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”
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”
Some albums reflect the times; others are a welcome escape. Pearl Charles’s new album ‘Magic Mirror’ is the latter – a disco ball swirling a little light through the darkness and gloom of the new year. Continue reading “Album Review: Pearl Charles – Magic Mirror”
Earlier this year the lovely Balloon Machine blog decided to relaunch themselves as a record label and their first release, Laura Fell’s ‘Safe From Me’ is an absolutely stunning start. Continue reading “Album Review: Laura Fell – Safe From Me”
The human instinct to disconnect from the world has been with us long before the information superhighway made hyperfast, overwhelming connectivity a nightmarish reality. Artists have a long tradition of retreating into the woods to seek solitude and silence in the name of creativity. So much so that’s it’s almost a cliche now, with a million hipsters searching for enlightenment on Walden pond or the Pacific crest trail or at some wilderness retreat they paid thousands to attend.
However for some solitude is a vocation, not a vacation. Gwen John spent the latter part of her life in isolation, focusing on her art and writing in her notebook about how to keep the world away. Emily Dickinson chose to shut the door on the world, becoming the most famous recluse of all time.
Yet even she would be first to admit that being truly alone is impossible. Artistic solitude is accompanied by the pen, the brushstrokes, the guitar string, or just the sound of the mind whirring, the body containing the imprint of all who have lived and breathed before you. The outside world always gets in somehow.
Earlier this year Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker retreated to a cabin in the woods after the coronavirus ended her hectic touring schedule. Suffering in the wake of a relationship break up, this place offered her a chance to be at one with nature, to find comfort in the guitar, to listen to herself again. Continue reading “Album Review: Adrianne Lenker – songs / instrumentals”