Andrew Paschal: The opening track and fourth single from Rennen is also its worst offering. The song is a contrived and affected attempt to meld some idea of bluesiness into his brand of so-called “PBR&B”. Its melody is uncomfortably familiar, sounding not so much like one song in particular as a whole slew of songs, each similarly caricatured and unsubtle. “My baby don’t make a sound / As long as her hard liquor’s never watered down,” he drawls in an on-the-nose attempt to recreate the feel of a seedy tavern. In addition to going for a postindustrial bar song, “Hard Liquor” also has a curious “heave-ho” kind of vibe to it, like a co-opted imitation of the songs people associate with tough, physical labor. Perhaps this is what you would get if you crossed Blade Runner with Holes. [4/10]
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Curtis McMurtry has a famous Texas surname and, yes, he the son of legendary Texas singer-songwriter James McMurtry, but Curtis is very much his own man musically. If you can imagine baroque pop translated into Americana, then you’ll get an idea of Curtis McMurtry’s unique contribution to the ever-broadening definition of Americana music. McMurtry has been as influenced by great songwriting craftsmanship as he has by jazz, folk rock, indie pop, and orchestral pop.
Jordan Penney: Each element of “The Lost Sky” seems carefully executed to create a sense of tension. The arrangement consists of guitar and bass, and its relative simplicity and repetition create a gently propulsive rhythm. The vocal melody is an unbroken march through three lengthy verses, and until the chorus Hoop barely allows herself a moment to add a melodic flourish off the end of a word. It has a restless quality. The lyrics suggest the carrying of a haunting burden—“I walk the dark star, the lost sky / Searching for your signal, receive mine”—and neither asks for nor expects redemption. Even the video depicts a disturbing scenario played out again and again, no resolution in sight. A masterpiece of concise and thoughtful songwriting, “The Lost Sky” is also a straightforwardly memorable and appealing song. [9/10]
Today we are premiering new music from McDougall, “Battle Creek March”. The song is a new take on a piece that the musician first released on his 2010 LP Old New Histories. Built on a gorgeous, cascading banjo figure, the track builds into a fluid but strident trip that marries the power of heavy rock with all the subtlety and restraint of traditional American music.
Sometimes you just need to hear a feel good song to get on by and this week, we need it more than ever. Enter blues/American artist Seth Walker who has a new video for “High Time”, a tune that rollicks joyfully in its New Orleans vibe. Walker laces together NOLA rhythms, some funky piano, and slinky guitar to create this earworm of a song. “High Time” leads off Walker’s recent album Gotta Get Back, and it gets your feet and backfield in motion.
// Sound Affects
"Sharon Jones and Woodie Guthrie knew: great songs belong to everybody.READ the article