If you haven’t heard The xx before, their unique sound is hard to describe, but it's irresistible. (I still regularly turn to their first record from 2009 for everything from road trips to cooking music.) The music is soft, and although the vocals are lovely centerpieces, they also somehow fade into the songs. Chord arrangements are simple but combine to make beautiful tracks.
Not many artists stay sharp, relevant, and great into their 70’s and later (Picasso, Neil Young, Vladimir Horowitz, et al., come to mind), I have no problem including Bob, at 71, in this elite group. If you are a Dylan fan and don’t have this record you must run, not walk, to your computer and order it.
Seattle band, Pickwick, have cultivated their own unique take on garage rock, gospel, and 60s era pop while interpreting those genres through a modern lens. KVNF DJ, Stephanie Ogburn interviewed the band backstage at Blues and Brews…
If this is your introduction to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, you are meeting a man part-genius, part-indulgent rambler. His score’s of albums under a variety of names (Palace Music, Palace Brothers, Palace, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Bonnie Billy, Bonnie 'Blue' Billy, & Will Oldham) are expansive and lonely, romping and snide, and all together strangely harmonious
Ukred, is exactly as fresh and lamby as its newly-birthed label, Normaltown. An imprint label of New West Records (Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle, Kristofferson). Normaltown, named for the artists district in it's home town, Athens, GA, was established to grow young talent without immediate expectations.
Another hauntingly soft and beautiful turn through the painful past of Mike Hadreas. This time the melodies aren't hung so gauntly on the notes of a singular piano, as with Learning, but fleshed out with a little more instrumentation and collaboration. Back deals with many of the same issues as Learning, but with a tinge of nourishment added to the pallor.