Review: Just Like Shadows by Anders L.A.

Just Like Shadows by Anders L.A. (9/10): Anders is a 21 year old singer-songwriter who is based in Copenhagen, Denmark who released his first album in 2009. Now with a fresh album released May 17, 2013, Anders is breaking onto the scene with a calming sound.

Just Like Shadows

Just Like Shadows gets its name from a Bruce Springsteen song. Fittingly, Anders counts Springsteen among his influences, along with Neil Young, George Harrison, and Dire Straits.

Anders L.A.

What I love about this release from Anders L.A. is that the sound is very minimalistic, yet the lyrics are thought-provoking. Some of my favorite lyrics on the album come off the song ‘Truth,’ “The lie may hurt but the truth it kills.” The album as a whole is wonderful when you just need to crack open a beer and unwind; it’s difficult to restrain yourself from tapping your foot to the beat. Believe it or not, my favorite instrument on the album is the tambourine; every time it comes in, I find my head bobbing up and down.

One interesting thing about the album is that the track ‘Stages’ is fully a capella. Normally, I hate a capella, but Anders L.A. pulls it off very nicely here. Overall, this is an excellent album that nearly puts itself on the level of Amos Lee and other acoustic albums of recent years (but falls just short) and is definitely worth a download.

You can find Anders L.A. on:

Bandcamp

Facebook

Itunes

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Review: One Mile An Hour by One Mile An Hour

One Mile An Hour by One Mile An Hour (9.5/10):Headed by Jeff Kightly’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, One Mile An Hour is an incredibly impressive debut album. The self-produced album sets forth an ethereal tone that draws the listener deeper into the carefully crafted lyrics. At some points on the album, I am reminded of Simon and Garfunkel (particularly on “Sunken Ships”), Ray Lamontagne (as on “Trouble’s Roots”) and even of Bon Iver. But do not be fooled, these guys do not fall into the trap of trying to copy the success of others; there is a uniqueness about this album that sets it apart from others.

One Mile An Hour

Normally, I try to say what my favorite songs on the album are so that you readers can check those out first, but I really can’t choose a favorite for this album. The only song that really doesn’t tickle my fancy is “Nine Eight” if only for the fact that I’m not a fan of instrumental songs and this one is about 9 hours long (that may be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s only 10 minutes long). Overall, I think that the album is masterfully crafted and could be at the top of the folk charts. I hope that these guys get the credit that they deserve for this album that is easily within my favorites that I’ve discovered this year. 

You can find One Mile An Hour on:

Bandcamp

Amazon

Itunes

Their Website

Facebook

Review: Pop’s Garage by Jack Mattingly and Whiskey Fever

Pop’s Garage by Jack Mattingly and Whiskey Fever (8.5/10):

Pop’s Garage

According to drummer Andy Brown, “Jack is a relatively young singer-songwriter who plays and sounds like an older more seasoned artist.  Maybe it is because he grew up listening to a lot of Johnny Cash, Earl Scruggs, Tom Petty, Hank Williams, etc.  As he got older his musical tastes and influences expanded.  He was and is still quite the Weezer fan.”

The band as a whole has a pretty interesting sound overall, but what appeals to me the most is the clever lyrics that are often pretty humorous.
The 5 song album as a whole is a nice effort put forth, but “Homeboyz” and “Postal” are really standouts that make me think this band could do very well if only a few more people gave them a listen. “Homeboyz” has comical lyrics that force you to crack a smile no matter what mood you’re in. “Postal” is a tune that really draws you in; as you listen to the song, the lyrics really strike you in a cool way.
You can find Jack Mattingly and Whiskey Fever on:

Review: Youngest Days by Beady

Youngest Days by Beady (9/10):

Youngest Days

Formed in 2010 in Louisville, Beady is a promising new folk band incorporating an energetic and often uplifting musical style. In 2012, they released their first label-backed album, Youngest Days. Drawing heavily on the folk and alt-country scene, Beady is part of the new-found popular appreciation for folk and country music at times resembling a toned-down version Trampled by Turtles and other times like a raucous incarnation of Bright Eyes.

