Daniel Romano – When I Learned Your Name (video)

I’ve been going through the finest releases of the year, because I’ve been doing some rough early sketches of the year-end lists that I’ll try to write in sometime in December. I noticed that I don’t think I have even mentioned the new Daniel Romano album on this little blog. Well no harm done I suppose. The seven readers who have followed me throughout are already well aware that I love the music he makes. Anyway, let’s at least post one song from the new one, before selecting it as one of the finest of the year. Here’s the music chameleon delivering such a killer pop song that most power pop bands can only dream about reaching the same level. This is When I Learned Your Name from the latest Daniel Romano album Modern Pressure that came out in May on New West Records.

Daniel Romano Website

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Antti Alanko – Minne mieleni pakenet?

Finnish fingerstyle / slide guitarist Antti Alanko has a new album out and available. It’s called Minne mieleni pakenet? and the title fits the music perfectly. The mind sure has a tendency to start wondering when I put the headphones on and rest a while in the arms of these melodies and soundscapes. These songs are definitely best when heard live (well what music isn’t), but the whole thing does work beautifully on a record as well. My personal favorites during the live shows has been the ones he has played with Weissenborn, so I have to go with Weissenborn Improv in G Minor on this little blog entry even though it might not be the finest choice for introduction purposes. You can hear/buy the whole thing on his Bandcamp.

Antti Alanko / Devil Box Website

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Michael Rault – Sleep with Me (video)

It’s over 4 am and therefore probably it’s time to go to bed, but there’s always time for some pop wizardry so I’ll do one more quick video post while I’m at this. This actually suits this situation well, because the song is the new single Sleep With Me from Michael Rault. This Toronto-based songwriter was recently signed to Wick Records (the rock imprint of the wonderful Daptone Records) and the first outtake from his forthcoming album is this wonderful orchestrated dreamy and lush pop song. There’s again been a gigantic hole in my pop education and this is actually my first introduction to Michael Rault, but better late than never and all the other cliches. Anyway, I love this song and can’t wait to hear his full Wick Records debut when it hits the stores (I couldn’t find a release date).

Michael Rault Website

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Woodpigeon – Devastating (EP + video)

Woodpigeon aka Canadian songwriter Mark Andrew Hamilton dropped a new surprise EP that contains b-sides, rarities and remixes from his excellent 2016 album TROUBLE. Without taking anything away from all the gorgeous b-sides and remixes, the biggest treasure is actually the new music video for the lead song Devastating. Lorenz Tröbinger directed the video in Vienna and created something truly beautiful and perpetually moving. How can a video where in a way nothing happens feel like it’s everything. Watch the magnificent video below and grab the whole ep from his Bandcamp. Oh and take a listen to his whole back catalogue while you are there in case you are not yet familiar with it. It’s full of classics or at least should-be classics like Songbook, Die Stadt Muzikanten and Treasury Library Canada.

Woodpigeon Website

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Dori Freeman – Letters Never Read

Dori Freeman released a great self-titled album last year that received a lot of love. Teddy Thompson produced it and the two decided to work together again and the end result is a new equally amazing album called Letters Never Read. She has an incredibly voice and can write beautiful songs where modern folk songwriting gently collides with old appalachian roots music. This opener If I Could Make You My Own is the particular highlight, but the whole thing is really enjoyable.

Dori Freeman Website

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Charlie Whitten (feat Molly Parden) – Virginia

I’ll do a quick video post, because I don’t how I’ve managed to miss this one. I think I’ve said a couple times already that I’m madly addicted to Charlie Whitten’s Playwright EP. It’s my favorite EP of the year and well also one of my biggest favorites even all things considered. The only downside is that there’s just four songs and I would love to hear more. It’s sorta 70s folk singer-songwriter stuff that is beautifully written and sounds so warm and gentle even when other emotions take control in the lyrics. Virginia is the last song on the EP and I just saw this gorgeous Public Radio Sessions live version of it from 2015 where Charlie sings it with Molly Parden. Whoever is in charge with the English vocabulary haven’t yet created an adjective that is powerful enough to express how much I love this song and the way these two present it on this video.

And you’ll find the whole EP by following this link.

Charlie Whitten at Bandcamp

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