Stapleton left the group a few years ago to pursue his own solo career and the result is this year’s excellent country/Americana album, Traveller, which debuted at #2 on the country charts. Today, Stapleton has released a new video for “15 Years of Traveller”.
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Vancouver’s Colin Cowan has earned himself a respectful reputation on the back of his work with the likes of Dan Mangan, Dada Plan, and Woodpigeon, but his solo work is quickly proving its worth among them in the upper echelons of the Canadian indie scene. Spring Myths is the third installment in Cowan’s seasonal album tetralogy, and it’s both his most brilliant and solitary effort. Cowan played most of it himself, recorded by Dada Plan bandmate Malcolm Biddle directly onto 8-track tape with no assistance from computers. Its weirdly charming psych-pop forms channel something deep and classic, a dwindling memory of how things used to be when artists sought to break free of major labels and tap directly into their creative spirit for all to enjoy.
Tim Bowness, one half of the British art-rock duo No-Man, recently announced his latest solo venture, Stupid Things That Mean the World. Bowness is clearly in the middle of a creatively fertile period, as his new record comes not long after his excellent 2014 outing Abandoned Dancehall Dreams.
PopMatters is proud to premiere the first video tied to Stupid Things that Mean the World, for the haunting track “Great Electric Teenage Dream”. With powerful drumming reminiscent of the booming opener to Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, “The Warm-Up Man Forever”, the song is a rocker of an intensity rarely heard in the music of No-Man. While Bowness’ music in that duo, where he is joined by Steven Wilson on instruments, is often minimalist and introspective, on “Great Electric Teenage Dream” he cranks up the rock dynamics considerably. The music heightens the stark past/present contrasts Bowness highlights in his lyrics, some of which he no doubt knows all too well: “Your great electric teenage dream / Once a record / Now an unpaid stream.”
As far as 20th century literary figures go, few are held in high repute as much as the late David Foster Wallace (1962-2008). Unsurprisingly, then, people have had a desire to further understand and process the man and his work, which in part explains the decision to make a film wherein he is a main figure. James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour is such a film; an adaptation of David Lipsky’s Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, it tells the story of a road trip Lipsky takes with Wallace while the latter is on a book tour. Jesse Eisenberg plays Lipsky, and Jason Segel takes on the lofty task of portraying Wallace.
Alabama’s famed Muscle Shoals has long been a goldmine for the recording of great music, particularly in the Americana, blues, and roots genres. For Amy Black, her ties to the town are more personal, as both of her parents were born there. In channeling both her own past with Muscle Shoals and her love for gospel, roots, and R&B, Black took to the town’s FAME Studios to record The Muscle Shoals Sessions, her third solo outing, drawing from legendary sources of inspiration such as Etta James, Mavis Staples, Wilson Pickett, and Aretha Franklin. Another key tribute on the album is a cover of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me”, the fun and goofy video of which you can view below.
In the press release for The Muscle Shoals Sessions, Black says, “Making this music has changed me as an artist. It’s altered my musical course and I’m so glad.” One viewing of “Bring It On Home to Me” and it’s easy to see that she’s right on the money.