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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Mid-Year Favorites – International

A quick mid-year round up of the class of 2020. Thank you music and musicians for keeping me relatively sane throughout this first half of the year. Here’s some beautiful albums / EPs / songs that I’ve loved during the first half of the year. It’s been a good music year and I already came up with over 100 albums that I’ve either really enjoyed or that I find really interesting but haven’t yet listened enough. Maybe I should find other things to do with my life than listen to 5-10 new albums every week of the year. Anyway, the ones listed here is just a tiny fraction of all the good music released. Follow the weekly round ups and playlists for more great music.

These are in completely random order. Ok, maybe the Ron Sexsmith album is my biggest favorite, because it carried me through some dark nights earlier in the spring and it made a world of difference to have that familiar warm voice on my side during that time. But yeah, not a whole lot of thought went into this and I’m sure I simply forgot something and some good ones are missing because I haven’t yet listened to them a lot or at all. Something that’s not on this might easily find its way on the EOTY list in December. This is just a long list of some of the music that kept my 2020 as something manageable. The text and photos are actually in somewhat different order. I’ll fix it, if I bother. Maybe that just shows how unimportant the order is.

Albums of 2020

Ron Sexsmith – Hermitage (Cooking Vinyl)
Hello Emerson – How to Cook Everything (Anyway Records)
Christian Lee Hutson – Beginners (ANTI-)
Lilly Hiatt – Walking Proof (New West Records)
Tre Burt – Caught It from the Rye (Oh Boy Records)
The Innocence Mission – See You Tomorrow (Bella Union)
Daniel Romano – Content To Point The Way (and many others…)
Andy Shauf – The Neon Skyline (ANTI-)
Twain – Days of Effort and Ease
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Reunions (Southeastern)
Andrew Bryant – Sentimental Noises (Magnolia State Music)
Whitney Rose – We Still Go to Rodeos (MCG Recordings)
Jeremy Ferrara – With Every Change
Dakota Theim – Somewhere Under the Sun
Possessed by Paul James – As We Go Wandering
Anna Burch – If You’re Dreaming (Heavenly / Polyvinyl)
American Aquarium – Lamentations (New West Records)
Caitlin Sherman – Death to the Damsel
Adeline Hotel – Solid Love (Whatever’s Clever)
Caleb Caudle – Better Hurry Up (Baldwin County Public Records)
Joey O’Neil – Ever Ahead
Damien Jurado – What’s New, Tomboy? (Loose / Mama Bird Recording Co)
Drive-By Truckers – The Unraveling (ATO Records)
Leah Senior – The Passing Scene (Flightless)
Talitha Ferri – Get Well Soon (Soulpod Collective)
MAITA – Best Wishes (Kill Rock Stars)
Mark Fredson – Going to the Movies
Ariel Sharratt & Mathias Kom – Never Work (BB*Island)
Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud (Merge Records)
Jaime Wyatt – Neon Cross (New West Records)
Lucinda Williams – Good Souls Better Angels (Highway 20 Records)
John Moreland – LP5 (Old Omens)
Jon McKiel – Bobby Joe Hope (You’ve Changed Records)
Girlatones – Horn If You’re Honky (Meritorio / Lost and Lonesome)
Little Misty – Little Misty
A Girl Called Eddy – Been Around (Elefant Records)
Sylvia Rose Novak – Bad Luck (Due South Records)
Jess Jocoy – Such a Long Way
Peter Oren – Greener Picture (Western Vinyl)
Dana Gavanski – Yesterday is Gone (Full Time Hobby)
Mr. Alec Bowman – I Used to Be Sad & Then I Forgot
Stripmall Ballads – Distant
Vanessa Peters – Mixtape
Strawberry Heritage – Light Magic (Earthwork Music)
Sam Doores – Sam Doores (New West Records)
Mo Troper – Natural Beauty (Tender Loving Empire)
Joel Henry Little – Ephphatha
Jennah Barry – Holiday (Forward Music Group)
Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher (Dead Oceans)
Bart Budwig – Another Burn on the Astroturf (Fluff and Gravy Records)
Maybel – Gathering (Vain Mina Records)
Ali Holder – Uncomfortable Truths
Brigid Mae Power – Head Above the Water (Fire Records)
Jack Grelle – If Not Forever
Henry Black – Best of Henry Black
David Dondero – The Filter Bubble Blues (Fluff and Gravy Records)
Jesse Daniel – Rollin’ On (Die True Records)
Swamp Dogg – Sorry You Couldn’t Make It (Joyful Noise Recordings)
A.O. Gerber – Another Place To Need (Hand in Hive)
Logan Ledger – Logan Ledger (Rounder Records)

EPS of 2020:

And then some EPs I’ve enjoyed in completely random order.

