Cian Nugent & The Cosmos: Born With The Caul
Cian Nugent is a guitar player from Dublin, Ireland whose music combines personal passions, such as suburban/coastal blues, traditional music, 1960s & ?70s singer-songwriters, psychedelic rock,critically jazz ambitions and 20th century composition. Born With The Caul is his first full length with 4 piece-band The Cosmos and follows his acclaimed 2011 solo effort Doubles. Like that album, Caul is comprised of a few expansive, developed pieces (three, to be exact). Led by Nugent?s guitar playing ? always inviting, subdued and unpredictable ? the band takes these songs into darker, richer territories opening a whole new galaxy for this young guitar player to explore.
Nathan Salsburg: Hard For To Win And Can't Be Won
Nathan Salsburg?s 2011 debut was a beautiful ode to racehorses (a point of pride for any resident of Kentucky). Comprised of seven acoustic guitar instrumentals and one vocal track, Affirmed caused Popmatters to declare the record ?one that others like it will soon be measured against.? His second go-round is a grander effort. Although still primarily composed of acoustic guitar, the songs sound bigger. They bounce along, weaving through unexpected twists and turns, with the occasional piano melody or fiddle line.
Houndstooth: Ride Out The Dark
Houndstooth is a 5 piece rock and roll band from Portland, OR informed, decidedly, by the grand history of rock acts, but it may be more helpful to think about a William Eggleston photo or an Alice Munro short story to get the feel of the band; two Southerners (Katie Bernstein and John Gnorski), two Detroiters (Courtney Sheedy and Mike Yun), and a Canadian (Graeme Gibson). Their debut LP, ?Ride Out The Dark,? is a collection of songs that came out of that universally tumultuous year of 2012, and speak to the light at the end of that tunnel we all made it through. Sit with it for a while; it?s the kind of record that makes you homesick for an un-nameable place and puts you in its own sort of darkness on the edge of town, where things are raw and alive and unchained.
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.