Heath Green has been burning the house down night after night for 15 years in little clubs around the country, preaching the soulful rock ‘n’ roll that lights up the crowds. With his band the Makeshifters in tow, Green has built a solid reputation as a superlative live performer. The band’s sound is heavily influenced by the Faces, the Rolling Stones, and Humble Pie and they are all greatly indebted to African-American musical forms.
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Andrew Paschal: An understated, gleaming synthpop gem that reveals Austra at their most graceful. Katie Stelmanis delivers lines like, “There is nothing in your soul tonight / I only see darkness” in a sober, plaintive, utterly empathic tone, yet this song is also pure light. Written about loving somebody with depression, the accompanying video gives an honest yet compassionate treatment of astronaut Lisa Nowak’s story, rewriting exploitative and pathologizing narratives regarding her mental illness. Compared to other tracks on the band’s latest album, Future Politics, “I Love You More…” provides a subtler manifesto, a vision of progressivism as real compassion. Among the warmest tracks in the band’s catalog thus far. [9/10]
Nashville singer-songwriter Steve Poltz has written a timely song as a riposte to Donald Trump all the while paying tribute to the many talented artists that we lost in 2016. “Hey God, I’ll Trade You Donald Trump for Leonard Cohen” is a sentiment that many of us in the creative arts share and Poltz has created a folk anthem full of witty turns of phrase and lines that’ll have you righteously nodding your head in agreement. Thanks, Steve. We needed this song right about now.
Boston’s Replacire returns this spring with Do Not Deviate and we are happy to premiere the track “Horsestance” now. The group’s trademark blend of death, thrash, and progressive metal remain intact on this new track. It’s two minutes of technical ecstasy that provides large doses of surprise to the listener across its ever-so-brief 2:31 seconds.
Chris Ingalls: Once again, Thundercat is the master of taking us all back to a smooth, bygone era of seamless, laid-back funk. Recruiting McDonald and Loggins is the real coup here—the grooves are silky bedroom sheets but the Steely Dan funk of the vocals really drive it home. There are some people who would cringe at this type of concoction, but for anyone who pines for the adult contemporary urban smoothness circa 1979-1981 and thinks Bibio is too “out there”, this is the perfect fit. [8/10]