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Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman: We Made It Home

Walker shows herself to be not just a talented songwriter, but a truly thoughtful voice, the sort of artist who seems to know something about the world, and who’s willing to share the knowledge in song.

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Tin Halo

Music

Old Buck: Old Buck

A fun, joyous album: meaning that whether or not you know how to flatfoot dance, you’ll end up on your feet giving that awkward shuffle a go.

Music

The Darcys: Warring

No doubt they have talent and ambition, but most of this album ends up feeling forced and a little bloated.

Music

James Vincent McMorrow: Post Tropical

While there was always an arctic edge to McMorrow, Post Tropical only deepens the powerful sense of cold and chill that cloaks his work. Thank goodness for that.

Music

Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands: Tess

Mark Pickerel picks up where 2008’s Cody’s Dream left off -- a brand of muscular country-rock shaded with weird darkness.

Music

Yonder Mountain String Band: YMSB EP13

Bluegrass for people who don’t really like bluegrass, Yonder Mountain hasn’t made much career progress for a band sometimes shuffled under the progressive bluegrass label.

Music

Elizabeth and the Catapult: Like It Never Happened

As good as this album is, it’s ultimately less a cohesive entity of its own and more like a mishmash between great pop songwriting and the flighty, inspired production of Molad and Lalish.

Music

Andrea Tomasi: Hurricane Dream

Andrea Tomasi goes out to Minnewaska State Park in the Catskills and slaps together what amounts to a tidy, inoffensive demo tape with some wilderness buzz in the background.

Music

Scott H. Biram: Nothin' But Blood

Overall, the effect of the album is mostly jarring. Gusty, but jarring. It is music that moves me more to fascination than appreciation.

Music

Jamestown Revival: Utah

Jamestown Revival turns out a collection of songs that truly lives up to the country-rock label, confidently toeing the line between genres.

Music

Noam Pikelny: Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe

In a world full of artists jumping on the roots music bandwagon, this is about as honest and heartfelt as it gets.

Music

Parker Millsap: Parker Millsap

Road tunes and leavetakings are a fitting metaphorical trope for this album, because Millsap is clearly going places.

Music

Jake Bugg: Shangri La

The takeaway here is that while Bugg's debut album felt genuine, Shangri La feels forced and awkward.

Music

Poor Old Shine: Poor Old Shine

It's undeniable that Poor Old Shine is working off a blueprint nabbed from revivalists like the Avetts and Old Crow Medicine Show, but a blueprint doesn't amount to much without a solid foundation.

Music

Justin Moore: Off the Beaten Path

Moore gives us a bunch of fun-loving, good-timey tunes with some great guitar licks along with...well...a couple songs that are wince-worthy.

Music

Loves It: All We Are

Wacky folk duo Loves It draws deep from a wild variety of genres for their second album and demonstrate an incredibly broad emotional palette to boot.

Music

Black Hearted Brother: Stars Are Our Home

Even though Black Hearted Brother is more or less throwing sounds at the wall and seeing what sticks, what we’re left with is pretty impressive.

Music

The Whiskey Gentry: Holly Grove

This second album from the Atlanta-based band finds them settling into a solid blend of bluegrass and honky-tonk.

Music

Calhoun: Paperweights EP

This EP is the culinary equivalent of puffy pastries: tasty, but rather insubstantial.

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Okrahoma

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[not sure]

Music

Espectrostatic: Espectrostatic

For what it's worth, this is the greatest homage to late '70s horror movie music ever recorded.

Music

Trent Dabbs: The Way We Look at Horses

Dabbs strikes at the same staid, steady musical vein that he's been mining for several years now.


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