Live Review: Jenny Lewis @ The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

Earlier this year Jenny Lewis released one of the best albums of 2019 and of her career. ‘On The Line’ told the story of her recent life, including bereavement and the end of her long term relationship. The music was unexpectedly uplifting, glorious even in the darkest moments. And so the sold out Saturday night crowd here in Edinburgh had come to celebrate and commiserate with her, and maybe even dance a little. Continue reading “Live Review: Jenny Lewis @ The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh”

Album Review: Better Oblivion Community Center

When Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers released their Better Oblivion Community Center project at the start of the year it should have been the perfect album for me as I’m a Bright Eyes fanatic and someone who’d loved both of their recent solo work. Despite everyone on my timeline prompting me to listen, I kept avoiding it. Purposefully so, for a myriad of reasons which I only just recently began to really think about when I finally sat down with the album this past week. Continue reading “Album Review: Better Oblivion Community Center”

Live Review: Lucy Dacus with Liz Lawrence @ Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

As I stand among the sold out crowd awaiting the arrival of Lucy Dacus, I hear a polite voice behind me saying ‘excuse me’. I apologise, move out of the way and see Lucy herself cradling a cup of tea as she walks past me onto the stage. She steps up to the mic and says ‘Shall we’, her quietly unassuming stage presence only adding to the appeal of this very special young artist. Continue reading “Live Review: Lucy Dacus with Liz Lawrence @ Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh”

Album Review: Jade Bird

When I reviewed Jade Bird’s EP Something American back in 2017 I admired her talent and was intrigued to see what direction her career would take. She was being marketed at the time as ‘country’ – which seemed like a bit of a stretch for a girl from England singing soft rock/pop. However Yola recently proved that it is possible to take such influences and make them sound authentic. Both artists have now been nominated as ‘Emerging Artist of the Year’ at the 2019 Americana awards, the first Brits to gain nominations in that category since Mumford & Sons in 2011. Continue reading “Album Review: Jade Bird”

Live Review: High Water Festival 2019, Charleston, SC

If I could design my own festival then it would look much like High Water Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Compact and curated by local legends Shovels and Rope it appeals to grown ups who want a blissful weekend of diverse music. The joy of this well-organised festival is that staggered stage times allow you to see every artist on the bill – meaning there’s not a lull in proceedings the whole weekend. The site lay out is simple, easily navigated and offering space for everyone. Even the VIP section, which I am naturally opposed to, was set up in such a way as not to affect the rest of the crowd. Continue reading “Live Review: High Water Festival 2019, Charleston, SC”

Album Review: Jenny Lewis – On The Line

A few weeks back I listened to Zane Lowe interview Jenny Lewis about her new album On The Line – an interview in which he spent most of the time discussing the men featured on this record, rather than Jenny herself. Even after everything Jenny Lewis had achieved she was still being considered in terms of who she was working with, rather than on her own merits. The recent revelations about one of the producers of this record have threatened to further overshadow this release. So it is pretty wonderful to report that most of the reviews and features written about On The Line have focused on Jenny’s music, life and legacy (unsurprisingly most of these have been written by women).

The fact that Jenny’s music has been so universally celebrated is important. Not every women artist gets that recognition and attention. What then can the humble blogger really contribute to this discussion you might wonder, when there are so many incisive and illuminating discussions of this album already out there? To be honest I have spent the last week wondering the same thing myself. I recently reviewed the new album by The Wild Reeds (whose music owes a debt to Jenny for sure) and I felt confident that it was important I wrote about an album that had received few other online reviews. In contrast there doesn’t seem much more I can add to the already determined facts about On The Line: this is indeed a brilliant album and some of the best work of Jenny’s career. But then I heard Jenny’s voice singing to me ‘do something, while your heart is thumping’ so I decided just to write anyway. Continue reading “Album Review: Jenny Lewis – On The Line”

Album Review: The Wild Reeds – Cheers

The Wild Reeds released one of my favourites songs of 2017 – an ode to how music can save your life. The three voices and songwriters which make up the band are Kinsey Lee, Mackenzie Howe and Sharon Silva, all of whom understand how to convey a special kind of melancholic euphoria. Their terrific new album Cheers continues in this same vein, exploring anxiety, illness and how to cope with the crushing reality of life. Continue reading “Album Review: The Wild Reeds – Cheers”

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