Category: Music Reviews


Goat Girl
Goat Girl
Rough Trade

Rough Trade always seems to be on the cutting edge whether it be rock, post-punk, garage, alternative…and now we have London-based Goat Girl, aka Clottie Cream, Naima Jelly, L.E.D., and Rosy Bones. The band’s debut album is hard to pigeonhole as there’s some post-punk mixed in with twists from the dark side (Siouxsie and the Banshees) and even a twinge of country. Goat Girl’s debut release has guts and it’s certain that they’re just beginning.

Visit Goat Girl at Facebook and iTunes


Frankie Cosmos
Vessel
Sub Pop

Frankie Cosmos (Greta Kline) has released “Vessel”. While the album follows on previous recordings (“Zentropy”, 2014; “Fit Me In”, 2015; and “Next Thing”, 2016), this is the first full-band release. Frankie is joined by bassist Alex Bailey, who joined after recording; the keyboardist and vocalist Lauren Martin; and the drummer Luke Pyenson. The album is just plain great indie pop. Songs are not too complex, often short and they always hace an idea; something to say. Now, your new to Frankie Cosmos , you might start with “Next Thing”, but in any case, “Vessel” hits the mark.

Visit Frankie Cosmos at Facebook and iTunes


Review by Clara Zicaro

Sunflower Bean
Twentytwo in Blue
Mom + Pop Music

Visit Sunflower Bean at Facebook and iTunes

Meet the 22-Year-Old Brooklyn Rockers of Sunflower Bean. With lead singer Julia Cumming, guitarist Nick Kivlen, and drummer Jacob Faber, this alternative rock band released their much clearer second album “Twentytwo in Blue” exposing a new identity of twenty-two year olds from their younger 2013 selves. These young millennials chose their band name out of their two favorite things: sunflower seeds and coffee beans.

Derived from some albums of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix or The Doors, their music is psychedelic rock. Newly inspired by the current political turmoil under Trump’s presidency, songs in their album, specifically “Burn it” and “Human for,” expresses honest emotions of life as they have evolved into twenty-two year olds dealing with rising challenges of growing up. This hypnotic and repetitive rhythm communicates a pleasant, yet rebellious attitude. The melodic sound, much more defined than before, has eighties rock vibes connected with deep lyrics supported by strong emotions. Critically acclaimed by many as their “most complete” song, “Twentytwo”, incorporates elements of Dylan Thomas’ poetry backed by Julia Cumming’s solid songwriting. They also pay homage to their roots in “I Was a Fool” and “Memoria” as they refer back to “Human Ceremony” on their first album.

The Sunflower seeds have sprouted, and they are shining brighter than ever. Look for Sunflower Bean to enjoy an extended life.


Elk City
Everybody’s Insecure
Bar/None Records

Visit Elk City at Facebook and iTunes

Elk City’s Ray Ketchem (drums) and Renée LoBue (vocals) are back with “Everybody’s Insecure” their first release since 2008. The hypertalented duo have teamed with guitarist Sean Eden, keyboardist Carl Baggeley and bassist Martin Olson. The band has most certainly held on to its brand of eclecticism melting together shades of rock, pop, jazz and a bit of soul. The album earns high marks for both virtuosity and strength with the scale pretty much in balance between the two. Ray Ketchem deserves special recognition for outstanding production work, and one simply cannot overlook (overlisten) Renée LoBue’s extraordinary vocals, which are so essential to the recording’s melodic shapes. “25 Lines” is posted for a listen below, but there are other standout tracks such as “Ride the Slide” and the album’s title track “Everybody’s Insecure”.


Gloria
Oîdophon Echoram
Ample Play / Howlin’ Banana

Visit Gloria at Facebook and Bandcamp

The French band, Gloria, is back after their 2016 release “In Excelsis Stereo”. If you’re familiar with the band, the new six-track recording “Oîdophon Echoram” will no doubt be in line with expectations. It’s true that the group is to some extent framed by psych-garage, but that seems a bit too narrow. In fact, the group is quite eclectic, and pinning them down one way or another doesn’t seem entirely just. Okay, go with psych-garage, but you can’t help but pick up on the texture. Moreover, the female vocals make it hard not to think back to pop “girl groups” from the 80’s and the early ’90s. Have a look and listen to “Heavy” which is the lead track from “Oîdophon Echoram”. You’ll have a pretty good sense for what to expect from the rest of the album. Check out Gloria. It’s definitely worth your time to have a listen.


