Kaz Murphy‘s music is about as Americana as it gets, and his newest release Ride Out The Storm is no exception. This folk artist’s sound is that of the old west, forming stories with each lyric and melodic refrain. Kaz has had an illustrious career, stemming from his beginnings as a lead-singer and drummer at age 10. He established himself as a respected writer of musicals in the 1980s, transitioning to music after forming a folk new wave band in 1988. Multitudes of bands and projects later, Murphy as come to Ride Out The Storm, which can be seen as a return to his roots.
Each track on this album paints a picture, forming simple, yet elegant, audio tapestries for us to envision while listening. Stories of younger days, tough times, and perseverance are spread throughout the 11 song project. While listening, I couldn’t help but think about my own difficult situations. I also couldn’t help to make a vocal and sound comparisons to country-western artist Marty Robbins and the illustrious Johnny Cash.
For those looking to get lost in deep Americana story telling, then Ride Out The Storm is the album you must listen to. Ride Out The Storm is out now. You can visit Kaz Murphy’s website at https://kazmurphy.com/ for more information.
With their new 8-track album Songs Nine Through Sixteen, Denver-based psych folk rock collective DBUK provides a vitality to the cold winter weather that is incredibly welcoming, especially in the frozen tundra of the midwest. “Bonnie Clyde, The Big-Bull-Hen Of The Women’s Prison” is electrifying, starting the album energetically before slowing down immensely for “Deerslayer”. Just by the title, the listener can tell we’re going in a melancholic direction with “From The Estate Of John Denver”, though the pace and mystery pick up with the very 60s inspired “In San Francisco Bay”.
A sharp title, “Coca-Colonialism” is quirky and catchy, perhaps one of our favorites on this work. “The Misrepresentation Of The Thompson Gun” slows to an absolute crawl, and though it is a very specific journey DBUK leads you on with this track, it perhaps isn’t the most entertaining we have heard. Though we will admit the pace picks up slightly and the instrumentals are absolutely glowing. “It’s Killing Me” provides a cacophonous composition that is glittery, and vies for the title of favorite on this collection as well, while “And God Bless You” seems to be set out as the staple ending track specifically for its title. It does have a lullaby factor that we’re keen on, making this album ace to get you through the remaining cold months.
US TOUR DATES:
Thu 3/14 St Paul, MN- Turf Club
Fri 3/15 Green Bay, WI- Lyric Room
Sun 3/17 Cincinnati- MOTR Pub
Tue 3/19 Detroit, MI- El Club
Wed 3/20 Cleveland, OH- Now that’s Class
The 3/21. Buffalo, NY – Revolution Gallery
Fri 3/22 Pittsburg, PA- Cattivo
Sat 3/23 Philadelphia, PA- PhilaMOCA
Sun 3/24 Jersey City, NJ- Monty Hall at WFMU
Tue 3/26 Providence, RI- Askew
Wed 3/27 Lowell, MA -Uncharted Gallery
Thu 3/28 Boston, MA-Haymarket Lounge at City Winery
Fri 3/29 New Haven, CT- Cafe Nine
Sat 3/30 Brooklyn, NY- Safari Room at Cortez-
Sun 3/31 Washington, DC-City Winery Garden Room
Mon 4/01 Richmond, VA-Capitol Ale House/ Richmond Music Hall-
Tue 4/02 Chapel Hill, NC- Local 506
Wed 4/03 Atlanta, GA- EARL
Thu 4/04. Asheville , NC- Greg Eagle
Sat 4/6 Knoxville, TN- Pilot Light-
Sun 4/7 Nashville , TN-Little Harpeth Brewery
Mon 4/8. New Orleans, LA- Santos Bar
Tue 4/9 Houston, TX- Rudyard’s
Wed 4/10 Austin , TX – State Theater at Paramount-
Thu 4/11 Dallas, TX- Three Links
Fri 4/12. Kansas City, MO – Record Bar
Keep up with DBUK here.
We’ve been lucky enough to have explored the talents of Jealous of the Birds in the past, but today we’re thrilled to share one of our favorite new EPs. Jealous of the Birds has released a vintage-tinged bevy of gorgeous work for our ears to soak up in the quiet moments, and to truly enjoy. Starting with “Marrow”, Naomi Hamilton weaves a wonderful sonic adventure for us, storytelling with the best of them. “New York Has A Lump In Her Throat” has a bit of a melancholic feel to it, as the title would suggest. “Blue Eyes” is the standout rock track, energetically pulling you from your seat. Even with brown eyes, we can’t stop dancing.
