We’re going to come out and say it. Actually, we’re going to say two things, here. One: we’re not the biggest music outlet you’re going to find. But we like it that way. And two: well… who the heck is going to go out and buy the 50 top albums of 2015? Really? Actually, the second thing we wanted to say is we’re not particularly fans of mainstream music coverage. But still, see point above. We were scratching our heads at how useful throwing 50 albums at someone might actually be. This year, we had a lean year. We’re going to throw one at you.Read More →

We’ll make this quick and sweet for all y’all. Power vocals take it this here. So here they are, this one: Ahbsolutely. Hozier’s deep, aching voice tells the story of love in the kind of way old people tell the weather with their bones. It’s inside, it’s hidden, it resonates with past experiences all from this young, lucky Irish kid. It’s music that sticks with you, music to sing along to, to ache along to, to be serenaded and wooed in the most extraordinary and dark ways. It’s something we want our listeners to partake in, at least once, and we highly HIGHLY recommend theRead More →

You must’ve been expecting it. We definitely went out of our way to make these guys and gals feel comfortable on our blog (which is no mean feat, considering there are this many: Riders on the hill. Sun to their backs: strategic positioning. of them). We absolutely love the 11-piece’s orchestra rock, brilliantly written, full and vast. And writing is the strength of White Lighter, Typhoon’s debut full-length: it is dense and mercurial, it is writing for musicians, it is writing that bursts like a wave’s crest upon the sea, it challenges and envelops. It’s the reason why we gave the Portland, OR outfit ourRead More →

Lovely as stained glass: Patty Griffin’s voice is nothing short of beautiful. You know us: sometimes we jostle around the numbers and fudge them in all kinds of ways. Well, we couldn’t feel good about ourselves if we gave Beware of Darkness (a 4.5/5) a higher slot than Patty Griffin’s American Kid, which is just so replete with beautiful, home-spun harmonies (with Robert Plant no less) and dinner-evening storytelling that it would be criminal to go just by the numbers. Besides, maybe we could’ve gone a little higher on American Kid – an homage to her late Irish father – but better late than never.Read More →

Next it’s these LA’ers that we tip our hat off to. New to the scene, with just one full-length under their belts, we’re still gaga we mean crazy over their classic-rock inspired, no-holds-barred debut. Without further ado, Palm trees in a cemetery. How very LA of you. we present Beware of Darkness. The best way we can describe Orthodox is perhaps this: remember when you read Kafka and channeled Poe’s depression while blasting an emo Robert Plant while Christian Bale (who’s just intense, always intense) tells you about the time between Batman movies that he went for a drink and fought off half a dozenRead More →

Sexy sexy. Yes. Twice. It’s a stunning retro-throwback to disco / funky R&B sexytimes that Sean Tilman, aka Har Mar Superstar, brings on his fifth full-length, Bye Bye 17. If you couldn’t tell, Mr. Tilman doesn’t take himself too seriously, but we certainly have to: he’s got great rhythm, good pipes and a great ear for songwriting. Check out choruses like “Restless Leg” and “Rhythm Bruises”; “Leg” is too fun to keep you from smiling, and “Bruises” hits the opposite end of the spectrum, the kind of melody that you have to sing along to and realize you’re just no good at it. Oh well,Read More →

Hi y’all!So we know we kept y’all in the dark on what we though were our top favorites of 2012. To be honest, we took a bit of a respite that year, so what we’ve compiled is a very, very brief list. In fact, it’s only technically a list, one with two entries. What were they?After a year of listening, we have to give our primary kudos to this guy: Pocket watch, anyone? The folksy, Dylanesque singer-songwriter who took it all to Chicago to record his first EP, Nation of Heat, and hasn’t looked back since. His 2012 full-length, The Great Despiser, is one ofRead More →

Hello all! We figured we’d throw out a much-belated ‘best of 2011’ kind of list. It is nice to figure out what music from 2011 really rocked out, with enough time for it to settle in and really prove itself, as much as an extra 6 months will allow. So, here are our picks, in no particular order: Brown Bird – “Salt for Salt”:  The now-RI duo really know how to crank into a full-on, heavy gypsy groove with their new(ish) lineup. MorganEve and David (plus the occasional friend/relative) form as tight a unit as any duo we’ve seen, and even though they’re waaaay offRead More →

It’s not the trashy mustache John McCauley usually wears (not pictured). It’s not the raucousness during shows, the fact that he oversleeps for interviews, or even our shared RI connection. It’s the fact that, after all’s said and done, “The Black Dirt Sessions” is still one of the best alt-country albums we’ve ever heard. Composed of Ian O’Neil, Chris Ryan, and Dennis Ryan, their brilliant debut “War Elephant” put them on the national stage, and for all its merits, we’re arguing “Black Dirt” is even better. With a mostly acoustic setup, it’s dark, crushing, and absolutely fantastic. McCauley’s agitated voice and a piano sounds, well,Read More →

Justin Ringle is a nice guy. As the lead singer/ songwriter for Portland, Oregon’s Horse Feathers, we are impressed not only with his general niceness, but with his delicate vocals, lush instrumentation, and sense of beauty on “Thistled Spring.” Speaking of instruments, his band, which consists of Nathan Crockett, Sam Cooper, and Catherine Odell must have a couple buses of instruments between the three of them (that’s Crockett bowing a saw in the yellow shirt). It’s their collective talent that crafts a kind of folk that’s so gorgeous, it’s an occasion in and of itself to sit down and listen to it. “Starving Robins” andRead More →