Latest Blog Posts

by Brice Ezell

21 May 2015


Photo: Tim Ivy

Songs about breakups are a dime a dozen, but there’s a reason why that’s the case: it’s a powerful universal emotion that has a million different angles to it. No one song can be all-encompassing in its examination of the lovelorn state. Mississippi’s own the Shoe Birds know this, and for their take on heartbreak, “You Leave Me Blind” they craft an anthemic, driving pop/rock number that culminates in its sing-along ready chorus.

“You Leave Me Blind” can be found on the Shoe Birds’ forthcoming Southern Gothic LP.

by Brice Ezell

21 May 2015


On their Facebook page, Sneakout describe their sound as “fuzz pop”. Their latest tune, “Savior”, does somewhat fit that mold, but what it brings to mind more distinctly is the early ‘00s rock revival, where vintage amps and distortion pedals flooded venues worldwide for gigs played by bands whose names invariably started with “The”. (The White Stripes, the Hives, the Vines… the list goes on.) With a vocal delivery that can be described as somewhat Ozzy-esque, frontman Robert Fleming declares, “I’m your savior!” atop boot-stompin’ guitar riffs.

by Brice Ezell

21 May 2015


With an aesthetic that brings to mind groups like Joy Kills Sorrow, the Colorado-based the Railsplitters find that perfect balance between bluegrass instrumentation and earwormy pop melodies. On their newest LP, The Faster It Goes, all the players are all uniformly great, supporting each other but also taking breaks off to let their instrumental chops shine. Some of their riffs and melodies evoke the knotty playing of Punch Brothers; in fact, “Salt Salt Sea” close sonic kin to that band’s “Movement and Location”.

Below you can stream “You”, which juxtaposes poppy mandolin chords and jangly banjo picking. Above all else, though, is the stellar vocal interplay of the group, evoking both classic pop harmonizing and the communitarian sense that’s found in the best bluegrass and folk music.

by Brice Ezell

20 May 2015


Described as Christian Gibbs’ “most schizophrenic but unified album to date”, C. Gibbs Sings Motherwell Johnston is rooted in a curious identity. You might wonder who exactly is the Motherwell Johnston that Gibbs is singing; if you can’t come up with an answer, it’s probably not for lack of knowledge. Instead, it derives from the fact that Johnston is an alias of Gibbs’, invented, as the press release for the LP explains, “to try new songs live without having any expectations from those who might be familiar with his past work (Lucinda Black Bear, C. Gibbs, Morning Glories)”. Although Gibb’s voracious musical tastes and past projects can be clearly heard on Sings Motherwell Johnston, with this outing he is creating a singular, new space for him to explore songwriting.

As a preview of what’s to come on Sings Motherwell Johnston, you can stream the track “Unchaperoned” below. Featuring bluesy, soul-tinged lead guitar that is retro in all the right ways, “Unchaperoned” is an excellent harbinger for the record.

by Brice Ezell

20 May 2015


Photo: Laura Heffington

Eleni Mandell keeps herself plenty busy. Since her debut in 1999, Wishbone, she has kept a steady pace in releasing albums, including her most recent outing, last year’s Let’s Fly a Kite. It’s a testament to her tenacity as a songwriter that she hasn’t lost steam yet, as evinced by her new record Dark Lights Up, out not but a year after Let’s Fly a Kite. The aesthetic of Dark Lights Up was informed by a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville while she was on tour. Upon encountering the music of Roger Miller, she “was really struck by how simple his production was, and how central his voice and how open the sound was on the record… There aren’t a lot of layers, and the melody and his voice and the words were more beautiful for it. It made me want to de-clutter and strip away and make something simple that still sounded full and beautiful.”

//Mixed media
//Blogs

St. Vincent, Beck, and More Heat Up Boston Calling on Memorial Day Weekend

// Notes from the Road

"With vibrant performances by artists including St. Vincent and TV on the Radio, the first half of the bi-annual Boston Calling Festival brought additional excitement to Memorial Day weekend.

READ the article