‘Making a record with Nikki Lane saved my life. Her songs about life, love, loss and just plain picking yourself up to go for another round in the ring…helped me do the same,’ Josh Homme declared on Instagram last week, a sentiment which honours the power of the Highway Queen herself and also references the trouble he’s been in lately. Truly I know how he feels, since I started this blog five years ago during a particularly low point in my life, after being inspired by Nikki’s spirit, attitude and musical style.Continue reading “Album Review: Nikki Lane – Denim and Diamonds”
In the early 00s, Leona Naess released albums of beautiful songs conveying the ache of desire and the devastation of broken hearts. After a particularly difficult time in her personal life she took a break from music to become a mother. Years passed and I always wondered what she was up to – following her on social media in the hope of finding out about new music. This year my patience was rewarded with the release of Brood X, a joyful and surprisingly poppy collection of new songs exploring motherhood, marriage, life and loss.Continue reading “Album Review: Leona Naess – Brood X”
The highlight of Amanda Shires’s pre-pandemic album ‘To the Sunset’ was a song called ‘Break Out the Champagne’ which was about embracing the apocalypse with a defiant shrug and celebration. Get on with the shit show, she hollered, as if she sensed trouble was brewing up ahead.
On the surface it seemed like Shires had it all: successful solo career, creator of the supergroup the Highwomen, famous husband Jason Isbell, gorgeous daughter, the privilege of beauty, brains, a nice house and home studio, money for expensive designer clothes and round the world travel. What could she have to worry about?
Yet behind the scenes, Shires admits to having been in turmoil. In the studio her music was criticised and she felt overlooked (by whom she has not been specific, but previous producer Dave Cobb is notably absent here). She also admitted that her and Jason endured a fractious time when recording the 400 Unit album ‘Reunions’.
Then the pandemic hit and soon Shires felt like quitting music altogether.Continue reading “Album Review: Amanda Shires – Take It Like a Man”
Two years after My Echo, her vulnerable pre-divorce album Laura Veirs returns with a fresh start on Found Light. Her ex-husband & producer Tucker Martine is now gone from her music, and consequently you can hear an exhalation of sorts throughout the record.Continue reading “Album Review: Laura Veirs – Found Light”
Last year Senora May decided to record an album of love songs in response to the pandemic and an increasingly divided world. “I was sick of all the hate I saw people spewing,’ she said in a recent interview, perfectly summing up how many of us feel about the overwhelmingly toxic online (and offline) spaces we have found ourselves existing in. All of My Love is a welcome antidote to the chaos and a reminder that love and music are all we really need to get by. Continue reading “Album Review: Senora May – All of My Love”
As painful as it is to lose someone, within the devastation of grief something sacred is found. Anika Pyle, formerly of Chumped and katie ellen, began working on her debut solo album Wild River after the death of her father, honouring his memory with a stunning collection of songs and spoken word poetry. Continue reading “Album Review: Anika Pyle – Wild River”
In a recent interview, The Staves rallied against early expectations put upon them by the industry, who wanted the band of sisters to be ‘sad, frail girls with long wavy hair.’ On their new album ‘Good Woman’ they challenged themselves to expand their sonic horizons and free themselves from their pretty, polished past. Continue reading “Album Review: The Staves – Good Woman”
Mixing soft spoken word poetry, understated soul and indie pop Arlo Parks’s new album ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’ has a uniquely fresh style which sets her apart in the current British music scene. Continue reading “Album Review- Arlo Parks – Collapsed in Sunbeams”
Released on Team Love records this new album Wishbone by Darci Phenix is a welcome discovery in a very barren winter for new music. Continue reading “Album Review: Darci Phenix – Wishbone”