Four Arms to Hold You: Matthew Ryan, Jeremy Squires, Ryan Tanner and Craig Finn

A bit darker set of songs today, but like Matthew Ryan sings in this first one, hope is not absent from these songs. The song in question is called On Our Death Day and it’s one of the best and most striking songs I’ve heard in 2019. It might even feel a bit too heavy at first, but there’s so much love shining through that darkness that it’s able to carry all that weight. A deeply human song that stays with me long after the last breath of the song has vanished into the air. On Our Death Day is the lead song on his new maxi-single that also contains a new version of And It’s Such A Drag and a Leonard Cohen cover Steer Your Way (cover is only on the digital single, not on the 7-inch).

Matthew Ryan Website

Jeremy Squires from New Bern, North Carolina is a long time favourite. His hauntingly beautiful and poignant new album Poem saw the light of the day on the 17th of May. It’s a brave, vulnerable and a deeply human collection of songs. The hushed quiet beauty of the music gently collides with the dark themes of loss, aging and mental anquish. Towards the end the clouds start to drift away and the light begins to fill the heart of the listener. Here’s a couple of personal favourites from Poem. A heavy one called Orchid and the serene, heart-warming album closer Gift.

Jeremy Squires Website

I sure won’t let you easy this time around, because here’s another one that takes my breath away. Ryan Tanner from Salt Lake City, Utah released his new album These Electric Streets on the 8th of March. He has written some magnificent gospel-tinged americana albums over the years, but it is still way too uknown at least in this corner of the world. This new album is excellent once again and then there’s this one song A Hymn For Me And You in particular that hits me really hard and I don’t think there can be a human soul who isn’t deeply moved by this song by the time the last lines flow through the headphones. The lyrics, the backing vocals. Oh my. Everything about this song.

Ryan Tanner Website

I think it’s better to end this chapter in this Four Arms to Hold You story with Something to Hope For. It’s an outtake from the new Craig Finn album I Need a New War that came out on Partisan Records on the 26th of May. I think you all know The Hold Steady frontman and his solo adventures too, so I’ll just say that the new album is again a masterclass of songwriting and one hell of an album. Extremely highly recommended. Just like everything else in this little blog entry.

Craig Finn Website

Four Arms to Hold You is an ongoing feature with a weird name. It might not contain a whole lot of words, but it does contain a whole lot of love towards the featured songs. Basicly this is just four albums / songs / artists that have done their part in holding me together and therefore I want to tell the world or the seven readers of this blog how much I love them. Not entirely sure do these kind of posts serve any kind of purpose and I do hope I manage to write longer posts too. Right now it just feels like the playlists and these kind of short posts are the only way to keep this dear hobby alive. Plus it’s really the music that matters, not my random ramblings and these posts will always contain magical music.

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Four Arms to Hold You: Ian Daniel Kehoe, The Pearlfishers, Natural Bridges and Astral Brain

I know I’m bit overdoing the blog at the moment, but I can’t help it. I’m finally on vacation from the day job, so I have time for this dear hobby. So I put together another one of these silly Four Arms to Hold You entries for tonight. I’m not sure is it a strength or a weakness that the last post contained countrified rock’n’roll and this time I’m approaching pop music from a few different angles. Too very different, but equally awesome things.

This pop goes the world tour starts from Toronto, Canada with the glorious new Ian Daniel Kehoe album Secret Republic. It was co-released by You’ve Changed Records and Tin Angel Records on the 22nd of March. He has released several awesome records under the moniker Marine Dreams, but this time he went with his given name. The music world also knows or should know him as a masterly drummer who has played with The Weather Station, Andy Shauf and Julia Jacklin. Anyway, back to the new album Secret Republic, which is an awesome pop triumph. Synth pop, a whole lot of 80s, danceable rhythms. If I look that in written form, it looks like it couldn’t be much further from music taste. But if I hit play and listen, it sounds like it couldn’t be any closer to my taste. Inconceivable!

He is currently touring with Daniel Romano in Sweden and Norway, so catch his show if you possibly can. A shame he isn’t on the bill on STHLM Americana (understandable, because one would have to stretch the genre limit pretty far to include this..), because I would love to see him play live and grap a vinyl copy of the album too.

Ian Daniel Kehoe Website

Heading to Glasgow, Scotland for a date with the new The Pearlfishers album Love & Other Hopeless Things that came out on Marina Records on the 26th of April. Their music has been by my side throughout my whole adult life and I will carry David Scott’s songs in my heart for as long as I breathe. The new album is again full of beautiful melodies and timeless pop arrangements. Here’s a lyric video for album outtake Could Be a Street Could Be a Saint.

