June 16, 2021

The Midweekly – Leon Bridges & Khruangbin

The Midweekly is our column from Mike Jeffers; lead singer of Chicago punk stalwarts SCRAMmusic junkie and all around righteous dude.

These young Texans team up to reinvigorate their southwestern roots. On a solid EP called Texas Sun, psyche-rock group Khruangbin (Houston), known for the funky, chill vibes, join singer Leon Bridges (Fort Worth), who made quite the splash on the R&B scene with his debut album back in 2015. The result is four tunes that take very different turns, but all down the same dusty road. The title track slides and twangs a country sound, while the vocals express the joy of two people traveling the long road in love, under their native sun. Serving as a contrast to that, “Midnight” finds the group rolling out a latin-reggae style number under the stars of a big night sky, LB still in the car with his love, but this time they’ve found a quiet place to stop. Flip the record over, and we get a sexy jam, complete with lusty lyrics. Then concludes with a sober, gospel hymn about faith, and righteousness. Texas Sun is a release by talented neighbors that challenged each other, and if we’re lucky we’ll see them together again.

June 15, 2021

The B-Side: The Paper Airport

With “Turning” The Paper Airport give us a perfect mid-tempo indie rock number that marries the vulnerability of a ballad with the riffs and beat of a gentle, fist pumping anthem. This is the song you dance to alone in your room to celebrate the small victory: the smile from a crush, the good day you didn’t have to use your AK, etc… Put it on your positivity playlist and feel the good vibes.

June 15, 2021

Tuesday Tip-Off: Sarah Walk

As much as we applaud adventurous and genre bending/breaking songs on this blog, it’s not always necessary to reinvent the wheel. Especially when the wheel is as exquisitely crafted as this one is. “Same Road” by Sarah Walk may be in some ways a straight forward singer-songwriter ballad, the kind we’ve heard a million times before, but it is anything but common. There is a simple perfection to this number that reminds us why this is such a well worn genre, because when its this good there’s just simply nothing quite like it for pushing certain musical and emotional buttons.

June 14, 2021

The B-Side: Yellow Shoots

Perfectly blending pop leaning indie electronica with legitimately freaky psych flourishes, “Sirens” by Yellow Shoots feels a bit like a Ween song given the superstar producer remix treatment, and if that isn’t enough to get you to check it out well then I’m not sure what will. It’s fun, it’s grooves and it’s weird enough to stand out on any mix you put it on.

June 14, 2021

Mike’s Monday Muse – Barbara Lynn

Mike’s Monday Muse is where friend of the blog, roots DJ, house show organizer, Bloomington Music Expo czar and all around nice guy Mike McAfee picks one song a week to share with the people.

Before crushing it left-handed, she tells a great story about Mick Jagger calling her to get permission to cover this song on their Rolling Stones, Now! record. Barbara Lynn, Empress of Gulf Coast Soul, has written, sang and played lead guitar on most of her songs during her incredible 60-year career. She’s so damn good and cool she toured with Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, etc. and has been sampled by Moby and Lil’ Wayne.

June 9, 2021

The Midweekly – HMLTD

First thought it was an abbreviation for Humiliated, then learned their first EP was titled Hate Music Last Time Delete. But that too was wrong. It comes from their previously hilarious name Happy Meals Limited. Can’t imagine why a label would ask them to change that! West of Eden is the London group’s debut release, and it spins the roulette wheel of styles and tones. Their often bright, flamboyant image isn’t just a gimmick. They confidently back it up with well polished brit pop, glam rock, and post punk. The production and songwriting takes turns between heavy electronic beats, layered guitar, stripped down tunes reminiscent of a surf, western, or cabaret feel, and even a few weirder tracks of fx laden spoken word. Vocalist Henry Spychalski croons and screeches out lyrics mostly of a dark storytelling nature. The album is definitely an ambitious start for this flashy band. 

June 7, 2021

Mike’s Monday Muse – Mike Cooley, Patterson Hood and Jason Isbell

Mike’s Monday Muse is where friend of the blog, roots DJ, house show organizer, Bloomington Music Expo czar and all around nice guy Mike McAfee picks one song a week to share with the people.

Three former Drive-By Trucker bandmates swapping tunes and stories recorded live at the Shoals Theatre in Florence, AL in 2014. This 4LP box set was just released on vinyl last week.

June 3, 2021

Fasman’s Finds – Georgia Anne Muldrow

Fasman’s Finds is our column from Rebecca Fasman (intrepid record nerd, DJ, and curator at the Kinsey Institute) in which she shares what she’s listening to and why. 

Georgia Anne Muldrow released her most recent album (21st in her incredible catalog), called VWETO III, on May 21st. Georgia said that “VWETO III is intended for movement. It’s to be played when you birth yourself back outside after a long introspective period to get the things you need. It intends for you to be your own superhero and wants to be your theme for power.” 

Movement and inertia have both played perhaps outsized roles in our lives in the past 16 months, and coming out of this deeply embodied interplay between inside/outside, stasis/movement is hard. This record, thankfully, is not about movement in a showy or prescribed way – there will probably not be a tik tok dance challenge to come out of any of these tracks (though I am very open to being proved wrong about this!). Instead, this thoughtful, beautiful, rich album wants the listener to determine what movement means to us as individuals and wants to be the soundtrack to our own (re)emergence and power. This, especially after the past 16 months, is such a gift. 

June 3, 2021

The B-Side: Max MacLaury

We’ve been seeing a trend of late with Americana releases sent our way, and that is an embracing of a more relaxed song structure, a movement away from the tight confines of the honky tonk and the hushed front porch confessions and into something a bit more loose and wide open. A lot of the times that manifests itself in a journey toward the psychedelic (best embodied by Leon III’s genre blending masterpiece Antlers in Velvet that came out earlier this year) and then there’s Max MacLaury‘s “Cut From The Same Cloth.” MacLaury doesn’t throw any curve balls at you, nor whips the song into an unexpected left turn, he just simply pops the top off of it and lets it breathe and stretch its legs a bit, to great effect. It gives the song a kind of natural cinematic openness that matches MacLaury’s vocals which sit perfectly between a classic country croon and roots rock attitude, and has us playing this one on repeat.

June 2, 2021

Play Listy For Me – Indie Rock Vol. 7

Play Listy For Me is our column where we share with you all the music we recently talked about in a genre blocked playlist, plus extra bonus songs.

Had enough of the cicada drone? Mix it up with these fresh hot tracks.

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