Joan Baez
Whistle Down the Wind
Razor & Tie

Visit Joan Baez at Facebook and iTunes

“Whistle Down the Wind” is the American folk icon’s first release in ten years and what she has pronounced to be her last album. In speaking about the release, she has made clear that the election of Donald Trump, gave new life and impetus to her wanting to compose and effect change through her music as she has done for decades. The album, the first-rate production work by three time Grammy-award winner Joe Henry, authentically captures Baez’s seasoned vocals. For the most part, the recording, which features compositions by Tom Waits, Josh Ritter, Anohni and Mary Chapin Carpenter, leaves one feeling skeptical or unsure toward America’s future, but in the end, we sense that there is some promise of hope in the final track, Tim Erikson’s “I Wish the Wars Were All Over”. It’s a bit sad, particularly for those who well-remember Baez from the 1960s and 70s, to think that she is taking a curtain call with “Whistle Down the Wind”, but this is an album that is emotionally genuine inspiring action in the face of social dishonesty and injustice.


Screaming Females
All at Once
Don Giovanni

Visit Screaming Females at Facebook and iTunes

Screaming Females, Marissa Paternoster (guitar vocal), Mike Abbate (bass) and Jarrett Dougherty (drums) have once again teamed with producer Matt Bayles on the group’s seventh album. “All at Once” follows the 2015 release “Rose Mountain” with a more mature recording showing off the ability to cover a broad space in terms of genres and diversity ranging from the pop-punk “I’ll Make You Sorry” to the weighty and thunderous opening track “Glass House”. Covering a broad space is not intended to suggest that there’s room to take a leisurely sonic walk. There’s plenty of movement from start to finish. Screaming Females has successfully stretched the idea of post-punk showing off experience and confidence without losing the dynamics, passion and outright force that put them on the music map.


Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet
Landfall
Nonesuch

Visit Laurie Anderson at Facebook and iTunes

Visit Kronos Quartet at Facebook

Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet have partnered to produce a superb and exceptionally intelligent 1 hour and 9 minute (30 tracks) recording. It is which is nothing short of excellent. “Landfall” relates the story of Hurricane Sandy found on Anderson’s very personal experience with the storm, the flooding and the great destruction. Anderson is well-known for her performance art has turned to what is narrative music in the sense that it meets the understood criteria, i.e, the music guides the listener, not only with respect to the story, but with respect to feeling or mood as well. this is not simply “background” music. These tracks take us through emotional moments alert, fear, and anxiety working along side with the Kronos Quartet, well-known for excellence in innovation and experimentation working in genres which extend from minimalism to contemporary classical. The Quartet delivers on the complete disorder and confusion attached to the storm. Taken as a whole, Anderson’s narrative, the violins, viola and violincello of the Quartet as well as special effects create sublime texture taking you on a sonic journey not to be missed. For the educated ear, there is much to consider, e.g., not only texture, but counterpoint and dissonance. If you feel compelled to simply “sample” the recording, go to the 9:38 minute “Nothing Left but Their Names”. It is early in the year, but “Landfall” is clearly in the running for HorizonVU Music’s best pick for 2018.


Louise Goffin
Good Times Call
Majority of One

Visit Louise Goffin at Facebook and iTunes

Louise Goffin has released “Good Times Call”, a single that’s sure to lift you up smiling. You’ll recall that since 2002, she’s recorded “Sometimes a Circle”,”Where You Lead” with her mother Carole King, “Bad Little Animals” and in 2014, and she recorded her sixth studio album, “Songs from the Mine”, featuring Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp on the single “Watching the Sky Turn Blue.” Over the holidays we joyfully received “New Year’s Day” featuring Billy Valentine. Louise has an affinity for recording songs that are just incredibly winning and pleasurable. “Good Times Call” is pop/pop-rock that’s got a great beat, melody line, and hey, it’s fun. Surely you afford .99 cents in exchange something happy!


Hollie Cook
Vessel of Love
Merge

Visit Hollie Cook at Facebook and iTunes

We’ve zeroed in on Hollie Cook’s third album, “Vessel of Love” as this week’s pick. Whether you want to categorize Cook’s work as roots, rock, reggae, or “tropical pop”, it really doesn’t matter. Her enticing vocals are very smooth and creamy making this release every bit worth adding to your collection. You can have a look and listen to “Survive” posted below, but there are other outstanding tracks. In particular, check out “Stay Alive” and “Lunar Addiction”. Producer Youth (Martin Glover) worked on the album bringing his exceptional competence with dub and electronic music. Go for it!


Powered by WordPress. Theme: Motion by 85ideas.
google-site-verification: google0eca8f6b62d9ec8d.html