New album: Elli de Mon || Countin’ The Blues

Last year Elisa De Munari published Countin’ The Blues. Donne Indomite, a book about the blues queens of the 1920s. The author also makes music under the moniker Elli de Mon – see our Gimme 5! feature from 2 weeks ago, in which she shares her influences – so it was a logical choice to also record a soundtrack to the book. Elli de Mon lives the songs of Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Lucille Bogan, Victoria Spivey, Freight Train, Elizabeth Cotten, Lottie Kimbrough, Memphis Minnie, and Bertha Chippie Hill, breathing new life into these names and their music. The Italian one woman band translated the originals into intense versions, adding a folk or garage feel to the old blues basis, but the album sounds more varied, modern and enchanting than you would expect from this description. This soundtrack was not only a good idea, it’s also very well done.

Out now digitally, on CD and on vinyl LP through Area Pirata Rec. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Joe Bourdet || Meadow Rock

Meadow Rock is not a forgotten Americana treasure from the 70’s, but the brand new debut album from Californian singer / songwriter Joe Bourdet. “Sometimes I read a picture like a book, then I close my eyes and take a second look // The images take on a strange new life, colors flying in the moonlit night,” he sings in Morning Light. Something similar happens when you listen to the music on this record, you hear something different every time: a surprising poetic phrase, female backing vocals or one of the vintage instruments (Hammond organ, double bass, pedal steel, mandolin, Moog Rogue, Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer piano, etc.) that complement the drums, bass and various guitars (in the video for El Capitan you can see the musicians in the studio). This is beautiful, quiet folk rock, with an authentic sound and optimistic lyrics. Experiencing the nine songs on this album is like a journey through a virgin alpine meadow: “Wide awake lost in a dream.”

Out now digitally, on CD and 12″ vinyl LP. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions || Dad Rock

Based on the title Dad Rock and accompanying cover photo you could conclude that the third independently released album by Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions is a gimmick, but this is actually one to take seriously. Frontman Jack Droppers has become a father (on the back of the record sleeve he has his first child Naomi in his arms; the tenth song on the record bears her name and the eleventh, closing song was written for her: Welcome to the Party). Anyway, along with The Best Intentions (Laura Hobson, Devin Sullivan, James Kessel, Garrett Stier, and Josh Holicki) he’s recorded a collection of strong songs with compelling lyrics that will appeal to fans of Butch Walker, Jesse Malin, and Bruce Springsteen. This is infectious true American rock ‘n’ roll that deserves packed stadiums. I enjoy the album so much more than I expected based on the cover art, but I’ll pass on the limited edition Dad Rock patch they offer for sale. Listen below to the opening and closing song of the record.

Out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP.  Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Floodlights || The More I Am / Overflowing Cup

With their debut full length From a View, Melbourne band Floodlights made it to the top of my Music Year-End List of 2020. Now Louis Parsons, Ashlee Kehoe, Joe Draffen and Archie Shannon are back with a new 7″ that I might like even more. A-side The More I Am is a jangly rock song that bursts with despair, B-side Overflowing Cup slows down a bit and surprises with an intense harmonica solo, both are great again in terms of interplay, vocals and structure. It may be clear that more attention has been paid to the sound than to the cover art, but who cares when the music is so good?

“Perspectives and opinions // Have obscured my view // As I look through my window // I can only see half of what I used to”

Out now digitally and on 7″ vinyl through Tiny Town Records. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Green Mohair Suits || Sink or Sing

Green Mohair Suits are a country / folk outfit from Sydney, Australia. After their last album Evans St (2016) it remained silent, but now there is suddenly the (digital) EP Sink or Sing with four new songs. Jason Mannell, Brian Campeau, Richard Cuthbert, and Ben Romalis have outdone themselves. Especially opening track Don’t You Mind is a very beautiful song. The country of Gram Parsons is a little further away, here it is as if The Byrds meet Brian Wilson. as if it has always been there. Nice that new classics are still being made.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Los Traiciones || Express

Please meet Los Traiciones, a cool looking four-piece from Buenos Aires (Argentina) that plays energetic power pop which will appeal to fans of Black Lips, Bee Bee Sea, The Parrots, etc. They have now released the (digital) EP Express, with three guitar-driven hits with a lot of who-oh’s that you can sing along to right away, even if you don’t speak the language. What a great discovery!

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps || Cheap Diction

Singer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist Patty PerShayla has a beautiful name, but more importantly, she has a great powerful voice that she knows how to use in the right raw way. After her solo EP Oracle Bones (2019) and many cover requests, she has now released the full length debut album Cheap Diction, together with guitarist Lucas Powell and drummer Alec Klinefelter. Here the power trio plays ten energetic songs, inspired by blues and classic / progressive rock, with a nostalgic feel (there are even guitar solos) but completely contemporary in terms of lyrics and sound. “I’ll lose my balance if I // Tiptoe around your feelings // You might have the floor, sure // But I’m dancing on the ceiling”, PerShayla sings on opening track Walking on My Hands. Like I’m upside down from this music.

Out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Die Mädchen || Wenn die Gesellschaft​.​.​.

To be honest, I don’t really speak the German language, but sometimes it adds a dimension to music. For example, imho David Bowie’s Heroes gained eloquence when he performed it in German (“Und wir sind dann Helden // Für einen Tag”). That said, I don’t understand most of what Die Mädchen (translated: the girls) sing and shout on their album Wenn die Gesellschaft​.​.​. (translated: ‘when the company…’), but it does get to me. The mysterious punk / krautrock / electronic artist group from Düsseldorf is inspired by the music of Kraftwerk, NEU! and CAN, but they translated that into an original sound of their own. Electronic noise isn’t necessarily a bad thing, when it’s blended so well with strong guitar, organ and drums structures and fascinating vocals. These eight songs are about solidarity, empathy, freedom and education – this is political rock that wants to change society. Die Mädchen in the role of heroes?

Out now digitally and on vinyl LP. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Paris Pick || Hope For The Best

Canadian singer/songwriter Paris Pick does everything a little differently than usual, and we can only applaud that. The way she uses her voice, how she mixes genres / instruments in her heterogeneous music and adds twists / contradictions in her honest lyrics: quirky and therefore interesting – somewhat similar to what appeals to me in the music of Jens Lekman. She just released her sophomore (digital) album Hope for the Best, for which she brought in some great musicians, who looked beyond guitar and drums. These are eight original soulful indie pop songs about growing-up, colorful and upbeat. Slightly different, but it makes me happy and isn’t that what music is all about?

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Fred Lee & The Restless || Sleepwalking In Daylight

Fred Lee is the alter ego of Swedish musician Fredrik Lindkvist, who in the past 20 years played in several punk bands (Knugen Faller, RIWEN, Royal Downfall, Sista Brytet, Totalt Jävla Mörker). Now he follows the path Frank Turner (with whom he has a great voice in common) also took, from hardcore to folk-rock. He wrote some narrative, soulful songs, put together backup band The Restless, with whom he recorded this strong, powerful debut album Sleepwalking In Daylight. The ten new tracks may not be as fast and loud as in the punk days, but they might hit harder (and will appeal to a wider audience). This sound can make festival fields go wild.

Out now digitally and on vinyl LP via Lövely Records. Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Freight Train

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