Four Arms to Hold You: Matthew Milia, Anna Tivel, Kassi Valazza and Bart

Trying to get back to making other kind of posts too. I kinda hate that lately this has been just a playlist thing. It was supposed to be a bonus and not the main thing. So I’m starting this new random feature called Four Arms to Hold You in hope that it might spark some life back into this blog. I feel like I just need some recurring features to keep myself active. It’s so easy to let things slide and it has never done me any good. The cheeky title of the feature comes from Cheeky Monkey album. Basicly this is just four albums / songs / artists that have done their part in holding me together and therefore I want to tell the world or the seven readers of this blog how much I love them. Sometimes there might a theme, sometimes there’s no other theme except that I love them all. I try to do this at least once a week from now on. I think these will be mostly music and not a whole lot of writing. Everything that I will share on these are worthy of an essay, but time, energy (and skill) prohibits.

Starting from Detroit, Michigan with my absolute favourite album of the year. This is of course Alone at St. Hugo by Matthew Milia. I will be shocked if something else will be my album of the year when we reach the end of the year. I just love everything about this. It’s definitely more pop than especially the early Frontier Ruckus albums, but I’m a pop kid at heart (kid, who am I kidding. Old pop man would be more accurate), so I don’t mind at all. It’s sweet, catchy and engaging pop album that is filled with wonderful pop melodies, magnificent lyrics and beautiful singing. Bonus points for sporting a Big Star t-shirt on the cover. Why isn’t everyone singing and shouting the praises of Alone at St. Hugo from the rooftops? A dazzlingly brilliant album. Album came out on Sitcom Universe on the 3rd of May. You can grab a download from Bandcamp or buy a physical copy from Matthew Milia’s website.

Matthew Milia Website

Portland-based Anna Tivel is a tremendous songwriter. Her folk songs are powerful and full of empathy. Her songs have a good heart. The latest addition to her captivating songbook is the album The Question that came out on the 19th of April on Fluff and Gravy Records. One of the finest albums of the year and a real master class of songwriting. Here’s the moving video for the title track The Question. Directed by Robin Vada & Sarah Whelden.

Anna Tivel Website

Singer-songwriter Kassi Valazza from Portland, Oregon is a new one for me. I found her music thanks to Barna Howard who promoted the release concert of Dear Days Days a few weeks ago. I love Barna, So I went, listened and instantly liked Kassi Valazza’s country, folk and psych melting pot. Dear Dead Days has been a big favorite since it’s release on the 7th of May. Here’s a couple of personal favorites from this gorgeous album.

Kassi Valazza at Facebook

Last stop tonight is a street corner in Toronto, Canada and the great new Bart album Today, Tomorrow, & The Next Day that came out on Idee Fixe Records on the 10th of May. This is such a warm, rich, adventurous and beautifully arranged album where sweet harmonious pop melodies gently collide with complex structures. A treasure that keeps on revealing more with each listening session. Pink Symphony wraps up tonight’s little blog entry.

Bart at Facebook

Continue Reading

OCTA Weekly Playlist Episode #42

Another week, another weekly playlist.

No surprises that I didn’t manage to do anything else during the week. This time I actually even had a reason, because a bit too high rest heart rate gave my troubled mind some further concerns. I had an EKG to check the heart and blood tests to see that my levothyroxine medication is on a proper level. Everything was ok (other than the rest pulse), so I suppose can breathe a little easier. I still haven’t felt perfectly ok since Easter or something. Probably just has something to do with the hypothyroidism. Sort of a vicious cycle though, because I’m the worrying kind and such things tend to add stress and makes it hard to fall asleep. And not getting enough sleep isn’t exactly helping the situation. Well at least I can get some blog stuff done, because here I am writing this at 5 am because I wasn’t able to get some sleep. But enough with the personal mumbo jumbo and time to get on this week’s playlist.

The list is insanely long this week, because there was so much good stuff. New albums from Kelly Hunt, Jeremy Squires and Lucy Roleff were on the top of my list of albums to listen. Other beautiful new albums this week are from Josh Nolan, Blue Jeans, Sailors & Ships, Paper Wings and The National. Karly Driftwood and Rosie Harlow & The Tall Tale Boys came out earlier in the spring, but I missed these lovely records back then. Some gorgeous EPs too from Lydia Cole & Hailey Beavis, Kathryn Legendre, Nick Lowe, Briston Maroney and Elton John Cena.

The small Finnish section contains three awesome new singles from Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus, MeriTuuli and Samae Koskinen.

The singles made this ridiculously long this week. New Tyler Childers single was the news of the week, but for example the new ones from red steppes, Erin Durant, Shane Leonard, Merival, Joseph Robert Krauss, Matthew Ryan are equally magnificent. I could just as well namedrop them all, but you’ll find the full list below.

And as usual some big favorites from earlier weeks reappear with another song. I think I’m gonna keep that Matthew Milia album here at least five weeks, because I just love it to bits. That’s it for this week. Not sure how next week goes with other posts. At least I need to get my act together first and get some sleep. Love.

