Browsing Tag

americana

Music

Sailing off on a ‘Sea Of Change’ with the Star Prairie Project

The Star Prairie Project – named as a portmanteau of the village of Star Prairie in Minneapolis and the Alan Parsons Project – is the project of songwriter Nolen R. Chew Jr along with a collective of musicians and producers from around the US and Europe.

‘Sea Of Change’ is the first single from the project’s second album ‘Surreal’, released on the 18th December. The Star Prairie Project’s first album, released in July, has already ratcheted up over 1,000,000 streams on Spotify, with the single ‘Frantic Mind’ reaching #36 on the iTunes Top 100 Rock Chart.

Fresh, light, americana-meets-rock, ‘Sea Of Change’ is part-Lemonheads, part-Jayhawks, with a touch of Tom Petty guitar jangliness thrown in for good measure. It’s catchy, poppy without being disposable, with a nicely wah-driven guitar solo and a cute little middle-eight before the sing-along chorus carries you away once more.

Check out The Star Prairie Project’s latest release via Spotify.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Mauri Dark – Poison Woman: Cinematically Dark Alt Folk

If you could imagine what it would sound like if Nick Cave and Johnny Cash aurally met in the middle, you’ll get a good idea of what is on offer in Finnish singer-songwriter, Mauri Dark’s, latest single ‘Poison Woman’ taken from their LP ‘Dreams of a Middle-Aged Man’.

With rhythms which will throw into a dark Western while sending a few postcards from 70s Folk, Poison Woman is an eclectic smorgasbord of familiarity, rearranged to offer undiluted ingenuity. It’s as immersive as any Tarantino film but easily eclipses them on an emotional level. The sonorously low vocal timbre coalesces with the baritone guitar, setting a dismally cinematic tone which draws you into the melancholic mindset the single was written with. But with the level of emotion on display, listening to Poison Woman is anything but an exercise in morosity.

You can check out Poison Woman via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Finding your way: Lisa Michelle Anderson drops new EP ‘Quincy St.’ that satisfies the soul

Former Minneapolis local Lisa Michelle Anderson has been hard at work in 2020 and has recently dropped her latest five-track EP called ‘Quincy St.’ This is a release that will have you singing along for hours and tapping your feet merrily.

Americana singer-songwriter Lisa Michelle Anderson is now based in the stunning beauty of Western Massachusetts and usually performs all over the state, inspiring music fans all over with her incredibly poignant music. She has been playing live since the 90’s and her experience shows, each words and chorus has been made with absolute precision.

Each track on her new EP is a top single in its own right. ‘Compass‘ helps us find our path, while ‘Quincy St.’ speaks about memories growing up and these two tracks start off proceedings quite nicely.

Walk Away‘ talks about how life can be so cruel sometimes and that sums up the year perfectly. This is about ending things, even if you don’t want to, however deep inside you know you must. ‘This Place In Summer‘ is such a lovely song that stories how the stunningly hot days and nights make you think of that special person that is no longer there.

Finally, the extra bluesy Americana comes in so hot on ‘Train Car Love‘ that is a track about reminiscing about that road trip with your special soul that you can’t stop thinking about.

Her voice seems so effortless as she takes us on a storied adventure, with beads in our hair, blowing in the wind as we run on the open field and feel free again from the stresses of the world. Her honey-dipped voice feels like it cleans all of the worries away and you can’t help but appreciate her music.

Quincy St.‘ EP from the lovable Lisa Michelle Anderson is a road-trip playlist must-have as she sings with love and peace. Her stories about life will have you listening to each word and her vocals shine a light through the current darkness of 2020. Finding where you are going has never been more important and Lisa is an angel who sings with such beauty.

Hear this amazing EP on her Spotify and see more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

Scott Albert Johnson offers an invitation to transcend the 2020 chaos with their Americana Alt Folk single ‘Float’

Mississippi-hailing artist Scott Albert Johnson lays down old school bluesy soul in their latest single ‘Float’ which unfolds as a timelessly cathartic feat of Alt Folk Americana. I’ll never quite get used to hearing Covid times references in a track which sounds like Cohen could have released in the 70s, but I’ll remain eternally grateful for the resolve all the same.

It’s hard not to believe Scott Albert Johnson when he tells you that the clouds are going to break someday. For your sanity’s sake, add the celestially-produced, chorally-upraising single to your playlists.

You can check out the official music video to Float which was released on November 30th via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Rory Ian – Gambling Stil: Mesmerically Choral Indie Americana Folk

‘Gamnling Stil’ is just one of the dreamy Americana-tinged Indie Rock tracks found on Rory Ian’s debut album ‘From Son with Love’. Mesmerically choral Indie instrumentals coalesce with despondency-laden vocals allowing Rory Ian’s standout track to hit bruisingly hard emotionally, but tonally, the semi-orchestral soundscape is bordering on the celestial.

Any fans of Frightened Rabbit, The National and Bon Ivor will undoubtedly appreciate the familiar yet intimately intriguing offering of sweetly sobering Indie.

