Say you're an up-and-coming singer-songwriter and you're looking for an audience. You've got an active presence on social media, a deal with a major label and a proven sound that, while a little dated, probably would have sold reasonably well if it had come out around the peak of the late-'90s/early-'00s bubblegum pop era.
There is an unrequited yearning to Red River Dialect's music that's steadfastly pinned to hearts as they run every which way. That feeling is even written into the English band's album title, Tender Gold and Gentle Blue, descriptive colors that are warm and inviting but also vulnerable and given to telling hard truths.
Singer-songwriter Soren Bryce sounds like the type who has more ideas than there are minutes in a day. It's a particular kind of creative person: A novelist who wakes up with words ready to pour out, a painter who sketches compulsively on any available surface, a songwriter who rises in the middle of the night to capture a somnial melody. Bryce, who at 18 has taught herself six instruments and was classically trained on two others, seems to have the gene.
Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:55 am
On one hand, there's nothing surprising about Watkins Family Hour. When seven incredibly talented musicians get together to make music in a world-class studio with a top-notch producer, it's no shock that the thing sounds good. What is surprising is how well the album's diverse cast works together — there's an innate sense of understanding among the players, of the variety that only comes after years spent working together.
Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:52 am
There may be no more unlikely act in indie/electronic music than a sunglasses-and-keffiyeh-wearing wedding singer with a chain smoker's gruff voice. But Omar Souleyman is no ordinary musical act; if anything, he's one of the most resilient performers you'll see on the summer festival circuit, whether it's at FYF Fest, Big Ears Festival or Bonnaroo. Not that Souleyman's music is inherently strange itself.
Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:53 am
Psychedelic music is in the midst of a minor revolution, or at least one of neo-psychedelia's most pronounced revivals since the Paisley Underground in the early '80s or New Weird America throughout the second half of the '00s. While those two scenes looked to psych's closest neighbors — underground rock and folk, respectively — for help, psych circa 2015 journeys further to borrow a cup of pop sugar, as led by Tame Impala and others who obscure the line between Boomer rock and electronic music.
Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:51 am
Not many country singers under 30 could score a chart-topping hit with mainstream mainstay Blake Shelton ("Lonely Tonight"), frequent collaborations with elder statesman Vince Gilland a spot in Jack White's Third Man House Band — which is saying nothing of Ashley Monroe's recurring role in the all-star trio