The Burning Hell / My Name Is Mathias

November 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

burn

I’ve had a huge hole in my pop music education. I haven’t really properly listened to The Burning Hell until now. That’s rather criminal especially if you consider the facts that a) I love Canadian music b) they played in my hometown Turku a year or two ago and I managed to miss them. Anyway, for the past two days I’ve been finally listening to The Burning Hell and their 2013 album People (Out on BB Island , Headless Owl Records) and I’ve been smiling like a mad man while doing that. They are probably rather fed up with all the Jonathan Richman comparisons, but he sure does come to mind several times. Travel Writers on the other hand is a bit Lambchop-ish. But enough with the namedropping. This is Mathias Kom’s show and this man is one hell of a songwriter. The Wallflowers has been my favourite song in the world during these past two days.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=722724503/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=368890241/transparent=true/

mathiaskom

The reason why I finally remembered that I need to dive into the The Burning Hell back catalogue is actually this new Mathias Kom / The Burning Hell tribute album called My Name Is Mathias. I saw it on my Bandcamp feed a while back and have also come across with it several times during the last week, because some of my favourite Canadians (John K. Samson, Mike O’Neill, Michael Feuerstack etc) are covering Mathias on this album. The tribute is now out on Headless Owl Records. This is Michael Feuerstack’s wonderful version of Like An Anvil.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2970439800/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=2295328873/transparent=true/

The Burning Hell Website

Hayward Williams – The Reef, John Statz new single + album kickstarter

November 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

hayward

I teamed up a couple of albums produced by the great Jeffrey Foucault on this little blog entry (and these guys are also all originally from Wisconsin if I’m not mistaken). First we have Hayward Williams from Milwaukee and his new full-length The Reef that just came out. I fell in love with Hayward’s song Cotton Bell many moons ago, but haven’t been the most dedicated follower during the years and probably missed a release or two. However, I’ve been spinning this new one on my way to work and back on the car stereo and I’m liking this a lot. And that Spotify thing I used probably doesn’t do any justice to this beauty. Even though I usually prefer if things stay small, I do love all that gospel influence and how those backing vocals lift the songs to new heights. It’s not a very accurate comparison, but somehow those Stephen Stills solo albums came to mind once or twice, because of that. Anyway, The Reef is a great melting pot of folk, rock, soul and gospel and it’s out and available now. I couldn’t find anything official to share from Youtube, Bandcamp or Soundcloud, so here’s the wonderful title track The Reef from Spotify.

Hayward Williams Website

statztulsa

A long-time favourite John Statz also recorded a new album TULSA with Jeffrey Foucault. This one isn’t out until March 2015 and John currently has a kickstarter crowdfunding going on so that he can deliver this new baby into this world. Hit that link below, if you want to be a part of it. If you want to get an early taste, the first single from the forthcoming album is already out there. The single is called Home at Last and it goes like this.

John Statz Website
John Statz’ Tulsa Kickstarter

Jeffrey Foucault Website

Heartjet – Friend (single)

November 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

heartjet

Power pop is something very dear to me and therefore I’ve been folllowing the adventures of Finnish power pop band Heartjet from the beginning. I got some rather splendid news a week or two ago when the duo announced that they will be releasing their debut full-length next spring. This excellent first single Friend from the forthcoming album is already out and available on their Bandcamp.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=1174376765/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/

Heartjet at Bandcamp

Barna Howard & Myriam Gendron

November 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

barna

Just a quick blog entry before going to bed, because every now and then one has to praise Barna Howard. He is one of the best folk singer-songwriters these days or any other days for that matter. Why isn’t Barna Howard already famous is one of life’s greatest mysteries. I was just listening to his debut album and I’m still loving it so passionately. It came out on Mama Bird Recording Co back in 2012 and was #2 on my albums of the year list back then. I hope the follow-up will hit our hearts sometime in 2015.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=836184358/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=4163071167/transparent=true/

Barna Howard Website

myriam

Next month I should make this year’s list, so I’ve already been looking back and I’ve been listening to some of my biggest 2014 favourites. Today I listened to Myriam Gendron’s fantastic record Not So Deep As a Well and this beautiful thing still sounds amazing. This is definitely going to be on my top 10 and I wouldn’t even be surprised if it took the 1st place. Such a magnificent album. It was a co-release by Feeding Tube Records and Mama Bird Recording Co.

