Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Burned, "The Burned"

The Burned
The Burned

The great thing about The Burned (which is really just Kurt Baumann's name for his solo project) is that it sounds like music Zach Braff might pick for a movie soundtrack, but darker. It's got an original edge to it that makes it far more interesting than the dainty indie rock most of us are used to.

Scattergun, "Life at Fantasy Lounge"

Scattergun
Life at Fantasy Lounge

Americana is a weird genre – you can basically call any band from the United States with at least a little bit of twang involved “Americana”, from Elvis to Johnny Cash to Wilco.

The Town Pants, "Shore Leave"

The Town Pants
Shore Leave

The Town Pants aren't Irish – actually, they're Canadian – but they make great Celtic music and most of it's about drinking. Shore Leave is basically a collection of raucous drinking songs, but they're so catchy that even if you're a Teetotaler, you'll like it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nick Curran & The Lowlifes, "Reform School Girl"

Nick Curran & The Lowlifes
Reform School Girl

If you do an online search for Nick Curran, you'll find hundreds of blogs, articles, and comments, all of which say, in one way or another, that he's a bad ass musician – and all of them are right. If Curran had been born in the '50s, he would still be a household name today.

The City Skyscape, "The City Skyscape"

The City Skyscape
The City Skyscape

With The Postal Service on an apparent indefinite hiatus, someone's got to fill Ben Gibbard's sweet little shoes – enter The City Skyscape, a band so similar to Gibbard's side project that they might actually be him in disguise.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ahmond
Monster & Minstrel

Ahmond is an indie kid's dream – a Sufjan Stevens/Andrew Bird-esque singer-songwriter that self produces his albums and isn't too famous to pretend you don't like. If he garners the critical acclaim that artists similar to him have recently, he'll soon be the guy everyone liked before he “made it big”.

Jackie Ryan, "Best of Love Songs"

Jackie Ryan
Best of Love Songs

I didn't glance at the album title of Jackie Ryan's newest album before I started listening to it, and after the third or fourth song, I was convinced that it was either a greatest hits album or one of the fullest, most thoughtful albums I had ever heard. Even though Best of Love Songs is a collection of previously released songs, it's still completely full of absolutely beautiful songs – not one of the fifteen tracks is bad.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lily Holbrook, "Wicked Ways"

Lily Holbrook
Wicked Ways

Lily Holbrook's press release announces that she is the Real Deal – and while that may be a terribly cheesy thing to say about an artist, it's true. From her image and the art on her newest album, Wicked Ways, I was expecting a completely different sound and style, but Holbrook is a folk singer with a beautiful voice.

Suzi Ragsdale, "Best Regards/Less Of The Same"

Suzi Ragsdale
Best Regards/Less of the Same

Suzi Ragsdale has been in the recording studio her entire life, and considering that most of this time has been spent in Nashville, it's no wonder that her newest release (the double album) Best Regards and Less of the Same is an adorable country and folk album that makes the listener feel right at home.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Audra Connolly, "Dear Friend"

Audra Connolly
Dear Friend

There is a quote from once-indie band Rilo Kiley about folk singers that I continuously thought about while I listened to Audra Connolly's newest album, Dear Friend: “Folk singers sing songs for the working, baby. We're just inspiration for all those doctors and lawyers.” Connolly is pure folk, at its best; she's entertainment in the form of soft sounds and friendly words.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tiny Little Blackouts, "Idea Of Alice"

Tiny Little Blackouts
Idea Of Alice

Tiny Little Blackouts is what indie musicians often strive for and fail at, which has turned the genre into a cliché: delightful music with just the right amount of irony.

Soul Doctor, "Way Back To The Bone"

Soul Doctor
Way Back To The Bone


Soul Doctor was not what I was expecting – at all. With “soul” in the band name and an album called Way Back to the Bone, I was expecting the blues or folk, and when I put the album on, I was instead greeted by heavy rock, but I'm not complaining.

Martigan, "Vision"

Martigan
Vision

Martigan both is and isn't your typical prog band. Upon first listen, it's hard to distinguish what sets them apart, but after pouring time into each track on their newest album, Vision, you begin to see what they do, and you can see that while they fit within their genre, they are stepping out of it, as well.