Damien Jurado, Esther Rose, Steve Sloane, Anna Tivel & Le Ren

Hey a blog entry that is not just a somewhat irrelevant playlist post. These songs have all be on the playlists though. So you have already heard these, if you are following them. Anyway, here’s a small round-up post of a few amazing songs that I’ve madly fallen in love with during these first months of the year.

Starting off with the first single South from the forthcoming Damien Jurado album In the Shape of a Storm. A new Damien Jurado album is a parade-worthy event even on its own, but the news that the album will be released by Mama Bird Recording Co (USA) and Loose Music (UK/Europe) made me immensely happy. Damien Jurado joining Mama Bird family just makes perfect sense. The album is due out on the 12th of April, but here’s the beautiful and sparse first outtake South.

And because I’m so slow with my blog writings, there’s actually also a gorgeous second single available. Damien Jurado originally wrote this song Lincoln back in 1998 for his 3rd album Ghost Of David and now this hidden treasure will finally see the light of the day as the album opener of In The Shape of a Storm.

Damien Jurado Website

One of my big new favorites is New Orleans-based country/folk songwriter Esther Rose. The excellent Father/Daughter Records released her new single Don’t Blame it On the Moon on the 6th of February and I’ve been somewhat obsessed with this wonderful song. I also highly recommend her 2017 album This Time Last Night that I managed to miss back then (further proof that you need better music sources than this little blog).

Esther Rose at Facebook

Steve Sloane is a Toronto-based songwriter who used to release rather remarkable albums under the name Hinindar. Now he uses his own given name and released a new album Near Death on the 3rd of February. I’m not sure do I have the words to describe it, but I have the heart to feel it. Exceptional art. This song Let All In in particular has given me a shoulder to lean on during the last few weeks. Another blog favourite Julie Arsenault sings beautiful harmonies on the song.

Steven Sloane / Hinindar at Facebook

Next up is the title track The Question of the new Anna Tivel album that will be released on the 19th of April by Portland-based Fluff and Gravy Records. This is one of my most anticipated albums of the year, because I love her songwriting and I have full trust in the producer Shane Leonard to add even further magic into her moving songs.

Anna Tivel Website

Let’s wrap this little blog entry with Love Can’t Be the Only Reason to Stay by Le Ren. Such a powerful song and this magnificent music video directed by Ali Vanderkruyk makes the impact of the song even stronger. Love sure can’t be the only reason to stay. That’s it for now, hopefully another post sometime soon-ish, but no promises whatsover.

Le Ren Website

Continue Reading

Better Oblivion Community Center, Christian Lee Hutson, Dylan Rodrigue and Crane Like The Bird

Better Oblivion Community Center does not need an introduction, because by now pretty much everyone has heard of this new collaboration between Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst. Their wonderful album is out on Dead Oceans and there’s a big tour on the horizon. This one actually hits Finland too and they will play at Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki on the 29th of April. Tickets are on sale now, so go and get yours, if you want to hear two magnificent songwriters sing together in beautiful harmony.

Better Oblivion Community Center Website

Oh and there’s actually three first class songwriters on the bill, because Christian Lee Hutson (who also plays in BOCC) is the support artist. Therefore I have to use this opportunity to repost his song called I Just Can’t Fucking Do It Anymore, because I love the song and have been desperately waiting for a new Christian Lee Hutson album since I heard it a few years ago.

Christian Lee Hutson Website

Then a couple of new favorites to round up tonight’s little blog post. First up is Dylan Rodrigue from Los Angeles and his debut album Cat’s Game that came out on the 25th of January on Bad Paintings (UK/Europe) and Palomino (US). It’s pretty stripped-down and lo-fi, but still insanely powerful. Occasionally every stroke of the guitar just cuts straight through me. It’s imperfect in a good way and feels real and alive. It ranges from folk songs to raw indie rockers. I’m especially fond of Some Kind of Heaven and this song called Self-Love.

Dylan Rodrigue Website

Staying in Los Angeles for the last entry. Kyle Crane has played with Neko Case, Daniel Lanois and lots of others but he also makes his own music as Crane Like The Bird. His new self-titled album saw the light of the day on the 18th of January. He has an all-star cast helping him and the album features folks like Ben Bridwell, M.Ward and James Mercer. The beautiful and moving song that can wrap up this little blog post is obviously the one that features Conor Oberst on vocals and tells a story of a snowboarding trip that Kyle made with his late father.

Crane Like The Bird at Facebook

Continue Reading

Twain, Caroline Spence, Cale Tyson & Charlie Whitten

Tonight’s small round up starts with the 2 new EPs from the legendary Twain. Alternator has been available digitally before, but New Miami Sound is entirely new addition to his catalogue. New Miami Sound is also sort of a Side C for his magnificent Rare Feeling album. The songs are from the same sessions, but didn’t quite fit on that amazing album. If you are new to Twain, the album Rare Feeling is probably the place to start. That record is everything, but these lovely EPs don’t fall far behind. Even during their dark and devastating moments, Twain’s songs somehow manage to feel warmhearted and full of empathy. The two EPs came out on Keeled Scales on the 25th of January.

Twain at Facebook

One of my most anticipated 2019 releases is the new Caroline Spence’s album Mint Condition that will be out on Rounder Records on the 3rd of May. I still have to wait a few months for the album, but an awesome two song digital single Long Haul / Mint Condition did surface a couple of weeks ago. Both songs are winners, but here’s the album closer and title track Mint Condition that also features Emmylou Harris.

Caroline Spence Website

Cale Tyson takes a new direction on his new EP Narcissist. He has written some gorgeous traditional country songs in the past and on the last full-length he explored country soul horizons. This time he wrote a fragile and honest EP and recorded it in his bedroom. It’s stripped-down and vulnerable, but leaves a strong impression on the listener. Bonus points for being able to use the word “instagram” and getting away with it. Just shows that everything can work, if you are a good songwriter. This is definitely more indie than country and therefore some old fans might struggle. I don’t mind at all. These labels are nonsense anyway. This is really good, maybe even the best thing he has done. And that’s all that matters.

Cale Tyson Website

Let’s wrap up tonight’s round up post with the new video from Charlie Whitten. If you followed this little back in 2017, you know that I absolute loved his Playwright EP. The Weather Station album and that EP were by far the most important releases of that year for me. There’s a new 4-song EP on the horizon and the first outtake is available as a magnificent music video. Out Of This was directed by Anthony Simpkins from the GemsOnVHS fame. Insanely good and I can’t wait to hear the new EP.

Charlie Whitten Website

Continue Reading