new release Archive

Hundred-word Reviews: September 2017

Time for some more hundred-word reviews; new music from many different genres. Linsey Alexander – Two Cats (Delmark) A lot of modern-day blues has a sterility that makes it the sonic equivalent of a museum display: too perfect, too slick, soulless. Linsey Alexander is having none of that on Two Cats. The 75-year old blues

EP Review: DJ Audio — Shut it Down

The advent of low-cost, do-it-yourself recording technology has put the power to create music in the hands of a wider group of creative musicians. Knocking down barriers to entry has meant that the virtual stranglehold the corporate music industry has exerted is now far less absolute. But alongside those advances, these seismic changes in the

Album Review: Various Artists — Songs, Bond Songs

Andrew Curry‘s label has released an impressive clutch of tribute-type albums, including ones focusing on 80s pop, “lite rock” and so on. For the most part, the artists involved tend to fall at least loosely into the power pop subgenre. Curry Cuts’ latest project is Songs, Bond Songs. And as the title (and wonderfully clever

Album Review: Secret Agent 23 Skidoo — Mozartistic

At its best, kid-hop is a family friendly version of hip-hop, with lyrics full of universal appeal. Because while not everyone can identify with slice-of-life reality depicted in some rap and hip-hop, everyone has been a kid. Many still are. And at its best, kid-hop takes the form of the music made by sometime Asheville

Album Review: The Bye Bye Blackbirds — Take Out the Poison

The Bye Bye Blackbirds’ fourth album, 2015’s We Need the Rain was characterized by a seeming desire to exemplify the best of what makes powerpop appealing while moving beyond its relatively confining parameters on some of the album’s material. While We Need the Rain was an excellent record, the presence of those twin goals made

Album Review: Gel-Sol — Horse Head Bookends

It’s inevitable: the first thing one notices about Horse Head Bookends, the latest album from Andrew Reichel (d/b/a/ Gel-Sol), is its stunningly original album artwork and packaging. The vinyl LP is housed in a black, die-cut sleeve with a front window that serves as a frame for a 12×12 full-color art. There’s a collage for

Matthew Sweet on Tomorrow and Thereafter

Nearly six years passed between the release of Modern Art, Matthew Sweet’s 11th album, and 2017’s Tomorrow Forever. In the interim, the songwriter-guitarist released a third album of covers with Susanna Hoffs, moved back to his native Nebraska, and embarked upon a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign to finance his latest album. And while the 17-track

Matthew Sweet: Tomorrow is Here (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Crowd funding an album is a new experience for Matthew Sweet, and so far it’s been a very positive experience. The campaign for Tomorrow Forever took in nearly twice its target amount of $32,000. But Sweet says that the raw numbers are a bit misleading. “I did really well in what

Matthew Sweet: Tomorrow is Here (Part 1)

Matthew Sweet started out making music in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. Moving to Athens for college, he fell in with the vibrant music scene there, playing with Oh-OK and The Buzz of Delight. After scoring a record deal with Columbia (and then with A&M), Sweet released a pair of albums (1986’s Inside and 1989’s

Super Doppler Gets Called Up to the Majors

As Major and the Monbacks*, Super Doppler signed with tastemaking independent record label Yep Roc* just a few months ago, but the Norfolk, Virginia band isn’t exactly a new act. “There was a long and winding road to Yep Roc,” says multi-instrumentalist Neil Friedman. “We’ve been playing together as some form of this group for