Anna Burch signs to Polyvinyl, hits the road

by Woody on October 21, 2017

CREDIT: Noah Elliott Morrison

Detroit’s Anna Burch is the newest addition to the Polyvinyl label. She released a self-directed video and is hitting the road. Anna used to be in a band that was a favorite of Oz, Frontier Ruckus. Now she’s taking her lovely vocals on her own. Check out the story of how she wound up with Polyvinyl.

Detroit singer/songwriter, Anna Burch, came to Polyvinyl’s attention the same way most valuable discoveries happen. By word of mouth. Fellow Michigan native and longtime Polyvinyl artist, Fred Thomas, sent Burch’s demos to Polyvinyl in the summer of 2017 with a simple note; “This is not a drill. You need to hear this.”

Turns out Thomas was right.

After learning the ins and outs of playing live and recording with various acts over the last several years, Burch found herself accumulating a growing amount of solo material. These songs, full of sincerity and undeniable depth, caught the ears of Collin Dupuis (Angel Olsen, The Black Keys) who mixed the tracks and helped develop the final product into what would become her debut full-length album, set to be released in early 2018.

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Anna Burch is here


Becca Mancari – Good Woman (album review)

by Woody on October 18, 2017

Becca Mancari first popped up on my radar due to her being involved with Brittany Howard’s side-project, Bermuda Triangle. Soon thereafter I caught wind of the lead track off of her debut LP and I was hooked. On her debut, the Nashville based artist does a fantastic job of adding some indie pop flourishes to her Americana sound. It really made me stand up and take up notice.

The second track, Waiting So Long, is a real winner. It has some tasty guitar, including some unconventional use of pedal steel. The track centers around Mancari asking how she can get her interest reciprocated. Golden is a beautiful break-up track where both sides still seem be able to find the beauty in each other despite the dysfunction. The penultimate track, Kitchen Dancing, is another beauty; using subtle pedal steel to create atmosphere.

Good Woman is a great debut by someone who clearly has a great future ahead of her. Put this on your must listen list.

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Becca Mancari is here


Melkbelly – Nothing Valley (album review)

by Woody on October 16, 2017


I made the mistake to have my first spin of Nothing Valley be in the morning after a shitty night’s sleep. I was tired and irritable; and I am sure the kids were pissing me off. Nothing Valley challenged me and irritated me more, so I turned it off thinking; nope I don’t like it.

Something drew me back a week later. Feeling good after a good day of work, I dialed it up on the drive home. Soon I was turning it up thinking; yep this is excellent. Nothing Valley, the debut LP by the Chicago quarter, gets up in your grill. Consisting of by Miranda Winters on vocals/guitar, her husband his brother (Bart & Liam) on guitar & bass and rounded out on drums by James Wetzel; Melkbelly create some sort of racket.

There’s lots to love about this album whose roots stem from loud brash 90s indie; think Sonic Youth and The Breeders. At times, the album feels like it is coming apart at the seams. It is brash and Miranda’s vocals are excellent as the band careens around; most notably Wetzel’s drumming. Kind of like Bryan Devendorf with The National, Wetzel will at times seem to be reading from a different page; but my word does it add plenty to the music.

There are a couple of tracks that come together in the middle of Nothing Valley that really stand out. Middle Of and Twin Lookin Motherfucker. On Middle Of, the song just keeps revving up; faster and faster; sounding like Wetzel has been cloned. Twin Looking Motherfucker follows up with a guitar lick spawned from the 90s that eventually leads to all sorts of shit. The tune has more twists and turns than an episode of Twin Peaks.

Some day I’ll be too old to listen this stuff. But that day isn’t today. Hopefully that day isn’t yet for you either as this an excellent debut.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Melkbelly is here


Deep Dark Woods announce Yarrow – 10/27/17

by Woody on October 14, 2017

The Deep Dark Woods are back after a 5 year hiatus after 2013’s Jubilee. Fronted by Ryan Boldt, DDW has always been a HearYa fave. They’ve been in for a couple of live sessions and played our SXSW party a couple of times as well. Yarrow will be out Oct 27th via the fine folks at Six Shooter Records. Here’s some info on the album from their site.

Floods and plagues, ghosts and slaughter: woe to those who populate the songs of Yarrow. A gentle summer breeze swings the gallows ropes, flowers bloom callously on lovers’ graves. These anthems are definitely not from Eden. The Deep Dark Woods’ newest album was borne in a fever – scarlet fever, to be medically specific. A disease of the last century is a fitting backdrop for songs that dig bare handed into the loam to unearth the corpses of old English folk and country blues

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Curtis Harding announces Face Your Fear – 10/27/17

October 3, 2017

Soul Power by Curtis Harding was one my favorites of 2014 . It was released via Burger Records and combined Harding’s soulful vocals with the garage rock experience you’ve come to expect from Burger’s catalog. He’s since signed to ANTI and I feel like I’ve been waiting for this one for awhile. Here’s a little […]

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Becca Mancari announces Good Woman for 10/6 release

September 28, 2017

Photo – Jenn Elrod Becca Mancari’s name popped up in my twitter feed when due to this album being streamed on NPR but I couldn’t place the name. Turns out she’s part of this Bermuda Triangle project w/ Brittany Howard & Jesse Lafser. It took about one song before I was all-in on Mancari & […]

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Hiss Golden Messenger – Hallejulah Anyhow (album review)

September 26, 2017

Photo: Elise Tyler One of the chief reasons I’ve always enjoyed the music of Hiss Golden Messenger is that I find it so spiritual. Not in the bullshit fake manor of a Joel Osteen. But in a much deeper and personal manner. A fact confirmed in a recent tweet he sent out. It's my polite […]

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Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger In The Alps (album review)

September 24, 2017

Photo by Frank Ockenfels Stranger In The Alps is the debut of 22 y/o Phoebe Bridgers. It is also a textbook example of how good an album can be when you combine an artist with a beautiful voice, wonderfully written songs and production that sets out to give the artist space and never tries to […]

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5j Barrow announced EP The Journey: Vol. 1, out 10/6

September 21, 2017

These guys have a cool back story. Check it out below and get ready for their debut EP. Founded and fronted by singer-songwriters and Broadway actors, Eryn Murman and Jason Hite, 5j Barrow have built a loyal following on the streets of New York City. With performances everywhere from the open air of Washington Square […]

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Snail Mail signs to Matador Records, set to release debut in 2018

September 20, 2017

Credit: Bryan Regan Matador found some tremendous success with a young East Coast female artist last year in Lucy Dacus. And as the excellent NY Times piece pointed out, there is no shortage of young talented female artists out there to enjoy. So Matador has added the 18 y/o Lindsey Jordan, aka Snail Mail, to […]

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