In the mood for new tunes to liven up your music library?
You’re in luck!
This year’s music scene offers an abundance of new releases and talent from which to choose. Here’s a few of our favorites.
Big Red Machine – “Phoenix”
American Indie-folk band Big Red Machine (BRM) have a lovely new track, “Phoenix,” out this year. It’s a stunner.
Guitar, lilting piano, a great brass section, Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold on lead vocals plus some beautiful harmonies add up to a breathtaking track. “Phoenix” comes from Big Red Machine’s new “How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last” release, due out August 27.
BRM began as a collaboration between musicians Aaron Dessner (The National) and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver).
“Renegade” is another track we love – it’s on KRVM’s playlist – and “Birch” is another not to miss.
Taylor Swift sings on both tracks. “Renegade” was recorded in Los Angeles the same week Folklore won Album of the Year at the Grammys.
To sum up: BRM’s entire new album is sure to be exceptional.
Allison Russell – “Persephone”
Fans of Rhiannon Giddens are already familiar with singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Allison Russell. Russell, along with Giddens, was a band member of Americana/folk quartet Our Native Daughters.
This year, Russell’s solo debut is garnering high praise from every corner. Indeed, every track on the album is exquisite.
On “Persephone” Russell pays a touching homage to a friend with whom she sought refuge in her teens: “My petals are bruised / but I’m still a flower / Come runnin’ to you / In the violet hour.” It’s a beautiful arrangement with just the right touch of pedal steel.
Have a listen:
Autobiographical “Outside Child” recounts Russell’s sad, perilous childhood of sexual abuse at the hands of her stepfather. Amazingly – given the subject matter – the album never gets bogged down. “Outside Child” succeeds in drawing us in via its wide array of musical moods, and superb musicianship.
Also praiseworthy are Russell’s perfect vocals and expert songwriting. And, she’s backed up by a host of talented musicians.
“Outside Child” is sure to be on many “best-of-year” lists.
Heartless Bastards – “How Low”
We’ve been loving “How Low,” the newest from Heartless Bastards.
It’s a bright, lush indie-rock track with a winning melody and message. And the potent vocals by musician Erika Wennerstrom – urging kindness and simple living – are hard to resist.
Heartless Bastards originally started as a recording project of Wennerstrom, who makes her home in Austin. These days Wennerstrom is backed by an ace band that includes guitarist David Pulkingham (Patty Griffin) and Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket) on keyboards.
“How Low” comes from upcoming “A Beautiful Life,” due out in September.
Heartless Bastards play Eugene’s Sessions Music Hall in November.
Michael Franti – “Good Day for a Good Day”
Climate change, COVID-19, extreme weather events and the nation’s political divides all add up to one thing: more everyday stress.
Now’s a good time to amp up your good vibe quotient, and Michael Franti’s “Good Day for a Good Day” can do just that.
It’s an upbeat, catchy track boasting fun vocals and great percussion. But then again, political activist Franti has always been good at blending reggae with folk, rock and hip hop.
“Good Day” was released just last month to help the band kick off their world tour. We’re happy it’s on our playlist.
Michael Franti & Spearhead play McMenamins Edgefield Saturday, September 11.
See you there!
That’s a wrap!
Thanks for supporting listener-powered radio at KRVM!