Myriam Gendron Website

M. Lockwood Porter – 27 & John Moreland’s Pledge campaign

November 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

27

M. Lockwood Porter is a songwriter from Berkeley, CA (originally from Oklahoma). His second album 27 has been out since mid-October and I’ve had it on heavy rotation ever since. There’s definitely some versatility here that I like a lot. 27 contains achingly beautiful americana songs, impressive 70s influenced folk rock tunes, damn enjoyable replacement rockers and so on and pretty much everything works. M. Lockwood Porter might not yet have a seat at the coffee table for the world’s greatest songwriters, but the man sure has a lot of talent and has created a rather excellent new album. I know that I usually post the slow and sad tunes, but I feel like rockin’ a little tonight, so this is Restless from the album 27. This one and You Only Talk About Your Band have certainly brought a lot of joy to some tough work days during the past month or two (which might seem weird, if you listen to the lyrics of this one).

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3309691345/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=3709546072/transparent=true/

M. Lockwood Porter Website

I’ve noticed that M. Lockwood Porter has been touring lately with a huge favourite of mine, John Moreland, so I thought they also fit nicely under the same blog entry. John’s latest album In The Throes was #3 on my albums of the year 2013 list and I’m extremely confident that the follow-up High on Tulsa Heat will be another masterpiece. John currently has a pledge campaign going on, which already easily reached the goal, but a little bonus probably doesn’t hurt at all. So check that out, if you want to participate. Here’s a new amazing John Moreland song You Don’t Care for Me Enough to Cry from PPS sessions.

John Moreland Website
John Moreland – High on Tulsa Heat at pledgemusic.com

Richard Allen – In the Front Room & James Frost – Nameless

November 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

richardallen

I don’t really know anything about Richard Allen. I just saw the cover art of his record In The Front Room on Bandcamp’s new arrivals and it just kind of looked like one that I might like, so I decided to hit the play button. It was a rather splendid decision, because I was hooked in a few seconds when Richard Allen started playing and beautiful, quite traditional English folk music filled the air. I bought the digital download after listening to this for a few minutes. I’m not the biggest expert on English / British folk music, but this certainly takes me back to the early 70s where people like Nick Drake, Bert Jansch, Sandy Denny and Kevin Ayers ruled the world. I’m loving this wholeheartedly at the moment. You can stream(+buy) the whole magically enchanting folk album at Bandcamp. This is Will I Ever Lean? from the album.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1823781434/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=177395225/transparent=true/

Richard Allen at Facebook

jamesfrost

Staying on the same ballpark. James Frost is also an English folk musician whose new Nameless EP reflects the spirit of those 70s English folk maestros I mentioned above. I’ve had this on the play list for several weeks and I like it a lot. Especially this title track Nameless is just wonderful. You can again buy / stream the whole thing over at Bandcamp.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=575921926/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=1993066862/transparent=true/

James Frost Website

Album of the Month: Frontier Ruckus – Sitcom Afterlife

November 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

frontierruckus

Michigan’s Frontier Ruckus is pretty much the best band in the world right now. I joined the party rather late maybe a couple of years ago and when the previous album Eternity of Dimming came out in early 2013, they completely won my heart over. I kept on listening to that wonderful thing throughout the year and it was clearly my favourite album of that year. Despite all that new music that keeps on coming through the doors and windows that album is something that I still return to on almost weekly basis and still play a couple of songs from it each time I’m on DJ duty at Flavour of the Month club.

Their fourth album Sitcom Afterlife came out yesterday and after listening to it about 8 or 9 hours today, I can already confirm that it’s another wonderful album. This time they’ve gone into more melodic direction and even namedropped most of my all-time favourites like Big Star, Teenage Fanclub and Matthew Sweet as influences. It looks like they are onto me or something. It’s still pretty far from your typical pop record though. It’s not as lyrically heavy as Eternity of Dimming, but it still has more words than I can count. So we are certainly not going into that “She loves you yeah yeah” -territory. This new more melodic side fits nicely into their unique sound galore and the end result is once again magnificent. You are going to need this album. It’s now out on Quite Scientific.. and it’s also out and available in Finland, so I’m going to pick my copy from the local 8raita record store when it arrives. Here are a couple of songs that tell you much more than my pointless ramblings. Bathroom Stall Hypnosis and Crabapples in the Century’s Storm from the new album.

Frontier Ruckus Website

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