evvan, home

evvan, home

One of our favorite singer/songwriter extraordinaires – alt-folk artist EVVAN – has released a dreamy new 5-track EP, Home, and we’re certain it warrants a listen from music lovers of all genres. Never have we felt so much attitude without a hard blues influence in a folk track as we did with the initial track “Wolf.” (Wolf tracks are our favorite though. ;))

Second track “I’m Not Done Yet” is delivered with the fervor you expect from someone who is fully prepared for the next chapter of their lives. “So many times in my life I’ve heard the exact phrases I wrote in the song from friends who’ve experienced the same, from people who I thought were friends and didn’t accept me, from absolute strangers on the street who noticed I was different,” says EVVAN. “It is exhausting, and while there are times I feel beaten down and without hope, I remember this is who I am, and I should be proud of that.”

A track born from the emotions around wanting to come out, Evvan carries intense emotion with each word delivered, creating a beautiful ballad that feels like a torch held by and for all of those who feel other at times. If nothing else, this track is a testament to the artful soul of its creator.

“Hurricane” comes at a more steady clip, as EVVAN details a tumultuous relationship situation. “Falling Over You” speaks to a similar relationship, as the thoughts early in a relationship take over and confuse the hell out of our protagonist. Undoubtedly, this is a highly relatable track for the listeners. It’s also got a beautiful cadence that is absolutely captivating.

The title track rounds out this new release, more simplistic instrumentally than its predecessors, just as impactful. It really is the most freeing way to end the collection. If you have the opportunity, we highly suggest listening to the work in its entirety – as a full and honest adventure – below.

nainnoh, nainnoh

nainnoh, nainnoh

Georgian-born American singer-songwriter NAINNOH hit the ground running with her self-titled full-length release this week. The 11-track collection boasts endearing, psychedelic sounds led by sublime vocals. Her accent alone seems to lend itself to the psychedelic feel, while introspective lyrics and beautiful instrumentals interweave for a truly transcendent experience.

While the pace of most tracks in this collection are slow, calculated yet somehow organic. At times, you will find yourself mesmerized by the cadence of the track. In other instances, you will be completely enamored by the way a sound or word is annunciated, as in tracks like “Water.” “Colors,” “Threads,” and “Break Apart” are the louder, faster track options to check out.

This is the perfect soundtrack to your next full moon circle or stargazing experience. Check it out in its entirety below!

sweetlove, goodnight, lover

sweetlove, goodnight, lover

Sweetlove’s origin story isn’t anything reminiscent of a meet-cute. The work that seems to burst and pour from the seams of this artist has resulted from a long road littered with several intense personal battles. 6 magical tracks come at us today with the release of her EP Goodnight, Lover.

Goodnight, Lover is packed with the self-discovery that comes along with growing into your skin. “Devil on Your Shoulder” should be more sinister, but as Sweetlove implores that it “feels good when you’re living free,” there’s less of a negative connotation to the aforementioned idea of anyone playing devil’s advocate in your court. The title track slows the pace of the project down a bit, a twangy love ballad that will bring you right back to your boots. (Er, roots.) It throws feelings of all-encompassing passion out into the ether, preparing you for the slow, sincere beauty of third track “The House.”

“Did You Even Know” comes rolling in with Garth Brooks-esque momentum, a song that calls for appreciation in the now. Circling back to the theme of devils, “Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead” comes in with the soft, assuring instrumentals of a light, summer song from our youth. The soundscape is simplified, a sense of loss, a beautiful song that allows you to mourn as you sing “it will get better.” “Things I Didn’t Say” perfectly rounds out the established feelings of loss through a lens nothing short of bittersweet. It’s the perfect testament to a love experienced to the fullest.

We highly encourage a glass of whiskey or wine and a night on the patio under the stars with this new collection from Sweetlove. It will help you tap into feelings you won’t recognize, and many you simply haven’t felt for a hot minute. Check it out in its entirety below.

photo by Anna Azarov

charlie treat, the comet

charlie treat, the comet

For a rip-roarin’ good time, country singer/songwriter Charlie Treat’s new album is the perfect answer to your prayers. Beginning with the amped-up energy of “I Ain’t Gonna Be The One To Do It,” he finds a way to lure the audience in with wit and a bite of nostalgia in the instrumentals. Even the slow down of pace with the second track “Drink With Me” holds lengthy, rhythmic lines, with (what appears to me to be) clear nods to The Black Crowes. (“Hard To Handle,” specifically, for those of you asking. And yes, it did take me calling the insanely talented music journalist Elizabeth Schneider to pinpoint the exact sound. Kudos to her.) Just those two tracks will have your mind spinning, but there are ten more inspired songs left to enjoy past that with this new release.

