Category Archives: Audio stream

Listen to New Sean Alan Track “My Love For You”

New album en route in June…

By Blurt Staff

It wasn’t all that long ago when singer-songwriter scored a coup when his song “In This World” was featured in the FX series Better Things. The Los Angeles artist (also, we are advised, “the driving force behind a number of lesser known rock outfits, including The Atma, Squirrel TV and Peppermint Wolf, as well as the adventurous hip-hop sounds of Seanny Dogg”) is eyeing a June release for a new album, The Show Must Go On, and you’ll be seeing him plenty of places as the year unfolds.

Meanwhile, last month he dropped a new single, “My Love For You,” which you can check out below:

Visit his official website or Facebook page to keep track of his touring itinerary with The True Love Band. Dude just might be in love…

Listen to Stream of Awesome New Buffalo Tom Album

Quiet and Peace from the Boston heroes arrives this Friday via North Carolina Schoolkids label.

By Blurt Staff

We’ve touted the greatness of Bill Janovitz as well as  his veteran Boss-town outfit Buffalo Tom numerous times in the past (ask any staff member about his or her times in the audience back during the ’80s college rock years or, more recently, in Austin and SXSW and onward…). So to have BLURT’s compadres at the Schoolkids Records label drop the band’s new record Quiet and Peace on March 2 is a real treat – and we are soaking in the album stream posted today at the Los Angeles Times. Check it out at that link, along with an interview with the band, or selected tracks at Schoolkids’ Soundcloud page. Meanwhile, here’s a track that grabbed us here in the office by the ears this morning and didn’t let go, “Lonely, Fast and Deep” – it’s classic BT, and so true to the group’s Boston roots it should be the city’s new anthem:

Incoming: Michelle Malone’s Kickass “Slings & Arrows” Album

Pure, unfiltered Georgia soul lined at the edges with bluesy Americana and primal punk ‘n’ roll…

BY FRED MILLS

Without a doubt, Atlanta’s Michelle Malone is one of the South’s quintessential flag-bearers, having rocked as hard and as long as all of her Georgia peers while not once serving up an artistic misstep. About to drop is her new album, Slings & Arrows, and it is a freakin’ scorcher. You want some early proof? Check out opening track “Just Getting Started” over at her Soundcloud page.

This Friday, March 2, marks the official national release of Slings & Arrows  on Malone’s own SBS label (smart fans lodged their orders early on via a grassroots crowdfunding campaign, and you can still grab autographed records, colored vinyl, and teeshirts at her official website). To date, she’s released more than a dozen studio albums, and while I’m loathe to utter the cliched phrase “if you thought her last album was good, wait until you hear this one…” – her last one being Stronger Than You Think, reviewed HERE – this time out, it’s nigh-on impossible to avoid saying it.

Wait until you hear Slings & Arrows, music fans. It will absolutely, totally, kick your ass. Do I look like I’m kidding here? Our review will post in a couple of days to give you plenty of time to queue up at your local indie record store…

 

Hear Franz Ferdinand Cover Angel Olsen

Asheville, NC, artist steadily increases her national – and international -stature.

By Barbi Martinez

Angel Olsen, who was our 2016 Artist of the Year, continues to grow her admiring fanbase – among those fans, the young men of Franz Ferdinand, who have covered her classic “Shut Up Kiss Me”. Check it out, below.

Track Premiere: Jamie McLean Band “You’re Not The Only One”

Tune culled from the artist’s new album arriving next week. (Photo: Evan Felt)

By Blurt Staff

Brooklyn-based Americana rocker Jamie McLean, who in the past has toured as guitarist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Aaron Neville, Brett Dennen and more, is about to drop a new solo album. It’s the follow-up to 2011’s superb Sunday Morning: produced by Wilco’s Ken Coomer at Nashville’s Sound Emporium, One and Only features the tight-as-nails Jamie McLean Band (McLean along with Brian Griffin on drums and Ben Mars on bass) and includes guests Sam Bush and Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band).

We’re proud to be able to premiere a track from the new record, which arrives in stores and a digital outlets next week, Feb. 9. Check out “You’re Not The Only One”:

McLean offered his take on the tune and its genesis: “‘You’re Not The Only One’is a rock and roller but lyrically it speaks to the human condition. It focuses on how everyone, no matter who there are will go through something difficult at some point in their lives. There will be conflict, heartache, fear or sadness but there are brighter days ahead. There is solace in knowing that we have all been there and we can always elevate above the trouble. We can turn the dark to light and it will no doubt get better.

