Best known as the lead singer/songwriter for Bitter:Sweet, Shana Halligan has ventured out on her own and is set to release a new solo album entitled Back to Me this fall. “Been Waiting” is the first single from the record, a sumptuous blend of melodramatic piano balladry and a gently pulsating electronic rhythm that gradually escalates into a swanky little house beat. What starts off as forlornly sad becomes almost celebratory in its misery, as if she’s dancing the pain away.
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Ubiquitous in the UK, a classic rock curiosity on North America, it’s high time Slade was given a proper critical reevaluation on this continent. Until that happens, though, the glam rockers remain something for young people to discover. And who knows, maybe someone who hears this terrific new track by A Fragile Tomorrow, written in tribute to Slade and their singer Noddy Holder, in addition to enjoying the South Carolina band’s boisterous powerpop will be compelled to delve into Slade’s wonderful discography.
Birmingham, Alabama singer-songwriter Jesse Payne returns with his newest album Heirloom this week, and his laid-back, rustic, contemplative take on indie, roots, and folk is sure to interest fans of indie and Americana alike. Three years in the making, it’s been a torturous haul, but its sumptuous arrangements - a testament to Payne’s many collaborators - make this record well worth the long wait.
Timbre Cierpke straddles the classical world and contemporary music world with astonishing ease and versatility. The daughter of a cellist/orchestra conductor/music professor and a choral director, she learned music before she learned to read, and was playing harp professionally at the age of 12. On the other side, she has recorded with such varied talents as Jack White, Ricky Skaggs, and MewithoutYou.
Blending orchestral pop with electronic elements and classic pop melodies reminiscent of the Beach Boys and Beatles, Philadelphia band Grandchildren clearly want to combine elements both modern and vintage. It all makes for a wonderfully psychedelic sound, and much like the Flaming Lips’ best work more than a decade ago, it does everything it can to leave a smile on your face.