You can check out Rory Ian via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Do The Jimmy Jimmy, and The Ballad Of Tin Shaker

Beatles-y, Kinks-y, Small Faces-y, harmonious, sixties-mixed-with-nineties, classic indie-influenced pop-rock, ‘The Ballad Of Tin Shaker’ is a glorious, catchy pop song in the absolute best sense of the words.

Hailing from the small town of Claymont in the state of Delaware in the US, Jimmy Jimmy, and his new seven-track album ‘Do The Jimmy Jimmy’, is proper, lasting singer-songwriter americana-influenced pop with a delicious, laid-back hook that worms its way into your head and stays there. Relentlessly. And refuses to leave again.

Try it. Go on. And tell me that you’re not still wanting to be a ‘tin shaker’ by this time tomorrow.

Check out Jimmy Jimmy here, and watch the video for ‘The Ballad Of Tin Shaker’ on YouTube now.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Scott Rocco – Sum of You: Ardently Enrapturing Indie Americana Alt Folk

Award-winning artist Scott Rocco’s talent in creating soulfully cutting Alt Indie Folk Rock has discernibly got sharper, his latest release, ‘Sum of You’ resounds with NYC romantic cool.

While people are far too busy discussing whether Fairytale of New York should be allowed airplay, they’re sleeping on stunning releases such as Sum of You which delivers pure anthemic Americana while simultaneously exuding the intimacy of Indie Folk.

With their debut album IGNITED in the pipeline, you’ll definitely want this mind-blowingly exceptional artist on your radar. His ability to materialise the human condition and the essence of our suffering in his soundscapes is practically unparallelled. As far as I’m concerned, there is no better purveyor of raw heartfelt rock currently contributing to the airwaves. The level of emotion contained in Sum of You is potent enough to reanimate even the most jaded of souls (I’m pretty much speaking from experience there).

You can listen to Sum of You on Spotify

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Adam James take us all on an americana road-trip to Lucky Dollar City

New York native singer-songwriter Adam James (More Than Skies, Sleep Bellum Sonno, and The Vigilance Committee) hits out with this, the lead track from his debut solo EP ‘Lucky Dollar City’. Produced by Ace Enders of The Early November, ‘Lucky Dollar City’ is a stunning slice of genre-crossing acoustic folk-pop americana in the style of the Jayhawks, Uncle Tupelo, The Replacements, or maybe ‘Hang Time’ era Soul Asylum.

James’ voice is effortlessly world-weary yet hopeful, a Paul Westerberg edge within the acoustic strumming, gentle snare pushes, and gorgeously laid-back string accompaniment,  whilst overall ‘Lucky Dollar City’ could easily have found itself on ‘Don’t Tell A Soul’ or ‘Hollywood Town Hall’. Nothing more needs to be said – it really is that good.

Check out Adam James’ debut EP on Spotify, or follow Adam on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Partying all night with new friends: The Charlie Kulis Band remind us of fun times with ‘Hotel Room’

They start the party right away will little warning. This is a band that likes to make their impression right away as they know what they want. The vocals are passionately sung and with the sweaty crowd in mind as they are true entertainers, and like to make their fans smile. New York based Americana/Country outfit The Charlie Kulis Band back the early talk up with a storming performance on their new dance floor hit, ‘Hotel Room‘.

With vividly described vocals that tell you story rather quickly, its sung with an end goal in mind and that is to be the life of the party. The band join in the fun and lift up the splintered spirits that have been locked inside for way too long. Their exciting energy is all about the party and getting the girls back to your room after the music is over. This is an ode to pre-covid days when life was much more simple, and humans could party all night without having to worry about too much.

The drinks and dancing is flowing on this one and hotel security are going to have a busy night as these musicians mean business. The New York lifestyle shines through here as this is the City that does not sleep usually. With so much to do, this is a common occurrence and the Americana style of the band is a thoroughly enjoyable listen that will put a smile on your dial.

The Charlie Kulis Band from New York have their game plan ready on ‘Hotel Room‘ as open the doors to living life that will be back again, before we know it.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Music

Cass & Crossland – Adeline: Absorbingly Sweet Indie Folk Rock

Phoenix Arizona’s Indie Folk Rock duo Cass & Crossland made their 2020 debut with the absorbingly idyllic single ‘Adeline’. Their timeless approach to songwriting will remind you of the iconic greats while affirming that they’re the contemporaries that the airwaves have been calling out for.

The stunning harmonies find perfect balance with the transfixingly accordant semi-orchestral instrumental arrangement which simultaneously feels minimalistic and resounding. It’s the kind of track you hit play on, and you can’t quite tell if you’re consuming the track or if it is consuming you. The immersive ethereal air to the soundscape perfectly complements the romantically vivid imagery which the lyricism conjures.

With their ability to not only draw affectionate emotion from you as you listen to the track but also leave you endeared by the soul which the track contains, they’re undoubtedly ones to watch. Get them on your radar.

You can check out Adeline for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast