Apathy is defined as a lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern. Back in the nineties such feelings of such disconnect were actively cultivated as a way to cope with the madness of the world. Yet in the modern, hyper-connected new century we are constantly bombarded with an expectation that we actually care about everything. Sometimes that in itself takes its toll. On her new album Aoife O’Donovan wonders what it might be like to live in an ‘Age of Apathy’ where life and love are simple and free from the lingering malaise. Continue reading “Album Review: Aoife O’Donovan – Age of Apathy”
In 2021 I have reviewed nearly forty albums and which have all connected with me on some personal level. Overall I have found this year tough as I have struggled to really love a lot of the albums released this year, compared with the last few years.
So for this end of year list I have tried to single out the fifteen albums which really stood out among the gloom, ones which have helped me in some way.
For the top spot I have gone with the criteria which I have used since I started this blog: most listened to solo female artist with the majority of songs on the album solo written. This choice has helped me single out the talent from a sea of quality offerings.
Please note that this list only includes albums I have reviewed so obviously I don’t include any male artists.
This list includes links to my original album reviews, rather than risk repeating myself. Happy new year and thanks for reading!
Well this has been the strangest year of my blogging life. The triple whammy of a pandemic, lack of live music and mid-life apathy has caused me to struggle to connect with new music. The less I blogged, the more I felt out of touch, the more writing became harder and social media became terrifying, until you wonder why you ever started in the first place.
In the end what brings me back here are the songs. There are so many amazing female artists whose music inspires me to write, helps me, entertains me, moves me and that will never change even if the world does.
If you’re reading this then thank you for bearing with my sporadic blogging schedule this year. Here are a list of songs that got me through, that kept me believing in something, anything, everything. I hope you find a kindred spirit & song in this post. Continue reading “Songs of the Year 2021”
For me the best Christmas music contains truths about the emotional complexity of the season: from the drunken conflict of Fairytale of New York to the aching sadness of River by Joni Mitchell. Too many recent Christmas albums seem content with cliched offerings or weak cover versions of classics designed to capitalise on the streaming algorithm, rather than having anything meaningful to say about the season.
Luckily for us then our resident reality check heroines Pistol Annies are here to offer us something fresh with their brilliant new Christmas album Hell of a Holiday. We last found Miranda Lambert, Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe on the Interstate Gospel, searching for comfort in Jesus and dealing with heartbreak, inertia and family trouble. Christmas then, being the time of year where women and relationships are stretched to the limit, is a natural fit for their songwriting skills. Continue reading “Album Review: Pistol Annies – Hell of a Holiday”
After seeing Nanci Griffith in concert years ago Emily Scott Robinson wrote her first song and began dreaming of a music career. After many years of hard work she signed to John Prine’s label ‘Oh Boy Records’, releasing this new album ‘American Siren’. Continue reading “Album Review: Emily Scott Robinson – American Siren”
Morgan Wade’s album ‘Reckless’, produced by Sadler Vaden, has just been awarded Rolling Stone’s Best Country Album of the year. Such an accolade for a relative newcomer tells you that this is a breakthrough artist to pay attention to. She’s been added to next year’s C2C line up as well, suggesting that her star quality also has mainstream appeal. Continue reading “Album Review: Morgan Wade – Reckless”
Margo Cilker lives in Eastern Oregon but has travelled all over, her wanderlust reflected in her music of open skies and long, lonely roads. She’s now signed to Loose Records here in the U.K. and Pohorylle has been gained spots in many Americana albums of the year lists. Continue reading “Album Review: Margo Cilker – Pohorylle”
During the recent nominations ceremony for the upcoming Grammy awards there was one notable absentee from the country categories – Carly Pearce. Perhaps her snub was even more obvious since they’d invited her to present some of the nominations on the telecast, which is usually an indication of future success. Many fans took to twitter to highlight the injustice, underlining the fact that, with or without award nominations, 2021 has been a fantastic year for the woman from Kentucky. Continue reading “Album Review: Carly Pearce – 29: Written in Stone”
Dolly’s final instalment of her bluegrass trilogy marked a shift to a lighter, more personal sound, a subtle move mirrored in the glamorous cover picture and the fact that the songs, bar two covers, were all original solo writes. Bluegrass goes pop, Dolly style. Continue reading “Dolly’s Discography – Halos & Horns (2002)”