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by Brice Ezell

28 May 2015


Sorrow and loss are deeply woven in to the country music fabric, but they’re especially critical elements to the new LP by Jeremy Pinnell, OH/KY. With a gruff voice and a strong grasp on what real country sounds like, Pinnell spins a series of compelling yarns on the album that document the hardships of the past 18 years of his life, from drug addiction to failed relationships. On the cut “Big Bright World”, Pinnell takes the former head-on, singing, “I love the needle, son / And the needle loves me / It wants nobody to be free.” As Pinnell puts it in describing OH/KY, “You live the life I live, and you will know the way that country sounds.” Fortunately, as “Big Bright World” attests, Pinnell’s life isn’t all loss: “I’m lucky to be in this big bright world”, he sings.

OH/KY received a limited Kentucky/Ohio release back in 2014, and is now seeing its national United States release this summer. In his 7 out of 10 review of the album for its limited release in 2014 for PopMatters, Eric Risch calls these tunes “a tutorial on classic country music”.

by Brice Ezell

28 May 2015


The folk and singer/songwriter genre has become increasingly oversaturated in the past ten years, as there appears to be no shortage of white dudes who air their problems out over fingerpicked acoustic guitar. Finding a songwriter in this mass who knows how to properly execute a good melody or hook is often a difficult task. Fortunately, that feature is what New York City musician Tyler Lyle has in spades, as his new LP The Native Genius of Desert Plants shows. Much like the English guitar picker Ben Howard, Lyle strikes a happy medium between the introspection of the “guy with an acoustic guitar” format and sophisticated pop smarts. Tracks like single “Winter is for Kierkegaard” also show that he knows his way around lyric writing, to boot.

by Brice Ezell

27 May 2015


Drummer/vocalist Kitty Pause and guitarist/vocalist Skool-Ejekt helm a roots project called Hymn for Her. What a surprising—and delightful—turn of events, then, to see them pull a clever sonic 180 in the form of their new project the Mix Tapes, where they are joined by bassist/vocalist Reverend Rewind (of Go Man). The debut of the Mix Tapes, the modestly titled #1, finds the trio crafting tunes that bring together punk, vintage pop, and indie rock into one straightforward and catchy mold. For one such example, stream the number “Just Don’t Get It” below; the track is comprised of equal parts Spoon-esque rock and sing-alongable Beatles pop.

“Just Don’t Get It” is no mere mishmash, though. As far as the Mix Tapes’ rock chops are concerned, one need only read this anecdote from when AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson saw the group perform live: “He caught a show and told us that it was the most entertained he’d been since the Beatles died,” says Reverend Rewind, adding, “You do the math.”

by Brice Ezell

27 May 2015


With a little Dylan inflection in his voice and a troubadour’s penchant for storytelling, Nashville’s own Woody Pines sounds just like the kind of musician you’d stumble across while walking down Music City’s Lower Broadway street. Pines represents both the vintage sounds of Nashville past and the vivacious energy of its music scene at the present. Having cut his teeth in traveling widely across the country, including with artists such as Old Crow Medicine Show‘s Gill Landry, Pines has taken a solid base of raw talent and refined it over the years, resulting in works like his upcoming Woody Pines LP.

Below you can stream the album cut “Little Stella Blue”, which has a particularly powerful story behind it.

by PopMatters Staff

26 May 2015


“Emergency” is a bouncy number that’s headed for clubs and the summer music charts. The electroswing touches are pretty sweet too.

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Counterbalance: The Avalanches' 'Since I Left You'

// Sound Affects

"Get a drink, have a good time now. Welcome to paradise, and read all about the 305th most acclaimed album of all time. An Australian plunderphonics pioneer is this week’s Counterbalance.

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