“The Two Best People” really brings the energy down, while singing of “bringing each other down.” Bluesy, beautiful energy to launch you into a light, airy “Tune As Pretty As You.” “Steamshovel Blues” brings the pace up again, but “So Much Better” lulls us back into that slow, glittering, 70’s sound. “Rain Again” comes at you with an edge off the bat, with some quick bongos and even quicker lyrics.

“Drive My Blues Away” is the most melancholic track we have yet to experience on this collection. The vocals seem very inspired, at times Springsteen, and at others Steven Tyler. The piano and whirring guitar solo make the whole thing feel like it could have been recorded in the 90s.

Thank goodness “Dollar For Dollar” brings the pace back up, as the subject matter isn’t entirely something to celebrate. However, the idea of rallying for the working man is something we can all relate to, especially after the trials the last year has presented us with. “Dancing At The Bar (The Quarantine Song)” starts out with glittering synth, and honestly we could see this track being performed alongside anything by ABBA. (Can you hear it?) “Candi” plays with dissonance before the first vocals hit, making it feel almost calmer as the lyrics set in. The whole album is rounded out quite well with “Biggest Fool,” which somehow blendsseveral of the aforementioned genres into one song. (Is that sitar? Are we in a 70’s music video? Where did that trumpet come from?)

One thing is for certain. Charlie Treat has chops. His ability to write lyrics that somehow perfectly complement each instrumental, creating new sounds that simultaneously pay homage to genre-spanning predecessors, is actually quite unique and very appreciated. The Comet should be approached as an adventure and a very appreciated leap into nostalgia.

The Comet is out on March 26.

lo talker, a comedy of errors

lo talker, a comedy of errors

Athens, GA based collective Lo Talker has our wheels spinning as we head into the weekend with their debut album A Comedy of Errors. An album that takes a look at modern times through a humorous, and often biting, sarcastic lens. Through twelve genre-bending tracks, this quintet boasts influence and talent that makes this feel like their fifth album together, not their first. And perhaps that’s where the magic lies here.

As much personality as they’ve injected into the lyrics themselves, there is so much more to this layered work of art. For example, the meandering tone to tracks like “Heaven In Drag”, “Unkown Transmission Arrives”, and “Sift” brags on the delicacy these incredible musicians are capable of, while instrumentals in songs like “Don’t Hide That Light Pt. II” and “Two Ghosts” play with dissonance and give us more of that noisy, grunge influence despite the soft, mellifluous vocals. They even bring some 80s influence to it with “Silvery – Shadow Or Shadow”, which is dusted with glittering synth for effect.

Rhythmically, our favorite is “Nero In The News,” but “Automatic Love” could just be our new favorite (at home) karaoke banger, if not solely for the fact that you can’t help but smile while listening to it. (Nostalgia pop at its finest, my friends.)

Comedy of Errors is out now. Keep up with Lo Talker here.

jenn grinels, live volume 1

jenn grinels, live volume 1

Right now, nostalgia comes in waves. Enjoying a song from our past, Re-discovering a snack we used to love. Engaging in re-releases with new traits, flipping through memory books, and digging through the past. Memories can be healing, especially in today’s health and political climate, and the memory of a live performance can be fleeting.

Singer-songwriter Jen Grinels plays on our nostalgic hearts with the release of her Live Volume 1 full-length, recorded over three nights in early 2019 at The Music Box in Cleveland, OH, Rams Head Onstage in Annapolis, MD, and Avalon Theater in Easton, MD. The live music experience, something we haven’t been able to indulge in for an entire year, encapsulated in one gorgeous collection.

The light echoes from the sound bouncing off the walls of each venue, the magical eccentricities that live music brings with it. From the first mellow track “I Know Your Heart” through the soulful “Don’t Wanna Be Happy” and “Misery,” to the slow ballad-like presentation of “The Feeling,” Grinels powerfully champions multi-genre entertainment. And she doesn’t stop there, as “Can’t Stay Here” has roots in country with a little grunge flare. The sheer feeling (ha!) that rushes over you while playing this album gives you chills, as you imagine being at a live event in the future, singing into the open night air on a gorgeous evening.

That’s what this collection feels like. Live Volume 1 provides a little bit of hope at the end of this crazy pandemic tunnel. And doesn’t that just feel good right now?