Album Of The Year

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This Florida-based band is fresh, quirky and sexy. Their new album Arduino dropped on October 4, and is the band’s third record since their self-titled album in 2012. Arduino is the perfect combination of ‘50s rockabilly and ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll. It’s exactly what you need to listen to if you’re in the mood to jam.Instead of sounding like a carbon copy of Robert Plant, though, The Woolly Bushmen create a distinctive new sound by meshing doo-wop, soul and rock together while using unconventional instruments like the VOX organ.

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Arduino starts off strong and stays that way. From the first drumbeat and guitar riff, you know you’re in love. You hear Simon Palombi’s voice and then you really know you’re in love. He sings, he wails, he screams and sometimes sounds a little like Elvis. Goddamn. The band’s lyrics are honest and sometimes dark, but the ambiance from the VOX organ creates an aura of fun vibes.

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Califone – All My Friends Are Funeral Singers 2009

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So the other day i pulled this out from my collection only because i was sifting through it and thought ” shit i haven’t played these guys for what seems like years” So on the player it went and it still holds well ,

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I believe this is what Wilco would of sounded and developed into if they had the balls . if you haven’t came across these guys yet then i would highly recommend starting with this album . i know its not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but its a cup of tea that should be sipped .

 

The Wynntown Marshalls – After All These Years 2017

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As the title “After All These Years” might suggest, this is a retrospective set marking Edinburgh’s ringing guitars Americana outfit’s ten years together, during which time The Wynntown Marshals have released three albums and assorted EPs as well as having gone through some line-up changes. They’re represented in this 16 track collection that, along with rarities and fan favourites, also includes three previously unreleased new numbers pointing to the road ahead.

It opens with the country rock Low Country Comedown with its thoughts of home and the life of a band on the road from their 2013 The Long Haul album, singer Keith Benzie dust-hoarse vocals recalling Miracle Legion’s Mark Mulcahy. That album also offers up the Byrdsian family-themed Canada, the quieter, more reflective Curtain Call with its tale of a magic trick gone wrong and the Neil Young influenced Tide.

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Debut album Westerner yields three numbers, the gently chugging pedal steel coloured Ballad of Jayne, the spare, slow-paced seven-minute Thunder In The Valley and the chirpier jangle of Snowflake with its Sweetheart of the Rodeo flavours.

Their most recent, critically acclaimed album was 2015’s The End of the Golden Age from which four tracks feature: Being Lazy, a brass warmed number from now departed bassist Murdoch Macleod, with its local landmark references and a dash of glockenspiel. The Gram Parsons influenced Red Clay Hill, with Hannah Elton-Wall from the Redlands Palomino Company on harmonies. The nautical-themed piano whale hunting ballad Moby Doll, and, of course, the jangling title track itself.

Although titled after the opening track of their self-titled 2007 EP debut, the number itself doesn’t figure, though you do get The Burning Blue, a song themed around WWII RAF pilots. Also from that EP is 11:15, a song about the storm and floods of 1829 that devastated farms from Inverness to Montrose that opens with rumbling drums before breaking out into the trademark chiming guitars.

Which leaves the new numbers, the first up being Your Time, guitar and organ underpinning a wistful song about an unequal relationship, followed, some tracks later, by the unrequited love of the yearning Odessa with its organ backing and a fine guitar solo. The final new track closes the album and is, in fact, a recording of Different Drug from the debut EP, the new line-up bringing a fuller, more relaxed sound with the addition of keyboards and more fluid guitar.

They don’t get the wider commercial acclaim they deserve but, as the sticker on the front of the sleeve says, they truly are “Europe’s best Americana band.” So, here’s to the next decade.

We highly recommend that you purchase this album .

The Delgados – Universal Audio 2004

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So last night i woke up at 02:43am and the first thing that came in to my head was The Delgados album ‘ Universal Audio ‘ What the fuck was all that about ? Any way i’am glad i it did , because i ventured down stairs and clattered about to pull if from my collection .

So in the CD player it goes headphones plugged in and coffee in hand i played it and instantly forgot how good this album was and clearly still is . It opens up with ‘ I Fought The Angels ‘ with a sparse and choppy guitar to start with and the amazing voice of Emma Pollock you get the feeling that its going to be dramatic .

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This is a more stripped down album that ‘Hate’ that i always thought was over produced but still clearly very good . Alun Woodward works well with Pollock on this album given the fact that there is less instruments to fight with . Girls of valour has a beach boys-esque running through the chorus while some other tracks like ‘bits of bone’ has a XTC vibe going through it .

