Kitty Clementine – Self-TitledClumpty Records-out now4 / 5 Who’d’ve thunk an Aussie from Sydney would bring gypsy charm and Big Easy stomp to, we don’t know, rock? Big band? We’re not too sure, but in either case, she’s got big brass – horns – on her debut here, and how we appreciate horns. The dozen tracks here get dirty, in a foot-stomping, down-but-not-out blast-you-off-your-[butt] kinda way. It is pure pleasure being inundated with the personality, frustration and joy of this self-described “magician’s daughter.” Whether it’s a straight-rocker like “We Should Know Better” or “It’s Been Real,” born from some muddy back alley in New Orleans,Read More →

Joe Pug – The Great DespiserLightning Rod Records-out now4.5 / 5 We at the blog make no secret of the fact that we really enjoy Joe Pug. Well, mostly. On his sophomore album, the folker strums back into a sound more reminiscent of his debut EPs; acoustic, bare, laid back. And while we generally don’t up-thumb an artist who doesn’t develop their sound, strangely enough, there’s something a bit deeper on this one. Pug masters an incredible confidence in his singing and writing, pulling off relatively simple sons such as “Silver Harps and Violins,” “One of Many,” and most everything else here, never droning outRead More →

Field Music – “Plumb”Memphis Industries– out today!4 / 5 We liked their previous double-album Measure, and really, we like Plumb even more. Field Music has drawn comparisons to Electric Light Orchestra, and on this latest release, they certainly show ELO’s ambitious sense of suite. As fifteen tracks (roughly 2-3 min each), you get a sense of incredible journey, of a brilliant, coherent travel through so many different shades of their innermost creativity. As a thorough (and rather gorgeous) suite, it’s difficult to pick out a single or two that describes this album, and that’s our main reason for loving this album. Yet, if you absolutelyRead More →

Shearwater – “Animal Joy”Sub Pop-out tomorrow 4 / 5 We’re glad we caught wind of Shearwater’s latest installment of powerful, emotive songwriting. As a follow-up to The Golden Archipelago, Animal Joy is a bit rockier, a bit more straightforward (check out the drums on 2-and-4 on several tracks), and makes us a bit more wistful for the sheer gorgeousness of that last one. This feel is culminated in “Immaculate,” a song that drives too directly, is raised too much to be a ‘radio-friendly’ track. That is not the Shearwater we know. “Dread Sovereign,” “Believing Makes it Easy,” and “Insolence,” those are what Shearwater is allRead More →