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Tag Archive 'alternative singer/songwriter'

You + Me: Rose Ave

“Pop singer Pink’s country/folk album – words you probably never expected to read – came about when she found common musical ground with Dallas Green, formerly of Canadian hardcore band Alexisonfire. As You + Me, the pair explore pastoral byways, and it’s a partnership of equals….Pink, credited here under her real name, Alecia Moore, slips in a few scaled-down [...]

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Jolie Holland: Wine Dark Sea

“Holland is that rare performer whose reach extends in many directions and dimensions without sacrificing her distinct core identity. Across eras and genres, tempos and tendencies, she sounds exactly like Jolie Holland and no one else.” –NPR Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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Jason Mraz: Yes!

“[I]t emphasizes Jason Mraz the sensitive singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar slung across his shoulders. He flirts with rhythms floating up from the Caribbean, he covers Boyz II Men’s ‘It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,’ he cops a bit of the Lumineers’ big-beat folk stomp, and he strums a ukulele — but these are all mild, complementary [...]

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J Mascis: Tied to a Star

“J. Mascis is developing a distinct persona for his solo work, and so far it dovetails nicely with his other projects, sharing certain virtues while having a mind of its own, and Tied to a Star is another step in an unexpected and quite welcome career evolution.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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Nikki Lane: All or Nothin’

“Many young singers are stalked by an ill-fitting, virtually unshakable descriptor….For Nikki Lane, that descriptor seems to be ‘outlaw country.’…Neither word in that phrase does justice to Lane’s bold, idiosyncratic sound…. All or Nothin’ simply sounds like the work of a performer who knows when to embrace her contradictions: classic and modern, iconoclastic and approachable, country and rock, [...]

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“O’Connor is pushing herself on every song here…  always with some purpose. A quarter-century into a career that has swung unpredictably from acoustic dissent to big-band jazz to reggae and dub experimentation, she continues to lay claim to every musical possibility and refuses to define herself with only one particular style.” –Pitchfork Check Our Catalog [...]

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“Oberst remains an eccentric — he’s not one for obvious hooks, or even insistent melodies — but of all his albums,Upside-Down Mountain feels open-hearted, measured, and bright, the kind of record that opens up a new chapter in a career and possibly wins over new listeners.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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“The soundtrack to Divergent, the first film adapted from Veronica Roth’s dystopian young adult novel series, reflects the story’s high-tech future — in which people are separated into factions based on their virtues — in its mix of EDM and hip-hop. Even if the EDM craze had peaked somewhat by the time of the film’s 2014 release, [...]

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Mirah: Changing Light

“The album is full of devastated sentiments and broken pieces in the process of being picked up, but the arrangements keep it from feeling hollow….The result is an album of brilliantly charged and catchy songcraft.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“[I]t’s lush and melodic but also barbed, sometimes seeming dissonant but often consoling, its soothing qualities eventually turning disturbing. This has long been Amos’ calling card, this shimmering space between comfort and pain, but Unrepentant Geraldines trumps its predecessors by accentuating its polarity… and either extreme is compelling.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog Listen [...]

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The Both: The Both

“While both Aimee Mann and Ted Leo are perfectly capable of making records that are full of brainy, emotionally charged, and melodically rich songs, together they come together in a way that adds up to something greater than their solo work.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Nina Persson: Animal Heart

“On Animal Heart, Nina Persson does everything an artist with a career as lengthy and varied as hers could, and should, do on a solo debut album….[T]hese songs blend the countrified reflection of her former project and the sparkling pop of the latter….Neither a denial nor a rehash of Persson’s past, Animal Heart is a [...]

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“Forty-four years is a long time between albums, but for singer/songwriter Linda Perhacs it has been exactly that… [T]his set picks up where her hallucinatory classic left off….It’s spacy yet bright and fluid. The Soul of All Natural Things… is unmistakably an extension of the sonic, spiritual continuum Perhacs began — and probably thought she [...]

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Lo-Fang: Blue Film

“Blue Film, Matthew Hemerlein’s intense, intimate debut album as Lo-Fang, was inspired by a mixtape, and the free-flowing blend of sounds on these songs retains some of that feel. Encompassing R&B, synth pop, orchestral, and folk music — sometimes within the same song — Hemerlein loves and excels at striking juxtapositions…. [A]n often unforgettable introduction.” [...]

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Nicole Atkins: Slow Phaser

“Atkins has come a long way since her debut and without the distractions of a major label or a major break-up, she seems to be in the driver’s seat and completely in control of her destiny, delivering her most artistic and confident album to date.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“[I]t’s elastic guitar rock constructed partially out of cannabis guitar jams and partially out of punk rock squalls, both sides distinguished by wry melodicism and dexterous wordplay….[I]t feels looser than most of the Jicks records; the compositions are tight but the attitude is ragged, which winds up being more infectious and fun than albums where [...]

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Sam Philips: Push Any Button

“[T]he album is a well-rounded sonic and emotional experience that hits hard and sticks around long after the last note has faded. In other words, Push Any Button is what Sam Phillips fans have come to rely on over her course of her career: a perfectly crafted album that overflows with melodic hooks, musical grace, [...]

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“Olsen expands in all directions, fully reaching the depth of expression hinted at on her last album while still lingering in the restlessness and searching feelings that make all of her work so captivating….The song’s multi-tracked vocals and pained melody get into different territory than anything else on the record, leaving the door open for [...]

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St. Vincent: St. Vincent

“Annie Clark began recording St. Vincent almost immediately after she finished touring in support of Love This Giant, her inspired collaboration with David Byrne. It’s not hard to hear the influence that album had on these songs; Love This Giant’s literal and figurative brassiness gave Clark’s witty yet thoughtful approach more sass without sacrificing any [...]

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Billy Bragg: Tooth & Nail

“The result is an album that Bragg says is a follow-up of sorts to his late Nineties collaboration with Wilco on unfinished Woody Guthrie songs, which resulted then in a pair of Mermaid Avenue albums and, last year, a new third volume to commemorate Guthrie’s 100th birthday. Fittingly, Tooth & Nail includes a version of [...]

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