Lilly Hiatt, Whitney Rose, Caitlin Sherman and Abby Hamilton

Another small round up of 2020 releases that I’ve loved during the first half of the year. Kicking off from Nashville, Tennessee with a couple of songs from the new Lilly Hiatt album Walking Proof. I’m a huge fan and love this new record that came out on New West Records on the 27th of March. Here’s a couple of personal favorites, but hit the links on the Bandcamp to hear / buy the whole gorgeous record. Or better yet, order a copy from your local store, if you are lucky enough to still have one in your town.

Lilly Hiatt at Facebook
Lilly Hiatt Website

Moving over to Austin, Texas, but sticking with the finest country / rock’n’roll records of the year. The new Whitney Rose album We Still Go to Rodeos came out on the 24th of April and sounds mighty good. Here’s a couple of magnificent examples, Just Circumstance and Believe Me, Angela.

Whitney Rose at Facebook
Whitney Rose Website

While the first two songwriters were long time favorites, these next two are new 2020 finds for me. I love these records just as much though. Caitlin Sherman is a songwriter from Seattle, Washington and her awesome solo debut Death to the Damsel came out on the 14th of February on Small Batch Records. Here’s the remarkable title track from this dark and beautiful album.

Caitlin Sherman at Facebook
Caitlin Sherman Website

Last stop on this roundabout is Kentucky and the new Abby Hamilton EP Afraid of the Dark that just came out on the 12th of June. All four songs are excellent, but my personal favorite is probably this one called Change Things. I had to include the acoustic video too, because that’s how I found the song. This is just great songwriting. A captivating story with a plenty of instantly memorable lines.

Abby Hamilton at Facebook

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Twain, Damien Jurado, Sea Below and Junior

Another small round of songs and releases that I love. First a new Twain album that is always something to love and cherish. Days of Effort and Ease came out on the 19th of June and you’ll find it from Bandcamp. Here’s the quietly exceptional opening song Love, Go Lightly.

Twain at Facebook

The same applies to Damien Jurado. A new album is always a treasure vault of beautiful and moving songs. His wonderful new album What’s New, Tomboy? was co-released by Mama Bird Recording Co and Loose Music on the 1st of May. Here’s my own favorite song Ochoa, but make sure you listen to / buy the whole amazing album.

Damien Jurado at Facebook
Damien Jurado Website

A long time readers of this little music blog might remember German folk singer-songwriter Susanne Stanglow who released captivating albums as Haruko. The good news is that she is again releasing new music. This time under the name Sea Below. The first release, a beautiful EP called Sleeplessness came out on Bandcamp on the 6th of May. Here’s softly mesmerizing What’s Left from the new EP.

Sea Below at Facebook

Wrapping this little round up of songs and releases that I love in Missoula, Montana. If you followed the anniversany online festival of this music blog last September, you have heard this gorgeous song called Goddamnit. Back then it was performed by Hermina Jean who has since formed a band with Caroline Keys, Jenny Lynn Fawcett. Together they are called Junior and Goddamnit is the first single from their forthcoming album Warm Buildings. Check out the beautiful socially distanced music video below and pre-order the album from their Bandcamp.

Junior at Facebook

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Le Ren, Luka Kuplowsky, Julie Arsenault and Brigid Mae Power

The blog has been standing still for various of reasons, but I’m on vacation now and try to post a few songs I’ve loved the most during the recent times. First off to Montreal, Quebec for the new Le Ren song and EP announcement. Love Can’t Be The Only Reason To Stay was one of my favorite songs (and music videos) of 2019 and I’m thrilled that Secretly Canadian signed her and will release a new EP Morning & Melancholia on the 31st of July. Here’s the beautiful new song and video If I Had Wings.

Le Ren at Facebook

Moving over to Toronto, Canada for a double beauty from Luka Kuplowsky. Le Ren joining Secretly Canadian roster and Luka Kuplowsky becoming a part of the Mama Bird Family has been some of the best music news of this horrible year. We already got the cover EP Judee Justin Arthur Mary in April and it’s followed by an album full of own material on the 2nd of October. Here’s a Judee Sill cover There’s a Rugged Road from the EP and the first single Never Get Tired (of Loving You) from the forthcoming album Stardust.

Luka Kuplowsky at Facebook

Sticking in Toronto, Canada for a while, but briefly celebrating the finest music of 2014. The great Spanish label Son Canciones reissued and extended edition of Julie Arsenault wonderful album The Creature That I Call Myself. Here’s Island Girl from the original album along with a Southern Souls live video of Prochoice that can be found from the Mom Rock EP and from the extended edition of this album.

Julie Arsenault at Bandcamp

Last station on this roundabout is Galway, Ireland and my favorite song from the marvelous new Brigid Mae Power album Head Above the Water that was released by Fire Records on the 5th of June. This captivating and powerful song is called Wearing Red That Eve.

Brigid Mae Power at Facebook
Brigid Mae Power Website

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OCTA Weekly Playlist – Episode #94

Another week, another weekly playlist.

