Curtis McMurtry has a famous Texas surname and, yes, he the son of legendary Texas singer-songwriter James McMurtry, but Curtis is very much his own man musically. If you can imagine baroque pop translated into Americana, then you’ll get an idea of Curtis McMurtry’s unique contribution to the ever-broadening definition of Americana music. McMurtry has been as influenced by great songwriting craftsmanship as he has by jazz, folk rock, indie pop, and orchestral pop.
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Los Angeles’ ENTRANCE has just released a timely new protest song “Not Gonna Say Your Name” targeted right at Donald Trump. All proceeds from sales of the song will benefit Planned Parenthood directly. ENTRANCE’s new album Book of Changes, the first in nearly a decade releases 24 February via Thrill Jockey.
Los Angeles’ pop artist MILCK (a.k.a. Connie Lim) started out playing the pop game and trying to conform to gender and racial stereotypes, but’s she too smart and creative to have kept that up for long. Renaming herself MILCK, she cast off the expectations of others and decided to focus on developing her unique voice. In doing so, MILCK has become an artist to watch for her truth to power approach to her new music.
Is this London / Brighton trio’s collective name meant to evoke a fictional character? Is it a sentence fragment ominously failing to resolve who or what it is this Johnny figure is slaying? That the members—Tim, Cameron, and Lewis—all take “Kills” as a surname a la the Ramones further muddies the water and deepens the intrigue.
San Fernando Valley’s Soul Scratch are a smoking hot soul band with superlative musicianship and one hell of a lead singer in Dale Spollett. Spollett possesses one of those force of nature soul voices that can’t be taught; one has to be born with it. Like Paul Janeway from St. Paul and the Broken Bones and Mike Farris, Spollett is a blue-eyed soul singer that can tear the house down in live performance. Even more impressive is how his voice bristles with energy and conviction on studio recordings. The band itself equals the vocal excellence of Spollett, with its right-on-the-money crackling grooves in every song. Soul Scratch is one of those groups that you know you love within a few seconds of hearing one of their songs.
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