Tuesday ToutsPosted: April 15, 2014
So I thought I’d try something new to keep the site a little more active day-to-day and to send some recommendations along to my loyal readers. Between writing this blog, writing for American Songwriter, and taking on various other writing projects like my books, I’m pretty much listening to music all day, often bouncing around various sites in search of something new. In addition, I get sent stuff by nice people all the time, some of whom have really cool music to offer that doesn’t fit into my usual routine of writing about classic artists. So I thought I’d use this space every Tuesday to send a handful of links along so that you might check them out too.
I grant you that not everything I mention may be brand new; sometimes I’ll hear something flipping channels on Sirius in the car and look it up to find it’s been out a while. Yet I know that a lot of stuff falls through the cracks, so I’ll mention it anyway. So let’s try this out today with five songs or albums that I’ve heard recently that deserve your attention in this ever-crowded music world, and let’s see if we can’t make this a weekly deal.
“Red Ropes” by Nicole Atkins: When I saw that name, I immediately thought I’d be hearing another alt-country type. But Atkins is much harder to classify, which is a good thing. Her album Slow Phaser, which came out earlier this year, is full of shape-shifting tracks for the more adventurous listener, and it’s highlighted by “Red Ropes”, a dark, moody, yet catchy track featuring knotty lyrics and Atkins’ fetching slow-burn vocals. Check out the SoundCloud link below, then look for Slow Phaser if you like what you hear:
“Johnny And Mary” by Todd Terje featuring Bryan Ferry: Terje is one of these producer/auteur types that are becoming more prevalent on the indie scene; his new album, It’s Album Time, is getting raves. I haven’t had the chance to listen to the whole thing yet, but I have heard this cover of an old Robert Palmer ballad, and it’s a stunner. Terje’s shimmering electronics are in the mold of 80’s weepers like “Drive” and “Take My Breath Away,” while Ferry breaks hearts with his emotional re-telling of the titular lovers’ deteriorating relationship. The SoundCloud link:
“Passing Out Pieces” by Mac DeMarco: DeMarco’s new album features a lot of unassuming, mellow songs that sneak up on you with their offhand depth the more you pay attention. By contrast, this single demands your attention with a keyboard hook that wryly comments on DeMarco’s lyrics about the myriad slights he suffers each day and the effect they’re having on him. One of my favorite songs of the year thus far, and you can check it out in the link below.
Looking Into You: A Tribute To Jackson Browne by Various Artists: Tribute albums are a dicey business sometimes, but it helps when you’ve got an artist like Browne who not only has the hits, but also the deep album cuts which are worthy of reexamination. A combination of big names and relative newcomers take a crack at his work on this double-CD, and there’s not really a misfire in the bunch. The link below is to the YouTube page for Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa’s gorgeous take on the Latin love song “Linda Paloma,” but I would really recommend splurging on the whole package.
RoseAnn Fino (self-titled album): Fino’s debut album gets an immediately credibility boost from producer Aaron Hurwitz, who worked with The Band. Her songs feature some lovely melodies and lyrics that use finely-observed details to hint at the emotions beneath. Fino’s voice is quirky enough to keep things interesting as well, with a little bit of Kathleen Edwards and a dash of Lucinda Williams. Several standout tracks dot the album, available now on Woodstock Records, including “Seventies Trousers” and “Boxed Wine”, the latter included in the YouTube link below.
There you go, readers. And let’s make this an interactive thing, too; send along in the comments stuff you’ve been hearing that I might like. Quid pro quo, as Hannibal Lecter once said. Hope you enjoyed this, and I look forward to doing it again.
(E-mail me at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter @JimBeviglia. For books and e-books based on material which originated on this site, check out the links below.)