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by Adrien Begrand

25 Aug 2015


Portland’s the Lonesome Billies incorporate classic country and Southwestern themes much like the Sadies and Calexico, and you can hear it immediately on “1922”, a selection from their upcoming debut album It’s Good to Be Lonesome.

by Adrien Begrand

25 Aug 2015


Americana duo Doug and Alyssa Graham (The Grahams) released their second studio album Glory Bound back in May. On that record is a song called “Gambling Girl”, which as it turns out is a wonderful woman’s response to the classic American traditional “Delia”, on which Alyssa turns the table on the classic story. They’ve just completed a video for the track, one that puts the great Jane Russell in the title role.

by PopMatters Staff

24 Aug 2015


Paul Duffus: Wolf Alice get a couple of things very right here. Firstly, the line “You’re a dodgy fucker as well!” is a decent way to end a chorus. Swearing is good and more bands should consider it as a way of adding caffeine to their lyrics. Personally I wouldn’t have ended the line with “as well”, which is weak. After “fucker”, maybe go for a c-bomb to finish things off with a bang. Just stick the second person personal pronoun in before it to make up the syllables, and boom: We have Rock! It doesn’t need to make sense. Secondly, the video is great. You get to see the band getting killed over and over again, which is also something many other bands should consider in their promos. It offers a bit of catharsis if the song is especially bad, which, well, this kind of is. Sort of grungy, poppy, rocky, there’s a kerrannngg from the guitar about 30 seconds in, which you hope is going to signal all kinds of groin-pumping heaviness, but turns out to be only a passing thought. Any awesomeness hinted at by the video and that one moment of axe-gasm never materialises. [5/10]

by PopMatters Staff

24 Aug 2015


Timothy Gabriele: Say what you will about Wham’s “Freedom” and its partial response, George Michael’s “Freedom ‘90”, but both could have only arose as a result of their time. The former, a series of bright stomping synth chords arguing against a woman’s autonomy that they somehow fashioned into a music video crying for democracy to break loose in Communist China (sadly it didn’t work, but it can be argued that China did instead “Make It Big”). The latter, a series of house vamps and slinky R&B riffs whose lyrics seem to be a rejection of music’s reliance on image that Michael somehow fashioned into an iconographic music video full of naked supermodels lip-synching the tune. !!!’s “Freedom! ‘15” could have come about from any number of recent eras. The thing that distinguishes it the most from straight-up West End/late era Prelude disco is some raw distortion. Perhaps the video’s silly but fun combo of web 1.0 and mobile ’15 technology is an attempt to rectify that.

by PopMatters Staff

24 Aug 2015


John M. Tryneski: So I admit to never having heard the Lone Bellow before this, but that’s probably a good thing for the band because there was so much here to sucker me into being a fan. The achy pedal steel, the sweetly sad lyrics, the building beat that makes it perfect driving song—it’s got everything I need from a country song. The fact that the song was apparently and ode to songwriter Zach Williams mother-in-law ups the ante even further. And, to top things off, the video is perfectly suited to its material. Shot in Lafayette, Georgia and starring a well-utilized Virginia Madsen, it does an impressive job of capturing small-town isolation. Madsen’s expressiveness also impressively conveys the constant weight of life’s daily grind heard in Williams’ lyrics. Tomorrow I’ll check out the Lone Bellow’s other songs with fingers crossed, but for right now I’m happy to just enjoy this little slice of something wonderful. [8/10]

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