In a recent conversation with Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield, Jess Williamson discussed how she was inspired by Kacey Musgraves’s ‘Golden Hour’ to fully embrace all her musical influences – from indie, to country, to pop, psychedelia and beyond. The musical results she conjures up on this new album Sorceress are shimmering and glorious. Continue reading “Album Review: Jess Williamson – Sorceress”
Norah Jones, Catherine Popper and Sasha Dobson this year reunited their side project Puss N Boots to release fun and feisty new album Sister. Norah has said the band are a chance for her to embrace ‘fearlessness’ and they all come to the project with an ‘eagerness to jump in’. That involves all three playing different instruments , bringing solo written songs to the project, writing together and doing covers. Continue reading “Album Review: Puss N Boots – Sister”
The power of Mexican folk songs, traditions and culture is conveyed in Natalia Lafourcade’s new album Un Canto Por Mexico. Lafourcade has described the album as representing a visit to a Mexican market – the people, the sights, sounds, everything you find in such a place is in her music. To walk with her in song is to join in with a joyful celebration of life.
Her last project, the Musas albums, shifted Lafourcade’s focus towards folk music, taking her artistic ambitions in a revelatory direction. From there she was nominated for the Oscar for her contribution to the Coco soundtrack and she performed at the Grammys. Her star in Mexico is huge and she is now rightfully known beyond the narrow confines of ‘world music’. What Lafourcade is doing is transforming traditional folk music for a modern Mexican audience, and showing that to sing for your county is to sing from your own soul. Continue reading “Album Review: Natalia Lafourcade – Un Canto Por Mexico”
Lucinda Williams comes from a long line of rebels with passionate causes. Her family were liberals, feminists, pacifists, integrationists, union organisers, civil rights protestors willing to stand up in the face of inequality and injustice. As a teenager she herself was thrown out of high school for refusing to pledge allegiance to the flag, as part of her opposition to the Vietnam war.
To be a punk is to have a spirit of rebellion – being willing to stand apart and defy the way that society wants us to live. Musically the movement was about simplicity, directness, anger: three chords and the screaming truth. On this new album Good Souls Better Angels Lucinda Williams lets her punk rock spirit loose with staggeringly brilliant results. Continue reading “Album Review: Lucinda Williams – Good Souls Better Angels”
In the past Whitney Rose has toyed with different genres like classic country and vintage pop but on this excellent new album We Still Go To Rodeos she finds a style that feels more distinctively her own. Continue reading “Album Review: Whitney Rose – We Still Go To Rodeos”
Anna Burch’s last album Quit the Curse was full of smart, understated indie pop that quietly sparkled. After a busy schedule of touring she returns with a new album If You’re Dreaming, which was recorded with producer Sam Evian at his studio in the Catskills. Musically the songs on the album are slow and gentle, suggesting a songwriter learning how to go at her own pace. Continue reading “Album Review: Anna Burch – If You’re Dreaming”
Why should I die so you can live? Laura Marling sings on the opening track of her new album Song For Our Daughter. Alexandra was partly inspired by a Leonard Cohen song and also how over history women were often only valued in what they could offer men – as muses or as mothers. Marling sings these songs for her own imagined daughter, dreaming of a future where women can live and love in a world free from such bullshit. Continue reading “Album Review: Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter”
It’s fitting that when you buy a vinyl copy of this new Lilly Hiatt record Walking Proof you get a colouring in page with it, since her songs are about finding the confidence to be yourself and make your own individual mark on the world – even if that means shading outside the lines a little. Continue reading “Album Review: Lilly Hiatt – Walking Proof”
Having had an amazing run through to the Grammys earlier this year with Girl Goin Nowhere, Ashley McBryde had some really strong momentum to build on heading into this new album Never Will. Sure there has been limited success at country radio (which is insane considering how good her singles are) but she hasn’t let that stop her. In the end it is the live show where an artist can build an audience of fans who buy records, merch and make careers. And live is where this artist shines. Most of these country chart toppers will soon be forgotten and Ashley will still be out there playing to big crowds in the decades to come. Talent, grit and songs will always win out. Continue reading “Album Review: Ashley McBryde – Never Will”