Jessica Lea Mayfield

Lots of free shit lately. We have a pair of tickets to giveaway for Chicago readers and fans of alt-country! Email us at freeshit@hearya.com to see Jessica Lea Mayfield, The Dexateens, and Futurebirds at Schubas tomorrow (5/20), free of charge.

You can hear some tracks below and make sure to check out our live session with The Dexateens.

Jessica Lea Mayfield – Kiss Me Again

The Dexateens – Down Low

The Dexateens – Can You Whoop It

Futurebirds – Johnny Utah

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Jessica Lea Mayfield

There’s a nice show in Chicago at The Empty Bottle on Thursday and we have two pairs of tickets for HearYa readers. Shoot us an email at freeshit@hearya.com if you want ’em and we’ll notify you shortly if you’ve won. It’s worth the price of admission to hear Jessica Lea Mayfield.

This is what the night will sound like.

What Laura Says – July 23

Jessica Lea Mayfield – We’ve Never Lied

Annuals – Sore

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Top 50 Albums of 2008 [Picks 31-40]

by oz on December 16, 2008

You may as well just make a playlist out of these picks‚  from our top 50 albums of 2008. Not only are these outstanding albums, but these singles are some of my favorites of the year. Most notable are the tracks posted for The John Henrys, The Heavy, Elliott BROOD, Horse Feathers, and The War On Drugs.

31. The John Henrys – Sweet As The Grain (our review)

The John Henrys

The John Henrys show that country music is still alive and well – it just comes from Canada now.

The John Henrys – Lost In The Canyon

32. Howlin’ Rain – Magnificent Fiend (our review)

Howlin Rain

Grab bong, go to basement, crank up loud. Pretty fucking good, isn’t it?

Howlin Rain – Dancers At The End Of Time

Hear more at our live session with Howlin Rain.

33. The Explorers Club – Freedom Wind (our review)

The Explorers Club

A wonderful approach to The Beach Boys sound. Their acoustic live session moved them up 10 spots. Amazing 5 part vocal harmonies.

The Explorers Club – Do You Love Me?

Hear more at our live session with The Explorers Club.

34. Elliott Brood – Mountain Meadows (our review)

Elliott Brood Mountain Meadows

A rock and roll band playing bluegrass instruments.‚  That’s a recipe for success with HearYa.

Elliott BROOD – Write It All Down For You

35. The Heavy – Great Vengeance and Furious Fire (our review)

The Heavy

The Heavy capture the 70’s spirit like no other. By far the sexiest album on our entire list.

The Heavy – Colleen

36. Horse Feathers – House With No Home (our review)

Horse Feathers

There’s a trend following of whispering vocals over sparse instrumentation in the indie world. Iron and Wine, Great Lake Swimmers, Bon Iver…and now let’s add Horse Feathers to the list. Melancholy Americana at its finest.

Horse Feathers – Curs In The Weeds

37. War On Drugs – Wagonwheel Blues (our review)

War On Drugs

One of those albums that grows on you. Three months ago it wasn’t on this list, but it continues to get better. You’ll hear traces of Wilco throughout.

War On Drugs – Taking The Farm

38. Jessica Lea Mayfield – With Blasphemy So Heartfelt (our review)

Jessica Lea Mayfield

It’s hard to believe that this Kent, Ohio songstress is only 18 years old. Her debut is soulful and sultry – a cross between Mazzy Star, Loretta Lynn and Neko Case.

Jessica Lea Mayfield – Kiss Me Again

39. Helio Sequence – Keep Your Eyes Ahead (our review)

Helio Sequence

The Helio Sequence takes you on a meandering daydream of folk-inspired pop tunes. The perfect background music for a quiet Saturday morning, or a windows-down drive through the city on a sunny day.

The Helio Sequence – Keep Your Eyes Ahead

40. Glossary – The Better Angels of Our Nature (our review)

Glossary

This alt-country outfit out of Tennessee have put out five great albums and continue to fly under the radar. The Better Angels of Our Nature is still available for free on their website. You should download it if you haven’t already.

Glossary – Little Caney

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I received some horrible news last week. I saw a message on Facebook that a good middle school friend of mine died of a stroke in his apartment.‚  His body wasn’t discovered for days. I don’t know if it was the news of his death at the age of 30, that he died alone, that he left a child behind, or maybe that no one bothered to check on him for several days, but the news really shook me.

Johnny was a big guy. He was big in stature, big in personality, and he had a heart that was bigger than both. He always respected others, knew right from wrong, and sometimes actually did what was right. My contact with Johnny faded when I moved away from Oregon to Ohio, but I thought about him and heard through others that he had battled heavy drug addiction. Unfortunately his demons finally got the best of him. I didn’t know Johnny during his troubled years and in my mind I can only see the 8th grader, always with a wide grin and a joke at hand.

Why am I writing this? Partially because its cathartic, but mostly because on the same day I heard the news about Johnny, I also received Jessica Lea Mayfield’s debut album With Blasphemy, So Heartfelt in the mail. I put on the headphones and took a long bike ride around Shoreline Park while the sun was setting, listening to the stunning album and thinking about my old friend.

Jessica Lea Mayfield is only 18 years old and hails from Kent, Ohio. Although she’s young, she doesn’t lack experience. She’s performed with her family band One Way Rider since the age of eight and last year, she provided backing vocals on The Black Keys’ track “Things Ain’t Like They Used To Be” off of Attack and Release.

With Blasphemy, So Heartfelt was produced by (you guessed it) Dan Auerbach and recorded over two years in his Akron, OH studio and Dr. Dog’s Scott McMicken and Frank McElroy assisted on backing vocals. Oh, and she’s become a favorite of Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers. Her sound is meloncholy and paints a picture of the sky just before a big Ohio storm. It’s a combination of Mazzy Starr, Loretta Lynn, and Neko Case as it weaves folk, blues and country around her tales of failed romance that are oddly somewhat uplifting.

Not one of our typical album reviews. This was just one of those fucking days.

MySpace

Jessica Lea Mayfield – Kiss Me Again

Backstage video of “We’ve Never Lied”

[youtube]S3oNkQ2BzSA[/youtube]

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