Adrianne Lenker, The Other Years and Haley Heynderickx & Max Garcia Conover

Continuing with these round-up posts. I’m not entirely sure are these kind of posts any good for anybody, but at the moment I just don’t have the time or energy to write long posts. Maybe these are better than nothing. If not, just shout STOP and I’ll think it over again.

Last Friday, the 5th of October was a pretty special release date. The new solo album from Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker was one particular highlight. Abysskiss came out on Saddle Creek and it’s a mesmerizing and enchantingly beautiful collection of songs. Shines as brightly as the Big Thief albums and stays with you long after the last note has drifted away from the speakers.

Adrianne Lenker Website

The Other Years are Anna Krippenstapel and Heather Summers from Louisville, Kentucky and their self-titled debut album came out on the same day on No Quarter. This is such a strong debut filled with beautiful lead vocals, surrounded by the loveliest of harmonies and accompanied by fiddle, banjo and guitar. The whole album is a treasure, but I’m especially fond of this remarkable song Talkeetna. I can listen to it on repeat for an hour or two. Such a beautiful song.

The Other Years at Facebook

Last but not least, we have an EP of the year contender. Two singer-songwriters Haley Heynderickx (Portland, Oregon) and Max García Conover (Portland, Maine) traveled to Spain and spent seven days in a farm among the horses and wrote and recorded a six-song EP during their stay. This approach seemed to fit them perfectly, because the end result Among The Horses III EP is tremendous. It definitely inspires me to look deeper into the work of Max Garcia Conover, because before this I was only vaguely familiar. I was already fully aware of the undeniable greatness of Haley Heynderickx, but somehow she still has the ability to leave me astounded. All of her songs on this little record are again quietly phenomenal and match the sky high level of her earlier 2018 full-length album I Need to Start A Garden. Here’s my early personal favorite from the new EP, but you need to hear/buy the whole beautiful EP. You can follow the links on that player to Son Canciones Bandcamp.

Haley Heynderickx Website
Max Garcia Conover Website

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John R. Miller & the Engine Lights, William Matheny and Nickel & Rose

Another one of those round-up type posts, because it’s a continuous struggle to find the time to feature all the great music that is being released. This time I shall begin from West Virginia where John R. Miller & The Engine Lights gave birth to one of my favorite albums of the past few months. I was a big Fox Hunt fan some years ago and have tried to follow the guys who sang their way into my heart back then. John R. Miller is one of them and his new album with The Engine Lights is equally magnificent. The Trouble You Follow came out on Emperor Records on the 31st of August and it’s a first-rate country folk album about leaving and being left and the struggles that it all brings. Here’s the first single Red Eyes from the album.

John R Miller Website

Next up is fellow West Virginian, friend and bandmate William Matheny who has a gorgeous new seven inch single Flashes & Cables b/w Christian Name out on Misra Records. Flashes & Cables is a loving rendition of a Centro-Matic song and Christian Name is a new William Matheny original. Max Nolte directed a music video for Christian Name. Watch that below and order a copy of the seven inch from his website.

William Matheny Website

Last stop this time around is Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the new Nickel & Rose EP Americana. Nickel & Rose is a folk/americana duo of Carl Nichols (guitar) and Johanna Rose (upright bass) and together they have created a very powerful and meaningful EP. The title track is important and awakening song about Carl’s personal experience as a black artist and being an outsider within Americana. The whole thing is just as good and I have to include Hard Day’s Work as well, because I love the song.

Nickel & Rose Website

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Ural Thomas & The Pain, Ben Pirani, The Sha La Das & Black Pumas

A small soulful blog entry inspired by Ural Thomas and The Pain. I have lot of interest in soul music even though I rarely feature it on these pages, because I don’t have the time or the knowledge to dig deeper into it. My knowledge of new soul music is pretty much just checking every week that whether my trusted go-to labels Colemine Records and Daptone Records have released something new.