The Pearlfishers Website

Back across the pond to Oakland, CA for the new Natural Bridges album Residual Daydreams that just came out last Friday on Royal Oakie. I’m new to Natural Bridges and just a month or so ago I was hooked into their Good Medicine album. I actually thought it was brand new until I saw more Natural Bridges songs coming out and found out that it was their old record from 2013 that Royal Oakie reissued before this new one. Anyway, I already love this band and this is so completely my kind of music. They are blending together all kinds of things that I love. Timeless pop melodies, mellow soul moods, gentle 70s west coast folk rock plus namedropping a list of my all-time faves like Brian Wilson, Big Star, Todd Rundgren, Badfinger and so forth on the press release. I will keep on shouting their name from the rooftops. Here’s a great song from each of these great records showing two different sides of Natural Bridges.

Natural Bridges at Facebook

If you are fan of Finnish pop music and/or have followed this page during its early years you might remember a lovely band called Le Futur Pompiste. If you loved them like I did, I have good news for you. LFP’s Einar Ekström lives in Stockholm these days and he has started a new group with Siri Af Burén. They are called Astral Brain and they released their debut single From Above / Field Trip in April. I hope this is just the beginning, because both songs are utterly wonderful. These charming pop sounds makes me want to dig up my collection of 60s/70s soft pop-psych and that’s never a bad thing. Just ah.

Astral Brain at Facebook

Four Arms to Hold You is an ongoing feature with a weird name. It might not contain a whole lot of words, but it does contain a whole lot of love towards the featured songs. Basicly this is just four albums / songs / artists that have done their part in holding me together and therefore I want to tell the world or the seven readers of this blog how much I love them. Not entirely sure do these kind of posts serve any kind of purpose and I do hope I manage to write longer posts too. Right now it just feels like the playlists and these kind of short posts are the only way to keep this dear hobby alive. Plus it’s really the music that matters, not my random ramblings and these posts will always contain magical music.

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Four Arms to Hold You: Matt Woods, Nathan Seeckts, Christopher Gold & The New Old Things and Tyler Childers

These posts will keep on dropping on a daily basis now that I’m on vacation. Don’t worry, I’ll get back to the usual one post a month thing when the dayjob shoves the reality down my throat in a few weeks. I’ll throw in another gear today and add some rock’n’roll albeit countrified to this weird ongoing series. Starting with something brand new from Nashville, TN. Matt Woods is a long time blog favourite and his new album Natural Disasters is coming out on the 28th of June. A music video for the gorgeous album opener Blue-Eyed Wanderer surfaced yesterday. Directed by another huge blog favourite and personal hero Joey Kneiser (who also produced and engineered the forthcoming album).

Matt Woods Website

Moving on to Geelong, Australia for the next one. Musically we aren’t miles away though, because songwriter and storyteller Nathan Seeckts is delivering some extremely convincing country rock, folk and americana on his debut full-length The Heart of the City. The opening trio Old Blood, Beast Beneath the Bed and Sirens is a real homerun and the quality remains high even after that monster start. You need to check this one if you are into things like Lucero, American Aquarium and Drive-By Truckers.


Nathan Seeckts Website

Kentucky-born and Wisconsin-based Christopher Gold is the real unsung hero, if you are into the kind of music I posted in this little blog entry. He has this crazy or actually crazy good project going where he releases a new song every two weeks until he has 27 songs. I don’t know how he manages to keep the level so high all the time, because there’s about 20 of these songs out there now and I’ve probably liked them all (and most have been on the weekly playlists, I’ve left out a couple only when I’ve needed to give other artists some space too). These songs also form 3 different albums that will come available on his Bandcamp as name-your-price downloads. Here’s one great one from the first two albums that are now available. Showcasing slightly different sides of Christopher Gold & The New Old Things.

Christopher Gold Website

And last but definitely not the least, the new amazing Tyler Childers single / music video House Fire from his forthcoming album Country Squire. Maybe not the most perfect fit for this post, but not too far off either and I suppose Tyler Childers is so wonderful that he is a perfect fit with absolutely everyone. The success of Tyler Childers sure is some much needed reassurance that this music business can still make some sense. Country Squire will be co-released by Hickman Holler Records / RCA Records on the 2nd of August.

Tyler Childers Website

Four Arms to Hold You is an ongoing feature with a weird name. It might not contain a whole lot of words, but it does contain a whole lot of love towards the featured songs. Basicly this is just four albums / songs / artists that have done their part in holding me together and therefore I want to tell the world or the seven readers of this blog how much I love them. Not entirely sure do these kind of posts serve any kind of purpose and I do hope I manage to write longer posts too. Right now it just feels like the playlists and these kind of short posts are the only way to keep this dear hobby alive. Plus it’s really the music that matters, not my random ramblings and these posts will always contain magical music.

Continue Reading