Any way i still have no idea why the fuck i woke up with this on my mind and i aint digging around too much either to figure it out . so enjoy my album of the day .

Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger in the Alps 2017

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Phoebe Bridges releases her debut album ‘Stranger In The Alps’ on Dead Oceans. Writing songs since age 11, Bridgers spent her teenage years performing at open mic nights and busking throughout her hometown before recording a debut three-song single, “Killer,” with Ryan Adams in his L.A. studio. “Killer” was released on Adams’ Pax-Am label in spring of 2015.

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Angus And Julia Stone – Snow 2017

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t’s been three years since Sydney-born siblings Angus And Julia Stone’s released their self-titled album. Snowis a welcome return to serene sounds which stay true to the minimalist production of previous endeavours.
The title track kicks things off with an oxymoronic, sunny tinge to its tone. Call and response vocal techniques trickle through the album and take precedent in the first track, exploring failing relationships, as well as moving on from them; “Looking at the stars, I have you to myself / Standing here with you and thinking of someone else. / Blanket on my back, I’m cold, I’m cold again. / Smile in the snow, tryna find something to say”.
“Chateau” comprises of a melodic backdrop which later develops into an ethereal display of vocal layering which echoes Bon Iver’s “Calgary”. Young romance is the driving force behind the song as Angus Stone coos “we can go to the Chateau Marmont and dance in the hotel room […] / I don’t mind if you wanna go anywhere / I’ll take you there.”

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“Nothing Else” takes us back to the duo’s acoustic roots, with smooth harmonies and saccharine lyrics to boot, while pop ballad “Who Do You Think You Are” offers an accompaniment of guitars with a country twang (similar to those from “Yellow Brick Road” off their second album), and the smooth sheen of “Sylvester Stallone” finishes the full-length with peace and polish.

Lead tracks “Snow” and “Chateau” may create the most groundswell, but don’t neglect the rest of the album – even if some tracks take a little longer to really sink into your earbuds. They’re well worth the wait.

Actual Wolf – Faded Days 2017

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Based in Oakland, CA, but born and raised in Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range – the same fertile region as Bob Dylan – indie folk-rocker Actual Wolf (Eric Pollard) shines brightly on his national debut Faded Days. Lush and expansive, it conjures the classic cosmic country albums of the past with it’s layered vocals and sweeping choruses. The album plays out like a vintage record store find, with a care to storytelling and payoff choruses that are in scarce supply these days.

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Album highlights include the Springsteen-esque “Be My Love,” which segues into the hazy vintage Neil Young & Crazy Horse vibe of the first single, “Baby Please.” “Little Runaway” is a classic rock radio cut (if you grew up in the ’70s, that is) and the wistful title track speaks of lost opportunities and old relationships, with the chorus asking “Can you still get high?” Dividing his days between music and being one of the leading extract/hash makers in the Northern California Bay Area (working for a boutique provider growing rare/hard-to-cultivate cannabis strains), Actual Wolf is the latest addition to the Red House Records’ artist roster. Actual Wolf has cultivated, cut and cured these songs with the same patience as that of a grower. The album is subtly informed by that breadth of different atmospheres as much as it is richly colored by the array of collaborators: Jeremy Hanson (Tapes ‘n Tapes, Tungsten), Jake Hanson (Gramma’s Boyfriend; 12 Rods; Alaska), Steve Garrington (Low, the Erik Berry Duo), Ditch Kurtz (a pedal steel guitarist from Nashville), with additional vocals by Al Church.

massive thank you to Red House Records .

Hiss Golden Messenger – Hallelujah Anyhow 2017

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Hallelujah Anyhow is the latest studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger, out September 22 worldwide on Merge Records. Its ten new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies.

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“I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.” —M.C. Taylor

Thanks to Merge Records for sending this promo out .

Superchunk – Superchunk 1990 (remastered 2017)

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The remastered LP features updated artwork and includes an 11” × 17” replica of an early Chunk show flyer, with photos and notes from the band on the reverse. Both CD and LP include a bonus download of Clambakes Vol 9: Other Music From Unshowered Grumblers – Live in NYC 1990, a show recorded at CBGB just four days after the album was released. Mac shared his memories of these early days of Superchunk: When I listen to our first album now, other than cringing at some clams and the vocals and the juvenile attitude of the whole thing… what was I angry about? You’ll have to ask 21-year-old me because in my memory, we were having fun. I hear the accumulation of our influences, which I suppose is normal for a first album—weaving all the things you loved up to that point into your own first thing. The Buzzcocks, Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr, and Sonic Youth are all right there and what we were listening to. Hearing this record recently, though, I was surprised at how “southern” some of it sounds, and I think the influence of bands like Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ and of course R.E.M. is there under the fuzz. I remember thinking the solo 4-track demo of “Slack Motherfucker” sounded like Tom Petty. I can’t find it now to prove it to you, but take my word for it. I was living in NYC finishing school when we made this record, so rehearsals and recording were all rushed. I’m surprised we knew this many songs well enough to record them. Twenty-seven years later, we still play at least three or four of these songs live occasionally (one of them all the time…), which says something good about a few of the songs, anyway! We got so much better as a band, and as songwriters, that it’s hard to even see this as any kind of template for what Superchunk would eventually be, but it’s definitely where we were at in 1989/90.

