Posts tagged ‘Americana’

August 25, 2022

The B-Side: Bad Flamingo

Atmospheric and vibey without sounding gimmicky, “Bees Making Honey” by Bad Flamingo is a sexy strut in a genre that we’re calling Noir Americana. Reverbed guitars and a subtly grooving bass slink and slide over one another like stormy lovers on a dance floor. Do they have knives hidden discreetly upon them? Probably. The vocals play up the sexiness of the track without being obvious or obnoxious about it, and the whole thing is wrapped in the mysterious feel that Bad Flamingo roll with. Wearing Lone Ranger masks and listing themselves as “the one on the left” and “the one on the right,” BF let the music do the talking and the imagination do the walking and we’re all the bit more sexy for it.

August 11, 2022

Thursdays With J.R. – Brooke Surgener

Thursdays with J.R. is our new weekly column from lifelong musician and lifelong-er music fan J.R. McIntire, drummer of Arctic Char and multi-instrumentalist on more projects than we have bandwidth to list.

This weeks track begins on the one.  Gently strummed acoustics, chorus-y sliding guitars and possibly mandolins flow in.  There is nothing not to love about the track, “I Hate You The Least” by Brooke Surgener.  Brooke makes us wait for the first chorus and it is worth it when it bellows from its cave…..both times!  Her gentle voice filling each word with meaning, leaving our brains to piece together why there was any hate there in the first place.  Where is this person from?  What have they been through?  They seem happy.  The slide guitar during the humming vocals is just gorgeous sounding to the ear.  She doubles her vocal parts with ease, they sting in the best way because of this.  The lyrics are great, “I hate you the least, it’s my highest compliment”….so good.  She leaves us hanging with the lyric about keeping a picture of them in her wallet.  A sentiment from the days of this songs influences’ which range from shoegaze to country in my opinion.  Really great arrangement and performance, highly recommend this artist, she does not disappoint.

June 30, 2022

Thursdays With J.R. – Little Killer Bears

Thursdays with J.R. is our new weekly column from lifelong musician and lifelong-er music fan J.R. McIntire, drummer of Arctic Char and multi-instrumentalist on more projects than we have bandwidth to list.

Mr. Petty said it best.  “The waiting is the hardest part”.  This weeks track “Waiting” by Little Killer Bears wasn’t hard at all.  The song is gentle though full of emotion within the lyrics.  I really like how the song opens up with acoustic and electric guitars intertwining like they can in a beautiful, Americana style groove.  The drums are simple but direct the song train down the track.  The chorus makes you wait, and is over before it begins.  This song also has a guitar solo, and a good one.  I love guitar solos, they just rule when done right.  This one is done right.  I hear shades of older American rockers in the shadows but never fully copied.  I hear Bruce, even Johnny Cougar influencing this song.  What a great name as well, Little Killer Bears, yes!  The song builds to said chorus and solo only to leave you Waiting and hanging on the last note.  This one begs for a second listen or for the next song on the album.  I think I’ll go listen to some more of the tiny savage teddys as this is something I can get into.  Great work from a solid band.

April 22, 2022

Friday 6×6!

Friday 5×5 is our segment where we give you five new tracks to check out and give ourselves the challenge of describing said tracks in only five words – but today we’re mixing it up, or should we say….sixing it up.

What madness and chaos is this? Six songs described in six words instead of the usual five and five? Well, we’re going on vacation for a few weeks starting next week and if there’s one thing Timbaland taught us it’s that we should never leave you (leave you) without a dope beat to step to (step to). So enjoy a bonus song this week and feast your ears on new tracks from The North Country, Captain Frederickson, Benlirico, Shawn Williams, Today’s Outfit and LIJO.
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April 4, 2022

Mike’s Monday Muse – The Mary Janes

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.

This is a Bloomington, Indiana classic. Janas Hoyt (Vulgar Boatmen) and her great band The Mary Janes put out Record No. 1 in 1998 and it’s full of rock-jangly, country-rolling tunes that always sound new. “Wish I Could Fly,” “Throwing Pennies,” “She Flies Away,” “Final Days,” and the 7:41 epic “Shooting Star” are some of my favorites.

April 1, 2022

Week Ender – Jonivan Jones

The Omega to the Week Starter Alpha, Week Ender is the song we want to send you into the weekend with.

Spring still springs forth, despite the ongoing awfulness of most things these days, and in all that cyclical action we are reminded that eventually the light will break through – and with it a promise of better days, or at least a brief respite. What a perfect song for such times “Across The River” by Jonivan Jones is. A Lanegan-esque dark and smoky croak starts the song, but before too long Jones’ voice has opened up like the storm clouds dissipating at dawn. The song tells the story of an inmate working on prison farms but whose spirit and connection to life cannot be taken from them. It works not only as a classic story song but also as metaphor and a new “keep your head up” anthem.

March 4, 2022

Friday 5×5

Friday 5×5 is our segment where we give you five new tracks to check out and give ourselves the challenge of describing said tracks in only five words.

Today we keep it tight for you daddy, with only a few words about new songs from Jeff Hulett, Yvan Poisson, The Lovelines, Red Mecca and Romain Gutsy after the jump.
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February 21, 2022

Mike’s Monday Muse – Kimberly Morgan York

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.

Don’t listen to this unless you enjoy Dolly & Tammy, waltzing pedal steel guitar, The Drive-By Truckers, sweet twangy vocals, and real-deal country music. Found Yourself A Lady is Kimberly Morgan York‘s debut album (check out the equally stellar cut “Real Thing“) and her second record, Keep On Going, comes out later this year.

February 17, 2022

The B-Side: Barrett Davis

Some genres live and die by authenticity, and certainly American roots music is one of those. This isn’t to say that English boys with banjos can’t occasionally write a good tune, but it’s just not the same. There’s something about growing up with the mountain mist in your lungs and the ghosts of pickers and fiddlers and yodelers echoing through the holler while you sleep that makes it different. Barrett Davis is different. Born and raised and still residing in the mountains of North Carolina, there’s a tempered weariness to his voice that sounds like lineage, sounds like respect. Davis uses it in “The Ballad of Aesop Fin” first to comfort us, to give us those old time feels (albeit with a thoroughly modern indie folk production and arrangement) with a simple but catchy melody, telling us the tale of hard luck rambler – a song tradition as old as songs themselves. But as the song builds toward the end, the voice soars and pushes the whole affair out of traditionalism and into something else entirely. The transition feels natural but that makes it no less striking, and elevates the song to something really special.

February 11, 2022

Friday 5×5

Friday 5×5 is our segment where we give you five new tracks to check out and give ourselves the challenge of describing said tracks in only five words.

Today we have 25 words total for 5 songs that totally don’t need us yammering on and on for you to get the point and that point is: they good. They real good. Check out the self-explanatory goodness from Airships on the Water, Matan Arkin, The Delines, Butterfly and Half Shadow after the jump.
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