Just shy of a month ago, PopMatters premiered the tune “Lonesome Town” by the Danish musician and film composer Emil Friis, which Friis himself calls “a Coen brothers sonic film”. That evaluation holds true for the rest of Sand in Your Eyes, his latest full-length LP. From Dylanesque vocal inflections (“City of Light”) to dusty sonic landscapes (“No More Workman’s Blues”), Sand In Your Eyes is an evocative example of how an album can become a film in one’s mind.
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The simplicity of “Home Again”, a track from Jon Regen’s upcoming Stop Time LP, is what allows its lyrical themes to ring clearly. The distinct one-two, one-two of the main piano ostinato creates an almost hypnotic, repetitive effect, over which Regen ponders the externalities that come from a life of travel.
Those familiar with the evergreens and rainy climes of the Pacific Northwest will find it easy to find pleasure in “There You Go”, the latest song by the Seattle natives Pocket Panda. Taken from their new LP This Arrangement of Molecules, the track features a mixture of airy folk and earnest rock energy, the kind with which artists like Ben Howard have made a sizable name for themselves. It’s a fine tune that nails the rousing, communitarian sentiments that scores of Mumford and Sons acolytes usually fall short of. (And, for that matter, Mumford and Sons themselves.)
Leading up to the release of her new album Dream Life, English singer and songwriter Mary Epworth has already culled some impressive attention in her native UK. Three of her singles have been added to playlists on BBC 6 Music, and her song “Black Doe” was picked as BBC Radio 1’s Hottest Record in the World. She and her band have been fortunate to land sell-out shows at prestigious venues like the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room in London.
One listen to the Dream Life number “Sweet Boy” will make it clear why so many are starting to get taken by Epworth’s music. With a distinctly neo-Americana vibe that recalls the music of Gillian Welch, the track also owes a debt of gratitude to some of the masters of folk vocal harmony: the Everly Brothers. Don’t be mistaken, though: this folk sound is but one of many detours taken by Dream Life, which also incorporates psychedelic and kosmische influences.
There’s a lot to be said about “Tell Me Anything (Turn to Gold)”, the latest music video from Chuck Prophet. However, any description is best left up to the man himself, who goes into great and humorous detail about the video with PopMatters, saying, “I’ve been a longtime fan of Steve Hanft. Steve is a legend, tirelessly creative, with a sideways vision of the world, and is probably best known for directing early Beck videos. His videos are always inventive and devoid of bells and whistles. He’s a punk rock auteur.
“Through a mutual friend we met up when I was in southern California visiting family and catching some waves. We got together at Cantor’s Deli on the day after Christmas, and bonded over surfing. All the while Steve watched me eat a pastrami sandwich as big as my head. When we got up to leave, he said, ‘So what do you want your video to be?’