I admit, I have not written about music for a while. Sorry folks. Life happens. I have been listening.
I'm going to reimagine this blog, maybe. Gonna try to do this monthly, but for now, this is what I've been digging for the first quarter of 2019. Bear with me. I'll try to do better.
In no particular order:
Jenny Lewis - On The Line
Admittedly, this is outside of my wheelhouse. There is not enough swamp there, but the songs are so damned good I could not include it. It's eclectic enough to keep me interested, yet never strays outside of her zone.
Here is one of my favorite songs:
Alice Wallace - Into The Blue
Alice Wallace puts the Western in Country and Western. Specifically California Western. I love that it is unapologetically California. Artists who write albums that encompasses where they're from usually comes off as very authentic. Wallace does it well on Into The Blue. "Echo Canyon" may be the best song I've heard where the music, mood and lyrics mesh so effortlessly and beautifully.
Rival Sons - Feral Roots
By far Feral Roots is the best rock album I've heard this year. I read about a new (to me) term recently: NWOCR, which stands for new wave of classic rock. Rival Sons have nailed it. Feral Roots is an amalgam of 70s classic rock, Soundgarden and some sounds from doom metal. And it has elements of swamp.
Elles Bailey - Road I Call Home
Elles Bailey's sophomore effort, Road I Call Home, has been called blues or country or roots rock among other things. What it actually is, is a badass collection of 11 songs. Yeah, there are blues elements, country elements, rock elements, but it doesn't really matter. What matters are the songs. And the songs are there in spades.
Adia Victoria - Silences
Adia wants to characterize this album as a blues album. OK. It's not what I think of when I think blues. To my ears it's more in line with the weird, trippy, uncategorical vibes of Kate Vargas. And that's a good thing. I'm a music first guy, if you're music isn't interesting, I don't care about your message/lyrics (and those are for every individual listener to interpret). Silences is interesting and good.
Vandoliers - Forever
Vandoiers debut album The Native was an almost perfect representation of their home state of Texas. They have continued that with their sophomore effort, Forever. It's a fun album and a great listen. And it has more depth than their debut.
Austin Meade - Waves
I've waffled on this album. There is nothing bad, but there is nothing that stands out. But there is enough there there to warrant inclusion. Full disclosure here, I saw him live before I ever heard anything from him. Great live. So that clouds my vision. I understand the restraints of recording. Make the best of what you can with the budget you have. I'll be interested in following his career to see what comes next.
Lauren Jenkins - No Saint
This may be my favorite album early in 2019. The songs are so well-crafted. Even the songs I don't particularly like have redeeming qualities. There's a groove or a hook that can't be denied. And that voice. It has that Stevie Nicks quality that can't be quantified, it just is. This song just resonates with me, dammit it's MY bar. This is from the EP, but you get it.
Diamond Dogs - Honked! All Over Again
OK, this is kind of cheating. This is a 25 year anniversary release to digital. In other words, this is the first time the debut album from the Diamond Dogs is available to stream. It contains some B-sides and extras, I don't know which is what since I just discovered them recently. This Swedish band, heavily influenced by Honky Tonk Woman era Rolling Stones, does it well. It's a fun listen and they seem to be self-aware. From the original album: