Small Houses – I Remember Me (single/video)

A long time favourite Small Houses aka singer-songwriter Jeremy Quentin is getting ready to release a new album I Don’t Know What’s Safe in January 2019. The magnificent lead single I Remember Me surfaced earlier this week with a gorgeous music video. Watch the video that was directed by Phillip Harder below and grap a name-your-price download of the single from his Bandcamp. If the rumours are true and things work out as planned, we might get to see Jeremy in Finland in 2019. Meanwhile let’s keep this beauty on heavy rotation.

Small Houses Website

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OCTA Weekly Playlist – Episode #6

Another week, another weekly playlist.

This week gave us new albums from Ryan Culwell (masterfully exploring all rootsy corners from the sweetest lullabies to reverb-soaked rock’n’roll), The Bill & The Belles (old-fashioned American songs with sweet three-part harmonies) and Joel Henry Little (the 70s-influenced pop treasure I had the honor of premiering earlier in the week). Adam Faucett would obviously be among that group, but it isn’t available on the Finnish Spotify. New albums from Steady Holiday, Murder By Death, Lorkin O’Reilly, Whitney Ballen, Lemon Twigs rule as well. Plus then there’s of course all the albums that I’m not even aware of, because your blogger is hardly in the know and continuously miss a lot of great stuff. Tips are always welcome.

There were so many great singles that I really thought about expanding the list to 30 songs, because there just wasn’t enough space for everything this week. Boygenius material was all great of course and then there were also parade worthy new singles from Small Houses, Colter Wall, Emily Brown, Valley Maker, Laura Gibson, The Pollies, Justin Wells, Ben Pirani, Monnone Alone and a few earlier ones from Charles Walker and John R. Miller that I missed when they were released, but enjoyed during this week.

Obviously some of the finest albums from the last week (Austin Lucas, Adam Remnant, Mitski and Riley Pinkerton) stay on the list with a new song, but let’s stop this pointless rambling and get on with the playlist.

Dear 23 – OCTA Weekly Playlist Episode #6

1. Ryan Culwell – The Last American (The Last American, Missing Piece, 2018)
2. John R. Miller – Red Eyes (single, Emperor Records, 2018)
3. Austin Lucas – Happy (Immortal Americans, Cornelius Chapel Records, 2018)
4. Justin Wells – A Love Song (single, 10 in 20, 2018)
5. Riley Pinkerton – Beyond You, Honey (Nothing Ever Is, 2018)
6. Emily Brown – Take Me Up Slowly (single, Song Club Records, 2018)
7. Boygenius – Me & My Dog (single, Dead Oceans, 2018)
8. Bill & The Belles– My Carolina Sunshine Girl (Dreamsongs etc, 2018)
9. Joel Henry Little – Oh Shorakkopoch (Spuyten Duyvil, Life is a Minestrone, 2018)
10. Small Houses – I Remember Me (single, 2018)
11. Laura Gibson – Tenderness (single, City Slang, 2018)
12. J Mascis – See You At The Movies (single, Sub Pop, 2018)
13. Charles Walker – Sorted Out (Charles Walker / Ben Trickey split, Anthem Breath Records, 2018)
14. The Pollies – Fell In Love (single, This Is American Music, 2018)
15. Valley Maker – A Couple Days (single, Frechkiss, 2018)
16. Steady Holiday – Who’s Gonna Stop Us (Nobody’s Watching, Barsuk, 2018)
17. Monnone Alone – Cut Knuckle (single, Lost and Lonesome, 2018)
18. Ben Pirani – Art School Girl (single, Colemine Records, 2018)
19. Adam Remnant – She Has a Way Of Finding Me Out (Sourwood, Anyway Records, 2018)
20. Mitski – Lonesome Love (Be The Cowboy, Dead Oceans, 2018)
21. Colter Wall – Saskatchewan in 1881 (single, Young Mary’s Recording Co, 2018)
22. Lorkin O’Reilly – When The Days Cool Down (Heaven Depends, Team Love Records, 2018)
23. Murder By Death – Last Night On Earth (The Other Shore, Bloodshot Records, 2018)

Oh and 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.

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.

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Jeffrey Foucault, John Statz and Mariel Buckley

I wasn’t very active with the blog in the spring. Busy, lazy, worn out and all the other usual excuses. Anyway, a lot of stuff that I loved and listened to during the time went criminally unmentioned. Hopefully I’ll do a better job this fall. At least it feels less of a struggle at the moment and even though the weekly playlist is sort of an indifferent thing, it has brought some kind of structure and rhythm to the blog. It keeps me going on a weekly basis and that’s a really good thing, because it’s so easy to let things slide and then it’s so hard to start again. This way there won’t be any huge breaks. Anyway, Here’s a quick round up post of three albums that I enjoyed in the spring/early summer.

