Tuesday Touts (May 6, 2014)Posted: May 6, 2014
Another batch of touts for you today, including a new feature, the Reconsider Me Tout of the Week. Each week, I’ll pick an album that’s been out for a while that was maybe underrated or lost in the cracks the first time around, hopefully tuning some people on to something they might have missed. First, though, the new music touts:
Montibello Memories by Matrimony: I was lucky enough to review this album, out today, for American Songwriter, and I was really impressed by the way this family-oriented band (a husband, his wife, and her two brothers) blend styles with such sure-handed skill. They can pull back for tender moments, then just as smoothly send songs into the rafters. There are bits of the roots-pop movement of bands like the Lumineers or Mumford & Sons, and also bits of indie-rock grandeur a la Arcade Fire, but ultimately the uniqueness of Matrimony is what stays with you. Check out the rousing album-opener “Southern Skies” below.
Ebb & Flow by Judith Owen: This album also comes out today and is an expert rehashing of the Southern California soft-rock scene from the 70’s. Owen made the wise move of hiring Leland Sklar, Waddy Wachtel, and Russ Kunkel to create this sound, which was wise because they were the ones who helped originate in the first place on albums by Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, and the like. Throw in Owen’s sturdy melodies and evocative vocals, and you’ve got an unassuming gem. The link below is to one of the loveliest tracks on the album, “One In A Million.”
“Peaches” by In The Valley Below: This single came out last year, but I’m mentioning it now because this California duo’s first EP Man Girl arrives today. I love the back and forth of vocalists Jeffrey Jacob and Angela Gail and how powerful it is when those voices then come together over accompaniment that is part rock grit and part electronic dreaminess. This duo is definitely one to watch moving forward; I know I’m anxious to see if the entire EP lives up to this outstanding start. Check out the nifty video below.
“June” by Frances Cone: Just released as part of their self-titled EP (that’s the band’s name, not the singer’s or anyone else’s in the band), “June” features a cool arrangement full of open spaces and unexpected instrumental fills, evoking an atmosphere that lies somewhere between wonder and melancholy. Vocalist Christina Cone glides above it all in chill-inducing fashion. The link below is to the YouTube link of the video.
The Reconsider Me Tout of the Week: Perfect Symmetry by Keane
My UK readers will probably think I’ve gone mad, since this album was a critically-acclaimed, commercial success in Britain. But trust me when I say that American critics seemed to bail on the band following Under The Iron Sea, while “Somewhere Only We Know” is still the only single from the band that receives widespread airplay. If you don’t know this band or this album, look it up, take a listen, and bask in the pop grandiosity of the tunes. The link below is to the sweeping closing ballad “Love Is The End”.
(Send along your own unheralded songs and albums, and maybe they’ll make the Touts in the future. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter @JimBeviglia.)