Unfolding like a time-lapse night terror, “Infestation” from Lexington, Kentucky quartet Bear Medicine is the soundtrack to anxious pre-dawn hours. Featuring flute and cello, the band’s 2014 debut LP, The Moon Has Been All My Life, is filled with layers of sound and lush instrumentation that orbit a modulated celestial sphere where beauty resides amongst the macabre.
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Darlingside‘s most striking feature is those pristine, crystalline harmonies that the four-member band spin like the finest of weavers. They seduce and pull you into their stunningly beautiful musical sphere. In fact, the harmony singing is so good that Darlingside may be today’s Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Their latest single/video is for “White Horses”, an utterly gorgeous song that will have you hunting down their recent release Birds Say.
California’s Royal Jelly Jive has a name that evokes the 1930s and 1940s, which is ideal in that their music is firmly rooted in the aesthetics of that era, while blending in bluesy rock guitars. Don’t mistake the group for just another swing revivalist, however. Royal Jelly Jive brings elements from swing and prohibition era jazz into the modern age by blending those sounds with blues, rock and even hip-hop in the groovy bits. “Dear Mr. Waits” goes more for a straight blues swing and it’s an irresistible, slinky, sexy song celebrating the work of fellow Sonoma County resident Tom Waits.
Grammy-winning Bonnie Bishop had left music behind when she got a call from Americana producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell). After 13 years in the music business, Bishop had an awakening one night at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville as she realized all of her long hard work had been for naught, slowly going broke with no manager or agent. So she headed home to Texas to reassess and ended up applying and getting accepted into the prestigious the University of the South creative writing graduate program. It was while focusing on her writing that Cobb made that fateful calling, praising her for the honesty in her music. Cobb was intrigued and wanted to make an album with Bishop.
Ruby Friedman came up with an intriguing concept for her new album Gem: “What would it sound like if a band from 200 years in the future wanted to do music from the 20th century? What would that sound like? So that’s what it sounds like: It’s an orchestra from the future, doing the past.” The 20th century sound she represents is roots rock, bluesy soul, which suits her deep, textured, rich voice to a tee. Friedman really is one hell of a frontwoman, with a completely unique and transfixing voice laden with passion. Meanwhile, her band storms through a song like “I’m Not Your Friend” with monster riffs and exciting guitar lines that totally make Gem a necessary addition to your music collection.