Dig into the second album by Last Good Tooth, and if you know you’re indie rock, you’ll hear an incredible similarity to the great Lambchop, not only in the use of horns but especially when it comes to the crooning of guitarist Penn Sultan. Only with this band, they take the music into the darker corners of Americana. Sure, there’s a sense of playfulness at times, but with the aching fiddle by Alex Spoto adding a strong, melancholic atmosphere.
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California band Ted Z and the Wranglers pride themselves on developing their gritty Americana sound on every stage they can play on, and you can hear it on their debut album Ghost Train, which will be released on 16 October. The laid-back, shuffling country of “Go Find Your Heaven” is a fine example of what you can expect on the rest of the record.
Post-rock, math rock, progressive rock, art rock, noise rock, whatever you want to call it, Canadian band Baby Labour (note the Canadian “u”) fit in each category. Like a crazed Captain Beefheart with severe ADHD, yet still cognizant enough to keep the music from flying completely out of control, the trio tear their way through seven unpredictable and very fun tracks on their punnily titled new album Aruban Sandwich, which is out now.
After a pair of albums singer-songwriter MaryLeigh Roohan has emerged as a unique voice in Americana. Not only does her warm, dusky voice add welcome grit and soul to her performances, but her compositions veer toward the darker side of country, folk, and R&B. That versatility is on full display on the captivating new EP Living Alone, which comes out on 25 September and can be listened to in its entirety below. As you’ll hear, Roohan can lay down some bluesy roots rock reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt, ‘70s AOR like Linda Ronstadt, venture into Southern soul, and while she’s at it, deliver a knockout cover of Sonny Bono’s classic “Bang Bang”.
British singer-songwriter Jono McCleery is set to release his third album Pagodes on 2 October, but in the meantime has served up the new track “Halfway” as a good little teaser for the record. Bridging indie pop, adult contemporary, trip hop, and jazz all at once, the brooding song is built around an aching piano riff that gradually builds into a smouldering piece near the end.
// Notes from the Road
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