Thursday, February 9, 2017
Alexander Devotion EP is out February 10 via Shelflife Records.
Shelflife Records page for EP
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
The Ghosts of Johnson City are songwriter Amos Libby (vocals/guitar/banjo), Douglas Porter (banjo/guitar/vocals), Erik Neilson (baritone Ukulele/vocals), Erik Winter (pump organ), Ian Riley (upright bass), Sarah Mueller (violin), and Bethany Winter (vocals). Am I Born To Die?, their first album, consisted of fresh interpretations of dark Americana songs from the past. For The Devil's Gold the band composed new songs in a similar style. And it is a credit to their talent that to my ears the new songs are better than those on the debut album. We still hear about murder, mine disasters, terminal illness, drowning, suicide, love and loss, but it all sounds so damn good that you enjoy the stories and congratulate yourself that none of them bear your name. The quality is so uniform that I struggled mightily to choose some representative tracks for this feature, only consoling myself that I couldn't fail to represent the record well with any selection. Four gems are below, but you can stream them all at the Soundcloud link. You can find purchase details at the band's website.
This is unlike most any other album you will hear, and your life will have a void if you take a pass. And besides, the kitchen is fine and the Bentley is a pain in the ass to maintain. Get the album, put on your headphones, stay home and order a pizza. Oh, and you can still drink the Jim Beam -- in fact you probably should.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Since "alternative facts" are all the rage in a certain part of the world, we'll give you some alternative facts which, in our professional view, actually are true. One fact is that The Ocean Party is a really, really good band, and their "B-grade" material is better than many band's A-grade material. Second, in an fit of professional responsibility, we have listened to this album several times, and think it is a delight. Indulge us and devote 11 minutes to run through the first four tracks below, and I expect you will agree. I'm especially fond of "Love", with the talented Ashley Bundang (Ciggie Witch, Totally Mild, Zone Out) guesting, and "Goldman Sachs". Third, the variety of styles reflects one of the band's strong points -- with multiple talented songwriters and singers, the musical scenery always stays interesting over the course of an album. Finally, consider the potential psychology at play here, The Ocean Party calls the album B-Grade Material, but they thought it good enough to see the light of day, and it is their reputation on the line. My guess is they think there is some good stuff here, and we agree.
B-Grade Material is available digitally and on a limited number of cassettes via the Bandcamp link below.
Bandcamp for B-Grade Material
Monday, February 6, 2017
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't have a few words about the two singles, Teenager and Keep It Clean. Each of them originally was released as a CD single, and includes four songs. The tracklist for Teenager is "Teenager", "I Don't Want To See You", "A Sister's Social Agony", and "Footloose And Fancy Free". Keep It Clean includes the title track, as well as "Amigo Mio, "Suspended From Class", and "San Francisco Song. We have included the album are and two songs from each single for you to sample below. You can stream each single in its entirety at the Bandcamp link at the bottom of the page.
Pre-order link for Teenager
Pre-order link for Keep It Clean
Elefant Records' Bandcamp