“The guitar riff at the beginning of the song just came to me. It felt like a Neil Young and Crazy Horse riff and there are certainly nods to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in there. Once I had that main musical theme I was off and running. ‘Communication broke down’was the first lyric to come to me and I dove into a story based on relationships and conflict and how to overcome it. I think it’s a bit of a universal sentiment.

“I had the verses and pre-choruses for a few months but just couldn’t seem to finish up the chorus. On one of my many songwriting trips to Nashville I hooked up with Tim Jones and we pretty quickly got to the big “You’re Not The Only One” chorus. It’s anthemic and really elevates the whole song in a perfect way. I love the “staring at the ceiling” and “we can turn the black to blue” lines. They are so visual to me.”

The Jamie McLean Band will tour behind the album throughout the US and Canada this year, and by all accounts they are a smokin’ live ensemble, having performed with Gregg Allman, Aaron Neville, Dr. John, Taj Mahal, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Trombone Shorty, Los Lobos, Blues Traveler, Marc Broussard, Gov’t Mule and many more, turning up the heat at festivals like Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, Gathering of the Vibes, Targhee Fest, Ottawa Blues Fest, Quebec City Summer Fest, and Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam.

Incoming: Brigid Mae Power’s “The Two Worlds” / Listen to New Song

Quite possibly the most moving song of the still-young new year…

By Fred Mills

Due Feb. 9 via esteemed roots/folk/archival label Tompkins Square: The Two Worlds, from Irish singer-songwriter Brigid Mae Power, whose 2016 eponymous debut notched acclaim throughout the UK (including the tastemakers at Mojo and Uncut), additionally making Stateside inroads. Here’s the utterly stunning first single from the new album, “Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely),” which is remarkably appropriate for the times we find ourselves in:

We’ll leave it to Power to fill out the rest of the brief about this chilling song and the new album, which was produced by Peter Broderick:

Most of these songs were written in the last year in Ireland and they’re all about the different feelings I had at the time. Last year I moved back to Galway, Ireland where I mostly grew up and I was feeling and noticing again the repressive and oppressive environment. So I revisited a song I had half written a few years previous called ‘Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely)’ and I found that moving home, I had the ammunition to finish it. I had actually tried to record this song in Portland, Oregon the previous year but at the time it just did not work. It was the wrong atmosphere, it was summer and a sunny day and just was not repressive enough in the way that it can be here! So I didn’t really feel real singing it as I didn’t feel held back at all! It felt like singing to a brick wall and it wasn’t going anywhere… So when I moved back I had the idea to go up to an analogue studio in the North of Ireland and specifically record that song there, so we booked in some time at the studio and I hurried to finish some other scraps of songs I had lying around with the idea of recording them live and just seeing what happened.

I had been thinking about my Grandmother a lot, so there are a couple of songs about her.. I’d been thinking about lost friendships. I’d been thinking about how to balance being settled and also being up in the clouds. I’d been thinking a lot about cutting out the crap and letting go of things that don’t serve you, so I feel like these songs are pretty direct. I wanted them to sound direct too and the studio Analogue Catalogue was the perfect place and had a great sound and live room…. When we went up there the second time to record the other batch of songs, it was a very busy time in our life and I hadn’t finished writing the lyrics to a lot of them. Not as a choice – I just literally didn’t have time. So when we got there I thought I would just try them out anyway and as a natural procrastinator I was much happier with the sound of the result of being pushed to the last minute. Peter added in different instruments really naturally and then mixed and mastered the record. ‘I’m Grateful’ was written in Oregon and for me I can tell that it wasn’t written in Ireland. The rest of the album feels quite like what my environment looks like here at the moment out of my window.

 

Listen to FIFTH King Gizzard Album of 2017

By Uncle Blurt

Seems like it was just last week I was purchasing the fourth album of 2017 by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. But that was SO last week… today the Aussie psych monsters dropped the followup to Polygondwanaland.

it’s titled Gumboot Soup, and you can hear it streaming at Bandcamp. Check it out, below; the eleven songs will play successively The vinyl edition – no doubt available in multiple colored wax limited edition iterations, and you can view two of them at their site as well as preorder them –  will arrive in April via the band’s Flightless label. No word yet if it will also be released on the group’s American label, ATO.

 

Track Premiere: 6 String Drag “Waste of Time”

Ace tune by the gutsy North Carolina band taken from smokin’ new album, due out in early March. (Pictured above, L-R: Luis Rodriguez, Kenny Roby, Dan Davis, Rob Keller)

By Blurt Staff

Americana fans with long memories know well the name 6 String Drag: the hard-twanging Raleigh (NC)-by-way-of-Clemson (SC) outfit that helped usher in the golden era of alt-country in the early/mid ‘90s, predating both Ryan Adams’ Whiskeytown and scene bible No Depression. And although the members went their separate ways in 1998, 6 String Drag wound up reuniting in 2014 and released an acclaimed comeback album in early 2015.

