyable set that put her on my radar but I don’t seem to remember the songs being as diverse as they are on The Lamb, her sophomore effort.

Spread across a dozen tunes, the album was born with West’s newfound sobriety and it a deep look at some of her life’s experiences – good and bad. West is all over the place, some lo-fi indie, some dream-pop, some crunchy 90s indie, etc. It’s like an hour of XMU squeezed into one LP and I for one, find it all the more rewarding. She does a great job of pacing the tunes and mixing up the styles.

On the opener, Destoyer, West sings about her past self-destructive ways over some crunchy guitars and subtle keys. The tune has a really catchy chorus that seems to fly in the face of the lyrics. I love how she follows that up with Spy, an upbeat tune where she seems to be focusing on enjoying life without getting hung up on the small things. It’s a real nice one-two to open the album and speaks to my point above on the pacing of the tunes. See kids – the order you put your tunes in matters.

The rest of the album follows suit. Lala Lala’s The Lamb is another outstanding release from the Chicago music community.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Lala Lala is here

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Photo by Anna Dewey Nance

David Nance has been out there for years and yet it is just now, that I’ve found his music. It is the music of my youth. Squealing & scuzzy guitars that will have you pulling out the old air guitar and a rhythm section that will pound you into the submission will make you want to grow your hair out so your sweaty locks fall across your eyes as you get fucking lost in these ripping jams.

There are some flat-out fucking jams on this record that will have you immediately thinking of Neil Young. The centerpiece of the album, the sprawling Amethyst, has the slow-burning of Cortez The Killer. Made me yearn for that crappy Prince tennis racquet I had in middle school so I could fucking shred on it. When he slows things down and gets all spacey, it reminds me of when Hendrix would slow things down and get all trippy.

My musical tastes continue to broaden and evolve as I get older but man it feels good to get back to basics every once in awhile. And David Nance Group scratches that itch.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

David Nance is on the instagram

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Ron Gallo -Stardust Birthday Party (album review)

October 8, 2018

I’ve seen Ron Gallo live a few times. I’ve listened to this LP, his debut and the EP in between numerous times. I think at this point I can safely say that Ron is not one for conventions. He’s got an idea of what he wants to do and he’s going to do it his […]

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Molly Burch – First Flower (album review)

October 5, 2018

Photo By Kelly Giarrocco I recently had the pleasure of taking in a set by Margaret Glaspy. She had her boyfriend, Julian Lage, in tow. And for those who don’t know, he is fucking sublime on the guitar. Listening to Molly Burch’s sophomore album reminds me of that show. Burch’s smoky vocals and her boyfriend, […]

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Michigan Rattlers – Evergreen (album review)

October 4, 2018

Photo by Shelby Goldstein Michigan Rattlers aren’t breaking down any new ground. They kick out mid-tempo Americana, which in this day isn’t anything unique. The thing that makes them special are the vocals and songwriting of the boys. Graham Young’s vocals have a timeless feeling to them, like they were lifted from decades ago. Adam […]

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Mandolin Orange announces Tides of a Teardrop for 2/1/19 release

October 2, 2018

Photo by Kendall Bailey Mandolin Orange are a constant in my rotation. The music of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz always feels like the right choice to put on. Tides of a Teardrop will be out on 2/1/19 via the fine folks at Yep Roc Records. Here’s some more info from the PR team. Tides […]

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Sharon Van Etten announces Remind Me Tomorrow for 1/18/19

October 2, 2018

photo credit – Ryan Pfluger Finally we have an answer to a question that became so fevered that a t-shirt was made. The answer is 1/18/19 via the fine folks at Jagjaguwar. Produced by John Congleton, Van Etten’s sound has evolved a bit. The first track, Comeback Kid, is more upbeat and features more synths […]

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Sloucher announce Be True for 11/16 release

October 1, 2018

Photo credit: Eleanor Petry Sloucher are a Seattle based quartet playing indie guitar pop and they’re set to release their debut on Swoon Records on Nov 16th. Here’s some more info from the PR squad. Sloucher began with Jay Clancy (Makeup Monsters, Cayucas, Hibou), a drummer looking to try his chops at writing his own […]

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