The Atlanta folk-poppers that call themselves Seven Handle Circus are yet another piece of evidence that reveals just how versatile the bluegrass instrumental lineup can be. With a guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, bass, and drums, the group creates harmony-centric pop that grabs the ear at first listen, all the while maintaining a rustic quality inherent to the instruments being played.
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There is a certain swampiness to the rock ‘n’ roll purveyed in by the Nashville-based the Grayces. Despite the rock revival leanings that the band’s name might hint at, this trio’s closest sonic kin at the moment is the up-and-coming occult rock trend. No track is better evidence of this than the newest cut to come forth from the soon-to-be-released Westing, “Lord and Gods of Alcohol”.
There are lots of components at work on Setting Sun‘s “Seasons”, but songwriter Gary Levitt is able to make everything seem smaller in scale—in a good way. While you notice the melancholy strings, layered acoustic guitars, boy-girl vocal harmonizing, and more jump out here and there, “Seasons” is immediate and delicate enough that you don’t realize how much is going on until you catalog all the elements in the mix.
One would be forgiven for calling Young Rebel Set a British-ier version of the National. The gruff vocals of Matthew Chipchase and the minor seventh chords favored by the guitars certainly carry with them echoes of LPs like The National’s Alligator and Boxer. (Young Rebel Set’s most recent album is called Crocodile, which is but one indication that it is a spiritual successor to the former LP by its American counterparts.)
The Detroit, Michigan-based outfit Alejandra O’Leary and the Champions of the West are set to release a new LP soon, and leading up to the release the group is offering single “Skin to Skin” as a download.