You’ve almost certainly got a playlist ready and raring to go populated with Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys and the Tossers. Good for you! But maybe you could augment your lineup of irish-sounding songs with one from a band that’s, y’know, actually Irish.
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As the bio for Violent Mae states, the duo of Becky Kessler and Floyd Kellogg “never intended to be a band. Becky asked Floyd to record and produce her first solo album, and as soon as they hit the studio, chemistry and dynamics between the two sparked the evolution of an artistic partnership.” Their meeting must have been kismet given that their collaboration resulted in a solid debut, the self-titled album Violent Mae, a shout-out from Paste as a Connecticut band to know and an award for best new band in the Connecticut music scene from CTNow.com.
Slightly more relaxed and groovy than the biting tracks off 2012’s Tramp, Sharon Van Etten recently dropped “Taking Chances”, the first single off her forthcoming album, Are We There?, due out May 27. Sadly and soulfully, “Taking Chances” doesn’t desert her signature dreamy style, but the song has a slick production quality to it and sharp, yet subtle indie-pop sensibilities. It’s a lot less sparse than usual and quite a bit more atmospheric, which is exciting considering Van Etten is skilled at slight tweaks to her distinct sound. She’ll also be touring extensively throughout the next few months.
Fan Modine‘s Gordon Zacharias takes his time to compose perfectly balanced and complex pop songs. It’s that meticulous attention to detail that makes every Fan Modine album a cause for celebration among pure pop fans. That’s on full display with this first single, “One Company Town”, from Cause Célèbre, coming in April from Lost Colony Music.
The Singles latest tune is the garage poppy “(She’s Got) A Heart of Stone”, a three-minute slice of classic pop. Vince Frederick (guitar/lead vocals) tells us, “‘(She’s Got) A Heart of Stone’ is the first track we recorded for the new album. One of our favs to play live, it came together quite quickly in the studio. Not a lot of overdubs, straight forward rock n roll.” Look for a new full-length album, Look How Fast a Heart Can Break, this April.