Montana Elliot

Bethlehem Steel are the Brooklyn trio of Rebecca Ryskalczyk (vocals/guitars), Jon Gernhart (drums) and Patrick Ronayne (bass). Their debut, Party Naked Forever, gets up in your face in a bold manner and never lets go.

The trio makes quite the racket, delivering a brand of brash fuzzy rock inspired by the 90s. Ryskalczyk’s vocals combine the confessional nature of Katie Crutchfield with the ferocity of Miranda Winters. She has a ton of range; always melding to the vibe of the tune.

The opener Alt Shells sees Ryskalczyk has some blistering guitar work as Ryskalczyk sings of dealing with depression. I don’t want to say she makes light of a disease that cripples thousands but she does it a manner that shows that sometimes it easy to almost self-sabotage yourself in a funk that paralyzes. My description might not come across well but it is a really well crafted tune and message.

Finger It Out was inspired by the passing of Annie Elverum. The track that follows couldn’t be any more timely in Untitled Entitlement. Ryskalczyk delivers her message sternly and it packs a wallop.

Bethlehem Steel certainly delivered on their first LP. Bummed I missed them on their recent trip to Chicago. Going to need to rectify that at some point,

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Bethlehem Steel is here

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Photo Credit: Joshua Black Wilkins

On the Thursday night before Newport Folk Fest started, my buddy Nick and I stumbled into a Langhorne show at the Newport Blues Cafe. I hadn’t been listening to alot of Langhorn at that time. But it only took a few songs to be reminded that Langhorne is a larger than life figure (especially on stage).

For this album, Langhorne pumps the brakes and take a breath. The album has a soulful, reflective feel to it. Ocean City (For May, Jack & Brother Joe) recounts a happy memory for Slim; when his brother and him spent time with his parents. The tuba adds to the wistful flavor to the tune. However, Private Property has a tired rueful feel; as the protagonist sings of getting busted for growing weed on his property.

The back half of the album sees my two favorites of the album. Alligator Girl buoyed by its New Orleans flavored piano and its gospel-tinged backing vocals. Zombie is probably the catchiest and bounciest of the tunes. The pedal steel winding around throughout the tune, never overpowering the proceedings.

Overall, Lost At Last Vol. 1 is my favorite Slim album since his s/t effort in 2008. I’m anxious to see how these tunes translate to a live setting. As a veteran of many Slim shows, I can’t imagine anything that leaves me wanting.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Langhorne Slim is here

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Young Jesus, a band born in Chicago and now residing in LA, has signed with Saddle Creek to release an album in Feb. Their lead single is nearly 10 minute track that wanders all over the place. Herre’s a little something about the band.

Young Jesus, an indie rock quartet formed in Chicago and reformed in Los Angeles, looks to communicate the tensions between proximity and distance, chaos and order. On their upcoming record S/T, to be released by Saddle Creek, the band focuses on seemingly small moments in everyday life: phone calls with Mom, landscapes along the highway, crows in a tree. Yet with time these strange intimacies add up to a life. A life full of anxiety, confusion, sadness, joy, boredom, and ultimately wonder.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Young Jesus is here

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Photo credit: Steve Gullick

New Zealand troubadour, Marlon Williams is back with his sophomore effort for the fine folks at Dead Oceans. Williams’ s/t debut was one of favorites of 2016 and there’s a pretty good bet Make Way For Love. Here’s a little something from the PR team.

While Make Way For Love draws on Marlon’s own story, it captures the vagaries of relationships we’ve all been through: the bliss, ache, uncertainty, and bitterness. Like the best breakup records, Make Way For Love doesn’t shy away from heartbreak, but rather stares it in the face, and mines beauty from it. Delicate and bold, tender and searing, it’s a mightily personal new step.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Marlon Williams is here

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Kyle Craft announces Full Circle Nightmare 2/2/18

November 10, 2017

Photo – Jeremy Kale Padot Been really looking forward to this announcement. Craft’s sophomore effort with Sub Pop continues the momentum of his excellent debut, Dolls Of Highland. His glam rock / power pop has an observational quality to it that makes that much more enjoyable. Full Circle Nightmare is a straight-up, rollicking rock’n’roll album; […]

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Jamila Woods & NE-HI – The Times I’m Not There

November 9, 2017

I saw Jamila and NE-HI within a few hours of each other this past SXSW. Had been itching to see NE-HI since I’d been loving their latest, Offers. Jamila, well we just stumbled into her set and to man, were floored. So it’s not to see two Chicago artists getting together for a rework of […]

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Khruangbin sign to Dead Oceans, announce Con Todo El Mundo, 1/26/18

November 9, 2017

photo credit: Mary Kang Had never heard of the Texas trio prior to receiving this email, but I have to say – I really love this track. It boogies from front to end. Con Todo El Mundo will be their sophomore album and first with Dead Oceans. Here’s a little bit something on the band […]

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Porter and The Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes – Don’t Go Baby It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You (album review)

November 8, 2017

Photo by Alex Hooks I first caught wind of Chris Porter’s death a few weeks after he passed on Twitter; immediately thinking “there’s no way that could be him, he’s just too young.” Unfortunately the news was true, Chris and his bandmate, Mitchell Vandenburg, had passed away in a tragic accident outside of Baltimore. I […]

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H.C. McEntire announce solo debut, LIONHEART for 1/26/18

November 8, 2017

Photo courtesy of Merge Here at HearYa (yes I just wrote it), we love Mount Moriah something fierce. Now lead singer, H.C. McEntire is releasing a solo album. The driving force behind getting this album made was none other than Kathleen Hanna. The track below sounds like Mount Moriah in that it has some Americana […]

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Curtis Harding – Face Your Fear (album review)

November 7, 2017

It would be easy to label Curtis Harding as a retro-soul act, say his new album is excellent and move on with your day. And while that is the foundation for all that is good on this album, it’d be doing Harding a disservice to stop right there. On his Anti debut, Harding incorporates elements […]

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