“Kosiskelu” imposes upon its surroundings a cocoon of comfort, a feeling of calm that is unique to Hamilton’s voice. “Clementina” is how Hamilton has chosen to complete the release, a meandering and delicately layered song that is somehow intensely heart-wrenching. Perhaps it’s the tranquil soundscape, the hint of hope in the vocals, or the palpable feelings of puppy love. Either way, Wisdom Teeth is required listening.
Keep up with Jealous of the Birds here.
Indie Psych trio Lost Cousins – comprised of Cam Duffin, Thomas Dashney, and Lloyd McArton – has released their full-length, an album titled In Scenery. There is not a moment of disappointment with this album, as they make sure to ignite it in its entirety with an undeniable energy, starting with the establishment freeing, intense reverb in “Stay”. Crashing cymbals and whirring guitars lead us through “Mindmaker” and “City Escape”, while “Seajets” is presented as far calmer, perhaps a hint of Coldplay playing at its core.
“Trails” is an absolute ballad, slow and steady compared to – but just as powerful as – its predecessors. “Montreal” really gets your hips moving again, with instrumentals that make you feel like actual glitter. “Forest Floor” is the most ambience-inducing track, the pace picking back up with the incredibly danceable “Shores”, Beginning with simplistic piano chords, “Nothing” rounds the album out with the most melancholic song – sonically and lyrically – of the collection.
Lost Cousins has proven their chops, and we’re all in.
Keep up with Lost Cousins here.
The Moth & The Flame have returned to the forefront of alt-pop with the release of their new album Ruthless. The Provo, Utah natives have channeled immense depression and anxiety into their new release, and it comes through in waves of pop synths and harrowing vocals. Brandon Robbins (vocals, guitar), Mark Garbett (keyboards/vocals), and Andrew Tolman (drums) have been together since 2011, pushing their sound further and further with each release. With the release of Young & Afraid in 2016, which defined the trio by NPR Music as “channeling a pop sound, the group shows its resilience” while maintaining “a wonderful moodiness to the music that always lands right in the sweet spot”, the fans clamored for more from the musicians from Utah.
After a successful kidney transplant in 2016 between Robbins and Corey Fox (founder of Provo’s all-ages music venue, Velour) the band felt at the top of their game and began to release single after to single. All these releases led to the culmination of Ruthless, which embodies the fighting spirit of the group. The ebbs and flows of the album are intriguing to say the least. The opening track, “The New Great Depression”, has a lot more poppy feel than the title would suggest, but the lyrics behind said pop sound suggest otherwise. It is rare these days to listen to music that constantly forces you into contemplation and in-depth thought, and Ruthless is chock full of this thought provoking music. The use of voice distortion is used perfectly on the track “What Do I Do”, catching you off guard about half-way into the song, but it is a pleasant surprise. “Lullaby IV”, the closing track, is reminiscent of punk, but with a dash of voice distortion and a soft-pop outro.
Robbins had this to say about how the album came together through so much strife: “What we wanted to show people was the journey through anxiety and depression,” he says, “not just the lows but the highs as well.”
Ruthless is out now! You can also get more information about The Moth & The Flame here.
February 2019 is off to a wild start, especially with today’s release of You Found Me, the full-length from Cody Votolato’s latest project JR Slayer. “JR Slayer in its current form is a sacred home for me,” admits Votolato. “It is a safe space to start new conversations with art and music and understand how I relate not only to it, but myself. Not one where I am trying to receive as much as I give to it, but one that allows me to fully realize myself while being able to step out of my comfort zone.”
Starting with the meandering pace – but huge impact – of “I’ll Never Leave You” featuring Jenny Lee, the album rolls into the slower, more delicate harmonies of “There is Nothing Else Around Me” before picking up for the slightly quirkier and more danceable “Half Lyfe”.
“Nothing & Nowhere to Hide” brings a more polished, pop sound with a vulnerable bed of lyrics, while “This Is Alone” really simplifies – and induces melancholy into – the soundscape. “I Think I Might Die” has, perhaps, the most directly morbid of titles in the collection, though at its core it is a simply beautiful love song. “In A Sea Of Anonymity” slowly layers itself, as the lyrics address fate and hope in a very wonderful way.
By this time, it’s clear that JR Slayer has a way of taking things that seem joyful, and sprinkling them with melancholy. On the flip side, he is fully capable of taking something seemingly negative and brutal (like the titles), and adding a flare for the positive. Either way, he’s managed a very tactical balancing act across the whole of the work, and we’re very impressed that it carries into “How Could Love B So Cruel?” with its lush and trudging instrumentals, and straight into the last track, “40 Extra Minutes in Heaven”.
If you don’t believe us, try it on for size. Either way, let us know what you think in the Facebook comments!
Keep up with JR Slayer here.