Indeed, Roots Rock ‘N’ Roll (Royal Potato Family) was reviewed here at BLURT, our editor hailing the mix of power pop, rockabilly-esque twang, and bluesy soul: “It lives up to its title in every sense of the word—it’s rootsy as hell, and it’ll rock your ass off.. Maturity means you get to do a few things you didn’t quite have the skills or savvy to do 20 years earlier, and it also means you and the folks around you get to savor things because the moments of now tend to hover, deliciously, even while the memories of then continue to linger.” (Go HERE to listen to a track we premiered here in 2015.)

Resuming operations clearly gave the band a sense of momentum, and now they’ve got a smokin’ followup to RRNR due on digital, CD, and vinyl on March 9 via the Schoolkids Records label (formerly Second Motion and, full disclosure, our sister business). Titled Top of the World, it’s 11 tracks of pure 6SD, produced by – as was RRNR – Jason Merritt. By way of preview we are very proud to unveil the track “Waste of Time.” Check it out below; we guarantee it won’t be a waste of your time.

Guitarist/vocalist Kenny Roby—who is joined by co-founding bassist Rob Keller, plus guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Luis Rodriguez and drummer Dan Davis, plus guests John Ginty on keys and Matt Douglas on horns—notes that Top of the World “isn’t quite the almost live and somewhat frantic approach, like 1997’s [Steve Earle-produced] High Hat. And Roots Rock ’N’ Roll was really intentionally recorded like a ’50s and ’60s record. This record isn’t super layered but it isn’t always just a raw 4 piece approach. It just depended on the song — we just took it song by song in what we felt the song needed or wanted.”

Roby and Keller both acknowledge that the group has always been influenced by artists like The Band, Van Morrison, the Kinks, Rolling Stones, and Beatles, and that if one listens closely to the new album, traces of Rockpile, Thin Lizzy and Mott the Hoople might even be detected as well. As Keller explains, “We listen to a lot of different kinds of music, and of course that rubs off on us. We get on this wavelength where we will get into things at the same time. Recently, it’s been on the pop rockier side from ‘60s Kinks to ‘70s glam rock to ‘80s punk, power pop. We probably would’ve made more records like this had we stuck together all these years because we’ve always been into this type of music.”

But wait, as the saying goes, there’s more: The aforementioned High Hat, which was originally released on producer Earle’s E-Squared label, is getting a 20th anniversary reissue next month, on Jan. 11 (also via Schoolkids)—including as a limited/numbered white vinyl edition. So those Americana fans with long memories mentioned in the first paragraph will have even more reason to celebrate, as High Hat remains an acknowledged touchstone of the genre.

More details on the band and 2018 plans at their official website or at their Facebook page (where, incidentally, they recently announced being part of a special New Year’s Eve show in Raleigh).

Worth additional note: the above-referenced 6SD reunion came about after Roby invited Keller to play with him at a solo show promoting his 2013 solo album Memories & Birds (reviewed HERE), and they wound up doing some old 6SD faves. Around the same time BLURT published an in-depth interview with Roby, and you can read it HERE.

 

Listen to New Buffalo Tom Track

Brand new album from the beloved Northeast band arrives in early March.

By Fred Mills

Let’s cut to the chase: We have always loved Buffalo Tom. (So have I, personally – I interviewed guitarist Bill Janovitz before the band’s first, self-titled album had even come out in the United States in 1988.) YOU have always loved Buffalo Tom, from the mid ’80s through the alt-rock ’90s, and then again when the group resumed operations in 2007 following a lengthy hiatus.

So it’s exciting news to learn that the group has a new album, Quiet and Peace, arriving March 2 via the Schoolkids Records label – which just happens to be our sister business. It’s the followup to 2011’s Skins, and it has Janovitz, bassist Chris Colbourn, and drummer Tom Maginnis working with producer Dave Minehan.

Janovitz recently described the album thusly to Stereogum:

“This is a really dark, New England record to Chris. He thinks it’s one of our darkest yet. He kept using the words ‘weird New England.’ We’re [all] not natives, but we’ve all been here for 30-plus years — [drummer] Tom [Maginnis] is a native. There is that changing of seasons thing, how the weather affects people, and how people’s interactions affect each other. There’s something particularly New England that can be very strange, and I think that’s seeping into the lyrics as well”

Below, you can check it lead track “All Be Gone.”

