New Kane Strang Jam

Kane Strang was high up on my list of must-see artists at SXSW this year, and I was fortunate enough to catch him a couple of times. He has this ability to take the modern indie stylings of Oceanic pop and combine them with really infectious hooks; I heard a lot of nods to early Weezer in his performance. That being said, this song holds steady during the verses, offering a slight energy pick up, which quickly turns into an airy pop dosage that fades with the closing of the song. I promise you that his new album, Two Hearts and No Brain, will be something to make your musical world a better place; it hits on June 30th via Dead Oceans.

Kevin Morby Announces City Music

It sounds as if Kevin Morby is venturing into territory resigned for poets, and with this new single, it sounds like he’s doing so with great success. The musical accompaniment to his lyrics/voice is pretty minimal…using trickling little notes and really light percussive taps. Sure, there’s a really slight pick up near the song’s end, but this track serves notice that great tracks don’t always need expansive music to accompany them, and perhaps the quietest tracks are the loudest. Morby will be dropping his latest, City Music, on June 16th via Dead Oceans, surely furthering our infatuation with his craft.

Jam This New Kane Strang (SXSW Artist)

Kane Strang is a hot ticket on my computer, and on my upcoming SXSW schedule. Today this new track came our way with a hint at what’s to come from his next album. I love how the tones on the vocals are high in the first half of the tune, then they switch to deeper tones as the music takes on a different mood. His ability to switch within the confines of the track makes his music quite memorable, and refreshing in that it doesn’t sit in one place. Dead Oceans will be releasing his next album this Fall, so start your anticipation with this new jam. Reminds me of a New Zealand influenced Pinback.

Burst of Slacker Rock From Bleached

Yea, I know Bleached is a big deal, so you’ve probably been informed that they’ve released a new track. If you passed over that blip of news, perhaps you should use this as an excuse to sit down with “Can You Deal” and then prepare to stand right back up so that you can dance to your teenage hearts’ content. This track is a whirlwind of quick-lipped lyrics and ferocious guitars that is hard to get out of your head once you’ve let it in. I’m digging the catchy chorus, which has the right attitude to get you out of bed in the morning and face the day, guns’ blazing.

The EP that this track is taken from will be out March 3rd, alongside the “Can You Deal” Zine, which the band is releasing and contributing all profits to Planned Parenthood. Go buy one.

 

The Return of Slowdive

After waiting almost 22 years, we can all finally rejoice that there’s new Slowdive music coming our way. The band reunited in 2014 to get some things going for reunion shows, sparking that creativity that has led them to sign with Dead Oceans. If this song’s swelling wall of guitars sounds familiar, well, that’s because they’re just one of the staples of indie rock that so many after them have ripped off. I look forward to what’s coming from these guys, so stay tuned to hear what’s next. Hope they can help make 2017 just a touch brighter.

Required Listening: New Tallest Man on Earth Track

13423995_1013036708744582_3711737306648003127_nAnytime Kristian Matsson shares a new song under his moniker of The Tallest Man on Earth, you can bet I’m going to share it with you. This new song, “Rivers,” is an interesting addition to the song bank that this gentleman is accruing in that it’s a very refined and subtle– the vocals are angelic and delicate. Like all Tallest Man on Earth tracks, you get a perfect example of folk magic with this song. I don’t have much to say about this song, other than you should probably just press play below and let yourself be taken away by the graceful track.

 

Rambling Folk Number from Ryley Walker

ryleySeems like Ryley Walker is writing music non-stop, whether with his friends, or, as in this case, as a solo artist. Not surprisingly, each release garners more and more praise, and while it probably hurts indie fans, this latest single is something that seems destined to move beyond the “I heard it first” crowd. The guitar work, as always, is intricate, but the construction of the rest of the track is what really makes the track…percussion rises where needed, but never oversteps its need. This number sounds like it deserves more than just running on the blogs, but maybe that’s just me. Look for his new effort, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, to hit stores on August 19th via Dead Oceans.

New Album Coming from Ryley Walker

ryleyWhile Ryley Walker is only becoming a household name for many, he’s been quite busy since his stardom burst through with Primrose Green. Today comes new that he’ll be issuing a new record with Dead Oceans, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, on August 19th. Musically, he’s still an exploratory artist, taking on the space his guitar has crafted, adding in varying textures of percussion and further guitar accompaniment. His vocal delivery seems steadying, but almost inserted as an afterthought, wordplay inserted to keep your attention as the song’s changing patterns unfold. There’s always more than meets the ear in his work, so bring your careful listens to this 6 minute jam.

Kevin Morby – Singing Saw

kevinmorbs

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Kevin Morby has been making albums under his own name for a few years now, and with each release, this brand of Americana-influenced rock seems to grow and take a more definite shape. Singing Saw is his third full length on his own, and its nine tracks of delightful folk rock, well orchestrated and complex, haunting and lingering in their construction.

The album eases you in gently, with Morby at his quietest with Cut Me Down, but then picks up quickly with infectious single, I Have Been To The Mountain. Opening things up, you get the impression that Morby is picking up where he left off with his last release, Still Life, which came out in 2014. This track has got that stewing darkness that centers around Morbys smoky vocals, akin to what you found on that last record with tracks like Drowning, but where this song nails down the difference is the way in which Cut Me Down, starts and stops, creating newfound drama. Morby looks you in the eyes as he takes his stance and proclaims And youre going to do/what you came here to do/ So why not do it now/cut me down. This kind of welcome confrontation adds a bit of a punch behind the folk blend.

Such a lyrical punch is mirrored in the instrumentation on the next track as the first track begins to pick up in pace before the second track makes its entrance. I Have Been To The Mountain, is an exceptional songone that makes you want to dance as well as marvel at how detailed it is. Theres this brooding darkness underneath the groove that comes from the string work and the acoustic guitar that begin the track and then simmer underneath through its duration. To balance this darkness, there are the popping horns that chime in and the gospel choir Ahhs that intercede and combine with Morbys vocals.

Singing Saw, the title track, follows up on the dark undercurrents of the previous number, the licks of guitar snarling through the mix like flames of a growing fire. However, this song doesnt just stay in one place, but picks up strength as it goes. Theres so much going on here, and yet, each instrument and vocal note feels precisely placed as the number builds and builds. The rest of the album keeps surprising youwhether its the bouncy Dorothy, the gentle, lyrically driven Black Flowers or ending blues-inspired Water, you remain with Morby to the very end.

What sets Singing Saw apart from your average folk rock is that does both the quiet and bombastic tracks superbly welltheres never a dull moment on the album. The brevity of the nine songs works to hold your attention and keep you rooted in their fine craftsmanship. You ought to take a listen.

 

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