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thanks to Merge Records for sending this out .

Micah P Hinson – Presents The Holy Strangers 2017

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Micah P. Hinson’s new album “Presents The Holy Strangers” is described by the artist as being a “modern folk opera.” Telling the story of a war time family, going from birth to love, to marriage and children, to war and betrayal, murder to suicide – spanning all of the strange and glorious places life can lead. We follow their story, we see their decisions, we see their faults and their beauty. We live with them, we die with them.

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Two years in the making, Micah wrote and recorded The Holy Strangers in Denison, Texas, incorporating ancient reel to reels, analogue keyboards, old Tascam and Yamaha desks. The recording only entered the digital realm once pre-mastering took place.
Split across two pieces of vinyl, the 14 tracks which make up The Holy Strangers are at times sparse and haunting; at other times luscious, maybe even euphoric. From the Johnny Cash-style country single “Lover’s Lane,” to the album’s broad, spoken-word centrepiece “Micah Book One”, The Holy Strangers covers a lot of ground over the course of its hour long running time, appealing to both long-time fans and new ones alike

Alvvays – Antisocialites 2017

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Toronto-based five-piece Alvvays combine their fuzzy, jangly indie pop with infectious, sugary melodies that recall the likes of Scottish outfit Teenage Fanclub and nod to the U.K. post-punk act the Dolly Mixture. Lead vocalist Molly Rankin – the daughter of John Morris Rankin from the popular Canadian folk family group the Rankin Family – was joined by childhood neighbor Kerri MacLellan on keyboards, and met guitarist Alec O’Hanley at a show as a teenager before they proceeded to write music together. Rankin self-released a solo EP in 2010 with the help of O’Hanley before bringing the rest of Alvvays together, with Brian Murphy (bass) and Phil MacIsaac (drums) joining the fold. They then toured heavily, supporting the likes of Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Peter Bjorn and John, while busily working on new songs.

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The band enlisted fellow countryman and musician Chad VanGaalen to record sessions for their debut album at his Calgary studio in 2013, and also worked with Holy Fuck’s Graham Walsh and producer John Agnello (Kurt Vile, the Hold Steady). Standout performances at 2014’s SXSW and the Internet hype surrounding their demo of “Adult Diversion” alerted their talents to Polyvinyl Records, who subsequently signed Alvvays and released their self-titled album in 2014. The album became something of a sensation, thanks in part to the popularity of “Archie, Marry Me,” and the band began a whirlwind of touring. As they gained popularity, the concerts became larger and they nabbed slots at Glastonbury in 2015 and Coachella in 2016. Along the way, they began sprinkling new songs into their set, but Rankin finished up writing the album while taking day trips to Toronto Islands to work in isolation in an abandoned schoolroom. When the songs were done, Rankin, MacLellan, and Murphy recorded in Los Angeles, then Rankin and O’Hanley moved the sessions to their basement in Toronto, where they invited a few guests to contribute, including Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake. The resulting album, Antisocialites, was released by Polyvinyl in September of 2017.

Ducktails – Jersey Devil 2017

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Last summer, Matt Mondanile announced his departure from Real Estate to focus on his solo project as Ducktails. That renewed attention has led to the bedroom pop outfit’s latest full-length, Jersey Devil, due out October 6th via Mondanile’s own New Images.

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Ducktails’ sixth album overall and follow-up to 2015’s St. Catherine, Jersey Devil was recorded over two years before being mixed in Hoboken, New Jersey at Sonic Youth’s Echo Canyon studio with engineer Ernie Indradat. To help out with the production and recording, Mondanile called on producer/composer John Anderson (Sky Ferreira, Girls), who also contributed guitar, as welll as drummer John da Costa, South Korean bassist Chi Yoon Hae of Parasol, and backup singers Malcolm Perkins and Samira Winter.

