I’m Kingfisher – Transit & T. Hardy Morris – Dude, The Obscure

A quick post of two albums that I just bought during a small vacation trip to Stockholm. First up is the new I’m Kingfisher album Transit. I actually just saw him play at STHLM Americana festival on another trip Stockholm a month ago (am I spending too much time in Stockholm?) and even though I only caught the end of his concert, I was really impressed and captivated and instantly knew I had to hear his latest album.

I’ve been somewhat familiar with I’m Kingfisher aka Swedish songwriter Thomas Jonsson for a long time and I remember that I bought The Lake Acts Like an Ocean album when it came out a decade or so ago and really liked it. So I knew he was good, but maybe didn’t fully understand he was this good. Of course, Transit is the most fragile and stripped-down record of his career and that might be a part of the reason why I’m so fond of it. Even in the phenomenal Jason Molina discography, I love the early Songs:Ohia albums the most. Sorry if I drifted away from the subject, but it’s fairly clear that I’m Kingfisher has been influenced by Jason Molina. Anyway, Transit is now out on Fading Trail Records and I’m Kingfisher also has a Finland concert coming up on the 7th of August at Elmun Baari, Helsinki. Don’t miss out on that. I might because going to Helsinki mid-week on a workday gets a little difficult. So culture award for the person who books a Turku show for him for the following day. This is the gorgeous album opener What Good Would Loving Do Me Now?

I’m Kingfisher Website

A long time favourite, Athens, Georgia’s T. Hardy Morris has a new album Dude, The Obscure out on Normaltown Records (an imprint label of New West Records). Dude, The Obscure is his third solo album and after a couple of spins it feels like the best one. I really love that slow-paced, haunting dark beauty of his music. It’s kind of the side of T.Hardy Morris I first fell in love with when I heard his solo debut Audition Tapes and I’m thrilled that this is a return to that captivating sound. Nothing wrong with the second album either, but this is closer to my heart. Here’s the music video for the centerpiece When the Record Skips and my own personal favourite, the album closer Purple House Blues.

Oh and here’s a bit of a blast from the past. The first T.Hardy Morris I ever heard and a song that I still hold dear. It’s the title track of his solo debut Audition Tapes that came out on Dangerbird Records in 2013.

T. Hardy Morris Website

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Hurray For The Riff Raff – Pa’lante (video) + Concert at Pori Jazz 21.7

A quick video post for tonight. Pa’lante is an incredibly powerful song and the highlight of Hurray For The Riff Raff’s 2017 album Navigator. Besides being an extremely important and influential song, there’s also another reason to post this song on the blog. Hurray For The Riff Raff is the band to see this summer, because they will play at Pori Jazz Festival on the 21st of July. Alynda Segarra is an inspiration both as a musician / songwriter and as a good socially conscious human being who is willing to fight for what is right. She is the Finland visitor that we should all be talking about this summer. Here’s the music video that Kristian Mercado Figueroa directed for the song Pa’lante.

Hurray For The Riff Raff Website

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David Myhr, Sloan & The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness

Continuing with the quick round-up posts as a vacation activity. So much great music out there for one dude with a day job and I badly failed to feature all the cool stuff during the spring. This time I have some excellent pop songs for you, because hey it’s summer and everything and what could be a better way to spend it than go outdoors and listen to the finest kind of melodic pop treasures that 2018 has given so far.

First up is the new David Myhr album Lucky Day that came out 18th of May on Lojinx. Back in the 90s, David Myhr and Anders Hellgren had this band called The Merrymakers that released a couple of classic pop albums. That was the time in history when the Swedes ruled the pop world. Nothing to take away from ABBA, but hey it ain’t no Popsicle, The Merrymakers or The Wannadies. But enough with the blast from the past. David Myhr is super relevant in 2018 and his new sophomore solo album Lucky Day is a treasure for fans of pop melodies, sweet harmonies and catchy arrangements. David Myhr co-wrote songs with other pop maestros like Brad Jones, Linus Of Hollywood and Bleu, so the album has a bit of an “all-stars” cast at least for the ones who spent an early adulthood in the power pop circles like I did. Here’s the latest music video for album outtake My Negative Friend.

David Myhr Website

One of my all-time favourite bands Canadian Sloan also has a new album out on Yep Roc. It was released in early April and it’s kind of criminal that it took me this long to mention it. I suppose there’s no harm done, because I think it’s fairly obvious that I love the band and everything that they release. 12 is indeed the 12th Sloan album and the band has been continuously magnificent throughout all these years. I have all twelve and I like each and everyone of them. All might not be stone cold classics (and some definitely are), but even the ”worst” ones are pretty damn good. 12 is another gorgeous addition to the Sloan discography. Here’s the opener Spin Our Wheels from the new album.

