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Tag Archive 'alternative singer/songwriter'

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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Dave Hause: Devour

“Former Loved Ones frontman/guitarist Dave Hause drops his second solo set with the help of friends from Frightened Rabbit, My Morning Jacket, and Social Distortion….Devour is fully electric, beautifully played, and driven by often anthemic melodies and dynamics that recall Bruce Springsteen circa The River, but infused with the spirit of 21st century punk.” –All [...]

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John Grant: Pale Green Ghosts

“Grant’s huge, expressive, and oddly comforting voice acts as a sedative, turning even the saddest, raunchiest, and most uncomfortable turn of phrase into a caress.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Controversial theatrical songwriter and Kickstarter expert Amanda Palmer and her husband, writer and sometimes singer Neil Gaiman, found themselves on a short, intimate tour in late 2011, moving up the West Coast from Los Angeles to Seattle, Washington, hitting five cities where they presented songs, poems, and readings together and separately….The atmosphere of a dimly [...]

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Jake Bugg: Shangri LA

“Jake Bugg’s eponymous 2012 debut was enough of a success to push him into neo-stardom across the Atlantic Ocean….[H]is reputation was strong, strong enough to gain the attention of Rick Rubin, who signed up to record the young British singer/songwriter’s sophomore album at the producer’s home studio.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Tom Odell: Long Way Down

“The brooding and bloodied Romeo to Jake Bugg’s blue collar Brit-pop Lothario, sad sack English crooner Tom Odell’s intimate, soul-searching ballads draw from an awfully deep well of ruin… but there’s certainly no denying the West Sussex native’s knack for spinning expertly crafted tales of woe….It will be interesting to see how Odell grows into [...]

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Bill Calahan: Dream River

“With Dream River, fans already know what to expect from the man lyrically, and it can’t be argued with qualitatively. When you place those lyrics in the context of something so subtly adventurous musically, the result is both engaging and seductive.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“It’s some of her most instantly gratifying work… perfectly encapsulating all of her personas, from the erudite, whiskey-shooting provocateur to the sweet and soulful, small town crooner who sounds like she was plucked from the pages of a novel set in the antebellum north. Case has proven time and again that she has the songwriting [...]

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Gin Wigmore: Gravel & Wine

“Gravel & Wine, which was originally released in New Zealand in 2011, is a huge-sounding dance-pop album full of songs geared for both the dancefloor and the radio stations that drive people to go there, all big, stomping drums and kinetic high vocals about men who don’t measure up, jealous girls, and the trashy, dangerous [...]

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