A really slow release week due to the 4th of July I presume. Well plenty of great singles, but not a whole lot of albums. The biggest album release of the week is Roll On by Water Liars. They recorded it five years ago, but it was never released at the time. Now they made it available on Bandcamp. The only international new album on this playlist is the new Willie Nelson album, but there’s wonderful EPs from Red River Dialect, Jane Blanchard, Jason McCue and Daniel Wright. That Tommy Alexander I mentioned a few weeks ago is also now available to stream as well, so I revisited it by adding the sweet closer to this week’s playlist.

The small Finnish section has a gorgeous new album from Robert Ensio Niemistö along with new singles from Grant Wood Company, Teini-Pää, Lapsuus and Jani Matti Juhani.

There was lots of fabulous singles and this starts with a golden song trio from Courtney Marie Andrews, Jenny O. and Le Ren. A new Bill Callahan song is always a treasure and then there was a new album cut from the forthcoming final Jason Molina collection. Not forgetting the greatness of Kristina Murray, Arlo McKinley, Rachel Angel, Charley Crockett, Renee Reed, Michael Robert Murphy (from The Wicked Whispers) and many others.

That’s it for this week. If this week’s playlist week was too short, there’s an eight hour long mid-year list here. I try to make a few blog posts now that I’m on vacation from the day job and have a bit more time to write and listen. No definite promises though. Love from a distance.

1. Courtney Marie Andrews – How You Get Hurt (single, Loose Music / Fat Possum, 2020)
2. Jenny O. – Psychedelic Love (single, Mama Bird Recording Co, 2020)
3. Le Ren – If I Had Wings (single, Secretly Canadian, 2020)
4. Red River Dialect – Front Row (Overabundance EP, Paradise of Bachelors, 2020)
5. Bill Callahan – Pigeons (single, Drag City, 2020)
6. Kristina Murray – The Great Unknown (single, Loud Magnolia, 2020)
7. Arlo McKinley – Die Midwestern (single, Oh Boy Recordings, 2020)
8. Rachel Angel – Highway Songs (single, Public Works, 2020)
9. Charley Crockett – Run Horse Run (single, Son of Davy, 2020)
10. Jason Molina – The Mission’s End (single, Secretly Canadian, 2020)
11. Jason McCue – When This Passes (Apocalypse EP, Fluff and Gravy Records, 2020)
12. Jane Blanchard – Still, Again (Still, Again EP, Gerry Loves Records, 2020)
13. Michael Robert Murphy – Out Of Sight (single, 2020)
14. Daniel Wright – What I Know Now (Wild House EP, Echo Magic, 2020)
15. Humbird – Lincoln, Nebraska (single, Green Thumb, 2020)
16. Renee Reed – Until Tomorrow (single, Keeled Scales, 2020)
17. Dolly Valentine – Stupid Love Song (single, Holy Golden Music, 2020)
18. Grace Gillespie – Empty in the Capital (single, Kaleidoscope, 2020)
19. Native Harrow – Shake (single, Loose Music, 2020)
20. Low Cut Connie – Stay as Long as You Like (single, Contender Records, 2020)
21. Grant Wood Company – Invitation (single, Karhuvaltio Records, 2020)
22. Robert Ensio Niemistö – Tasahaikka (Joilla on korvat se kuulkoon, Jukan Musiikki, 2020)
23. Jani Matti Juhani – Polttava rakkaus (single, Ainoa, 2020)
24. Teini-Pää – Koko kuuman kesän (single, 2020)
25. Lapsuus – Rikkinäisen sydämen tuoksu (single, Stupido Records, 2020)
26. Tedo Stone – Town After Town (single, Laser Brains, 2020)
27. Pop Filter – Big Yellow Van (single, 2020)
28. Merce Lemon – Baby (single, Darling Recordings, 2020)
29. Slight Of – Other People (single, Dadstache, 2020)
30. Corey Flood – Heaven Or (single, Fire Talk, 2020)
31. SASAMI – Toxicity (single, Domino, 2020)
32. Shirley Collins – Sweet Greens and Blues (single, Domino, 2020)
33. Dojo Cuts feat Roxanne – Crazy Good (single, DCR, 2020)
34. Theo Lawrence – We Shouldn’t Talk About It (Plus de Sauce, Tomika, 2020)
35. Willie Nelson – I’m the Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised (First Rose of Spring, Sony Music, 2020)
36. Lauren O’Connell – I Fall to Pieces (single, 2020)
37. This is The Kit – This is What You Did (single, Rough Trade, 2020)
38. Tim Easton – When I See You Again (single, 2020)
39. Annie Dressner – Book of Love (single, 2020)
40. James Elkington – Beechwood Park (single, Paradise of Bachelors, 2020)
41. Jeremy Squires – In the Dark (Eastern Glow, 2020)
42. Tommy Alexander – Doing Things Together (Waves, 2020)

Playlist link

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

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.

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