Penniless – The Great Marquis (single/video)

Major news alert! The Finnish alternative rock legends Penniless are back in this ball game and will release a new album later in 2018 on Soit Se Silti. They are one of my all-time favorite bands and therefore I’m thrilled about this. The excellent first single The Great Marquis from the forthcoming album surfaced a couple of days ago in form of a gorgeous music video.

Penniless at Facebook

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Jesse Marchant – Illusion of Love

A week ago I purchased a download of the new Jesse Marchant album Illusion of Love that came out on the 26th of January. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Jesse Marchant is a Canadian songwriter who released some great indie folk records as JBM between 2009 and 2012. Illusion of Love is his second under his own name and it’s a real treasure that ranges from the atmospheric indie folk of those old JBM records all the way to beautiful Strand of Oaks-like sonic monsters. Here’s a couple of magnificent outtakes from the new album.

Jesse Marchant Website

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Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Good As Gold

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers are a great country band from North Carolina and they will have a new album Years out on Bloodshot Records on the 6th April. I’m really looking forward to this because their 2015 album Sidelong (that Bloodshot re-released in 2016) was already pretty damn impressive. It sounds like they’ve gotten even better since then and the first outtake Good As Gold from the forthcoming album is just utterly marvellous. I can’t wait to hear the album in a few months. Here’s the lyric video for Good as Gold. More about Sarah Shook & The Disarmers closer to the release date of the album.

Sarah Shook & the Disarmers Website

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The Heat Death – The Heat Death

It’s been one of those weeks when I wonder why do I even try to keep this blog alive. The weekdays just fly by too fast and there’s not a whole lot I manage to cover during these 2 am blog writing sessions on the Saturday nights. But no, I still won’t quit, because there are always songs and albums that I hold dear and I suppose even featuring a few of them is far better than none at all. If you get fed up with the slow update frequency there’s also a 2018 best of Spotify playlist on the top left corner that I’m continuously updating. My favorite songs will be added there a little bit faster and it will also include a bit more songs than I have time to cover here. But yeah, it’s just a bonus and the most important ones will eventually end up in this blog too. Whether it takes days, weeks or months is another matter.

Today I’ve been mostly listening to the self-titled The Heat Death album. This is a new side project by two Canadian indie legends, José Miguel Contreras from By Divine Right and Shotgun Jimmie. Personally I’m only vaguely familiar with By Divine Right. Sweet Confusion is the only album that I know and that came out a long time ago (feel free to give tips, if there’s something I especially need to hear, yeah I know, “listen to all of it” is probably the correct answer). Shotgun Jimmie on the other hand is a big favorite and I’ve enjoyed his indie rock songs ever since I stumbled upon this One Trick Pony video where he was goofing around with BA Johnston. I’ve only touched the surface of this Heat Death album, but it already feels pretty damn good. For example all these three singles are wonderful on this weird-ish video that you can watch below. I look forward to digging deeper into the album during the coming weeks.

Shotgun Jimmie Website
By Divine Right Website

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Jerry David DeCicca – Time The Teacher

Jerry David DeCicca released his second solo album Time The Teacher on the 9th of February. The album is out here in Europe on the Impossible Ark Records. The former The Black Swans frontman has written a very lovely album that will bring a lot of light and color to these dark winter nights. Sure there are some dark subjects, but the overall feel of the album is very mellow, light and comfortable. Piano and horns carry the songs towards me and the soulful backup singers lift them into my heart. Even though the album feels like a gentle easy-flowing bright breeze and I thought about reviewing this by just posting the song Just Ah by The Blades of Grass as the review, the album is not in any way lazy or effortless. There’s quite a lot of depth and detail in the subtle arrangements and the contrast between sweet sounds and melancholic thoughts can also get immensely moving. Therefore even a teardrop might grace the smile of the listener, but these are the good kind of tears that will glue you back together.

Jerry David DeCicca Website

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H.C. McEntire – Lionheart

During the past weeks, I’ve been sharing a lot of singles from forthcoming albums, but here’s one monumental 2018 album that is already out and available and sets the bar pretty high for the new year. It’s the new H.C. McEntire solo Lionheart that came out on Merge Records on the 26th of January. Previously she has given us a lot of amazing music as the singer and songwriter of the great North Carolinian band Mount Moriah. This astonishing solo debut contains Southern country sounds, folk rock songs and soulful gospel hymns delivered with power, passion and clarity. The album is a personal, influential and eternally beautiful. Especially the hymns of the album A Lamb, A Dove and When You Come For Me leave such a giant mark on my heart. She was raised in a religious family where being gay was not an option and now she sings in a gospel-like hymn that “I have found heaven in a woman’s touch” and does it with such grace, empathy and dignity. It’s not an aggrieved attack, it’s a lesson of deep kindness. Highly needed in this world where lack of empathy often seems to be like a running theme. Lionheart is a powerful album that everyone should hear.

H.C. McEntire at Facebook

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