Southside Johnny & The Ashbury Jukes – The Fever The Remastered Epic Recordings 2017

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Here at last is the anthology Jukes fans have been waiting for, the one that not only includes all four albums the group cut with Miami Steve Van Zandt (including the CD debut of the promo-only LP Jukes Live at the Bottom Line), but also finally, finally presents this seminal body of work in newly remastered form. Indeed, the Epic recordings of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, the crucial early sides that made their reputation (and featured a ton of Springsteen/E Street Band spillover), have long suffered from indifferent sound and packaging, as all reissues have been taken from the same digital masters made at the dawn of the CD era.

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The Fever—The Remastered Epic Recordings changes all that all four Epic albums including I Don’t Want to Go Home, Jukes Live at the Bottom Line, This Time It’s for Real, and Hearts of Stone (plus the single version of “Havin’ a Party”) appear here in brand-new, sparkling versions remastered from the original master tapes by Mark Wilder at Battery Studios in New York. What’s more, the 2-CD, 40-track collection offers new liner notes by Chris Morris that feature fresh quotes from Southside Johnny himself, and Bruce Springsteen’s original liner notes for I Don’t Want to Go Home. Speaking of Springsteen, his fingerprints are all over these projects, with such songs as “The Fever,” “Little Girl So Fine,” “Love on the Wrong Side of Town,” “When You Dance,” “Talk to Me,” “Trapped Again,” and “Hearts of Stone” all written or co-written by The Boss, while Van Zandt not only produced all four Epic albums but wrote much of the repertoire. But the real star here, of course, is Southside Johnny himself, one of the great white R&B singers of this or any other time, backed by a crack band including The Miami Horns and with such special guests as Ronnie Spector, The Coasters, The Drifters, and The Five Satins. Joyful, soulful music finally sounding the way it oughtta!

Alex Chilton – A Man Called Destruction (Deluxe Edition) 2017

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On August 25, Ominvore Recordings  released a brand new, expanded version of Alex Chilton’s 1995 album A Man Called Destruction.

Chilton had a long legacy in a number of bands starting with the Box Tops where he was lead singer on such songs as The Letter, Cry Like a Baby and Soul Deep and followed in the 70’s with the critically acclaimed by often overlooked Big Star. Between 1979 and his death in 2010, Chilton released eight solo albums.

A Man Called Destruction was divided evenly between Chilton originals and covers of songs like Lies, You Don’t Have to Go and The New Girl in School. When it was released, the Orlando Sentinel said “Plenty of bands attempt, however feebly, to reproduce Big Star’s melancholic power-pop. But nobody else would dare try to approximate the brilliant, offhand weirdness and subtle irony of Chilton’s later solo work. Teenage Fan Club might be able to imitate Big Star’s guitar sound on September Gurls, but they couldn’t transmogrify Volare the way Chilton did on 1987’s High Priest. Destruction is very much in the tradition of High Priest — a peculiar mélange of deliriously cheesy pop.”

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The new edition includes seven previously unreleased tracks along with new liner notes by Bob Mehr.

VA – C88 2017

 

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So yesterday i got my C88 box-set and like the previous Cherry Red Records collection that has been released i just knew it would be a superb release . this was the lead up to the pre baggy scene that took the U.K. with a right kick up the fucking arse that it needed. .

 

Following up their C87box set, which was the next step after their C86 box set, Cherry Red takes yet another step in documenting the U.K. indie pop scene with the 3-disc C88. It follows the fortunes of some of the bands from previous years who didn’t make the jump to major labels, tracks the influx of bands who were influenced by the jangling pop sounds of C-86, and generally provides an exhaustive view of the guitar groups sneaking around the edges of the late-’80s scene. Each disc is a mix of both names that have lasted through the years and complete unknowns; the compilers take great care to make the set one that even dedicated followers of indie pop will find full of surprises. For every Stone Roses or Vaselines track, there’s one by the Driscolls or the Church Grims.

 