Beginning with the heartwarming and calming track, “Train Man”, the album never gives up the upbeat tone even when the lyrics tell a very different story. “April Showers” reminds me of the Bright Eyes song, “First Day of My Life,” in the way that it is a touching love song using metaphor to proclaim affection (though it is admittedly much faster paced).

My favorite song on the album is “Hickory Desk.” The simple beauty of the song is captivating and you just want to hold a loved one under your arm. I could definitely see this song becoming popular if only more people could hear it.

Overall, the album is a commendable and polished effort from a (currently) undiscovered band. You’ll be tapping your fingers along with this one and having a good time. I would definitely say that this is a good purchase for any folk fan.

Find Beady on:

Their website

Bandcamp

Amazon

Review: Sir, I Am A Good Man by Lonely Tourist

 

 

Sir, I Am A Good Man by Lonely Tourist (9/10): This band is based in Scotland, and their accents are the perfect accompaniment to the style of music they play… Honestly, I don’t know what genre to put them in, they cross genres (sometimes folk, sometimes sounds like it has a Caribbean feel). I try to give some of the album’s highlights on these reviews, but every song is awesome in its own respect. Here is what I consider my favorite: Too Old for Clubbing. You can just hear the enjoyment these guys feel when playing; their excitement radiates. Give it a listen and sip on some rum and you’ll have yourself a great time. Cheers!

 

Review: Dyin’ Aint For Death

Dyin’ Ain’t For Death by More Hazards More Heroes (8/10): MHMH is a contemporary folk band from Nashville that put out a nice album recently. First off, let me give you the highlights. The song “Shovels” is an awesome tune with a serious tone and some great deep voices (the swearing in this song detracts from the overall experience). “Romans” is the real winner of the album; it opens with a beautiful soft guitar, and has good lyrics and a great overall feel (unlike in Shovels, this song is boosted by the swears). Other than these two songs though, the album falls a bit flat. Each song individually sounds great, but the problem is that most of them sound very similar. Sometimes I caught myself not really realizing that the song had changed. Don’t get me wrong, they sound great, but a little variety would certainly not hurt their case. Go check these guys out and let me know in the comments if you agree.

Review: Wild Country EP

“Wild Country EP” by Wake Owl (9.5/10) “Wild Country EP” is a seriously stunning EP released last November. The members of Wake Owl should be proud of what they’ve done. Many of the tracks remind me of Ben Howard. Any of the songs can do well to calm you down when you’re wound up. I wish these guys much success as they really deserve some recognition with this album. Expect good lyrics (not the deepest ever but good nonetheless), catchy beats, and an overall fun experience.

Wild Country EP

1. Wild Country – (10/10) What an amazing song to open this album. The voice on the singer is awesome, the guitar is sweet, and it all meshes together perfectly. I really can’t say enough about this song. Go give it a listen.

2. You’ll Never Go – (9/10) This song has a little more of that bluegrass twang to it. The chorus is just as “pop” like as the last song, but overall there is a more folksy feel on this one. I’m pretty sure I’m hearing a tambourine too, and I’m loving it.

3. Gold – (10/10) This album continues to impress. The chorus is so catchy on this tune. This is definitely a folk pop song, but not a generic one. There is a great amount of depth added by the intense string instruments and the “oooooohhs.”

4. Grow – (8/10) Not quite as awesome as the prior three, but still great. There wasn’t anything too captivating about this song. That being said, the song is so upbeat that it is impossible to dislike. I found myself moving around a lot while listening to it.

5. Seaside – (9/10) A nice simple song to end the EP. The lyrics are very simple, but I don’t mind that at all. Great composition, and a really great effort put out by Wake Owl.