S.G. Goodman was born and raised in Kentucky, a place which burns through her voice and her words. But her music isn’t of the mountains and the wide open countryside, it’s in the grime of these places, the claustrophobia, the endless emptiness of the void. Emotional pain and destruction thrives in these darkened backwaters, quiet hope trying to find a way to appear among the rolling clouds.Continue reading “Album Review: S.G. Goodman – Teeth Marks”
We last heard First Aid Kit in ‘Ruins’ an album full of heartbreak songs that weighed so heavily on the band they ended their last touring schedule completely burnt out. After a much needed break they’re back with ‘Palomino’, recorded during the pandemic and produced by Daniel Bengston with some songwriting assistance from Bjorn Yttling. The horse of the title is a symbol of strength and freedom, signalling that the positive changes in their recent personal lives will be reflected in the new music (much like the other album of the same name released this year).Continue reading “Album Review: First Aid Kit – Palomino”
Reading the recent Guardian interview with Caitlin Rose was revealing, but not in the way you might expect. Here was an artist refusing to share her trauma or explain the personal reasons for the nine year gap between records. In an online world where oversharing is normalised (and monetised) the statement: I don’t think artists owe their stories, I think they owe music is radical and refreshing.
What Caitlin did share was that she has felt ‘stuck’ in her career. You can imagine then, how hard it must be to come back after a long time away. Seeing the endless, constant success of others paraded on social media can only add more doubt. Stasis is no surprise.
To break out Caitlin did something simple: she gave herself permission to stay in her ‘comfort zone’, connecting with friends who made her want to enjoy music again rather than aiming for something radically different. Old fans will recognise this artist immediately, with Cazimi reminding us what made her such an engaging voice in the first place.Continue reading “Album Recommendation: Caitlin Rose – Cazimi”
Since starting this blog in 2017 Courtney Marie Andrews has released three studio albums, establishing herself as one of the most prolific women solo artists of the moment. Each album has been searching, both inwardly and outwardly for a better, more honest life. Musically too she has explored the darkness and the light, touching the edges of genres and influences, weaving her stories into melodies that feel effortless and essential.
Some fans may be worried that this level of productivity suggests she is stuck in the hamster wheel of the music industry content churn (with the consequent inevitable burnout). Luckily for us listeners Loose Future feels more like an exhale. The album is perhaps less sonically ambitious than ‘May Your Kindness Remain’ or emotionally fraught as ‘Old Flowers’ but that well…looseness…feels freeing and refreshing.Continue reading “Album Review – Courtney Marie Andrews – Loose Future”
Doesn’t everyone at some point dream of going back in time to their youth? Who wouldn’t want to experience life again without the crushing reality of adult human existence weighing us all down?
After the last eighteen months of coronavirus hell, I was craving such a moment. So when I saw the chance to get tickets to see two bands I had loved as a teenager – Britpop legends Sleeper and the Bluetones – it felt like a strange kind of serendipity. Restrictions had just been lifted in Scotland. I was double jagged and desperate to get some kind of normality back to my flatlined existence. Continue reading “Slight Return”
I once heard about a comedy night where people read out their teenage diaries verbatim, finding humour in the shared horror, innocence and stupidity of youth. The event seemed to tap into that instinct we have to laugh at our younger selves, while also letting us envy the openness which only teenagers have. Lucy Dacus’s new album Home Video draws heavily on her own teenage journals and the title refers to her rewatching childhood videos. By looking at the past her music draws power in the universality of life’s specific memories. Continue reading “Album Review: Lucy Dacus – Home Video”
‘Aquatic Flowers’ is singer/songwriter/poet/businesswoman Tristen Gaspadarek’s fourth album, produced and recorded with her husband and band mate Buddy Hughen in Nashville where she’s based. Full of dreamy, bittersweet melodies these are songs which offer light in these uncertain times. Continue reading “Album Review: Tristen – Aquatic Flowers”
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”