April’s Picks: July 2015

april picksApril’s back!

Man, where does she come up with this stuff? Our resident new music expert has a keen ear for choice cuts, and she definitely brought them this month.

How about I just shut up and let her get to it:

Stay In My Corner,” by The Arcs (Yours, Dreamily). “I won’t always be a winner baby. In fact, I’m bound to burn.” A heady jewel of a song. I love this tune because it has a foot firmly in the present with quality production and a foot in the nineteen sixties with song structure and instrumentation. Dan Auerbach’s falsetto adds to the airy aesthetic.

Come By Here,” by The Word (Soul Food). Another super group whose members include John Medeski and Robert Randolph. A sonically adventurous song, the listener will be treated to the B3, slide guitar and woozy synths reminiscent of the Edgar Winter Group’s “Frankenstein.”

Little Queen of New Orleans,” by Low Cut Connie (Hi Honey). “Now, I wanna be with you all the while. The real thing is really goin’ outta style.” Opening with a lilting three part harmony, this track spins into a dark, sexy strut. It is impossible to not draw comparisons to The Stones. The sugar sweet backing vocals color the longing, pleading texture of the song.

Dream Lover,” by Destroyer (Poison Season). “I think I used to be more fun. Ah shit, here comes the sun.” High energy rock driven by a prominent sax part is bound to draw Springsteen parallels. The comparison is not unfounded. Swirling and ambitious, Dan Bejar and his band give us an aural treat.

Smooth Sailin’,” by Leon Bridges (Coming Home). “I don’t really know her destination, but I got a feelin’ I, I’m gonna be her passenger.” This cat has got it going on. If you enjoy Sharon Jones, you will love this tune. The phrasing is impeccable and just a hair behind the beat. Soul and country perfectly paired.

Asheville City Skyline,” The Lonesome Trio (The Lonesome Trio). “Rollin’ up Route 74 through the French Broad river corridor, I see old Black Mountain holdin’ court and I know the trip is gettin’ short.” A sweet send up to the joys of being away from home and finally getting back to the familiar. A feeling that binds us all, as there is always a place we long to get back to.

Let It Happen,” by Tame Impala (Currents). “I will not vanish and you will not scare me.” Signature airy, psychedelic sound abounds in this upbeat, multi-faceted track. Pristine production weaves the quirks-handclaps, the intermittent dive into lo-fi sludge and orchestral synths-into a moody, spirited piece.

I Can’t Think About It Now,” by Dawes (All Your Favorite Bands). “So I guess it makes me wonder what I’m chasing, like a dancer that’s breaking in her shoes.” A sun-kissed guitar sound coupled with smooth, delicate harmonies, this is a perfect summer song for sitting by a late night campfire. It is easy to fall prey to the song’s reflective story.

Compound Fracture,” by My Morning Jacket (The Waterfall). “There is life in love and sound. Get as much as you can keep around before they put you in the ground.” Regal and commanding, lead singer, Jim James’ voice is in fine form. Mystic, swirling keyboards and guitars are matched against a steadying backbeat and sing-a-long backing vocals.

Gates of Dawn,” by Heartless Bastards (Restless Ones). “I have awoken. The spell, it has been broken.” Erika Wennerstrom’s robust anchors this straight ahead rock track. An unassuming beginning quickly gives way to the crunchy guitars sound that drives the song. The band originates from Cincinnati, OH and has been championed by Pat Carney (The Black Keys and fellow Ohioan).

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