Ural Thomas & The Pain is on neither of those labels, but the making of those weekly playlist led me into the comforting arms of their album The Right Time that came out on Tender Loving Empire on the 28th of September. Ural Thomas is a Portland soul legend that has performed with James Brown, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder. Ural released a live album and some singles in the sixties and seventies, but this new album is still, in many respects, his debut full-length. What a remarkable album it is. It’s beautiful, smooth and moves your body and your soul. Here’s a couple of great ones for a taste, but you should listen/buy whole lovely album.

Ural Thomas & The Pain

Next up is the latest from the vaults of Colemine Records. Ben Pirani’s album How Do I Talk To My Brother? came out on the 21st of September and it’s another magical soul gem. Ben Pirani has created some deep, beautiful and captivating soul songs. Absolutely love the vocals and the harmonies on this one and it’s so easy to get lost in these warm and mesmerizing sounds. Maybe even so that a song like Dreamin’s For Free hit me extra hard when I started paying attention to the words. The contrast between the sweetest of sounds and the heaviest of thoughts. It’s a good way to get the message through.

Ben Pirani Website

One from the Daptone family as well. This album Love In The Wind by The Sha La Das is a real family effort too. Bill Schalda and his three sons singing together in perfect harmony. This sweet soul and doo wop combination will keep the summer in your heart even during these dark fall nights. This is my early favorite Just For A Minute.

The Sha La Das Website

Last but definitely not least, one slightly older song from Black Pumas. This song Black Moon Rising has been on that best of 2018 playlist since its release in March 2018, but I don’t think I have shared it on the blog. Black Pumas are a psychedelic soul group formed by Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada and this is debut single is out on Karma Chief/Colemine Records. I can’t wait to hear the full-length album.

Black Pumas Website

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Gladie – 20/20 (song)

20/20 by Gladie is one of my absolute favorite songs of the year. I found it a couple of months ago thanks to the great The Grey Estates blog, bought a download and I’ve been spinning it frequently ever since. Gladie is a Philadephia-based indie rock band/duo formed by Augusta Koch and Matt Schimelfenig and 20/20 is the opening track of their Everyone Is Talking But You EP that came out 16th of May. The whole EP is really good, but this particular song is just insanely powerful and listening to it gives me energy and encouragement. It’s a good partner to have, if the everyday life starts to resemble an overwhelming chaos. Everything feels somehow manageable with this song on my side.

Gladie at Facebook

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Philippe Bronchtein, Holly Arrowsmith, M G Boulter & Doug Paisley

Following yesterday’s footsteps. It’s another trip around the world (or well some English speaking countries). This time in a slightly folkier setting.

We shall begin from Nashville, Tennessee. Philippe Bronchtein left Portland and the moniker Hip Hatchet behind and is now living in Nashville and releasing wonderful music under his own name. He has a new album Me and the Moon coming out on the 5th of October. The lead single and title track of the album surfaced a couple of weeks ago and it’s one of my favourite songs of this fall. I can’t wait to hear the full album in a few weeks. You can pre-order CD/casette from his website.

Philippe Bronchtein Website

Time to travel to Christchurch, New Zealand and spend an afternoon in the garden with the great folk singer-songwriter Holly Arrowsmith. Her second full-length A Dawn I Remember came out on the 22nd of June and it’s a really beautiful folk album with powerful songwriting. Here’s the album opener The Gardener. Follow the links on the Bandcamp player to hear/buy the whole remarkable album.

Holly Arrowsmith

Moving on to UK where folk songwriter M G Boulter and string quartet The Froe joined forces and created a compelling and beautiful EP called Blood Moon. It came out on the 31st of August on Hudson Records. I’m somewhat obsessed with the song Frances Forlorn, but maybe it’s better to go with stunning title track on this little blog post.

M G Boulter Website

Last stop Toronto, Canada. Travelling wears one down, so time to rest our minds and hearts by drinking with our dear friend Doug Paisley. Oh well, actually this Drinking With a Friend contains some heavy pondering, so it might not lift the spirit of the worn down traveller. Except that it does, because it’s an amazing song and the first outtake from Doug Paisley’s forthcoming album Starter Home that is due out on the 2nd of November. That’s going to be a late entry to the amazing 2018 album vault, so keep a slot open on your albums of the year list.

Doug Paisley Website

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