Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Delta Jackson -- Delta Jackson

Izzy Heltai -- Sweet Apathy

Do you need some gentle misanthropism in your life? Obviously you do -- you read this blog, don't you? Izzy Heltai is only too happy to fill that need for you. Sweet Apathy is one of the more apt album titles I've seen. Within the album, Heltai constructs a hazy but critical worldview that, ultimately, is quite comforting. Nostalgia, heartbreak, and ending relationships support the band's artisinal approach to music making.

These songs feel designed for drunken sing-alongs in small local venues. But even as you fall into step with Heltai's melodies, you'll catch a little mandolin trill here or a well-placed drum fill there. These songs take a lot of cues from three chords and the truth, but there's a lot of tasteful ornamentation laid atop sturdy structures. If you feel like you need your heart almost broken, only to be carefully held together, Sweet Apathy is the album for you.

Izzy Heltai -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp

Izzy will be featured on this week's episode of Adobe & Teardrops! Can't wait for Friday? Subscribe to our Patreon or support us by dropping a one-time tip in our Ko-fi cup!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Prison Book Club -- Prison Book Club

If you're a fan of Tyler Childers, you've probably heard some of Prison Book Club's songs. Childers has been covering the West Virginia country rockers on tour. The renewed interest lead to the re-release of the band's 2011 album, and they recently struck out on tour to support it. If you're a fan of this blog, you've also heard Tucker Riggleman's work in the past. I've featured Tucker Riggleman's other projects here before. (He also played a gig with Karen and the Sorrows over the summer, for everyone keeping score at home.) While all three bands vary widely, as have Tucker's roles in them, all three of a frenetic but inescapable energy. This is music from the gut.

Prison Book Club is also a great listen because it predates the ubiquity of Americana music. This is an album made by people who had absolutely zero intention of making something commercially viable. (Which, in my opinion, is not the same thing as someone who wants to at least break even.) Like the best country punk, the songs are carefully worded epics of dysfunction with enough bluster to futilely push back against the world. If, like me, you missed Prison Book Club the first time around, you've now got a shot at discovering a truly kick-ass album. Who says there are no second chances in life?

Prison Book Club -- Facebook, Bandcamp, Spotify

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Friday, April 20, 2018

PREMIERE: Aloud -- "Dead Flowers"

We could all use a bit of unbridled joy. "Dead Flowers" is, as you can probably tell, not about ideal circumstances but that doesn't mean Aloud doesn't rip the lid off for this Rolling Stones cover. The LA-based soul rockers are swinging through the Northeast this week (dates below) and bringing the party with them. They'll also be playing the Tribeca Film Festival in honor of two of their songs being featured in "All These Small Moments," the directorial debut of Melissa Miller Costanzo and starring Molly Ringwald, Brian d'Arcy James, Brendan Meyer, Sam McCarthy, Harley Quinn Smith and Jemima Kirke.

Of the video, the band notes "Since we moved to L.A., a lot of our friends back home have been asking how we're acclimating to life out west. After getting together with Tanya [Tanya Leal-Soto, director] and Jenn [Jennifer Esteban, director of photography], we thought it'd be fun to shoot a kind of postcard of what Aloud's been up to over the past year: lots of writing, lots of reading, drinking our weight in coffee. And basking in sunshine, of course." The band envisioned this rendition of "Dead Flowers" to be a cover of a cover: “We made it a bit livelier. I thought about Otis Redding's cover of Satisfaction and wondered how he might do ‘Dead Flowers.’” It certainly packs a punch to launch you into your weekend.

Apr 21--Patchogue Record Store Day Block Party--Patchogue, NY

Apr 24--Tribeca Film Festival—NY, NY--“All These Small Moments” movie premiere (5pm) and after party to follow

Apr 26—Bleachers--Bristol, CT w/Benjamin Cartel

Apr 27—Alchemy--Providence, RI w/Benjamin Cartel

Apr 28---Once--Somerville, MA w/Benjamin Cartel

Aloud -- Official, Facebook, iTunes

Adobe & Teardrops: Episode 12

Rachel and Von wrap up their two-part recording session. This time, they delve into home brewing, the importance of back-up gifts, Amanda Palmer and the merits of Kickstarter. Also, they don’t endorse book burning but sometimes you just need to deface your dad’s first-edition copy of Art of the Deal and put it on Snapchat.

Charlie Overbey, “The Ballad of Eddie Spaghetti” (Broken Arrow)
Lincoln Durham - “Preacher”(And Into Heaven Came The Night)
Young Valley, “Til I Cross Your Mind” (Young Valley)
The Glorious Sons - “Godless, Graceless and Young”(Young Beauties And Fools)
Juice, “Sugar” (Single)
Parker Millsap - “Fine Line” (Other Arrangements)
Bold Forbes, “Sugar Hill” (High Time)
The Ghost Of Paul Revere - “Honey Please” AND “Avalanche” (Monarch)
Joseph Houck, “Level Headed Blues” (Roam)
Frank Turner - “1933” AND “Blackout” (Be More Kind)

Thanks for listening! You can hear an extended cut of this podcast by subscribing to our Patreon! You can also support the podcast by making a one-time donation to our Ko-fi!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Joseph Houck -- Roam

Joseph Houck describes this album as an album about "traveling," but I think that's a bit misleading. If you have trouble finding folk music about having all the chill and rambling aimlessly, you're not looking in the right places. What's more rare, I think, is songs that are about a sense of destination. With lots of chill. Roam is full of hope and, importantly, patience. Houck is able to pull off this casual wisdom because he's sincere. Paying attention to your craftsmanship helps, too.

I'm nearing my thirtieth birthday and his line on "Level-Headed Blues" instantly dispelled my ruminations on my own mortality:

Count your lucky stars, honey
Not the number of your days

It's not too many people who can contain both a song with direct and simple truths like that with one full of charming scat singing on "The Reason."Roam is a workhorse of an album that fits pretty much any mood you're in. What unites the songs on this collection is a measured confidence coupled with some truly unique and finely crafted songwriting. (Would you care for a story about hunting? How about Penelope? Maybe horses?) Roam is surely a keeper, a true companion along this road.

Joseph Houck -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, CDBaby, iTunes

Joseph Houck will be featured on this week's podcast! You can subscribe on your favorite app! If you don't want to wait to listen, subscribe on our Patreon or support us by dropping a tip in our Ko-fi cup!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

VIDEO: Rotana -- "In The Morning"

I don't generally indulge in it but Scandinavian-style pop is my guilty pleasure. "In the Morning" has a beautiful blend of acoustic guitars and those soaring melodies that make my ears smile. "In The Morning" is one of a series of demos recorded the day the song was written. Rotana writes that she wanted to record these demos to assert her freedom: The demo love series is a collection of 5 love songs I wrote over the course the last year and a half. Yes, the topic is love. But this series is actually about something bigger. This series is about freedom. ...These songs are all demos that were cut the day the song was written. No mix no master, no recutting vocals... there’s a freedom in that too..."

Art direction: Deema Alansari

Animation: Jordan Brown

To learn more about Rotana, follow her on Instagram and Spotify.