Endless Boogie: Long Island
Third studio album from New York's kings of choogle Endless Boogie. The 8 tracks are still rooted in informal jams but this one finds them expanding their sound dynamically: more guitar, more atmosphere, deeper grooves. Frontman Paul Major finds new ways to grunt, holler and groan, sounding more crazed tongue-speaker than vocalist in a rock band. The addition of Matt Sweeney on third guitar takes the intensity up while providing a willing partner for Major to play off. Mojo Magazine say: "It's a roller-coaster of amplified sound... Long Island is alive and involving, creating a world of it's own".
Family Band: Grace and Lies
Family Band is a collaboration between visual artist turned singer Kim Krans and heavy-metal guitarist Jonny Ollsin. The couple met in the Catskill mountains in 2005 and still write many of their songs there in a two-room, hand-built cabin. Grace and Lies is the group's second album, and as the title suggests, it is equal parts light and shadow, evoking the mystery and terror of early Cat Power, the ghostly aura of Warpaint, with whom Family Band toured in 2011, and the hushed longing of prime-era Cowboy Junkies. Though they explored similar territory ? both sonically and lyrically ? on their self-released debut, Miller Path, on Grace their canvas is wider -- the greys lusher, the blacks deeper.
Doug Paisley: Golden Embers
Five new songs recorded in Toronto and intended to hold fans over until September, when Doug Paisley will release the follow-up to 2010's critically acclaimed Constant Companion. If you slept on that album, then we're sorry, but use this affodably priced EP as an excuse to acquaint yourself with one of the finest working songwriters, who Time Out NY called "the purest voice to come down the pike in ages."
Jennifer Castle: Castlemusic
In Toronto, Jennifer Castle possesses a sought after voice, singing on albums by Fucked Up, The Constantines and Doug Paisley. Castlemusic is her debut under her own name (she previously performed as Castlemusic). It's full of rambles, waltzes and ballads. It wanders with equal parts feedback and quiet, through dark melodies, wistful, and straight out of a hazed dream or some offbeat 70's AM station. The songs have that type of familiarity, as if they were always there. Castle is backed by an assortment of musicians: pedal steel, percussion, vibraphone. She handles guitar and piano herself, but it's her voice which is ultimately the guide. Like "cold smoke", as one writer puts it: it's enveloping and unmistakably present.
Nathan Salsburg: Affirmed
Louisville, Kentucky's Nathan Salsburg is a folklorist, producer, and presenter of vernacular music for East Village Radio, the Drag City imprint Twos & Fews, and the Alan Lomax Archive, among other outlets. With his first solo record as a performer -- entitled Affirmed, after the 1978 winner of horse racing's Triple Crown -- he enters a wholly new interaction with the corpus of American (and British) musical folklore. The album, seven original instrumentals and one trad arrangement, is a startlingly diverse synthesis of guitar traditions -- from Gary Davis to Sam McGee; Peter Lang to Nic Jones -- refracted through a compositional sensibility long on melodic adventurousness and short on repetition and drone, those shibboleths of the American Primitives. Affirmed is a remarkably confident, emotional debut by one of the most original and gifted young guitarists playing today.
Old Calf: Borrow A Horse
Old Calf formed as a duo in the small, but musically vibrant town of Charlottesville, VA by Ned Oldham (The Anomoanon, Palace Music) and accordionist Marty Metcalfe, slowly accruing members on route to recording their debut album. Deeply influenced by traditional American music, and touching on ground most groups do not know exist, Borrow A Horse is rich with melody and instrumentation, it's simple songs rooted in folk and bluegrass, and presented in a swirl of psychedelia. It's an album forged in history, and despite existing in the present, its sound is timeless.
The Psychic Paramount: II
As rock bands go, The Psychic Paramount is a rigorously all-in proposition. They make impact a state of being rather than a discrete event. As single-minded as the music may seem at first strike, it exists at higher elevations -- of decibel, intensity, motion, color, temperature -- and spills freely over the walls of genre, magma into new land. It is punk in its fury, noise in its rash extremity, and progressive in form. II is their 2nd studio album.