I’m with her, let’s do this:
1.)“Silver Timothy,” Damien Juardo (Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son). “You can never go home if you were never shown.” Space folk (yes, I made that up) at its finest. A multi-layered jam that evokes Santana and takes the listener on a sonic trip. Trippy, but doesn’t meander.
2.) “Blue Sunshine,” US Royalty (Blue Sunshine). “Fought down by my own affections. Is there nowhere safe I can hide?” A track that retains its ruggedness yet tempers that sinewy rock sound with a nuanced string interlude. One can hear echos of INXS, The Cure, and Fleetwood Mac.
3.) “Down to the Well,” Hard Working Americans (Hard Working Americans). “I remember the night you broke down to the core, threw that black Stratocaster through a plate glass door.” Originally recorded by Kevin Gordon, this is a regret tinged song that goes down easy. A melodic nod to a calmer exsistence that creeps up on you whether you’re ready or not. A supergroup of sorts, Hard Working Americans features Todd Snider, Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), and Duane Trucks (Derek’s younger brother).
4.) “The Changing Lights,” Broken Bells (After the Disco). “Well I often wonder why you wanna win but you won’t fight.” A soaring piece which builds upon itself. Resplendent drums, synthisizers and vocals carry this tune. The whole album is well done, I highly recommend.
5.) “Stranger to my Happiness,” Sharon Jones and the Dap-Tones (Give the People What They Want). “Now if you think that it’s a thing that only evil man can bring, well let me skin this cat another way.” Sharon Jones and her band are the real deal. This track kicks off with the driving, authoritative baritone sax that anchors the groove. And what a fiery groove it is. Ms. Jones and her back up singers take no prisoners. If this song doesn’t get your foot tapping, you may need to check your pulse.
6.) “Hangover,” Charlotte OC (Colour My World EP). “As the whisky reigns, I sip your love away.” Sultry, sexy, great production. Ms. O’Connor conjures memories of Sade.
7.) “Tie Up the Tides,” Quilt (Held in Splendor). “There’s nothing left when you suffocate the hours, spent beyond what time had tried to offer.” A plodding, sonically pleasing track. The song features low key psychedelia from these newcomers out of Boston.
8.) “My Black Sabbath,” The Liminanas (Costa Blanca) . If The Breeders and Luscious Jackson married their sound and then moved to France, this might be what it would sound like. An irreverent and intricate sound and bonus – sitars!
9.) “Very Cruel,” Polica (Shulasmith). “If you love all men, you’ll be left with none.” A menacing, creeping tune that keeps you in its crosshairs with staccato drums, woozy synths and crisp production. Channy Leaneagh’s haunting vocals complete the haunting arc.
10.) “Shotgun,” The Band of Heathens (Sunday Morning Records). “You came crashin’ through the window, and it gave away so fast. All I hear now is the wind blow riding shotgun through the past.” A wonderfully crafted tune that resonates with truth. Exceptional harmonies round out this track.