During my period of working from home in the last week there has been one blessing: even more time to immerse myself in new music. One artist who I found a particularly comfort to get me through my email hell was the lovely Sunny Ozell and her gorgeous new album Overnight Lows. Continue reading “Album Review: Sunny Ozell – Overnight Lows”
Writing music reviews is my hobby, my escape from the real world. This past week has been so utterly surreal I have barely been able to do anything but stare aghast as the global coronavirus horror unfolded. The online chatter faded into insignificance for me and I haven’t been able to follow the music community in the same way really at all. I admire those who have been able to review albums, tweet, live-stream, share links, buy merch, help artists etc but I have spent most of my time frozen in shock and disbelief.
Before the virus hit I had been spending a considerable amount of time listening to the new album 25 Trips from mandolinist Sierra Hull. I was working though some ideas for my review, thinking about the central idea of this record: time and its grip on us all. Now time has the world in a vice. How long will this be our new reality? How long might it be until we all stand in a room together and hear live music again? How long before we get back the simple things we used to take for granted? We can’t go forward and see the future, we can only let the world spin and wait for our fate to unravel. Continue reading “Album Review: Sierra Hull – 25 Trips”
The truth is none of us are really ready for the big moments. We don’t ask for our lives to change. But they do. So what are we? Helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come, you can’t help that. It’s what you do after them that counts. That’s how you find out who you really are.
So yes this coronavirus outbreak has involved me just obsessively listening to music and watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (fans may recognise the reference in the introduction). That’s who I am. That’s what has got me through one of the craziest weeks in world history (and I’ve seen some serious shit). All I can say is thank god for Brandy Clark and this new album Your Life is a Record because otherwise I think I would have just submerged myself in a bath of hand sanitiser and refused to come out (well I would have if I actually had any). Continue reading “Album Review: Brandy Clark – Your Life is a Record”
‘Why won’t you listen?’ asks Kyshona Armstrong on the title track of her powerful new album. She asks everyone the question, sounding weary at how society is to deaf to the needs of others. The album’s purpose was inspired partly by her background as a music therapist working with vulnerable people. Musically her mix of gospel, blues, soul and folk (let’s just call it Americana) fits perfectly with her message of inclusivity, empathy and acceptance. Continue reading “Album Review: Kyshona – Listen”
Last year I was lucky enough to see the Secret Sisters open the Sunday of High Water Festival in Charleston. The sisters were both pregnant and in high spirits, entertaining the crowd with their stories and reducing us all to tears with the beauty of their music.
They previewed some songs from this new album at that show, so I have been eagerly waiting ever since to hear these recorded versions and thankfully they do not disappoint. The sisters have again worked with producer Brandi Carlile, after their previous collaboration on You Don’t Own Me Anymore. Every song on this album was written by the sisters, a deeply personal project with the title representing the significant change occurring in both their lives. Continue reading “Album Review: The Secret Sisters – Saturn Return”
In the winter months my musical preferences veer heavily towards the quiet and introspective. Living in Scotland means I have to spend a lot of time indoors due to the weather so I often search out soothing albums that can soundtrack lazy afternoons of reading or writing like the recent releases from Bonny Light Horseman and Isobel Campbell, for example.
At the end of last year I had listened to some preview tracks from this new Tami Neilson album and really enjoyed them but as time for release date came my mood didn’t really match up to returning to such a style of music. Blame my hesitancy on seasonal affective disorder, rather than anything to do with the artist themselves.
Yesterday I looked outside and finally there she was, the dear old sun and even a blue sky. Okay so it was still fucking freezing but I decided this was the opportunity to blow the cobwebs off and take CHICKABOOM! outside with me for a walk. Continue reading “Album Review: Tami Neilson – CHICKABOOM!”
Miss Tess’s new album The Moon Is An Ashtray has been produced by Adrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Hurray For The Riff Raff) at his Nashville studio The Bomb Shelter. Working with traditional vintage instruments and gear the album recreates timeless sounds with a stylish new vision. Continue reading “Album Review: Miss Tess – The Moon Is An Ashtray”
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to catch The Lone Bellow play as part of Celtic Connections Festival and needless to say I was completely blown away. The songs they played from their new album were some of the most deeply felt of the evening, celebrating the wonder of our complex humanity. So while I do think a band like this really have to be heard in real life to truly appreciate the power of their vocals, Half Moon Light tries for a softer approach with impressive musical results. Continue reading “Album Review: The Lone Bellow – Half Moon Light”
After appearing in Hadestown as The Fates, it’s fitting that the Haden Triplets are releasing their new record at the same time as Anaïs Mitchell’s new project Bonny Light Horseman. Like that album, The Family Songbook also takes old songs, passed down through generations of their musical family and reinterprets them in a uniquely different style. Continue reading “Album Review: The Haden Triplets – The Family Songbook”