Cincinnati’s Dawg Yawp weave together psychedelic rock, folk, electronica and American roots music in a wholly unique sound that’s all tied together by the sitar. Yes, I said sitar. If you never got enough of George Harrison’s sitar playing on Sgt. Pepper’s, then start here and you’ll think you’ve gone to heaven. Dawg Yawp is comprised of two best friends—Tyler Randall and Rob Keenan— who moved back to their Ohio hometown to work on the Dawg Yawp project and their debut self-titled album releasing October 14th via Old Flame Records.
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Chris Ingalls: This shiny, gleaming collaboration with Susanne Sundfør is a pure pop confection, and a damn catchy one at that. Diving deep into a retro dance sound, the production is thick with layers of keyboards, slippery synth bass lines and an infectious beat that all but guarantees a club smash. It’s like day-glo ABBA in a shopping mall in the ‘80s. [7/10]
Sonic Avenues’ “Future” shows off the band’s punk roots and their post-punk sound that bares deep influences from Devo, the Buzzcocks, and a bit of Howard Devoto’s Magazine. It’s a rocking, two and a half minute slice of raucous energy, poppy choruses, slashing and chopping Rickenbacker guitars. Sonic Avenues hail from the incredibly fertile Montreal music scene and they are about to release their fourth album, Disconnector, which examines themes of future and destiny, human potential and its annihilation. But always with catchy tunes.
Singer-songwriter Shawn Fogel returns with a six-song collection of smart, clear-eyed songs. Titled Volume 1 it is the debut recording from his latest endeavor, Brothers in Yarn. We are pleased to premiere it for you today. The opening “A Million Tiny Arms”, which serves as a kind of prayer for a return to childlike wonderment, showcasing the purity of Fogel’s voice and his gift for crafting uncluttered, unhurried arrangements. The material carries an undeniable emotional complexity, avoiding the binary of happy and sad but instead exploring those shades between, the darkness lurking in the light as well as the light breaking through the dark.
New Orleans-based singer-songwriter Luke Winslow-King draws from a long list of American roots genres to concoct his Americana songs, including blues, folk, jazz and ragtime. He’s formally studied music in universities and in the Czech Republic, while having seen a lot of the world through his peripatetic musical career. Winslow-King recently released his fifth album, I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always, and it’s a record rooted in the sadness and heartbreak that arises due to the end of a marriage that ultimately ends with a form of acceptance and forgiveness. As the finale of the record, “No More Crying Today” carries this forgiveness, as well as the resolution to feel good again, stop crying, and move on with one’s life. It’s a deft, gentle, relaxed song with delicate, subtle guitar lines, the hushed vocals of a man worn out from pain, and yet another example of Winslow-King’s masterful songwriting skills.