Izaak Opatz – Got To Me Since & Courtney Marie Andrews – Took You Up

A quick video post with a couple of future classics from the Mama Bird vaults. First we have a new video from Izaak Opatz whose excellent album Mariachi Static will be reissued by Mama Bird Recording Co on the 20th of July. This one definitely deserves a reissue, because it’s a damn good album that flew under the radar in 2017. I first heard about it when songwriting wizard and a man with great taste Andrew Combs had it on his top 10 for the year (Spotify playlist curating champion Songpickr posted the list back in December or January). I instantly loved it and bought the download and I’ve had it on heavy rotation ever since. Here’s the new music video for album opener Got To Me Since.

Izaak Opatz Website

Moving on to one of my favorite songs and albums of the year so far. Took You Up is a phenomenal outtake from the new Courtney Marie Andrews album May Your Kindness Remain that was co-released by Mama Bird, Fat Possum and Loose earlier in the year. Here’s the new music video for the song.

Courtney Marie Andrews Website

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Rachel Angel – Not Enough (EP) + Gold Flake Paint

Tom is making the rest of us look bad. Besides running the finest music blog on the planet, he also started a record label Human Noise Records. Just joking about the making bad part of course. I am actually inspired by his productivity and do hope I learn to stop wasting my time on worthless nonsense and find similar courage to follow my dreams. In case you are not familiar with the music magazine Gold Flake Paint, I highly recommend checking it out. I think it might well the best music site there is at the moment. The level of writing and the significance of it can match the level of any bigger publication and every article still contains a labour of love spirit. So if you think of big media outlets and music blogs, Gold Flake Paint kinda captures the best of both worlds and by doing that the value of it rises through the roof.

The first signing of Human Noise Records is Brooklyn-based songwriter Rachel Angel. The digital only EP Not Enough came out on the 27th of April and it’s very beautiful release where indie rock and americana gently collides. A bit like Angel Olsen, Hand Habits or maybe even solo Rose Melberg, but let’s not get too far into the pointless namedropping. Here’s wonderful In Low from the brand new EP. You can hear/buy the whole gorgeous release at Bandcamp.

Rachel Angel at Facebook
Gold Flake Paint Website

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Clint Michigan – Centuries

Sorry for the lack of action. I’ve been busy mastering the art of being stressed out and for no apparent reason. I have a wife and a cat and I love them and they love me back. That foundation is what matters to me and there’s no sane explanation why do I keep on creating a crisis out of things that in the end are just trivial. Thankfully music is a shoulder that keeps me from falling down to the ground. Lately it has been the new Clint Michigan album Centuries that has played a part in carrying me through the self-created dark and given me some reprieve from the stressful worthless anxieties of the everyday life. I suppose that might be a little weird thing to say, because Centuries is a dark and melancholic folk album where Clint Asay tackles his own struggles, addictions and insecurities. However, he does it all in such a beautiful and moving manner that in the end all that underlying sadness turns into something quite comforting and reassuring. Life can be hard and even good people can make bad decisions, but it’s also possible to find a way to cope with them. Part of Clint’s recovery from his struggles probably was to create this poignant, humane and open album that leaves a lasting impression. Part of mine is to write this little blog about the music that mean the world to me. Centuries fall into that category.

Centuries came out on Kiam Records on the 27th of April. This is the new animated music video for album outtake Shirt Off.

Clint Michigan Website

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Idle Hands – Swarm of Fear

I often wonder why do I force myself to go through hundreds of promo emails each week on my spare time, because it seems like most of them are approaching a completely wrong blog. The reason is that every now and then something new comes along that is a perfect match with my heart. A month ago the band that caused that magical moment was an English folk rock band Idle Hands. Their song Swarm of Fear is a song about love, admiration, conflict, pressure, worry and the mental and physical strains of being a caregiver. Moving lyrics, beautiful harmonies, sweet melodies and that one part that reminds me of The Lucksmiths. I couldn’t ask for much more. Such a gorgeous song.

Idle Hands at Facebook

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Sarah Shook & The Disarmers – Years

In case you are looking for a kick-ass country record, you can put the map aside for a moment and just hit play below or use that map to navigate to the nearest record store and purchase a copy of the new Sarah Shook & The Disarmers album Years. It came out on Bloodshot Records on the 6th of April and it’s one of my favorite records of the year. A lot of the songs revolve around toxic relationships, but even the downhearted moments of the songs have certain bite and fearlessness that kick out the misery from the heart of the listener. A damn brilliant and badass record and I can’t wait to see the band live at STHLM Americana festival in June.

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers Website

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Espanola – Outside Saskatoon (single)

Aaron Goldstein has worked with a lot of great Canadian artists/bands, including many of my personal favorites like Daniel Romano, Bry Webb & Matt Paxton (he was also here in Finland playing pedal steel on Daniel Romano’s first Finland tour a few years ago). Besides doing touring, recording and producing work with/for other artists, the man also writes excellent alt.country songs and releases them under the name Espanola. He just put out a new digital single. The lead track is an excellent countrified rock’n’roller Outside Saskatoon and b-side is a cover of The Tragically Hip song It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken. More to come hopefully later this year.

Espanola at Facebook

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