Let’s begin with Jeffrey Foucault’s magnificent new album Blood Brothers. Jeffrey Foucault is an American singer-songwriter from Wisconsin who has been releasing quality albums for over a decade and a half and therefore probably doesn’t need a whole lot of introduction. I’m very fond of this new album and for me it’s one of the finest in his impressive catalogue. The songwriting is first class and everything sounds endearingly beautiful, gentle and warm. Some might miss the blues rockers that gave some edge to the previous album Salt As Wolves, because that side of his music isn’t present on this new one. I don’t mind at all, because this is even closer to my heart. Here’s my personal favorite Blown that features the great Tift Merritt on backing vocals.

Jeffrey Foucault Website

Moving on to fellow Wisconsian although currently Denver-based John Statz. Jeffrey Foucault actually produced an earlier John Statz album Tulsa, so there’s a bit of a connection with these two great singer-songwriters. The new John Statz album Darkness on The San Juans is a broken-hearted, sad and beautiful collection of americana songs that came out on the 11th of May on Why River. It’s got an excellent Sheryl Crow cover Strong Enough, but let’s go with an original Presidential Valet on this little blog entry.

John Statz Website

I’ve been following Jeffrey and John for over a decade, but Canadian country/folk singer-songwriter Mariel Buckley is a completely new find for me. Sure she has been releasing music since 2012, so I probably should have found her music way sooner than on May 4, 2018 when the sophomore album Driving in the Dark came out. Well better late than never and all the other cliches. Anyway, Driving in the Dark became an instant favorite around here and I highly recommend it if you want to hear some poignant, moving and beautiful country songs delivered with grit and honesty. Here are a few personal favorites from the album to close up this little blog entry.

Mariel Buckley Website

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Adam Remnant – Sourwood

The debut solo full-length from Southeast Engine’s frontman Adam Remnant hit the record stores and our hearts on the 17th of August. The album carries the name Sourwood, it was released by Anyway Records and it turned out be just as good as I had hoped for. Which is a lot said considering Southeast Engine’s strong back catalogue and the awesome 2016 solo EP When I Was A Boy.

I don’t have any first hand knowledge of what it is like to live a family life in a small midwestern town, but I suppose it isn’t a whole lot different. The album feels very relatable for anyone who has stepped into the adulthood realities and while still being fairly content and appreciative about it all, also has the longing to pursue additional dreams as long as they don’t break that core that matters the most. It’s a true and honest reflection that comes in a shape of a beautiful folk/rock album that Adam Remnant recorded in his home studio. Extremely highly recommended. Here’s a couple of live videos of songs from the album. The gorgeous album opener She Has A Way of Finding Me Out and the almost hymn-like Carpenter’s Daughter.

Adam Remnant Website

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Riley Pinkerton – Nothing Ever Is

Riley Pinkerton is a NY-based songwriter and her debut full-length Nothing Ever Is came out on the 7th of August. I’ve been eagerly waiting for this one for a couple of years, because I think she is capable of writing captivating stories and wrapping them inside charming, poignant and beautiful folk songs. I’ve really enjoyed the earlier two EPs (one solo and one split with Henry Black). The debut full-length also contains some of the finest songs from these EPs, which is definitely a right decision. After all, it would be downright criminal to left out wonderful songs like Nothing Ever Is and Like The Lady Waiting By Her Phone from a debut album. Listen to a couple of my own favorites below. These two along with the the title track and Do You Understand? form me the backbone of the album for me, but you should definitely follow the links on that Bandcamp player to hear/buy the whole amazing album.

Riley Pinkerton Website

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Austin Lucas – Immortal Americans

Austin Lucas has a new album out and available and that’s the biggest possible news on the OCTA scale. Immortal Americans came out on Cornelius Chapel Records on the 17th of August and Austin co-produced it with Will Johnson. The new album might not be the most instantly catchy record he has made, but give it a few spins and you’ll be heavily rewarded when these exceptional songs make your heart their new home. In fact, this does feel like the most complete, personal and powerful album of his career, which is kind of a lot said, because I’ve also loved each and everyone that came before it.

The whole album is wonderful, but for me the highlight is The Shadow and Marie. It’s a song that I love, but I hate that there is a reason for it to exist. The song was written during her partner’s cancer diagnosis and treatment and it’s a deeply moving and honest reflection about the uncertainty and the resilience that came with it. There is darkness in the beginning of that song, but later it’s completely overshadowed by unconditional love. It’s an incredible vocal performance, you can really feel that unlimited love in every note that he sings and suddenly that song that came from the dark actually shines brightly and fills the room with warmness and tenderness.

Immortal Americans is now out on Cornelius Chapel Records. Here are the awesome title track and lead single Immortal Americans and aforementioned The Shadow and Marie, but you really need to hear the whole beautiful record.

Austin Lucas Website
Cornelius Chapel Records Website

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