Back in March, Arcade Fire member Will Butler dropped his debut solo LP, Policy. While that record is a clear inheritor of the omnivorous musical predilections of those indie giants, in his latest video Butler strips things down to a simple and cozy arrangement. This is because Butler is among the latests artists to take to London’s Black Cab Sessions, wherein an artist or band plays a song in the back of a London cab—while it is moving. Certainly not the most comfortable of environs for a musician trying to focus on playing a tune, but Butler makes it work with his performance of “Madonna”, also known as “Madonna Can’t Save Me Now”.
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Scottish-Australian singer/songwriter Colin Hay is perhaps best known as a member of the Australian rock outfit Men at Work, or more recently as the dude who randomly appeared on Scrubs at any given moment. Most importantly, though, he’s an alive-and-thriving musician that just released his 12th solo record, Next Year People. Hay will soon begin touring the album in the US for a second time, following an almost entirely sold out initial run, this time joined by the Barenaked Ladies and the Violent Femmes. (For tour dates and more, visit his official website.)
The Atlanta-based rock trio the Head, comprised of Jacob Morrell (guitar) and brothers Jack and Mike Shaw (drums and bass/vocals, respectively), has been dubbed with the title “Atlanta’s youngest rock ‘n’ roll veterans” by Blurt. These chaps may all be in their early 20s, but what they lack in years they more than make up for in their energetic brand of ‘90s-inspired rock music.
The Head are also not one to shy from thought-provoking topics in their songwriting. Below you can stream “It Ain’t Easy”, a tune which finds the trio exploring the sensitive and troubling topic of the Newtown school shooting. For more on this, read the band’s statement on the song.
Blue Blood started out as a solo venture for musician Hunter Morris, who conceived the idea after his previous band, Gift Horse, parted ways. The Athens, Georgia-based Morris then spent a year working as a fly fishing guide on the trout streams of North Georgia, a creatively fruitful time that spawned the songs that now form This Is the Life, Morris’ debut as Blue Blood.
Morris ended up not going at it all by himself, though. Hank Sullivant, the guitarist for MGMT and the frontman of Kuroma, worked as producer/instrumentalist for the recording. Rounded out by J.J. Bower (Dead Confederate) on drums and Dave Spivey on keys, Blue Blood is a fine example of how an artist can create a new avenue through artistic exploration in the wake of a finished project. Morris’ vision was rich enough on its own; with the addition of players such as Sullivant, Spivey, and Bower, his initial idea has blossomed into a mind-enveloping collection of introspective gloom pop.