After becoming something of a folk poster-boy back home in Britain, Seth Lakeman has turned his gaze to the US with this release, which glues together two (you guessed it) digital EPs as an introductory calling card. With the combined total of six songs here primarily made up of material from his latest long-player Freedom Fields (his third in Britain), and Vol. 1 constructed solely of former singles, the songs on Digital EPs are essentially the ones that helped Lakeman build and cement his reputation in the UK, and there's no reason why they shouldn't be the first step in to a similar fate on the other side of the Atlantic. The likes of "Lady of the Sea" and "King and Country" showcase his impressive voice and musicianship well, with more diversity to be found in "The White Hare"'s mellow acoustic balladry and "Setting of the Sun"'s Celtic influences. Curiously, perhaps the most impressive song here is b-side "Captain's Court", with its repeated backing chants and powerful chorus marking two of the most memorable moments of either volume. Often, though, Lakeman can be a little too pleasant for his own good, and while most likely destined for acceptance within US folk circles, as at home, it is difficult to see him conjuring the sort of spine-tingling moments that inspire the love of singer-songwriters and their music, rather than just enjoyment .
Liverpool producer Friend Within's "Space Jam" is the kind of deliciously fun, deep house tune made for detonating those winter blues.
With the release of the expanded edition of Tremble Under Boom Lights, the 45-page chapbook of the poetry of Stewart Lupton, and the re-release of Wolf Songs for Lambs, Jonathan Fire*Eater are ripe for reappraisal.
Following Stormzy's run up the charts, 2019 proved to be a banner year for British hip-hop with a trio of masterpieces. America's myriad hip-hop scenes delivered the goods, and African rap gave us many stellar releases.
J-pop meets vintage girl group in Emergency Tiara's smart, sassy cover of the Eartha Kitt Christmas standard, "Santa Baby".
Electronic artist Steve Hauschildt has made one of his most challenging records with Nonlin, but that makes it one of the most rewarding.
Award-winning lawyer Ben Crump's Open Season irrefutably documents how America's treatment of Black Americans and other minorities is indistinguishable from genocide.
As Pan American, Mark Nelson sings for the first time since his magnum opus Quiet City, but his emotions are most powerfully expressed through his instrumental guitar compositions.
Americana rocker Tyler Boone wraps up a successful year with a video for "Jealousy" while growing his second career in the bourbon business.
From bubbly, perky synthpop to the deepest of darkwave, electropop in 2019 reflected the general malaise by forging the brightest of pop to forget the bad times on the one hand, and embracing downtempo textures and moods on the other.
Harry Harootunian's essays on modern Japanese history, collected in Uneven Moments from Columbia University Press, reflect a lifetime of intellectual contributions and span a wide range of topics in Japanese history. The tension between the historical and the everyday is a recurrent and vital theme in his work.
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Day built his everything on top of Prince's everything, and it's no secret. In his memoir, On Time, he channels the superstar to enjoyable effect.
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In Citizen K, director Alex Gibney refrains from judging his imperfect protagonist, exiled Russian oligarch business man and political philanthropist, Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky.