Like Ryley Walker, I first heard of Courtney Barnett on a Best of 2014 list (see there is some use to those pointless exercises). Her double EP, A Sea of Split Peas was on the Paste list at #10.
This track rocks with fuzzed out guitars, great lyrics. Fuck, even the video is awesome. I am infatuated with her and can’t wait to see her at SXSW. My main man, Steven Hyden* tweeted - “Tweeted this before and I’ll tweet it again: The new Courtney Barnett is my fave LP so far in 2015 and it’s sort of not even close.” She’s also from Australia so that will be another opportunity for Jefe and I to quote Crocodile Dundee. Everything is coming up Millhouse this week.
Update – Just heard full album on an advance stream. Wow is all I can say.
TORRES is Mackenzie Scott and she was just added to the excellent Partisan roster. Her follow-up to her 2013 s/t debut will be titled Sprinter and see the light of day on 5/5/15. She’s got a little bit of a fire in the belly and her music is all the better for it. Here’s a snippet on her – Alienation and emerging from darkness are big themes on the record — be it Torres’s place in her family as an adopted child whose mother was also adopted, or her grappling with her Conservative christian southern roots, or her self-imposed outsider status in New York following a recent move from Nashville.
She’ll be at SXSW and I’m sure she’ll be a sought-after show to see.
I had not heard of Twerps upon hearing I Don’t Mind a few weeks back. It was catchy but my mind immediately concluded that I Don’t Mind was a slacker anthem by a bunch of dudes from Brooklyn. But then about two minutes, an angelic voice drifts in and sings a few lines. I don’t even know what she says but I loved it. She, is Julia McFarlane and she, is in the band. She can play keys and guitar in addition to singing, (probably some other stuff too that I don’t know about). And get this, Julia is from Australia and so are the other three guys as well. So much for preconceptions.
The tracks are of the jangly pop variety and you will definitely hear semblance to Real Estate, and therefore R.E.M. Real Estate is a good band full of quality players but sometimes there tunes just blend together. I never lose track of when one tracks ends and another commences with Twerps. They don’t ever veer from the jangly pop ideal, but each tune has its own hook and flavor. And while I’m sure there have been other bands that have mined the male/female vocal dynamic (i.e. McFarlane and Martin Frawley) in this genre, I can’t recall anybody doing it in a manner that stuck in my brain like these guys.
They will be coming over from Australia for SXSW. Jefe and I will be checking them out. We may very well be quoting lines from Crocodile Dundee and/or confusing our British and Australian accents. In anticipation of that monumental occasion, I would suggest picking up Range Anxiety. Their 2011 s/t effort should be on your radar as well.
Burger Records keeps churning out quality releases like In-N-Out Burger churns out, um burgers. You get the point. Anyway, fresh off the grill is San Francisco’s Sarah Bethe Nelson. The first track, Paying, is a slow-burning breakup tune. Here’s some info on Sara Bethe:
As a long-time member of San Francisco’s close-knit rock and roll community, Nelson has obviously inherited her peers’ sense of pensive melody. The songs are simple, but they throw great surprises at us. Recorded at the home studio of song wizard Kelley Stoltz there is a sense of sonic adventure creeping throughout the record. With a crack engineer and a who’s who of great musicians giving life to Nelson’s weary yet inspired observations.
She’s going to be at SXSW. While I’ve only heard on track, that’s enough to get her on my schedule.
Grand Lake Islands has a new album out this week called Song From Far. The band is led by Portland-based Erik Emnauelson. Emanuelson was compelled to make the move to Portland from Brooklyn partly out of the romantic nature of home of Elliott Smith and partly to get away from the manic pace of NY. [...]
I didn’t know what to expect from Fear and Saturday Night when it was announced. Truth be told – his last effort, Tomorrowland, is probably the last Bingham record I reach for when I need a fix of the LA based artist. But upon hearing a 3 song advance way back in October, I was [...]
I loved Matthew E. White’s last album, Big Inner. The follow-up, Fresh Blood, will see the light of day on 3/10 via Domino Records. The first track is Rock ‘n’ Roll is Cold. Here’s some info from the PR team: Fresh Blood marks the next chapter of White’s Richmond, VA-based Spacebomb — an analog studio, [...]
Here is the final installment from our HearYa session with Strand of Oaks. With pounding drums, chugging guitar and bass and some ripping arpeggiated organ, “For Me” rounds out the session with some meaty fuzz. 2014 was a big year for Tim Showalter and company. HEAL garnered rave reviews and earned itself top placement on [...]
Small Houses is the moniker of Jeremy Quentin. Quentin, a native of Flint, MI; is based in Philly now. From what I can tell, he motored down to Atlanta to record this new album. He found himself living out of his car, staying in all-night diners and probably bummed on a couch or two. I [...]
One of the things I look forward to at the end of the year, is Aquarium Drunkard’s year in review. The team over there know music as well as anyone. I typically find one or two gems in there that I had missed in the prior year. This year that gem was Ryley Walker. The [...]