Tuesday Touts (April 29, 2014)

I’ve got an excellent quartet of releases for you to consider this week. Check it out.

Most Messed Up by The Old 97’s: These alt-country veterans have always been able to combine the rowdy with the romantic as well as anyone in their genre. Their newest definitely concentrates on the rowdy part. Some might miss the slower stuff, and nobody loves a good tear-in-their-beer weeper than me, but still I find Most Messed Up to be exhilarating. Check out the defiantly self-referential anthem “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” in the link for a taste:

“Moving To The Left” by Woods: It’s always both a kick and a bit frustrating when you find out about a cool band who’s actually been around a while. Woods have five albums in their rear-view, but this gently psychedelic rambler was the first thing I’d heard by them. Let’s just say I want to hear more. Love the instrumental break with the prancing guitar licks and the Ringo Starr-ish drum fills. Check out the YouTube link, then look up their new album With Light And Love.

“Let There Be Lonely” by The Secret Sisters: I got a chance to review the Sisters’ new album, Put Your Needle Down, for American Songwriter, and I was pleasantly surprised at how they’d branched out from the Everly Sisters niche they so winningly carved out in their debut. On this beautifully somber ballad, which they wrote for the ABC drama Nashville, their aching harmonies reveal why, when heartbreak comes, it’s best to wallow in it rather than avoiding it; “It’s the only way out of here,” they sing. The SoundCloud link is below.

Everyday Robots by Damon Albarn: The former Blur frontman and mastermind of Gorillaz is far too peripatetic a musical wanderer to ever release a conventional singer-songwriter album. Nor would we want him to. The offbeat rhythms and ingenious productions lend the downcast melodies and deadpan vocals surprising depth, making for an album that works as both lovely ambiance and the kind of thing you pick apart. “The History Of A Cheating Heart,” one of the more straightforward tracks on the album and perhaps the most melancholic and pretty, can be found in the link below.

(E-mail me at countdownkid@hotmail.com or follow me on Twitter @JimBeviglia. My new book, Counting Down Bruce Springsteen: His 100 Finest Songs, comes out in June and is available for pre-order now.)

http://www.amazon.com/Counting-Down-Bruce-Springsteen-Finest/dp/1442230657

http://www.amazon.com/Counting-Down-Bob-Dylan-Finest/dp/0810888238

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