Emitt Rhodes – Rainbow Ends

February 28, 2016 § Leave a comment

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One of my biggest music heroes, Emitt Rhodes, just released a new album. His first in 43 years. This is a huge deal. He is a big part of the history of pop music. Ok, maybe not world famous in the grand scheme of things, but incredibly influential and definitely a huge part of the history of pop music that I’ve (and a lot of other people) experienced. First as the leader of the excellent 60s pop group The Merry-Go-Round and then releasing four perfect or near-perfect solo albums in the early seventies that gave him the nickname “The One Man Beatles”. I can monstrously recommend all of those. They are cornerstones of my music education. If you want a starting point, I would go with the self-titled solo album, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

But enough about the past. It has been a few years in the making, but finally we have a new Emitt Rhodes album called Rainbow Ends. It came out on Omnivore Recordings on the 26th of February. I’m just spinning it for the first time on Spotify (I will pick a physical copy from a record store later) and it’s safe to say that Emitt hasn’t lost his touch. This is sounding mighty fine to my ears even on first listen and it’s very clear that the man can still make heavenly good pop music. Even though Emitt himself of course takes the spotlight, the album also has a real all star cast. There’s appearances from people like Jason Falkner, Jon Brion, Roger Joseph Manning Jr, Aimee Mann, Susanna Hoffs etc. Oh my. It’s like two generations of pop geniuses working together and creating a little bit of magic. My 90s pop heroes backing Emitt Rhodes in 2016. I couldn’t possibly ask for much more. Great to have you back Emitt.

Emitt Rhodes at Facebook

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Dori Freeman – Dori Freeman

February 28, 2016 § Leave a comment

dorii

Going through all the promo e-mails is a tough task, because even my tiny amateurish blog/website gets hundreds of them every week. Thankfully there’s a reward there sometimes (albeit not very often) and I end up finding a treasure that I probably wouldn’t have found otherwise. Songwriter Dori Freeman from Galax, Virginia and her self-titled debut full-length is one of these rare treasures. The album was produced by Teddy Thompson and it’s a real, sincere and beautifully sung collection of americana songs. I could listen to her sing all day long even if the songs weren’t that good and there’s nothing wrong with her songwriting either. This is Go On Lovin’ from the album that recently came out on Free Dirt Records.

Dori Freeman Website

Album of the Month: Michael Nau – Mowing

February 28, 2016 § Leave a comment

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I haven’t selected an album of the month for almost a year, but this album Mowing by Michael Nau inspired me to bring this feature back to the blog. I fell in love with this one like 17 seconds after I started listening. Here’s what happened. I was browsing my Bandcamp feed and saw that Mr. Hi54lofi had bought this. I did remember the album announcement from a couple of months ago and knew that I need to check it out once it arrives. However, I had forgotten about it until saw it sitting there on my feed and I instantly hit play and almost instantly I fell in love and started writing overenthusiastic tweets about it. Fast forward a few days and our relationship is still just as strong as when our hearts collided. A remarkable album.

Michael Nau has a great band called Cotton Jones with his wife Whitney, but unfortunately that lovely band has been on a hiatus lately. Solo-Michael now comes to the rescue by delivering an album full of sweet and timeless folk-tinged pop sounds. According to the press release it’s more like just bits and pieces recorded in different sessions and that he just wanted to get these out of his system and didn’t really plan on creating an album. Nevertheless, the end result is the best thing I’ve heard in 2016 so far. The down-to-earth, low key beauty of it is completely irresistible. It’s remarkable that something that is in a way so small, can have such a huge impact. I love everything about this album. Sometimes it falls close to Bahamas-like sweet and charming pop songs and other times it might be in the same ball park as Little Wings and his careful sonic experiments. One thing is certain. It’s absolutely magnificent all the time.

