New Mystics is the project of Josh Onstott, bassist for HearYa faves Other Lives. New Mystics is rooted in the folk arena, like Other Lives. Unlike Other Lives, it has a bit of a looser feel to it. Here’s a little something on the track below.

This song was written about my great grandfather Daniel. Daniel was a bird watcher/protector. He loved Martins. Martins would eat mosquitos in the area of Oklahoma where I was raised. Daniel would build nice bird houses for the neighborhood Martins. The Sparrows were the gangster birds that would come in flocks to run the Martins out of the bird houses….they would eventually take over the homes because the Martins were always out numbered. My great grandfather would sit in his shed with the doors cracked open with a cigarette that he wasn’t supposed to be smoking in one hand and a pellet gun in the other. He would shoot every Sparrow that flew over his yard…and in between kills, he would play his C harmonica. As a child, every time I walked outside, I remember dead Sparrows laying all over his yard and throughout his flower garden….

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New Mystics are here

New Mystics are here


Jen Cloher announces s/t album 8/11/17

by Woody on June 22, 2017


Photo Credit: Tajette O’Hallaran

I hadn’t heard of Australia’s Jen Cloher until this track popped up in the HearYa inbox. She’s the co-founder of Milk! Records which includes Courtney Barnett and Fraser A. Gorman. I like those guys. Her last album was called In Blood Memory and that’s pretty damn good as well. I’d say if you like HearYa and subsequently, Barnett and Gorman; check her out. I think you’re going to dig her music. She’s going to be opening for the Kurt Vile & Courtney Barnett supergroup this fall.

Here’s a little more info on the album. Recorded amidst the rolling greenery of South-Eastern Australia and mixed at Jeff Tweedy’s famous Loft Studios in Chicago, the songs are split by Courtney Barnett’s extraordinary lead guitar and anchored by the rhythm section of Bones Sloane and Jen Sholakis. The end result is bold, assured, and piercingly observed, seeing Cloher face up to painful truths with unwavering honesty and emerge triumphant. On tracks like “Analysis Paralysis” and “Shoegazers” Cloher dissects the complacency of privilege, while on the stirring anthem-to-be “Strong Woman” she looks to her Maori heritage of women warriors, proud that her Mother “wanted respect more than love.”

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Jen Cloher is here


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During this past SXSW, I witnessed my first Yapwers set. It left me a bit shaken but with a smile on my face. Purveyors of the greatest music video of all time, I shouldn’t have expected any less. Boy In A Well will be their second Bloodshot release, after 2015′s American Man.

Someone stuck the label of psyschobilly on them and being that I can’t think of anything better, I’m going to go with it. It was recorded here in Chicago with help from none other than Tommy Stinson. Here’s a little more on the album – The Yawpers’ third album Boy in a Well is a sensational tragedy set in World War I France about a mother abandoning her unwanted newborn child. But, like the band itself, there’s so much more roiling beneath the surface.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

The Yawpers are here



CREDIT: Shervin Lainez

A Place I’ll Always Go is the follow-up to 2015′s excellent Dry Food. Led by Ellen Kempner, Dry Food was an easy album to become enamored with. Chock full of 90s riffs and Kempner’s spot-on lyrics; it was and is on constant rotation.

A Place I’ll Always Go is a little tougher to connect with initially but no less rewarding. The album was born during a time of loss and new love. Kempner lost not only her grandmother, but a very close friend; tough at any age but especially so at that bullet-proof part of your life known as your 20s. As all this was going on, Kempner began a new relationship. “The album is also about learning how to find love, honestly, after loss,” says Kempner.

Feeling Fruit is among the best work Kempner has done. It is a gentle ballad where Kempner emerges into the world after a time of mourning. Supported primarily by her able picking, Kempner’s whispered lyrics really pack a punch. If You Met Her is another gut-punch of a tune. Wishing for her deceased friend to meet her new love, Kempner’s lyrics speak to someone wise beyond her years.

Mixed in with the ballads, there are a couple of fuzzy rockers. The lead single Flowing Over is about using sad songs as a coping mechanism. The fact that its a rocking tune really works here (and the video is outstanding as well). Carnations is another winner. Its another rocker but it feels like Kempner is letting is on some secrets as she delivers her vocals in a hushed manner; almost hiding beneath the backing music.

On my review of Dry Food, I said Kempner has the chops to be a force for years to come. If she keeps knocking out efforts like Dry Food and A Place I’ll Always Go, I see no reason that doesn’t come true.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Palehound is here


Trevor Sensor – Andy Warhol’s Dream (album review)

June 19, 2017

Credit: Ben Rouse Trevor Sensor’s voice and lyrics belies his 23 years of life. His nasally deliver and the biting commentary on his subjects harkens to a time when folk singers were among the loudest voices in social commentary. And while I stick the folk label on Sensor, this is by no means just a [...]

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Thunder Dreamer – Capture (album review)

June 16, 2017

Thunder Dreamer are a four-piece out of Evansville and their latest Capture is an album full of wonderful textures. An expansive album that never seems to move past a slow jog, it always manages to pack a punch. Lead singer Steven Hamilton’s vocals evoke a blend of emo and post-punk. That is typically not my [...]

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Tyler Childers announces debut, Purgatory on 8/4/17

June 14, 2017

David McClister/Courtesy of the artist I’d never heard of Tyler Childers before NPR through up a post about him. Holy Hannah, can this Kentucky native deliver the goods. I’ve spun this track and anything I can get my hands on since. His debut LP was produced by David Ferguson & a guy named Sturgill Simpson. [...]

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Kevin Morby – City Music

June 13, 2017

(photo by Adarsha Benjamin) Last week I was taking the train home after having a few pops downtown. As I am apt to do, I’ll stand between cars watching the city go by so I don’t nod off. Conceived as “a mix-tape, a fever dream, a love letter dedicated to those cities that I cannot [...]

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Sheer Mag announce debut LP, Need To Feel Your Love – 7/14/17

June 9, 2017

Photo Credit: Marie Lin Sheer Mag are a 5-piece from Philly that burst on to a scene with a trio of EPs built on meaty riffs inspired by the 70s and the vocal power of Tina Halladay. Their debut, Need To Feel Your Love will see the light of day on 7/14/17 via the fine [...]

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The Domestics announce Little Darkness – 9/1/17

June 8, 2017

Photo Cred: Jason Quigley The Domestics released one of my favorite albums of 2015 with their s/t debut. I had likened them to Wilco and From a Basement on the Hill-era Elliott Smith. Now they’re set to release their sophomore effort, Little Darkness, on 9/1 via the fine folks at Tender Loving Empire. Here’s some [...]

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