Track Premiere: les biches “North From the Airwaves”

Remarkable L.A. band closes out 2017 following a busy year. Pictured above: Jonathan D. Haskell, Keith Joyner, Zöe Ruth-Erwin (photo by Mark Velasquez)

By Blurt Staff

We’ve turned you on to, and hopefully you’ve tuned into, les biches, the current project of erstwhile Seven Simons/Twinstar (and Georgia native/L.A. resident) mainman Keith Joyner, earlier this year via Joyner’s “Opening Ceremony” essay (about a rather unique “dark tale from the mid-‘90s, guest-starring Love and Rockets, Genesis P-Orridge, Rick Rubin’s haunted mansion, and a Dante-worthy conflagration”).

BLURT contributor Robert Dean Lurie wrote about the band for their official bio, noting, in part,Named after a Jacques Brel song and 1968 French film, les biches is very much an anything-goes affair, harnessing the Wild West-possibilities of this new paradigm. And yet, there are a number of Joyner trademarks that remain ever-present: that keen sense of melody, the musical dexterity (always tightly corralled to the needs of the song), and a seeming inability to waste a single note. This is classic songcraft coupled with an openness to the unknown. As such, les biches is both a next chapter and a beginning, an invitation and a welcome home.

Already an impressive cast of collaborators has come on board: Sarah Negahdari (The Happy Hollows, Silversun Pickups, Pisces), Jonathan D. Haskell (Seven Saturdays, Glasz), Brian Reyes (The Little Ones), Travis McNabb (Better Than Ezra, Frankie Ballard), David Newton (The Mighty Lemon Drops), and Manuel Calderon (mixing engineer: Beach House, Animal Collective, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). Some are here for a one-off, some could be considered auxiliary members, and one or two may reappear like comets. Joyner’s own role shifts and adapts accordingly.”

If you were prodded to check out les biches debut single “I Had A Thought” we featured in Joyner’s essay or that, plus four more over the course of the year, at the band’s SoundCloud page, you will definitely dig the group’s sixth and final single for 2017. It’s 8 minutes long, but every second of this dynamics-rich track is a rewarding one. Check out “North From the Airwaves” which is officially released on December 8. And note that the group is currently in heavy rehearsals, prepping to take a full band out on the road for 2018.

 Joyner details the new song:

 “Before releasing music in 2017 as les biches, I was in a band called Twinstar. We were together longer than The Beatles. Our tenure was marked by fits and starts, extended periods of hibernation, frequent personnel changes and infrequent live shows. Even so, we operated under the Field of Dreams “if you build it they will come” blueprint. That is, we put so much into the recording of our 2013 album The Sound of Leaving, that surely it would rise above the din and enable us to carry on making more records. It would be disingenuous to say we weren’t disappointed when that failed to happen.

“As we were finishing the album, I would often feud with my long-suffering bandmate Chris Candelaria about things like the bass frequency in the final masters, or the track order. In retrospect, it seems trivial given the few people that would hear it. And yet, those arguments signify that we cared deeply about the end result. It is, after all, the bane of every creative artist that anything worthwhile requires dedication and heart. But the risk that art can exist solely in a vacuum always looms large. The band came to an end, and I naturally drifted away from music in a melancholy mood, though there were certainly no hard feelings.

“Several years later, I found myself hiking in the volcanic hills of Myvatn, Iceland. (And before you think it, yes! Every asshole has been or is going to Iceland!) I am a firm believer that there’s nothing like physical exertion or a change in scenery to get the creative juices flowing. A melody crept into my brain. As I walked, it continued to mutate in subtle ways and became the silent soundtrack for the rest of the trip. And just like that, I was back in. This was my “new direction,” I thought. I wasn’t interested in writing pop songs at the time. Rather, I wished to convey what it felt like to walk past ancient cinder cones and boiling molten lava away from the world at large.

“Back in Los Angeles, I had already met Jonathan D. Haskell, the mercurial man behind the band Seven Saturdays. I was inspired by his unique and atmospheric approach to the Fender Rhodes. It was exactly what this piece of music required. So began our collaboration on what was meant to be the first les biches release. But the floodgates had opened, and a flurry of new songs materialized along the way.

“As such, North from the Airwaves becomes the last (and sixth) track to be released by les biches in 2017. To say that an eight-minute-plus song with no verses or choruses is my favorite of them all is no stretch. It was the elusive spark that changed the way I think about music, though I am keenly aware it’s a huge ask in the age of short attention spans. In other words, having built it, it’s more about the quality of the company these days. To that point, I am also joined by Travis McNabb (Seven Simons, Better Than Ezra) on drums and the fantastic Zoe Ruth-Erwin, who writes and performs under her own name, and collectively with Jonathan in the electro-dream pop duo P O L L A. This old world is full of noise and chaos. If you do stop to listen, we thank you more than you can know!”