Anders & Kendall - Wild Chorus
Unless you're a newbie here, you know I've been a fan of Anders Parker for years, and a friend of his as well. To a somewhat lesser extent, I also admire the work of Kendall Meade, with her band Mascott and the harmonious backing vocals her voice has added to some of Anders' songs. I wasn't initially as enamored with this one as expected, but it's grown on me, especially it's high moments like album opener "We're On Fire, Babe," "Play It," and my personal favorite "Sleepwalking," the latter of which is reminiscent of some older duets these two have teamed up for, except this time Kendall takes the lead.
Cloud Cult - Love
I am unabashedly a huge fan of Craig Minowa's songs and the emotional themes they often capture. For the most part, he seems to be done mourning the death of his son through his music, but there's still an undercurrent of that heartbreak even as the content is more about the celebration of life and, most importantly and perhaps obviously, love.
Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse
It's a little disconcerting to realize I've listened to so many albums by so many different bands over the years that my impressions sometimes run together. I was pretty sure I didn't like this band until I listened to the album and the lead singer's Scottish accent didn't ring a bell at all. So, maybe I had them confused with White Rabbits, a band whom I honestly couldn't tell you why it is I'm not a fan. Anyway, it's probably the Scottish thing, but I'm reminded of Malcolm Middleton here, except without any songs as profanely awesome as "Fuck It, I Love You."
The Lone Bellow - The Lone Bellow
I'll admit I initially wrote this one off pretty quickly and I'm not really sure why. Honestly, it may have been that the album cover reminds me of other uninspiring country/rock crossover acts. I won't name names, but I'm certainly glad I gave this band's self-described "Brooklyn country music" a second—or, should I say first?—chance, thanks to a Twitter recommendation from Dan Turkenkopf.
Matt Pond - The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand
On his first album since dropping PA from his moniker, there's not much change in Pond's brand of introspective indie pop, although the outlook seems a little brighter. Whether because of the latter, or in spite of it, this just might be his best, at least since I started listening circa 2004's Emblems.
Phosphorescent - Muchacho
2005's Aw Come Aw Wry was my introduction to Mathew Houck's Will Oldham-esque stylings, but it wasn't until his last album, Here's to Taking it Easy, that the comparison really took hold for me. A less chaotic version of Palace Music's brilliant Viva Last Blues was what that album reminded me of at times, and that energy continues here. Nothing quite as tremendous as "Work Hard/Play Hard," but quite good nonetheless.
Son Volt - Honky Tonk
Nothing earth-shattering here, just Jay Farrar and Co. taking on the Bakersfield sound with mostly positive results, in my opinion. Then again, Farrar could sing an album of show tunes and I'd probably still like it. Come to think of it, that sounds like a fantastic idea.
Negro Leagues DB Update: 1944 NNL & NAL
2 days ago