New Music Round-Up :: Week of 10/14


Big Wheel and Others :: Cass McCombs

Three-Sentence Review:

This is a grower of an album in a different way that I usually deem that label on albums, this is a grower because I think you need to take in a song or two at a time, play them over and again, taking in the story in the songs, before going on to the next few. There is something seventies about the feel of this album, the singer-songwriter seventies that I remember hearing so much of growing up, like the music that came out of Laurel Canyon, in California, during that era. I would love to hear a duet with Cass and Ryan Adams.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Angel Blood & There Can Be Only One

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

Angel Blood

There Can Be Only One


Lightning Bolt :: Pearl Jam

Three-Sentence Review: I am really loving this album already, even after just one listen. I feel like I have grown-up with this band, but not in the childhood to adulthood kind of way, but in the coming-of-age early twenties to beyond way; in many ways I feel like their music has come-of-age, in a lot of ways, too. There is a dose of maturity here, of pop-sensibilities, of rock and grunge roots, and some world-weary wisdom that all my favorite songwriters seem to possess.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Sirens, Lightning Bolt & Sleeping By Myself

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4.5


Heat-and-the-Heart-Lets-Be-Still-560x560Let’s Be Still :: The Head & The Heart

Three-Sentence Review: I wonder if I am just destined to always be a fan of SubPop Records artists? This album is ruling my week along with a book I randomly grabbed at the library, running together in a sense-driven synchronicity that I love, fitting well with the characters and the songs, and my experience taking them both in. This album reminds me of what I love about Dawes, The Replacements, Grant Lee Phillips and Iron and Wine (a pretty keen band/artist list to remind me of, I must say).

Initial Favorite Track(s): Another Story, Summertime & Let’s Be Still

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4.5

Another Story


Let’s Be Still


Magpie & the Dandelion :: The Avett Brothers

Three-Sentence Review: This album feels like a road trip waiting to happen, a wistful, restless pull and tug that my gypsy soul cannot help but respond to. Though I am enjoying it playing while I work and write, I just know that this album is meant to be played in the car, on a long ride somewhere, or nowhere in particular. Or maybe I am just up for any excuse to hit the road (but honestly, I would be taking this album along for the ride).

Initial Favorite Track(s): Morning Song, Another Is Waiting & Skin & Bones

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

Morning Song (live)

Another Is Waiting

Skin & Bones (live)


Static :: Cults

Three-Sentence Review: Indie Pop at its loveliest, I find myself a bit mesmerized by this album. There is something vintage girl group here (especially lyrically), something that toys with the Eighties New Wave era (think Altered Images and Missing Persons), a little borrowing of a little Sonic Youth reverb and static sound (pun intended) and a dose of a current Indie sensibilities (think The Like and Best Coast). This is a break-up album that comes at said break-up from an unexpected approach, even when it is dwelling on the pain, it seems to be pushing to go on with something beyond hope, or anger, or bitterness – or maybe it is just all of those things jumbled up beautifully together.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Always Forever, I Can Hardly Make You Mine & High Road

Rating (1-5 Stars): 3.5

Always Forever

I Can Hardly Make You Mine

High Road


Speak a Little Louder :: Diane Birch

Three-Sentence Review: There is something Carly Simon meets Stevie Nicks here, both in the vocal stylings and the sounds; that said, I can also hear her “goth” past influences, as well as what her time spent opening for Kodaline brings to the table. I honestly did not like the first track, but I am glad I persisted with the rest of the album, because all the following songs got to me, in a good way. I love the meet-up of darkness and light, of 70’s and now, that this album gifts my ears.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Lighthouse, All The Love You Got Tell Me Tomorrow

Rating (1-5 Stars): 3

All the Love You Got


Wilde Woman :: Lucius

Three-Sentence Review: File this album under escape the stress and just breathe, which is a file I need more more of, especially lately. This album feels like a car window open breeze on a late Summer afternoon when you can still feel the warmth within the cool. I want to hear a pairing up of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of Lucius, with Brandon Flowers of The Killers sometime soon.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Tempest, Two of Us On the Run & Monsters

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4


New :: Paul McCartney

Three-Sentence Review: It is fitting that the first track on the album is called Save Us, because this album feels like the musical saving I have been in need of lately. I am not sure I can pick a favorite song, even initially, because I am loving each and every one so much. I am near speechless (hard to believe) because all I want to say here is LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this.

Initial Favorite Track(s): All of them (no, really)

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Save Us (live)


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