For every indie pop classic like the Charlottes’ “Are You Happy Now?” or the Sea Urchins’ unbearably lovely “Please Rain Fall,” there’s a total obscurity that gives them a run for their money, like the Prayers’ “Sister Goodbye,” or “Village Green” by the Clouds. The big labels like Creation, Sarah, Rough Trade, and the Subway Organization are all represented with a few songs each, but mostly the tracks are sourced from tiny labels whose names have been lost to time  names like Whoosh, Bi-Joopiter, and Medium Cool don’t exactly resonate with the public at large, but the bands they contribute to the collection (Holidaymakers, Remember Fun, the Corn Dollies) show that there were plenty of good bands out there and plenty of savvy label owners to release their singles. Most of the collection focuses on sunny indie pop that was noisy, sweet, and as catchy as a summer cold (as typified by the Pooh Sticks, the Flatmates, and the Darling Buds), but there are detours into Lloyd Cole-style sophisticated singer/songwriter sounds (the Caretaker Race’s “Anywhere But Here”), angular post-punk drama (the Great Leap Forward’s “Who Works the Weather”), jaunty instrumental pop (Apple Boutique’s “The Ballad of Jet Harris”), a couple of frothy fun songs from the El Records stable (“The Camera Loves Me” by the Would-Be-Goods and “Curry Crazy” by Bad Dream Fancy Dress”), synth pop with trumpets (Pacific’s New Order-on-a-shoestring-budget “Barnoon Hill”), and tough and scrappy rockers like Rote Kapelle’s “Fire Escape.” They even dug up a rare demo from Pale Saints, “Colours and Shapes,” which shows they were a fine pop band before they discovered atmosphere.

 

These side trips help make the journey a fairly varied one, even within the pretty tight confines of the indie pop scene of 1988. It’s also a thoroughly enjoyable trip, whether you were there at the time and want to rediscover the glorious tunes of your long-ago youth, or a neophyte just getting into indie pop. Either way, there is a wealth of brilliant pop on C88 ripe for the picking, enough to keep anyone smart enough to check it out satisfied for a long time, or at least until C89 arrives.

John Murry – A Short History Of Decay 2017

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Some artists become legends. They become household names. Most people will know at least one or two of their songs. For whatever reason their mainstream success transcends commercialism, and they end up transforming popular culture and by extension, culture at large. These artists’ names become adjectives. Dylan-esque. Beatles-esque.

Australian enfant terrible Nick Cave may not have quite reached that stage, but he’s close. Most music lovers will immediately understand it when you call something ‘Nick Cave-esque”.

Of course, the adjective itself can quickly become a crutch for lazy reviewers, and all too often for artists as well. So it’s a pleasant surprise to hear a release that can be called Nick Cave-esque but still very much marches to its own beat.

John Murry’s life story in itself is the stuff of legends. From an unhappy, over-medicated childhood to drug addiction, musical success, and another fall into addiction and even prison, his life story reads like a book. He also was adopted into William Faulkner’s family at birth (a cousin of his mother). John certainly need not look far for inspiration.

A Short History of Decay is an album that resulted from a chance meeting with Cowboy Junkies guitarist Michael Timmins. Recorded over a five day period with an emphasis on off-the-cuff creativity, the album is a strong statement by an iconoclastic artist, backed by a tight group of excellent musicians.

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This is a sonically adventurous release, frantic and understated at the same time, with cavernous piano, telephone vocals, sudden volleys of fuzzed-out guitar, and the backup vocals of Cait O’Riordan ( the Pogues, Elvis Costello) .

Silver or Lead starts off with a sombre piano, joined by minimal drums and bass. The song walks a tightrope between sombre dirge and a more hopeful sing-along chorus while remaining solidly entrenched in Murry’s trademark melancholy.

Under a Darker Moon is a personal favourite, grinding and sputtering along happily on a solid bed of bone-dry drums and psychotic guitars. Wrong Man reminds me of Nebraskaera Bruce Springsteen and is one of the strongest cuts on the album. Murry’s vocals on this song give me a mental picture of the world’s loneliest monk, preaching to the buzzards and rattlesnakes in the Mohave Desert, right before the fiery ball in the sky claims his sanity.

Another mid-tempo rocker is Defacing Sunday Bulletins, with Murry’s spine-tingling telephone vocals steering the sonic mayhem with steady if slightly trembling, hand. Miss Magdalene is an achingly beautiful acoustic song reminiscent of Leonard Cohen at his most morose.

Originally an Afghan Wigs tune, What Jail is Like is a guitar-driven ballad with sad piano, tribal drums, and some of that good old-fashioned backwards guitar. The lyrics take on extra poignancy in light of Murry’s life story.

A Short History of Decay is a gripping album, sonically adventurous, by an artist who’s paid his dues, came out a stronger man and an iconoclastic artist who made a career out of transforming tragedy and hardship into stark beauty.

review from charlie who will be featuring more on this blog .

Daniel Wylie & Cosmic Rough Riders – Scenery for Dreamers 2017

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Daniel Wylie was in Cosmic Rough Riders then he left to pursue a solo career while they carried on without him but now it seems Cosmic Rough Riders are his. Go figure. Anyway he’s back with several slabs of spangling guitar pop with nods to Teenage Fanclub and Big Star. Also with a few nods to Neil young’s crazy horse lets hope we get some kind of a tour from him now

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