Mowing by Michael Nau is now out on Suicide Squeeze Records. This is Smooth Aisles from the album.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=890870404/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=1995154327/transparent=true/

Michael Nau / Cotton Jones at Facebook

Nap Eyes – Thought Rock Fish Scale

February 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Due to some distribution hiccup my vinyl copy of the new Nap Eys album Thought Rock Fish Scale still hasn’t reached the local record store. Therefore I still have to rely on Spotify stream for the new album and have to spent my offline life with the previous one Whine of the Mystic. Not a huge first world problem, because even the old one still keeps on revealing more and more greatness with each listening session. I’ve also managed to spent enough time with Thought Rock Fish Scale to confirm that this Canadian band is still in great from and there’s no second album curse anywhere to be found. They just deliver some of the finest and most inspiring indie rock these days. Sure it took a while to get used to that sound and style that at first felt almost lazy and uninspiring, but after getting dragged into the world of Nigel Chapman and co, I no longer wish to get out of it and I’m fully ready to join the choir that refers Nap Eyes as some kind of weird saviours of indie music. Maybe I even start a Finnish subsection of that choir.

Thought Rock Fish Scale is now out on Paradise Of Bachelors (US/Europe) and You’ve Changed Records (Canada). This is Mixer From the new album.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1925251160/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=2645498004/transparent=true/

Nap Eyes at Facebook

J.E. Sunde – Hickory Point in the Fall (video) + Kalispell / Shane Leonard

February 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

sunde

Just a quick video post. Regular readers are well aware that I’m a big fan of Minneapolis-based songwriter J.E. Sunde and adore his 2014 album Shapes that Kiss The Lips of God. Hickory Point in the Fall is an outtake from that gorgeous album and they made a music video for the song in late 2015. I think I still haven’t posted it, so it’s time to cross that one out the from the list of things to do. A great song from one of my fave albums of recent years. Btw, Mr. Sunde actually has some Finnish background as well. Someone should bring him (and Bahamas) to Finland.

J.E. Sunde Website

Also be on the lookout for J.E. Sunde’s collaborator and label mate Shane Leonard/Kalispell who is about to release his new album Printer’s Son. The album is due out in June on Cartouche Records and it’s going to be wonderful. There’s nothing available from the new album yet, but here’s an older tune Methodist Lift from his previous album Westbound.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=204595338/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/track=92103951/transparent=true/

Shane Leonard / Kalispell Website

Nive and The Deer Children – Feet First

February 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Nive Nielsen is my only connection to Greenlandic music scene, but perhaps I need to dig deeper into that scene at some point, because I do adore Nive and The Deer Children. Their latest album Feet First was released by Glitterhouse Records just a few weeks ago on 1st of February. The original release date was late 2015, but the Nordic countries had to wait until 2016 for the gentle breeze of Greenlandic folk pop. As a long time fan of Giant Sand, Nive’s collaboration with Howe Gelb was probably the reason why I first hit play back in 2011 (also a collaborator on this new album), but her ability to write captivating and fascinating folk songs is the reason why I kept on listening. Here are a couple of examples of her talent. The video for the song Are You Ready and Tulugaq. The latter is sung in her native Greenlandic tongue.

Nive and The Deer Children Website

Joey Kneiser, Aaron Lee Tasjan & Jeffrey Foucault

February 25, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Catching up by posting some wonderful music videos. First we have Joey Kneiser and the lyric video for his excellent song Heaven Only Wants Us Once We’re Dead. It’s an outtake from his 2015 album The Wildness, which was one of my top 10 picks for the year. The song, the album, the video are all monstrously highly recommended.

Joey Kneiser Website

Next up is Aaron Lee Tasjan and his new music video for the song Don’t Walk Away. I think it actually premiered on the same day as Joey’s video some weeks ago. Excellent stuff once again from ALT.

Aaron Lee Tasjan Website

And last but not least, Jeffrey Foucault and the song Slow Talker from his gorgeous 2015 album Salt as Wolves.

Jeffrey Foucault Website

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