Daniel Markham – Hyperspeed, John Calvin Abney – Coyote & Erin Rae – Putting On Airs

I’ve been either really lazy or really busy, because my blogging activity has again been next to none. So it’s time do a few quick round-up posts, because the situation probably isn’t going to get any better in the coming weeks and a lot of stuff that mean a great deal to me has been released during the last month or so. I hope to return to these with more time, but I just thought it’s better to at least mention that these amazing albums are out and available than just neglect them in hope that one day I find the time to feature the albums the way they deserve to be featured.

Daniel Markham is a lovely metalhead, R.E.M. enthusiast and a great songwriter from Denton, TX. Also one of my big personal favorites. His latest album Hyperspeed came out on the 25th of May and it’s an awesome 80s and 90s influenced alternative rock record. I shared the music video for Velvet Elvis earlier so here’s Silver from the new Daniel Markham album.

Daniel Markham Website

Just like Daniel Markham, John Calvin Abney from Tulsa, OK is also a big favourite of mine. The two have also toured together around the states. John Calvin Abney’s latest album Coyote came out on the 18th of May on Black Mesa Records. This one is quite mellow, heartfelt and everlastingly beautiful. I so wish STHLM Americana festival would have also booked a John Calvin Abney concert, because I’m going and he will be there as John Moreland’s sideman. Well I suppose the line-up is already so great, that I would have passed out of happiness, if they would have added him too. Anyway, here’s melancholic Sundowner from the new John Calvin Abney album.

John Calvin Abney Website

And last but definitely not least, something that is actually brand new. It’s the new Erin Rae album Putting On Airs that came out last Friday on the 8th of June on Single Lock Records. This Nashville-based songwriter put out a couple of amazing singles last year and therefore her new album was one of my most anticipated 2018 albums. I’ve reserved a vinyl copy to the local store that has not yet arrived. However, I’ve spinned this a couple of times on the Spotify thing-y and it definitely sounds like this can match my sky high expectations. Here’s the excellent title track of her new album Putting On Airs.

Erin Rae Website

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Andrew Bryant – The Price Was Right (video)

A quick video post, because there’s a new one available from Andrew Bryant. The Price Was Right is an outtake from his magnificent album Ain’t It Like The Cosmos that came out on Last Chance Records on the 9th of March. If I end up doing some sort of mid-year list, this is an album that will definitely be on it.

And here’s another future classic Night Wants The Moon from the new Andrew Bryant album. You can buy/listen to the whole album by hitting that bandcamp link in the player below.

Andrew Bryant Website

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Lauren O’Connell & My Terrible Friend

I’ve spent the past few days holding Lauren O’Connell’s songs close to my heart and I have absolutely no intention of letting them go. I’m good at hiding from the world, but I’m not sure under what rock I’ve lived, because I had not heard about her music until I got an email earlier in the week. So thanks Dylan for reaching out and bringing the healing powers of Lauren’s songs into my arms. To be honest, I kinda needed it and perhaps even more than I’m willing to admit.

Lauren’s latest album Details came out in February and it’s something to treasure. It’s definitely a heavy album and a lot of the songs revolve around her mental health issues. You can read her moving essay about the album here, if you want to know more about it. I hope to write a longer post about Details when I have found the words that will match the brilliance of it. It’s already one of my biggest favourites of the year and I love it wholeheartedly. And don’t get too scared about the difficult subjects. Yes, the album is pretty sad and fragile at times, but it’s also incredibly powerful and healing. I don’t have any severe mental health issues, but anyone who have read this blog are probably also aware that I have my troubles. I’m extremely shy guy with super low self-esteem and I’m horrified of every kind of social interaction for starters. So some of this hits pretty close home, but somehow in a relatable, humane and healing way. She has a way with words and is able to write folk rock songs that leave a lasting impression. Lauren O’Connell is a wonderful songwriter and Details is a special record.

A live cover of Gillian Welch’s Revelator.

My Terrible Friend is a collaboration between Nataly Dawn and Lauren O’Connell. Their latest EP I Tried To Be Kind came out in October 2017. It’s got a gorgeous otter on the cover and contains equally impressive music. Switch is the last song on the EP and I’ve watched the music video of it more times than I can count. Ok, my math skills are pretty horrible, but still a fair warning. You might fall madly in love with this song. However, it’s a good obsession to have. Next step in my life is to get to know Nataly Dawn’s other music adventures. And not that they need them after all the praising above, but still extra special bonus points for a great taste in selecting songs to cover. Youtube contains all kinds of great Lauren O’Connell and My Terrible Friend videos where they cover artists like The Zombies, Neko Case, Gillian Welch, Wilco, David Bazan just to name a few.

Lauren O’Connell Website
My Terrible Friend at Facebook

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Randolph’s Leap & Planes on Paper – Television

I followed Scottish folk-pop maestros Randolph’s Leap quite closely in the beginning of their career, but had lost touch a little bit. Thankfully their latest album Worryingly Okay caught my ear a week ago. It was released on the 25th of May by Lost Map Records. Here’s the music video for the gorgeous and poignant album closer Television.

Randolph’s Leap Website

Planes on Paper released their debut album Edge Markings on the 1st of June. They are a folk duo from the state of Washington and their video song is also called Television. If two wonderful albums that came out a week apart have such similarity, my super clever move is obviously to showcase them on this same blog entry. So here’s Planes on Paper’s take on the subject matter. Ok, in the end this might be more about us than that box in the corner. Well actually so is Randolph’s Leap song. Great songs and great albums. I highly recommend listening to these records instead of watching the television, but whatever feels good.

Planes on Paper Website

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Eden Prairie – Didn’t It Rain (single)

Some Finnish alt.country and folk rock this time around. Well actually the lead singer Peter Tierney is a British Finn originally from Wolverhampton who has also worked as a legal aid for death row convicts in New Orleans. So looks like the background check for a country singer will be passed with good marks. The band was actually formed a day after Richmond Fontaine’s concert in Helsinki, so that’s another one to the plus column. However, these fun facts wouldn’t carry that much weight, if the music itself wasn’t any good. There’s no worries though, because this new single Didn’t It Rain is rather excellent. They also released a pretty damn good album Stories from the Foot of the Mountain late last year. So check that out too, if you fall in love with the folk rock storytelling of Didn’t It Rain.

Eden Prairie Website

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Dogwood Tales – Too Hard To Tell

Dogwood Tales are Kyle Grim and Ben Ryan from Harrisburg, Virginia and their debut album Too Hard To Tell came out in February on Crystal Pistol Records. They recorded it live to 2-inch analogue tape and the album sounds warm and delicate. The whole thing is gorgeous, but I’m especially fond of the opening song Living In a Shadow and the final song Spiritless Machine. I just love the singing on the album. Both the beautiful lead vocals and the delicate harmonies. You can hear and almost feel their presence when listening with headphones. It’s like Quiet is the New Loud all over again, but this time from a country angle.

Dogwood Tales at Facebook

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