Cayley Thomas – How Else Can I Tell You?
Luka Kuplowsky – Judee Justin Arthur Mary (Mama Bird Recording Co)
Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – Texas Sun (Dead Oceans)
Daniel Markham – Shed
The Deep Dark Woods – Broadside Ballads II
Fiver & the Atlantic School of Spontaneous Compositon – You Wanted Country? Vol 1 (You’ve Changed Records)
Terry’s Paradise – Shoobeedoo High, Shoobeedoo Low Pt.1
Charlotte Cornfield – In My Corner (Outside Music)
Via Mardot – Via Mardot (Eurotown Records)
Aaron Beckum – Songs from a Triangle Room
Will Stewart – Way Gone (Cornelius Chapel Records)
Sea Below – Sleeplessness
Katie Spencer – Live at Acoustic Roots (KRS Music)
Pickering Pick – Darshan
Abby Hamilton – Afraid of the Dark
Jacob Furr – Return EP
Esther Rose – My Favorite Mistake (Father / Daughter Records)
Elk Hound – The Hated Sun

Songs of 2020:

My song of the year so far is the new J.E. Sunde single I Don’t Care to Dance. I also listed just a few more great singles that aren’t on the albums and EPs above. There’s plenty of more fabulous 2020 songs on the playlist below. I know there’s some missing though, so I’ll do some further updates during this week.

J.E. Sunde – I Don’t Care to Dance (Vietnam)
NQ Arbuckle – Love Songs for the Long Game (Six Shooter Recordings)
Courtney Marie Andrews – Burlap String (Loose Music)
Zephaniah OHora – All American Singer
Chase Weinacht – Leap Day (Keeled Scales)
Dolly Valentine – My Astrology (Holy Golden Music)
War & Pierce – Amen (War & Pierce Records)
John K. Samson – Millennium For All (ANTI)

Playlist link

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OCTA Weekly Playlist – Episode #93

Another week, another weekly playlist.

I’ll keep this one short, because the weather is dreadfully hot this weekend and the computer isn’t the best companion during a heatwave. I also hope I didn’t miss too much stuff, because I haven’t done that much searching and investigating this time around. Feel free to drop hints of things I forgot or wasn’t even aware of in the first place.

The big new album releases for me came from Snowgoose and Kyle Nix (Snowgoose is out July 24th in the North America on Ba Da Bing, so the US/Canada followers of this music blog / playlist have to wait a few more weeks for it to arrive). Other great new albums on the playlist came from Country Westerns, Corb Lund, Will Hoge, Becca Mancari, Evening Hymns, Ray LaMontagne, Khruangbin, Alasdair Roberts, Jeremy Squires (this has been available on Bandcamp for a while, but it’s now available on streaming services too), The Dead Tongues, Bad Moves and Charles Walker.

The small Finnish section features new singles from Robert Ensio Niemistö, M, Laura Moisio & WANHA plus a new cover single from the half-Finnish Stockholm-based Astral Brain.

The song of the week is the first single from the forthcoming Luka Kuplowsky album. A beauty of a song. Another big one is also the new double single from Dolly Valentine. The album is due in August and I can’t wait to hear it. All the Dolly Valentine singles during the past year have been pure gold. It’s going to be a special album. There was also an album announcement from H.C. McEntire along with a gorgeous first single. And new singles from Andrew Bryant, Joshua Ray Walker, Kyle Cox, Trummors, Oceanator and so forth. Oh and the completely new find of the week for me was Wyatt C. Louis. I really like the Dancing With Sue single and I’m looking forward to hearing more when the album arrives.

That it’s for this week. I did a short Finnish mid-year list thing-y earlier this week. I’ll try to make some kind of international version next week. Love from a distance.