Sloan Website

And finally a song that’s maybe a little more obscure, but still one of my favourite pop songs of the year. I don’t know anything about The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness, but I wouldn’t even be surprised, if the band members turn out to be people that I already know. At least they’ve been listening to the same music as I have, because this song Nervous Man is kind of like the foundation of my music taste in one song. There’s a beautiful pop melody, sweet vocals with harmonies and that lovely Scottish pop jangle. What’s not to love. I think there’s a seven inch single out sometime soon on the Spanish Pretty Olivia Records.

The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness at Facebook

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Patrick Sweany, Emily Fairlight and William Matheny

A late night blog entry. It’s 3 am here in Finland, I’m on vacation and I poured a little bit of whiskey into a glass and I’m introducing my heart to the new Patrick Sweany album Ancient Noise that is finally out here in Europe as well. Life is good, the record is too. Patrick Sweany is a master of soulful blues from Nashville, Tennessee and I’ve been fan since his 2011 album That Old Southern Drag. This new one was recorded at Sam Phillips Recording in Memphis and it’s got both the beauty and the howl. Here’s one early favourite that might not actually be the best selection for introductory purposes, but a bit of Country Loving just fits perfectly to this late night. Ancient Noise is now out on Nine Mile Records and you can stream/buy the whole thing by hitting the links on that Bandcamp player below.

Patrick Sweany Website

A jump across the ocean to New Zealand. Emily Fairlight is a folk songwriter from Wellington and her new album Mother Of Gloom came out in May. I bought a download of it a week or so ago and find it rather special. The songwriting is really good and her voice is powerful and captivating. Occasionally the voice reminds me of Hurray For the Riff Raff’s Alynda Segarra, but that’s obviously not a bad thing. Here’s a couple of personal favorites from the new Emily Fairlight album.

Emily Fairlight at Facebook

Back to the US and this time West Virginia to finish this little round up blog entry. You might have seen this new William Matheny EP on the mid-year list thing I did a week or so ago. It certainly would deserve a bigger blog post, but there’s so much great music out there for one dude who has a day job too. Anyway, Moon Over Kenova EP is sort of a companion piece to William Matheny’s excellent 2017 album Strange Constellations, but it sure has enough quality to live on its own merits even if you have never heard of that record. There’s some completely new songs, alternate takes, live versions and covers and it’s out now on Misra Records. This is the title track Moon Over Kenova.

William Matheny Website

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Jukka Nousiainen, Tuomas Palonen & Kuumat Siivet

I try to make a few of these quick round up posts as a vacation activity. This time three fairly new Finnish releases that matter to me.

The new Jukka Nousiainen album Ei enää kylmää eikä pimeää is my favourite Finnish album of the year so far. It’s got a really important message too. Of course everything it teaches should already be even naively obvious to all of us, but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case and a horrible lack of empathy seem to be like a running theme in this current world. Caring and kindness really isn’t that hard. Let’s do that instead. There’s no reason not to. This is Jukan tehdas from the new album that is now out and available on Jukan musiikki.

Jukka Nousiainen Website

Next up is the new self-titled Tuomas Palonen album that came out 11th of May on Palatsi. I really loved the Kuparilinna album a couple of years ago and this one does fall if not on the same ball park than at least pretty close by. This is a very endearing 60s/70s-influenced psychedelic folk album. Cynics beware. This will melt your heart.

Let’s wrap up this little blog entry with a song from the new Kuumat siivet EP Tänä iltana. This song Itke hänet pois won my heart over the first time I heard it and I’m happy that there’s now a recorded version too. So wonderful. Listen/buy the whole beautiful thing over at Bandcamp.

Kuumat siivet at Facebook

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Turner Cody – The Wee Wee Hours & John Calvin Abney – Always Enough

A small video post before it’s time to focus on football for the rest of the day. A long time favourite Turner Cody from New York has a new album called The Duke of Decline coming out sometime later this year I would assume. I’m not sure exactly when and failed in my search to find out. However, the first outtake and music video The Wee Wee Hours is already out and available and it’s a great song once again. Here’s the music video that was directed by Jimmy Giannopoulos.

Turner Cody Website

There’s also a new John Calvin Abney music video out there. This time it’s for a song called Always Enough and it was directed by Bobby Dean Orcutt. Always Enough is the album opener of his excellent 2018 album Coyote that came out the 18th of May on Black Mesa Records.

John Calvin Abney Website

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