Single Mothers is comprised of ten tracks that showcase exactly why Justin Townes Earle is considered a leading light of contemporary Americana. As a recently married, sober man JTE writes from a point of maturity and content we've not seen before on past records. What he's created is an album that’s raw, honest and personal in a way he hasn’t touched upon since his debut EP, Yuma. Once compared to a man who wears many suits JTE has experienced more than most, both personally and professionally, in thirty-two short years. Between releasing four full-length-critically-acclaimed albums, constant touring, multiple stints in rehab, being born Steve Earle's son, amicable and not-so-amicable break-ups with record labels, and facing the trials and tribulations of everyday life, it s safe to say JTE has quite the story to tell.
Literature Chorus Slumberland
As a beautiful autumn turned into one of the harshest winters in recent memory, the lads of New York City’s Literature began stretching out, enhancing the album with studio techniques dating back to the late 60s including true-tape flanging, sending vocals through Leslie speaker cabinets, and the same analog style of automatic double-tracking created at Abbey Road Studios. The result, Chorus, is an album that is as immediate as it is timeless, full of effortlessly catchy and well-crafted tunes that echo pop legends like Smiths and Orange Juice. All of that time in the studio has resulted in a rich, considered sound that puts the band's arranging and playing front and center. Chorus is one of the most exciting pop records in years, and marks Literature at true contenders.
Christian Gregory Count On You Movement Records/Fat Possum
British soul revivalist Christian Gregory is so dedicated to his music that he decided that he needed his own label to put it out. He got together with 2013 Mercury Music Prize nominee and gold-selling artist Michael Kiwanuka to form Movement Music and release his new EP, Count On You, the way he saw fit. Written with Kiwanuka and recorded the old fashioned way (with lots of vintage gear) Count On You is a delectable slab of vintage, psychedelic soul -- a la Curtis Mayfield -- that sounds both familiar and fresh. “It’s a blend of vintage instruments and equipment as well as modern techniques,” says Gregory. “It definitely feels like new music, but the influences are still apparent.” Sexy, trippy, essential. You need this.
The Last Internationale We Will Reign Epic
Founded by New York City natives Delila Paz and Edgey Pires, The Last Internationale quickly forged a reputation for poetic, socially conscious songs and explosive live performances. Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), noted, "The Last Internationale are one of my favorites in the next wave of rebel rockers. They're raw and real and mix East Village rock sensibilities with Battleship Potemkin firepower." Over Thanksgiving dinner at Morello's home, talk turned to the duo's need for a drummer. Morello suggested they talk with Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave), and got Brad on the phone. After hearing the material and bonding with Edgey & Delila, Wilk signed on. Now, fully formed, the band’s new album, We Will Reign, celebrates a new era of protest music. Produced by Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, etc.).
Liam Bailey Definitely NOW Masterworks
British soul/rocker Liam Bailey's long-awaited debut album, Definitely Now, combines American R&B, down-home rock-and-roll, transportive psychedelia and blistering blues riffs into a deft personal statement about battling your demons and finding life-affirming joy in music. He sings with a raw expressiveness that has been compared to Bob Marley and Sam Cooke, yet his songwriting style references post punk bands like The Smiths and Oasis. Everything is woven together by a lean guitar-driven instrumental sound, perfectly framing Liam's lyrical and vocal passions. Definitely Now was recorded in New York, Miami and London. It was co-written and produced by Bailey, and executive produced by Flying Buddha label head and Executive VP of A&R, Salaam Remi.
Stefano Bollani Joy In Spite of Everything ECM Records
Stefano Bollani is an artist of ebullient virtuosity, with uncommon sensitivity and range. With Joy in Spite of Everything an album of new compositions by the pianist for a trans-Atlantic quintet Bollani has made his most beautifully textured and infectiously lyrical statement yet. He recorded these nine pieces at New York City’s Avatar Studios with the Danish rhythm section from his Stone in the Water trio -- bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund -- plus two prominent American players and ECM intimates: guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Mark Turner. As its title reflects, Joy in Spite of Everything brims with an indefatigable lightness of spirit despite the inevitable shadows of life.
Nicola Benedetti Homecoming - A Scottish Fantasy Decca Records
“Creative, versatile, and innovative” are just a few of the words that have been applied to the extraordinary career of Scottish-Italian violinist Nicola Benedetti. With Homecoming – A Scottish Fantasy Nicola Benedetti presents a Scottish program for the year that sees Scotland in the limelight, bringing together Scottish folk artists and a Scottish orchestra featuring songs such as “Loch Lomond,” “My Love is Like a Red Red Rose” and more. Homecoming – A Scottish Fantasy also includes collaborations with leading Scottish folk musicians including well-known folk singer Julie Fowlis (whose voice can be heard on the Disney/Pixar hit film, Brave), along with Phil Cunningham (accordion) and Aly Bain (fiddle). FYI: Benedetti plays the Gariel Stradivarius from 1717 (Which is rad.)
No, it’s not a typo: frnkiero andthe cellabration is the new solo project from My Chemical Romance's Frank Iero. Iero plays everything on his debut, Stomachaches, with the exception of drums, which were handled by former My Chemical Romance drummer Jarrod Alexander. Stomachaches was selected by Alternative Press magazine as one of their Most Anticipated of 2014 and, without a doubt, this is true. Get out your best pair of white leather pants and crank this up as loud as it will go – it’s all forward motion punkers hell bent on having a good time – like Guided By Voices and Andrew W.K. made a Misfits album. #newjersey
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