Emily

Emily & The Complexes began on the road. While his peers moved into dorm rooms and attended lectures, singer/songwriter Tyler Verhagen took to the off-ramps, truck stops, and 24-hour diners that are the unseen epicenters of a hitch-hiking sub-culture. For the better part of two years, Verhagen criss-crossed the country with nothing but a backpack and an acoustic guitar. He caught rides in semis, slept on beaches, busked on the streets, and got kicked out of San Diego. It was here on the road that he wrote the songs that would become Emily & The Complexes’ first album, Styrofoam Plate Blues (2012). When passing through Ohio he would stay with future bandmates Jordan Finke, Tom Konitzer, and Brett Gregory who were all attending classes at OSU.

Jersey City Blues is the first track. Verhagen had this to say on American Songwriter, ‘ “I got the idea to write the song about a year ago after Tom, our drummer, told me about an article he read about how a New Jersey bar switched out scotch for rubbing alcohol with caramel coloring in it,” says Verhagen. “I thought it was pretty funny in sort of a dark way, and as far as I’m concerned that might be the best basis for a song. I guess I strive to put things into songs that on first listen might feel weird and maybe even out of place, but upon further thought you find yourself smirking and chuckling to yourself.”

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Emily & The Complexes are here

{ 0 comments }

John Moose – Vilan

by Woody on July 21, 2014

John-Moose-Photo-by-Magnus-Bergstrom-artikel

I recently caught a First Aid Kit show and it was fantastic. I suppose that makes me an expert in Swedish music. Coincidentally, I received an email from Swedish folk act, John Moose, and enjoyed the tracks. Here’s what they had to say. Enjoy.

John Moose is a band with its roots in the woods of Värmland, Sweden. During the last couple of years we have been writing, recording and producing songs for our upcoming debut album. It has resulted in a conceptual album that emphasizes the human ambivalence between nature and civilisation.

The name of the band comes from the fictional leading character that plays the part of the storyteller in our music. The lyrics are describing John’s fate in this tug-of-war where he decides to leave civilisation for absolute isolation.

The first song that we have chosen to release is also the only song with lyrics in Swedish. It is one of the last tracks on the album and it takes place in the final stage of the history of John Moose. The song is written, recorded and produced by John Moose. The video is made in cooperation with the photographer Benjamin Goss and Kristoffer Andrén.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

John Moose isn’t on Twitter. Their website is here if you want any more info

{ 0 comments }

PH6A1118_-_Version_3-1260x840

For the first time, Trampled By Turtles, stepped outside their comfort zone and spent more than a couple of days recording an album. They brought in Alan Sparhawk of Low to handle the knobs and hit the record button. And while I am not a Low fanatic like some, their ability to meticulously craft beauty rubs off on their fellow Duluth band.

Trampled By Turtles hooked me with their frenetic jams; feeling as if they were lifting you to another realm. With Stars and Satellites and even more with Wild Animals, the quintet continues to refine their craftsmanship. Wild Animals is their slowest album to date, haunting in parts; but still leaves you feeling emotionally drained by its end. Lead singer Dave Simonett’s voice effortlessly blends with the strings throughout as opposed to fighting for its own space. That’s not to say that when the boys release the hand-brake with Come Back Home, it isn’t everything you love about this band. It is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.

But while I hope the boys move back towards their up-tempo fare in the future albums, this was the album they needed to make now. And hell, it might even be their best but that’s like asking me to pick my favorite kid. It’s Hank this week, by the way. Simonett had this to say, We all tried to come into this thing extremely open-minded. How can we sound new to ourselves? I feel like the sound has changed and is changing, especially from Palomino to now. A lot of our reputation from even just a couple years ago was that we were this fast band, which we can do, and we do that. But this record focused a little bit more on other aspects of our playing together.”

Wild Animals opens up like Stars and Satellites, like an animal just peering out of its cage. While Midnight On The Interstate was achingly beautiful in its sparse nature (I just listened to it as I wrote this and still got goosebumps); the title track is a haunting number where Ryan Young’s fiddle creeps up and down your spine.

Are You Behind The Shining Star? has many of the same qualities that made Alone such a striking track. Nobody Knows has a back-porch sing-along feel to it. You can see that kicking towards the end of a set with some crowd participation. And the album closes with a tender track called Winners, reminding you of Palomino’s ending track – Again.

But as much as myself or anybody else writes about this album, the only way to judge TBT is by their live show. It has blossomed into a fervent, communal affair with fans singing every word.

Our full session is here

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Trampled By Turtles is here

{ 0 comments }

120

I hadn’t listened to Field Report’s s/t debut in a while until one night I couldn’t sleep. I slipped it on in the darkness and immersed myself back into its beauty. They have announced their sophomore album, Marigolden, to be released on 10/7 via the fine folks at Partisan Records. The first track is called Wings and it’s a gem. I’ve heard the whole album and, trust me when I say, it is fucking brilliant. I feel sorry that you have to wait three months to hear it. But it will be worth it when you get to read some half-baked review by me in October.

The full HearYa session is here.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Field Report are here

{ 0 comments }

King Tuff announces Black Howl Moon (9/23)

July 15, 2014

King Tuff is announcing his follow up to 2012′s s/t album . It was a crowd-pleaser at HearYa, as Oz put it – a refreshing summertime rock n roll album. This one is coming out in the fall but based on the first track, it is going to work in the fall as well. His [...]

0 comments Read the full article →

Steve Gunn announces new album – Way Out Weather (10/7)

July 14, 2014

I came late to the Steve Gunn party. It was a year after Time Off came out that I really starting digging his 2013 effort. Since then, I have played it religiously. Lucky for me, he has a new album coming out on October 7 via the always excellent Paradise of Bachelors. Here’s some scoop [...]

0 comments Read the full article →

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Mended With Gold (out 9/300

July 10, 2014

HearYa alums, Rural Alberta Advantage announced their third effort, Mended With Gold, out on 9/30. The fine folks at Saddle Creek will be putting it out on 9/30/14. Here’s some thoughts from lead singer, Nils Edenholf. Nils recalls, “Last spring, I rented a remote cottage up in the Bruce Peninsula on the recommendation of some [...]

0 comments Read the full article →

S – Vampires: new album on 9/23

July 8, 2014

Here’s what I know about S, otherwise known as Jenn Ghetto. 1. She has a great smile. 2. She has a bunch of tattoos 3. She used to be in Carissa’s Wierd 4. She quit music for a while. 5. She made this great song Vampires with some pals and Chris Walla 6. Her new [...]

0 comments Read the full article →

Dead Man’s Town strips Born In The USA down to its core ….

July 4, 2014

and if this version of the title track by Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires is any indication, the rest of the album is going to be unreal. The track below is goose-bump material. Shires’ fiddle playing is out of this world with the tones she produces. Here is some info on how this came to [...]

1 comment Read the full article →

Happyness – Weird Little Birthday [album review]

July 3, 2014

Happyness are a three piece of 90′s inspired college rock that came out of nowhere to knock my socks off. Happyness are out of the UK and their album reminds me of Pavement with their quirky lyrics, Grandaddy with the lo-fi delivery of the vocals and Summerteeth-era Wilco with some of the arrangements. I am [...]

1 comment Read the full article →