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Friday, Apr 11, 2014
Wooden Wand's James Jackson Toth releases his new album, Farmer's Corner, in May on Fire Records

Farmer’s Corner, the upcoming record from James Jackson Toth’s project Wooden Wand, is also the first self-produced record in the Wooden Wand catalog. No wonder, then, Toth sounds so much at home, so much like himself on this record. Nowhere is that clearer than on excellent album opener “Alpha Dawn”. It’s a guitar-and-voice number, built around dusty acoustic and the sweet croak of Toth’s voice, but it’s also surrounded by melting textures, stringed instruments and atmospheric hues that spread this lonesome sound out into something larger than it seems. The song, and the record as a whole, is sparer than recent Wooden Wand records like Blood Oaths of the New Blues and Wooden Wand & the World War IV, but it’s got a similar bittersweet expansion to it. For an artist always fitfully changing, Toth seems to have found a sonic home on these past few records, and that uneasy comfort is clear on “Alpha Dawn”. And yet, even when he finds home, Toth is still restless and wandering in fruitful ways.


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Thursday, Apr 10, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
The result of long-lost half-brothers collaborating together, Young Boy's Other Summers is a delicate dream-pop album that beams with an uncommon sense of camaraderie.

Young Boy consists of long-lost half-brothers Alessandro Baris and Joseph Desler Costa (from L’Altra), who collaborated by sending music between Italy and the U.S. after connecting up with one another. Made in 2013 when Baris and Costa met up in person in Italy, Other Summers bears the traces of an intuitive camaraderie as the brothers thread pensive vocals, refined synths, and patient guitar lines together into delicate dream-pop compositions.


Streaming exclusively on PopMatters, Young Boy’s Other Summers is out now via Saint Marie Records.



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Friday, Apr 4, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
The frontman for San Francisco's Birds & Batteries, Mike Sempert, has picked up and moved to Los Angeles with his new wife and a burgeoning solo career.

Mike Sempert‘s sound is very much rooted in the SoCal singer-songwriter sound with influences from ‘70s classics like Gram Parsons and Fleetwood Mac. His new LP, Mid Dream, releases May 6th via Velvet Blue Music and we have a new track here from the album to share with you.


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Thursday, Apr 3, 2014
PopMatters is proud to debut the new music video by Norwegian singer/songwriter Kari Rueslåtten, the invitingly warm "Rainy Days Ahead".

“The first phrases of ‘Rainy Days Ahead’ came to me when I was spending time at our summer cottage,” says Kari Rueslåtten. It’s “an old, worn out farm house in mid-Norway. The place is surrounded by the wild landscape that area is known for: steep mountains going straight into the sea and beautiful open spaces of green in between.” Rueslåtten’s description is one that could apply to any number of the tracks on Time to Tell, her first studio album in nine years. She composed the album primarily by singing while at the piano, which allowed her to find the strongest melodies and arrangements possible: “If the verse and chorus works just accompanied by the piano, it will work with other arrangements in studio too.”


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Thursday, Apr 3, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
The video for "Your Condition" offers up a bittersweet sampling of King of Prussia's winsome indie-pop.

With its video for “Your Condition”, intercontinental indie-pop act King of Prussia offers up a bittersweet sampling of its ambitious double album Zonian Girls…And the Echoes That Surround Us All. Premiering here on PopMatters, “Your Condition” is a jangly chestnut that combines winsome immediacy with hints of a grander scope once the orch-pop strings come in—after all, this is an effort that brings in 20 collaborators, most notably R.E.M.‘s Mike Mills.


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