OCTA Weekly Playlist Episode #42

1. Kelly Hunt – Fingernail Moon (Even The Sparrow, Rare Bird Records, 2019)
2. Jeremy Squires – Orchid (Poem. 2019)
3. red steppes – Madera (single, Native Cat Records, 2019)
4. Lucy Roleff – Waiting For My Friend (Left Open in a Room, Lost and Lonesome, 2019)
5. Lydia Cole & Hailey Beavis – Talk To Me (Among Horses IV EP, Son Canciones, 2019)
6. Erin Durant – Islands (single, Keeled Scales, 2019)
7. Shane Leonard – Strange Forms (single, Antifragile Music, 2019)
8. Merival – No Brakes (single, 2019)
9. Joseph Robert Krauss – Scrapbook Memory (single, 2019)
10. Tyler Childers – House Fire (single, Hickman Holler / RCA, 2019)
11. The Country Side of Harmonica Sam – My First Broken Heart (since The Last Broken Heart) (single, El Toro Records, 2019)
12. Karly Driftwood – Tennessee Trees (single, Too Mean To Die, 2019)
13. Kathryn Legendre – Sit Here & Cry (Making It Up EP, Shotgun House Records, 2019)
14. Caroline Spence – Sit Here and Love Me (Mint Condition, Rounder Records, 2019)
15. Matthew Ryan – On Our Death Day (The Need To Know Vinyl Sessions, 2019)
16. Josh Nolan – Angels With Dirty Faces (Kind Heart to Follow, Shaker Steps Records, 2019)
17. TW Walsh – Invincible Light (single, 2019)
18. Chris Staples – Holy Moly (single, Barsuk Records, 2019)
19. Janne Tapion Sisäinen Avaruus – Kaikki oli paremmin ennen (single, Lumpeela Julkaisut, 2019)
20. MeriTuuli – Minä odotan (single, 2019)
21. Samae Koskinen – Tää on se hetki (single, Johanna Kustannus, 2019)
22. Taylor Knox – One in a Billion (single, Cadence Music, 2019)
23. Blue Jeans – Friends & Lovers (single, Bobo Integral, 2019)
24. Nick Lowe – Love Starvation (Love Starvation / Trombone EP, Yep Roc, 2019)
25. Matthew Milia – Sometimes I Feel Like My Arm’s Falling Off (Alone At St. Hugo, Sitcom Universe, 2019)
26. Elton John Cena – Rat Poison (All Rats Go To Heaven, Lauren Records, 2019)
27. Briston Maroney – Small Talk (Indiana EP, Atlantic, 2019)
28. Kitty Kat Fan Club – You Got Me Modernized (single, Asian Man Records, 2019)
29. Sailors & Ships – Rooftop Sleeper (Sailors & Ships, Laser Brains, 2019)
30. Native Harrow – Something You Have (single, Loose Music, 2019)
31. Madeline Leman & The Desert Swells – Nobody’s Fool (single, 2019)
32. Joanna Sternberg – For You (single, Team Love, 2019)
33. Jacob Miller – Take Me Home (single, 2019)
34. Blue Wilson – Elsewhere (single, 2019)
35. Shannon Lay – Something Else On Your Mind (single, Sub Pop Records, 2019)
36. The National – Not In Kansas (I Am Easy To Find, 4AD, 2019)
37. Mega Bog – For The Old World (single, Paradise of Bachelors, 2019)
38. Louie Short – Beautality (single, Choom City Records, 2019)
39. V.V.Lightbody – Baby, Honestly (single, Acrophase Records, 2019)
40. Bart – Today (Today, Tomorrow & The Next Day, Idee Fixe Records, 2019)
41. Christelle Bofale – Origami Dreams (single, Father/Daughter Records, 2019)
42. Mara Connor & Langhorne Slim – Someone New (single, Side Hustle Records, 2019)
43. Rosie Harlow & The Tall Tale Boys – Love Is Hard To Find (Family, 2019)
44. Paper Wings – Troubled Soul (Clementine, 2019)
45. Spirit Family Union – One Way Ticket (single, 2019)
46. Jake Paleschic – The Light (single, 2019)
47. Jenn Grant – Keep a Light On (single, Leovela, 2019)
48. Morgan Wade – The Night (single, 2019)
49. Kirby Brown – Justine (single, Soundly Music, 2019)
50. Catherine McLellan – Out of Time (single, 2019)
51. Jackson Emmer – Lost Highway (single, 2019)
52. Kassi Valazza – Mama (Dear Dead Days, 2019)

Playlist link

Oh and do buy the vinyl/cd/download. Spotify and other streaming services are perfect for these introductory purposes, but try to buy at least the music that matter the most to you

If you are looking this after a week has gone, the embedded Spotify will show the latest playlist. I’ll just update the same playlist because a) if someone wants to follow it, they can just follow that one list and will get a new set of songs each Sunday b) so that I don’t have a trillion of different playlists on my Spotify account.

Continue Reading

OCTA Weekly Playlist Episode #41

Another week, another weekly playlist.