1. Luka Kuplowsky – Never Get Tired (of Loving You) (single, Mama Bird Recording Co, 2020)
2. Snowgoose – Goldenwing (The Making of You, Glass Modern, 2020)
3. Dolly Valentine – Love is Love (single, Holy Golden Music, 2020)
4. Kyle Nix – Blue Eyes (Lightning on the Mountain & Other Short Stories, Bossier City Records, 2020)
5. Andrew Bryant – Dixie is Dead (single, Magnolia State Music, 2020)
6. Joshua Ray Walker – Cupboard (single, State Fair Records, 2020)
7. Country Westerns – Two Characters in Search of a Country Song (Country Westerns, Fat Possum, 2020)
8. Corb Lund – Never Not Had Horses (Agricultural Tragic, New West Records, 2020)
9. Will Hoge – Even the River Runs out of This Town (Tiny Little Movies, EDLO Records, 20209
10. H.C. McEntire – Time, On Fire (single, Merge Records, 2020)
11. Becca Mancari – Knew (The Greatest Part, Captured Tracks, 2020)
12. Evening Hymns – I Can Only Be Good (Heavy Nights, Shuffling Feet Records, 2020)
13. Kyle Cox – Toy Trains (single, 2020)
14. Trummors – Late Arriver (single, Ernest Jenning Record Co, 2020)
15. Ray LaMontagne – Summer Clouds (Monovision, RCA Records, 2020)
16. Khruangbin – Dearest Alfred (Mordechai, Dead Oceans, 2020)
17. The Harlem Gospel Travelers – Nothing But His Love (single, Colemine Records, 2020)
18. Hiss Golden Messenger – Cat’s Eye Blue – Alive at Spacebomb (single, Merge Records, 2020)
19. Justin Wells – The Screaming Song (single, Singular Recordings, 2020)
20. Wyatt C. Louis – Dancing With Sue (single, Slow Weather Music, 2020)
21. Robert Ensio Niemistö – Rakastaa itseään (single, Jukan musiikki, 2020)
22. M – Se tuli mua vastaan (single, Solina Records, 2020)
23. Laura Moisio – Tummat hahmot -WANHA Remix (single, Texicalli Records, 2020)
24. Astral Brain – California Girls (single, 2020)
25. Alasdair Roberts – Second Perthshire House Song (The Songs of My Boyhood, Drag City, 2020)
26. Jeremy Squires – Luna (Eastern Glow, 2020)
27. The Dead Tongues – Deep Water, Strange Wind (Transmigration Blues, Psychic Hotline, 2020)
28. Oceanator – Crack in the World (single, Plastic Miracles, 2020)
29. Bad Moves – Same Bad Friends (Untenable, Don Giovanni Records, 2020)
30. Steven Adams & The French Drops – My Brother, The Racist (single, Fika Recordings, 2020)
31. Charles Walker – I Used to Think I Was (Charles Walker, 2020)
32. Bright Eyes – Mariana Trench (single, Dead Oceans, 2020)
33. The Jayhawks – Bitter Pill (single, SHAM, 2020)
34. Bonny Light Horseman – Green Rocky Road (single, 2020)
35. Emily Scott Robinson – The Time For Flowers (single, 2020)
36. Jess Williamson – Pictures of Flowers (single, Mexican Summer, 2020)
37. Dana Gavanski – I Talk to the Wind (single, Full Time Hobby, 2020)
38. S.G. Goodman – If It Ain’t Me Babe (single, UMG, 2020)
39. Sofia Wolfson – Billboard (single, 2020)
40. Cass McCombs & Steve Gunn – Sweet Lucy (single, Anti, 2020)
41. Shannon Lay & Steve Gunn – Clay Pigeon (single, Sub Pop Records, 2020)
42. Foy Vance – Thank You For Asking (single, Gingerbread Man Records, 2020)
43. Kalen & Aslyn – Don’t Take it Out on Me (single, 2020)
44. The Woolen Men – The Gold Room (single, Dog’s Table, 2020)
45. Tugboat Captain – No Plans (For This Year) (single, Double A-Side Records, 2020)
46. Yee & O’Brien – My My My (single, 2020)
47. T.Gold – You’re Not Gonna Live Forever – Live (single, Sleepy Cat Records, 2020)
48. The Speedways – In a World Without Love It’s Hard to Stay Young (Radio Sounds, 2020)
49. Jane Blanchard – Missing Me (single, Gerry Loves Records, 2020)
50. Phoebe Bridgers – I Know the End (Punisher, Dead Oceans, 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.

Continue Reading