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by Sarah Zupko

19 Jan 2017


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.

by PopMatters Staff

18 Jan 2017


Photo: Angel Ceballos

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]

by Jedd Beaudoin

18 Jan 2017


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.

by Sarah Zupko

17 Jan 2017


Photo: Hillary Shemin

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.

by Sarah Zupko

17 Jan 2017


Photo: Sergio Lopez and Kelly Rashka

Lance Washington (a.k.a. Lando Chill) lost his father at the tender age of four and it has left a mark on him, one that he needed to address in artistic fashion to help him deal with the pain. Washington grew up in Chicago but moved to Arizona for college, and he took up poetry before diving head-long into music. Those sunny climes of Arizona have worn off on Washington, putting the real “chill” in Chill’s moniker. That and some stellar OG Kush that Chill celebrates in his song “Early in the Morning”.

Chill’s sound is soulful, warm and groovy, his honey-esque flow utterly irresistible and enticing. The video for “Early in the Morning”, which appears on Chill’s 2016 debut album, For Mark, Your Son, was shot in Northern Arizona and features Chill and his girlfriend on a road trip, spending the day in nature with some great herb and each other. This take on the song is a live band version, and it suggests the direction the artist is heading on his upcoming new record planned for this summer via Mello Music Group.

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