John Thumb – John Thumb

My heart found a new home in the comfort of these songs. I pretty much fell in love with this the second I hit play. Perhaps that’s a little weird, because bare, intimate lo-fi folk usually isn’t the most instantly catchy form of music. However, I found this instantly charming, warm and timeless. I don’t know a whole lot about John Thumb. He is a Canadian songwriter who used to play in The Good Hunters and now released this solo record on Other Songs Music Co. Other Songs is pretty much the reason why I found him, because I trust their taste and I love or at least like everything they put out. It looks like this one will fall into that love category. This Nowhere Bound for example is incredible. A small song can be a mountain.

Other Songs Website

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Porter & The Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes – Don’t Go Baby It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You

A year ago the world lost two gifted musicians way ahead of their time. Chris Porter and his bandmate Mitchell Vandenburg passed away in a tragic car accident that shook the music community. I didn’t know Chris personally, but he was someone I admired from a far. Both as a songwriter and maybe even more importantly as a really kindhearted human being. To me he always stood out as a man who had his heart in the right place.

Before his untimely and horribly unfair passing, Chris had recorded a new album called Don’t Go Baby It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You. Will Johnson produced it and Shonna Tucker, John Calvin Abney and The Mastersons helped Chris to record this awesome set of songs. It’s a wonderful album and I’m grateful that his fiancée Andrea Juarez, friends and Cornelius Chapel Records teamed up together and released Don’t Go Baby It’s Gonna Get Weird Without You on the 20th of October. Listening to his music is the best way to remember this beautiful man and especially here in the beginning these songs will make a tear or an ocean fall from the corner of my eye. Thankfully these song also have the power to kick my ass, if I’m in danger of falling too deep and in the end I will smile when I think of you Chris.

Porter & The Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes at Facebook

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Anna Burch – 2 Cool 2 Care & Frontier Ruckus – Enter The Kingdom

Anna Burch signed a deal with Polyvinyl Records and debuted with 2 Cool 2 Care single and music video. I’m going to miss hearing her voice on the future Frontier Ruckus albums, but hey what’s not to love about all of this. Frontier Ruckus is able to make stunning music without her and it sure sounds like Anna is also more than capable of creating fabulous pop music on her own. So in the end, my world gets even more phenomenal music than before. Damn Pitchfork already made all the pointless namedropping I had come up with, so I can’t use them. So I’ll just leave you with this wonderful pop song that I really love.

Anna Burch Website

I also have to use this opportunity to post a Frontier Ruckus song/video that I haven’t posted on the blog. Sorry about that. It’s my favourite band in the world, so what can one do. This is a very moving music video for the title track of the latest Ruckus album Enter The Kindgom that came out early in 2017 and have kept its place among the finest throughout the year.

Frontier Ruckus Website

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Anna Tivel – Small Believer

The laziest blogger tries to return one last time. I’ve run out of excuses, so I guess I have to start writing this every day. That is not a promise though, but I do try to do this somewhat frequently until the end of of the year. I know you’ve red this all before and I can’t see a reason why anyone would believe that (me included). I suck, but there’s so many 2017 albums and songs that don’t suck and therefore I want to write even a few quick words about most of them. In my current three week work cycle, two weeks are quite ok and should leave a little time for the blog. One is awful though, because waking up at 4am is not my thing and I just try to survive that week and won’t have any energy left for anything else. Doing the blog every 2 out of 3 weeks would still be a major improvement.

I already briefly previewed the new Anna Tivel album Small Believer, but a revisit is in order, because a) it’s out now on the always magnificent Fluff and Gravy label b) it’s one of the albums that I’ve loved the most during the last few months. Anna Tivel is a songwriter from Portland, Oregon and she writes stunning lyric-driven folk songs. The new album Small Believer is her finest so far. The dark beautifully told stories hit me hard, but also somehow still convince me that even the longest night will eventually lead to daylight. The cover art has been on that right column for a couple months and I don’t know when I have the heart to take it out, because I hold these songs very dear. This is Saturday Night from the new and amazing Anna Tivel album.

Anna Tivel Website

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Hiss Golden Messenger – Hallelujah Anyhow / Gifts or Creatures – Fair Mitten

I’ve been dreadfully slow with my blog writings and probably still haven’t featured some great records that came out something like half a year ago. However, I thought I make an exception and write a few words about brand new beautiful albums that just came out last Friday.

First we have the new Hiss Golden Messenger album Hallelujah Anyhow that is out now on Merge Records. To be honest, I’ve only spinned this once on Spotify so far, because I’m waiting for the vinyl to hit the local store. Therefore it might be a little too soon to praise it, but I’m sure I’m going to love it passionately. I’m ashamed to admit that I was a little slow in understanding the greatness of MC Taylor and Hiss Golden Messenger, but lately he has been one of my biggest inspirations both as a songwriter/musician and as a human being. His songs are remarkable and I love the way he continuously spreads love and tackles everything that’s wrong in the world. A true inspiration. If only we had kindhearted good people like him in charge. This is When The Wall Comes Down from the new Hiss Golden Messenger album Hallelujah Anyhow.

Hiss Golden Messenger Website

Gifts or Creatures from Michigan also dropped a new album into our hearts last Friday. It’s called Fair Mitten (New Songs of the Historic Great Lakes Basin) and it is a loving tribute to the Great Lakes Basin area and its rich history. Gifts or Creatures are a husband-wife duo of Brandon and Bethany Foote and they sing so beautifully together. The single Two Hearts (Two Peninsulas) and Green Gold are my early favourites and I could listen to such amazing singing all day long. Fair Mitten is a truly lovely record and it is now out on Earthwork music.

Gifts or Creatures Website

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Andrew Bryant – Robert Downey Jr’s Scars

The best music-related thing in my world at the moment is the new song Robert Downey Jr.’s Scars by Andrew Bryant. Popmatters premiered it earlier in the week and I’ve been listening to it over and over again. A monster of a song and I can’t wait to hear the full album. I already saw the tracklist and that it ends to the song Pay Your Rent and I can fully picture myself picking the pieces of my heart from the floor when the last notes of the record are floating through the speakers. Thankfully I’m also sure that while the record might momentarily break me, in the end listening to it will make me more whole.

Andrew Bryant is a songwriter from Mississippi who might still be better known as a member of Water Liars, but hopefully that will change sometime soon. Not because Water Liars aren’t any good. They are a wonderful band and I would definitely like to hear a new Water Liars album as well. It’s just that these solo outings of Andrew are out-of-this world great. The previous Andrew Bryant album This is the Life was a #2 on my albums of the year list and it’s still something that I hold very dear and even if I never heard those songs again, I would still carry them with me wherever I go. And yeah, Water Liars front man Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster also put out a gorgeous solo album last year, so things are going rather brilliantly in the Water Liars world even though it’s been three years since they released an album together.

Anyway, let’s end this pointless ramblings, because you could summarise everything I said with the words “I love Andrew Bryant”. Here’s the new magnificent song Robert Downey Jr’s Scars. I hope it’s already ok to post this. I always struggle to know what’s the proper netiquette when someone has premiere for a song. When is it okay for others to post it? As if my little blog ever took any readers from anybody.

Robert Downey Jr’s Scars is an outtake from the forthcoming Andrew Bryant album Ain’t it Like the Cosmos that is due out 27th of October on Last Chance Records. You can already pre-order it from their website.

And here’s an old amazing live version of another album track Pay Your Rent from the HearYa sessions.

Andrew Bryant Website

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