Well, it seems like we finally worked out the kinks in our lives and were able to get a solid week’s worth of jams out your way. Was excited to get that new High Water Marks tune out there, as well as new Monnone Alone, if you like your pop mixed with a bit of punch. New Austin act Daiistar has their first single, plus our old ATX friends Letting Up Despite Great Faults dropped a new single too from their forthcoming EP! There’s tons of other hits from the likes of Deuce and the Golden Dregs too. Unfortunately, new stuff from Mythical Motors and Weird Numbers isn’t quite on the DSPs, so if you like what we’re covering, check those hits too on the site.
Having followed The Golden Dregs since around, I’m really excited that I’ll finally get to catch Benjamin Woods’ project live this year at SXSW. But, before that date, I’ll get to spend some time with On Grace & Dignity, the new LP out this Friday via 4AD. Woods possesses this deep tonal quality that’s certainly reminiscent of Bill Callahan. But, while there’s certainly a sort of folk kinship there, The Golden Dregs seems to add a bit more swing to vibrancy to the genre, which has a lot to do with the way Benjamin controls his voice. Sure, there are little Western flourishes in the guitar work, but this new single almost has this killer swagger, an assuredness that the songwriting is some of his best work to date. Looking forward to Friday when I can dive into the whole album!
It’s that time of year when songs begin to dry up for some reason, as we’re all just expected to put our lives on hold to gather some lists for you to browse. Still, we managed to get some new tunes out your way, hoping to keep your eyes on the prize. I loved the new Spice World tune, and was fortunate to be able to run a video premiere for the latest from Shaki Tavi. We’ll likely still have a handful of tunes for you this week, but will likely take a little break ourselves to kick it with our families.
Last week had some jams, I tell ya! I’m looking at our playlist and seeing only a bit more than a dozen tunes, but I’m also seeing a few that might squeak into my year end list. I mean, I can’t stop playing “Bunny Man” for fuck’s sake! Plus, hits from new acts to get turned onto, like Cola and Whoop. Plus, that one band The Red Pinks and Purples has another release coming! Thanks to friends for also turning me onto stuff like Courtesy and the Antelopes! Sit back and enjoy!
Benjamin Woods project, The Golden Dregs, has long been one of my favorite secrets, or at least its felt that way as I’ve continued to hold out hope that those in the States would catch onto his songwriting. Perhaps with his latest 7″ and new single, folks will dip their toes in these fine waters; one can dream. The new single has this solemnity to it, which has a lot to do with the tones of Woods’ voice. But, one of my favorite bits is this uplifting guitar line that seems to set up the chorus; you can find it hanging just underneath the mix. Plus, the chorus has these layered vocals that feel intoxicating, but also bring the song a little bit of bold bombast to push things ahead. Give these jams a listen, will ya! New 7″ is available now from End of the Road Records.
Here we are on another Monday, about halfway through the musical calendar, and while I should probably be working on one of those magically meaningless “Midway Best Of,” I feel like I’d be letting down our friends if we didn’t do our wrap-up of the goods from last week. Honestly, and I won’t throw out names, but there are some jams that would certainly make my best of the year list…one in particular. Can you guess it? Also, some of the new stuff by Love, Burns and Normil Hawaiians isn’t streaming, so I linked you to some of their other work you might enjoy. Mostly, it’s Monday, and I like to make this playlist for my friend Marc, so he doesn’t have to read anything and just gets music. Happy Monday folks!
I guess we’ll be spending a good deal of today jamming out to some of my favorite songwriters, like Benjamin Woods, who helms the Golden Dregs. Seriously, just take one listen to this track and tell me that throaty baritone doesn’t just sink deep into your soul; Hazelwood and Merritt have been mentioned as comparisons, but I’m just going to settle for being blown away. I love the subtleties of Benjamin’s craft, the little details that often get overlooked. For sentence, just listen to the way his voice falls at the line “seldom do I think about him now,” matching perfectly the rise and fall of the guitar work. Plus, as the song continues, you get these added little flourishes highlighting all the finer details of the artistry in every track from The Golden Dregs. This track appears courtesy of End of the Road Records who will release it via 7″ in September.
I don’t know how many of you are paying attention, but if you’re not listening to Benjamin Woods and his project, The Golden Dregs, then you really are missing out on something special. The last single from the forthcoming Hope is for the Hopeless has him channeling something darkly beautiful, something along the lines of Cohen or Cave…and its not just the baritone speaking. My favorite line comes around 2:30: “and the Jesus on the dashboard is shaking/cause he knows there’s no way home.” But, this isn’t all clever word play and idealistic homage, there’s some incredible craftsmanship, particularly in the way the tinkering piano moves into the more prominent performance just after the 3 minute mark. The LP is out on September 27th and you’ll be sorry you don’t have it, if that happens to be the case.
We’re just over a month away from the release of the next album from the Golden Dregs, thus today warrants another single from the project. I think those of you who have found yourselves fans of Cohen or Waits might find some comfort in the baritone voice of Benjamin Woods, much as I do; it’s got this effortless croon, like only the hippest of lounge acts. For me, the success in this song revolves around the contrast in all the guitar bits; there’s this heavy groove that drives through the track, though its intermittently juxtaposed with this funky guitar line boogieing through the tune. Thus far, this might be my favorite off Hope is for the Hopeless; it drops on September 27th.
I’ve always been a fan of the Golden Dregs, especially when Lafayette came out back in 2018. But, not nearly a year later, Benjamin Woods and his project are back with a new collection of songs for your ears, Hope is for the Hopeless. I think he’s slightly changed his sound, though is storytelling and wordplay always remain central to his craft. This particular number reminds me an awful lot of old M. Ward, it has that natural warmth contrasted with this underlying darkness, perhaps because of Wood’s deepened vocal tones. I’ll always stand by and support if/and you’re offering of this brand of quiet elegance; the new LP drops this Fall!