Still slowly recovering from the flu and still madly in love with the new Matthew Milia album. Lots of new ones to love this week as well. Bart and Kassi Valazza were on top of my list when it comes to new albums. We also got new albums from An American Forrest, She Keeps Bees, Monnone Alone, Ona, Mac DeMarco, Lydia Persaud, The Get Up Kids, Quaker Parents, Gold Light, Lowland Hum, Daddy Long Legs and Emma Hill. Arthur Alligood is from last week, but I managed to miss it then. A couple of EPs too from Dawn Landes and Greens.

On the singles front, big favourites Charlie Whitten and Kacy & Clayton released new songs. Some other highlights came from Natural Bridges, Mike Adams at His Honest Weight and Sunny War. But like every week, I could just as well namedrop every song on this text. They are on the list, because I like them all a lot.

The lone Finnish entry this week is the new single from Viitasen Piia. I’m sure there had to be more, so feel free to educate me by email / social media.

That’s all for now. Hopefully other kind of posts too next week, but no definite promises. I definitely should write some excessive praising about the Matthew Milia album, because it’s like the best album ever. Love love love.

1. Bart – Don’t Push (Today, Tomorrow & The Next Day, Idee Fixe Records, 2019)
2. Charlie Whitten – Out Of This (single, 2019)
3. Kacy & Clayton – Carrying On (single, New West Records, 2019)
4. Kassi Valazza – Sad Songs (Dear Dead Days, 2019)
5. An American Forrest – Dark To Dark (O Bronder, Donder, Yonder?, 2019)
6. She Keeps Bees – Queen of Cups (Kinship, BB*Island, 2019)
7. Natural Bridges – Wind Chimes (single, Royal Okie, 2019)
8. Mike Adams at His Honest Weight – Wonderful To Love (single, Joyful Noise, 2019)
9. Matthew Milia – Alive at The Same Time (Alone at St. Hugo, Sitcom Universe, 2019)
10. Monnone Alone – I Wanna Hide in Yesterday (Summer Of The Mosquito, Meritorio Records, 2019)
11. Ona – Young Forever (Full Moon, Heavy Light, Hickman Holler Records, 2019)
12. Mac DeMarco – Heart To Heart (Here Comes the Cowboy, 2019)
13. Sunny War – Shell of a Girl (single, Hen House Studios, 2019)
14. Lydia Persaud – No Answer (Let Me Show You, Next Door Records, 2019)
15. Ramonda Hammer – Better View (single, New Professor, 2019)
16. The Get Up Kids – Lou Barlow (Problems, Big Scary Monsters, 2019)
17. Sebadoh – Sunshine (single, Fire Records, 2019)
18. Quaker Parents – The Gauntlet (Our Drawing Club, Vain Mina, 2019)
19. Fernando Viciconte – I Don’t Know (single, Fluff and Gravy Records, 2019)
20. Gold Light – One Thing After Another (Shadow In The Shallows, 2019)
21. Christopher Gold & The New Old Things – A Thousand Miles Away (single, 2019)
22. Caroline Spence – Angels Or Los Angeles (Mint Condition, Rounder Records, 2019)
23. Viitasen Piia – Meidän jälkeemme hiljaisuus (single, Texicalli, 2019)
24. Lowland Hum – Slow (Glyphonic, 2019)
25. Wayne Graham – By and By (single, Celebration Records, 2019)
26. Mad King Edmund – Repo Man (single, 2019)
27. Bror Gunnar Jansson – Body in a Bad (single, Playground, 2019)
28. Daddy Long Legs – Back Door Fool (Lowdown Days, Yep Roc, 2019)
29. Justin Townes Earle – The Saint Of Lost Causes (single, New West Records, 2019)
30. Emma Hill – Heart on Fire (Magnesium Dreams, Kuskokwim Records, 2019)
31. Lo Carmen – Now You Know Nashville (single, Chiquita Records, 2019)
32. Chris Gantry – Life Well Lived (single, Drag City, 2019)
33. Greens – Bigger (Greens EP, Fivekill Records, 2019)
34. SadGirl – Miss Me (single, Suicide Squeeze, 2019)
35. Jim Bryson – Better On Drugs (single, Coax Records, 2019)
36. Mikal Cronin – Breathe (single, Famous Class, 2019)
37. Arthur Alligood – Four Verses Into an Altar Call (One Night Only, Amiable Alleycat Music, 2019)
38. Ordinary Elephant – If I’m Being Honest (Honest, 2019)
39. Gia Margaret – Smoke – Acoustic (single, Dalliance Recordings, 2019)
40. Dawn Landes – Baby Please (My Tiny Twilight EP, Yep Roc, 2019)

Playlist link

Oh and do buy the vinyl/cd/download. Spotify and other streaming services are perfect for these introductory purposes, but try to buy at least the music that matter the most to you

If you are looking this after a week has gone, the embedded Spotify will show the latest playlist. I’ll just update the same playlist because a) if someone wants to follow it, they can just follow that one list and will get a new set of songs each Sunday b) so that I don’t have a trillion of different playlists on my Spotify account.

Continue Reading
1 2 3 529