Sarah Bethe Nelsen announces Oh, Evolution

by Woody on December 8, 2016


Photo credit – Justin Frahm

I became pretty enamored with Sarah Bethe Nelson back in 2015 when her debut came out. A set at SXSW did nothing to deter my appreciation for her music. Two years later, she’s back with her sophomore effort, Oh, Evolution and based on this track, I am anticipating this album to be even better. Her voice is dreamy and effortless; puts a smile on my face. Here’s some info on the album from the PR squad.

Since releasing her debut Fast-Moving Clouds on Burger Records last year, Nelson’s kept her job as Mission District bartender. She’s also been on the road with her band writing Oh, Evolution with her self-referential Polaroids of a local Bay Area “Sugar Factory” (a fuzzy romantic allegory, perhaps), or resolving existential turmoil with bratty simplicity, “I Don’t Care,” which deliciously blends ’70s adult-contemporary with glossy indie-pop. Nelson’s clear alto is the guiding light on the album’s first track, the lead single, “Hazy,” where her gorgeously detached vocals flicker over jangling guitars that sparkle as she says, “You were lying. And I was crying.” The track showcases Nelson in her natural state on this record, where melancholic lyrics are glued onto a notebook covered in glitter and primary colors. It’s a departure from Fast-Moving Clouds, where the songs were reminiscent of ’90s “slowcore.” There’s the opposite effect, too, on the track “Sugar Factory,” where the sweet nostalgia in her words are clouded by fuzzed-out guitars and a brooding beat.

Juxtapositions aside, thematically, Oh, Evolution is centered on pulling back the shades on the regularity and stagnation of adulthood. It’s a musical exhale by Nelson who casts the light in different directions, from the Midwestern rootsiness of Sheryl Crow on “Bright Thing,” to ’60s girl-group elements on “Hazy.” The two ballads, “Face the Waves” and “Deadbolt” are both intensely emotional songs that deal with loss and decaying romance. It’s Nelson in her preferred state on a record that’s both self-aware bubblegum, and a fistful of crumbled love letters. Oh, Evolution was recorded at San Francisco’s El Studio and engineered by Phil Manley.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Sarah Bethe Nelson is here



Following up on their excellent 2015 effort, Small Town Heroes, Hurray for the Riff Raff will release The Navigator via the fine folks at ATO Records. Led by Alynda Segarra, HFTRR has never shied away from voicing their opinions. Based on the subject matter, I’m expecting more of the same on their latest effort.

On Hurray for the Riff Raff’s new album ‘The Navigator’ (March 10/ATO Records), Alynda Segarra tells an interwoven, cinematic story of a wandering soul at a crossroads of identity and ancestral weight. It finds a street kid named Navita traversing a perpetually burning city in search of herself. ‘The Navigator’ is a thrilling call to arms that could not come at a more crucial time. It also finds Hurray for the Riff Raff at its own musical intersection, delving deep into the worlds of Latin rhythms, searing rock, and incisive ballads.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Hurray for the Riff Raff is here



Photo by Shervin Lainez

Lady Lamb, aka Aly Spaltro, is a HearYa fave. She’s released two phenomenal albums as well putting on a couple of amazing live shows that I’ve had to pleasure of soaking in. Today, she releases her EP, Tender Warriors and embarks on Living Room Tour. I can’t recommend her music and live show enough. This EP is a nice little stop-gap before her next LP, and she’s doing a living room tour as well. Here’s what Aly has to say.

“These songs served as a path for myself that making a conscious effort to stay tender, and be kind and patient towards myself when handling my own fears is the most fruitful way to maneuver them in personal relationships. Tender Warriors Club is not just a collection of songs. It is meant to serve as an emblematic space for people to relate in the shared interest of emotional vulnerability, using music as the collective form of self-expression. It is my hope that this work and concept can be a reminder to both myself and others to find the courage to remain sensitive through emotional challenges. I’d like to bring these themes into intimate spaces musically, without amplification or a traditional stage, as a means to connect through the aforementioned concept that striving to express oneself with tenderness is ultimately a strength.”

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Lady Lamb is here


Run The Jewels announce RTJ3 – 1/13/17

by Woody on December 2, 2016


Photo by Amy Price

I don’t profess to listen or know much about rap music. I’ll spin the occasional Kendrick , Chance or Anderson.Paak album but that is about the end of my knowledge. But with the help of my pal, Nick; I’m a massive fan of Run The Jewels. I haven’t enjoyed a hip-hop act this much since A Tribe Called Quest (who’s new album is excellent) back in the early 90s.

Nick brought me to see RTJ at the end of a long day of SXSW and I was blown away. They are an old-school hip-hop act with no bullshit. Just earnest lyrics and furious energy. Their live show has the energy of a punk show.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Run The Jewels are here


Starnd of Oaks announces Dark Love – 2/17/17

December 1, 2016

Tim is back!!!! Following up on the 2014′s game-changing HEAL, Strand of Oaks is set to release Dark Love on 2/17/17 via the fine folks of Dead Oceans. To say we’re fans of Tim is an understatement. I think I speak for everybody who’s ever been associated with HearYa when I say, we feel a [...]

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Horse Thief announce Trials and Truths 1/27/16

November 30, 2016

Photo by Daniel Mudliar The main benefit of this high-powered job as indie music blogger and tastemaker is that I get a heads up on new albums. With that in mind, how did I not get alerted to the new Horse Thief album. I love me some Horse Thief and their brand of psych-folk / [...]

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The Big Moon announce debut LP, Love In The 4th Dimension 4/17/17

November 29, 2016

I’d first heard of The Big Moon via this article on NME and dug their sound. Hadn’t really thought about them much since then until I got an email announcing their debut LP, Love In The 4th Dimension. Check out a video for Formidable below. The album will be out on April 17th of next [...]

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Dominic annouces debut album, Goodnight, Doggies

November 28, 2016

Dominic Angella is a long-time Philly musician, a Renaissance man as described by his PR release; has played in a couple of rock bands around town as well as some session work with Kendrick Lamar among others. He also happens to be Frances Quinlan of Hop Along’s roommate. In an interview with Quinlan, Dominic had [...]

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Wolf People – Ruins (album review)

November 23, 2016

A.D. 2016 and England is in flux. This bastard island is divided, shot through with doubt and self-loathing, ruled by the feverish egos of passing power hungry-dilettantes, two-bit aristocrats and smiling psychopaths. Swathes of the country have been sold off, paved over, neon-lit. England is at war with itself and this time the enemy is [...]

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Moonsville Collective announce four-volume EP series titled Moonsville

November 22, 2016

Photo by Martin Vielma Moonsville Collective is a five-piece string-band that play a brand of Americana that should appeal to fans of earlier Avett Bros stuff and Trampled By Turtles. The track below is from a four-part EP series they’ll be releasing next year titled Moonsville. The track below leans a bit more towards the [...]

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