Four Arms to Hold You: Matthew Milia, Anna Tivel, Kassi Valazza and Bart

Trying to get back to making other kind of posts too. I kinda hate that lately this has been just a playlist thing. It was supposed to be a bonus and not the main thing. So I’m starting this new random feature called Four Arms to Hold You in hope that it might spark some life back into this blog. I feel like I just need some recurring features to keep myself active. It’s so easy to let things slide and it has never done me any good. The cheeky title of the feature comes from Cheeky Monkey album. 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. Sometimes there might a theme, sometimes there’s no other theme except that I love them all. I try to do this at least once a week from now on. I think these will be mostly music and not a whole lot of writing. Everything that I will share on these are worthy of an essay, but time, energy (and skill) prohibits.

Starting from Detroit, Michigan with my absolute favourite album of the year. This is of course Alone at St. Hugo by Matthew Milia. I will be shocked if something else will be my album of the year when we reach the end of the year. I just love everything about this. It’s definitely more pop than especially the early Frontier Ruckus albums, but I’m a pop kid at heart (kid, who am I kidding. Old pop man would be more accurate), so I don’t mind at all. It’s sweet, catchy and engaging pop album that is filled with wonderful pop melodies, magnificent lyrics and beautiful singing. Bonus points for sporting a Big Star t-shirt on the cover. Why isn’t everyone singing and shouting the praises of Alone at St. Hugo from the rooftops? A dazzlingly brilliant album. Album came out on Sitcom Universe on the 3rd of May. You can grab a download from Bandcamp or buy a physical copy from Matthew Milia’s website.

Matthew Milia Website

Portland-based Anna Tivel is a tremendous songwriter. Her folk songs are powerful and full of empathy. Her songs have a good heart. The latest addition to her captivating songbook is the album The Question that came out on the 19th of April on Fluff and Gravy Records. One of the finest albums of the year and a real master class of songwriting. Here’s the moving video for the title track The Question. Directed by Robin Vada & Sarah Whelden.

Anna Tivel Website

Singer-songwriter Kassi Valazza from Portland, Oregon is a new one for me. I found her music thanks to Barna Howard who promoted the release concert of Dear Days Days a few weeks ago. I love Barna, So I went, listened and instantly liked Kassi Valazza’s country, folk and psych melting pot. Dear Dead Days has been a big favorite since it’s release on the 7th of May. Here’s a couple of personal favorites from this gorgeous album.

Kassi Valazza at Facebook

Last stop tonight is a street corner in Toronto, Canada and the great new Bart album Today, Tomorrow, & The Next Day that came out on Idee Fixe Records on the 10th of May. This is such a warm, rich, adventurous and beautifully arranged album where sweet harmonious pop melodies gently collide with complex structures. A treasure that keeps on revealing more with each listening session. Pink Symphony wraps up tonight’s little blog entry.

Bart at Facebook

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1 Comment

  1. Looks be the first two selections; gonna lusten to the final two as I was unaware

    Anna is playing our house concert series in chicago this weekend!cr

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