I feel almost obligated to write about Jennifer Castle‘s new single, at the very least due to its title, “Texas.” Musically, its quite entrancing as well, with hints of classic soul vibes peaking through the folkish sentiment. The playfulness of the video is accentuated by the careful percussive qualities of the tune, as do the “ooh ooh” backing vocals. I always appreciate a musician who can so seamlessly straddle genres, as Castle does here…only furthering the musical charm. Her new album, Angels of Death, will be released on May 18th courtesy of Paradise of Bachelors.
Just about a week or so away from the release of the new Nap Eyes album, and they drop another great tune/video. Listening through this track, the structural elements are quite similar to the earlier singles we’ve heard, but I’m stuck on Nigel Chapman’s vocal performance; he stretches in charming fashion to reach high notes, then swings em’ back with a deeper crone. There’s even a nice little guitar jam near the end, but for some reason even that can’t distract me from Nigel’s voice; I keep wanting to call him the male Hope Sandoval…there, I said it. Whatever, I’m Bad Now is out March 9th on Paradise of Bachelors, and it’ll be great.
Don’t know what else I could say about Nap Eyes that I haven’t talked about in the last several years, or even the last several posts about the group. There’s something in the casual aspirations of the group that make them so endearing; they’re not out to breakdown musical barriers, they’re here to give you the best songs possible. On this new tune I love the sparkling little guitar, and the little guitar solos, charming as ever. They’ll be releasing I’m Bad Now on March 9th via Paradise of Bachelors.
Last October, Nap Eyes blew into Austin on the backs of Alvvays; I hoped, and prayed, that people would show up early, remembering the perfect morning when I caught their set in a small room during SXSW the year they dropped Thought Rock Fish Scale. Today they return with news of a brand new record, and our first taste leaves off exactly where we left the band. The vocals are given in almost haphazardly spoken manner, and I love how strong they are in the front of the mix. What I didn’t expect, and am appreciative of at this moment, is how crisp the guitar licks sound on this track…even when ramped up to jangling speed. The band are set to release I’m Bad Now via Paradise of Bachelors on March 9th.
Something about this song feels like home. Gun Outfit have undoubtedly played a role in my at home listening, but this one has this general feeling of safety and welcome. Perhaps being a Texas has something to do with it, but the lyrical trading between male and female vocals almost has a familial storytelling vibe, while the guitar paces about your speakers. Some songs just have that ability to wrap you up in that security blanket, allowing you to immerse your soul in song…and that’s where this song carried me. The group will be releasing Out of Range on November 10th via Paradise of Bachelors.
It always seems weird to me that Gun Outfit isn’t living in Texas…though the same could be said for parts of New Mexico, Utah or Arizona. They craft this intelligent Americana, seemingly rooted in the vastly barren expanse of Western America. Sure, there’s country/folk leanings, but on this latest single, the musical unfolding seems to create a broad horizon…a lonely road heading deep into the orange mesas with a car packed full of the band members. I want to be in that car, I want to listen as the wind whispers…but most of all, I want to hear the group’s entire new record, Out of Range; it drops on November 10th via Paradise of Bachelors.
The history of the furniture man runs deep through the heart of the South, appearing in various blues traditions, but Jake Xerxes Fussell gives it his own spin on this new single. You’ll hear slide guitar and careful picking throughout the tune, but in a ballad such as this, the power of the voice is what really shines. Fussell has this deep tone, but there’s a few notes where you can hear him pushing himself, straining to get every drop of emotion from within onto this recording. Hopefully you’ll find some comfort in such a strong outing, and if so, look for Jake’s new album, What in the Natural World, via Paradise of Bachelors on March 31st.
Thursday’s always seem like the worst days for me; you’re over the hump, but not quite to the weekend…it’s always been my slowest day. So, this new song from Itasca seems the perfect way to begin the day. Slide guitar is draped over careful guitar strumming, well-placed bells and the voice of Kayla Cohen. It’s a calming piece, and in being such, it allows you to ease into your day, start off things on an even keel. Plus, it comes with news that the project will release a new album, Open to Chance, on September 30th via Paradise of Bachelors.
Growing up in Texas, I feel like Terry Allen should be required in your listening education. While he’s possibly been overlooked, he’s always had a unique place in the pantheon of the state, with perhaps his best outing being Juarez (1975). Luckily for those of you who missed it (or didn’t have music obsessive dads like mine), Paradise of Bachelors is releasing his masterpiece, with a deluxe edition featuring tons of Terry’s art. Sure there’s Willie and Stevie, sure there’s Daniel Johnston, but Mr. Allen is a jewel no matter which way you spin it. The album gets reissued on May 20th.
The perks of this gig are that we occasionally get to preview albums months before their arrival, and that’s the case for me loving the song below so much. I’ve listened predominantly to two upcoming releases: Pete Astor and Nap Eyes. I really listened to them, playing them hundreds of times, and this Nap Eyes effort is really great. It’s got all the things that made indie rock so dominant in the late 90s/early 00s, offering great lyrical content along with a combination of college rock nostalgia and folk flourishes. Their new effort Thought Rock Fish Scale is nothing short of an enduring album you’ll come back to time and time again; it hits on February 5th via Paradise of Bachelors.