Tuesday Touts (June 24, 2014)

After a week’s hiatus, here are the Touts, back and ready for your enjoyment.

Heal by Strand Of Oaks: I already praised the lead single, “Goshen ’97”, from this album a few weeks back. I’m here to tell you now that, having had a chance to review it for American Songwriter, the whole album from Tim Showalter, the man behind Strand Of Oaks, is a beast. Not for the faint of heart at times, Heal is part paean to the power of music, part harrowing breakup dissection, but 100 % musically potent. Check out the link below to the ominous dirge “JM” below:

“Dear God” by Jess Klein: Some people might get upset with Klein’s political stance on this rabble-rousing track, which, in case you’re wondering, is not a cover of the old XTC hit. I just admire her fearlessness in tackling something other than the relatively benign topics of most pop songs. Plus, the song has hooks galore into which you can sink your teeth and she sings the heck out of it. “Dear God” appears on Klein’s album Learning Faith, which is available today. The link appears via the fine website The Bluegrass Situation.


“Strange Weather” by Anna Calvi and David Byrne: The former Talking Heads frontman knows how to pick out duet partners. After a successful album with St. Vincent, he joins Calvi for an atmospheric, brooding, and ultimately beautiful cover of a Keren Ann song. It’s the title track of a new EP of covers Calvi will be releasing in July. Check it out in the link below.

“Radio” by The Cold And Lovely: The Cold And Lovely are Megan Toohey and Nicole Fiorentino, each of whom have long resumes in the alternative rock world. Their new Ellis Bell Deluxe EP is an introduction to their collaboration, and this track, which features evocative atmospherics, a snaky guitar riff, and pop smarts galore, speaks well of the new project. Listen below:

Reconsider Me Tout of the Week- Challengers by The New Pornographers: They’re on my mind because they have a new album coming out in August. The power-pop supergroup’s initial trio of hyper-speed, hook-heavy albums are definitely superb, but I feel like people sleep on 2007’s Challengers, which slowed things down with often gorgeous results. Check out the captivating opening track, “My Rights Versus Yours”, in the YouTube link below.

(E-mail me with your own Touts at countdownkid@hotmail.com or follow me on Twitter @JimBeviglia. My new book, Counting Down Bruce Springsteen: His 100 Finest Songs, is available now in the U.S. and coming soon in Europe.)







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