With the observational skills of Ray Davies, the freak folk interests of early Beck and a conceptual bent that places the outfit in line with fellow Ohioan Robert Pollard, Swarming Branch’s music is as accessible as it is intellectually rewarding. The real pleasure of listening to this collection comes not in peeling away the layers or finding new nomenclature to describe the dizzying array of sounds contained in these tracks. Instead, it’s in letting the music work its charms in these brief and brilliant bursts of both sincerity and hilarity.
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Folk rock band the Builders and the Butchers spent 2007-2012 touring heavily and they built a stellar reputation as high-energy, consummate live performers, playing festivals like Sasquatch and Lollapalooza. Since then the group has been slowly crafting a new set of songs, with their latest album taking five years to write as the members carefully labored over the material. Now, at last, the world gets a new Builders and the Butchers LP this Friday entitled The Spark.
Stax Records and Sun Records stand as two of the most culturally significant record labels in popular music history, and they are both Memphis labels. There’s obviously something special in the Mississippi River, as so much of American popular music stems from close to either side of those waters. Stax was the home of Southern soul, sporting a roster that is a who’s who of important soul artists: Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd and more. Sam Phillips’ Sun Records, on the other hand, was the home of early rock ‘n’ roll with Elvis Presley, Ray Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Sun also had an enormous influence in the country music world, launching the career of Johnny Cash.
Indie folk poppers Magic Giant have been active on the festival scene and have toured with Beats Antique and the Revivalists, and now they are set to release their infectious debut album, In the Wind, this Friday, May 19th. The band blends folk and pop in equal doses, creating killer harmonies, intriguing instrumental accompaniment, literally using any instrument they happen to find, including drums, banjo, trumpet, saxophone, harmonica, synthesizers, electric bass, cello, viola, violin, dobro, lap steel, mandolin, and more. Their sound is huge and features melodies that soar to majestic heights, and the way the album was created has a lot to do with that.
Megan Talay is a regular in the New York music scene, playing in the Guns N’ Roses cover band Guns N’ Hoses, sitting in as a session musician and fronting her own band. In 2015, Talay released her first EP, Piece by Piece, a rootsy rock set of five tracks. In June, she’s set to release her follow-up, Talay with five new tracks. But this time the young singer-songwriter has leaned hard on a pop-rock sound.
// Channel Surfing
"A busy episode in which at least one character dies, two become puppets, and three are trapped and left for dead in an unlikely place.READ the article