Friday, April 19, 2019

Doug Tuttle - "Did You Need Someone"

When there's a new song from Boston's Doug Tuttle, we know what to expect at this point. "Did You Need Someone" fits in perfectly with Tuttle's previous work. The new song is 70's era influenced singer/songwriter fare. It's laid back not-quite-folk with a mellow groove. But Tuttle does this sound so adeptly it's practically perfect. This isn't him trying out a new sound or branching out, but when you do something as good as he does this, it's exactly what we want.

You can listen to "Did You Need Someone" below. Dream Road, Doug Tuttle's fourth full length album, will be out May 31 on Burger Records. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Doug Tuttle, check out his website.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys - "Bloodless"

The Slaughterhouse Society recently staged a theatrical production of Dracula in Cambridge, MA. Normally that isn't normally the kind of thing we cover, but when our favorite steamcrunkers Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys supply the theme song, we have to bring it to your attention. "Bloodless" is exactly the type of song you'd expect the folk/punk/metal/vaudeville/rock/burlesque troupe to come out with for a play about Dracula. It's heavily creepy and eerie, but it's somehow also an industrial party banger? Yeah, it's virtually perfect.

You can listen to "Bloodless" below. For more on the band, be sure to check their Facebook and Twitter. If you happen to be in the Boston area, be sure to check them out April 12 at Oberon in Cambridge, May 2 at The Sinclair in Cambridge for the TRC Fest,  May 11 on the Waltham common as part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival, and June 22 with Eddie Japan at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA! Their live shows can't be missed!

Black Belt Eagle Scout - "Loss & Relax"

Photo by Eleanor Petry
Black Belt Eagle Scout (aka Portland based artist Katherine Paul) has released a new single called "Loss & Relax." "Loss & Relax" was originally meant to be included on last year's album Mother of My Children but was not on the album as it continued to evolve. The final version is a lush and exquisite folk song, at least at first. While it may start off as folk, the song slowly builds and progresses, reaching an almost hard rock crescendo. 

Katherine Paul explains the song: As I was writing the guitar line, I kept seeing the water of the Salish Sea and the local ferries drifting people in and out of place. Ferries are such a beautiful part of my childhood and served as a major form of transportation. Thinking about my home and how canoes have turned into ferries is a sad, but also beautiful thought. Nowadays with Canoe Journeys, canoes are alongside ferries, roaming our waters to lands, sharing customs and culture. That is what I think about now when I listen to the fully recorded version of the song. I see a strong and fierce community of my people continuing to thrive in whatever comes our way. That is how I feel about myself, a survivor and thriver of this land, a water protector, a womxn, the future.

You can watch the video for "Loss & Relax" below. The song will be released as a 7" with b-side "Half Colored Hair" on April 26. You can pre-order a copy here. For more on Black Belt Eagle Scout, check out their website. Current tour dates are below the video.

Thu. April 18 - Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag Records
Fri. April 19 - Madison, WI @ Communication #
Sat. April 20 - Bloomington, IN @ Culture Shock ^
Mon. April 22 - Athens, OH @ Union Bar and Grill
Tue. April 23 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade *
Wed. April 24 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
Thu. April 25 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s *
Fri. April 26 - Allston, MA @ Great Scott *
Sat. April 27 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB *
Sun. April 28 - Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern *
Tue. April 30 - Washington, DC @ DC9 *
Wed. May 1 - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter *
Thu. May 2 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle - Back Room *
Thu. May 3 - Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor *
Sat. May 4 - Atlanta, GA @ 529 Club *
Mon. May 6 - Nashville, TN @ Third Man Records *
Tue. May 7 - Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
Wed. May 8 - Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s *
Thu. May 9 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry *
Fri. May 10 - Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge *
Sat. May 11 - Kansas City, MO @ recordBar *
Mon. May 13 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *
Tue. May 14 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge *
Fri. May 17 - Vancouver, BC @ The Fox Cabaret *
Sat. May 18 - Everett, WA @ Fisherman’s Village Music Festival *
Sat. May 18 - Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern *
Sun. May 19 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios *
Tue. May 21 - San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall *
Wed. May 22 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy *
Thu. May 23 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom *
Mon. June 3 - Dallas, TX @ Club Dada *
Tue. June 4 - Austin, TX @ Barracuda *
Wed. June 5 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall *
Thu. June 6 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa *
Thu. Aug. 1 - Sun. Aug. 4 - Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon
# = w/ Disq
^ = w/ Lala Lala
*= w/ Julia Jacklin

Esya - "Nothing"

Photo by Chiara Ceccaioni
Sometimes music isn't meant to be nice to listen to. Esya, the solo project of Ay┼če Hassan of Savages and Kite Base), has just released a fantastic new single that's not exactly a comfortable listen. "Nothing" has a droning baseline throughout and an awkward drumbeat that you can't quite figure out. It's a pattern (maybe?) but definitely not a simple one. Hassan's voice is the one thing that can be considered traditionally nice to listen to, and stands out as a lifeline holding you into the song. And, somehow, you can almost dance to the whole thing. But, for those of us that like awkward, unsettling music, "Nothing" will be glorious.

You can watch the video for "Nothing" below. Absurdity of ATGC (I), the new EP from Esya, will be out May 24. You can pre-order a copy at Bandcamp. For more on Esya, check out her website.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Grizzly Coast - "Half-Light Boy"

Toronto's Grizzly Coast has released a single that perfectly dances on the line of pop and folk. "Half-Light Boy" is this ideal little pop rock song that is somehow both upbeat and haunting. Grizzly Coast explains the meaning behind the song:

"I was walking home from the grocery store one evening, lugging way too many bags for one girl to carry comfortably. Passing by a venue, I noticed that someone who once held a big place in my life was playing a show there that very night.

There was a time when I felt close to this person. Having always been one of their biggest supporters, not getting an invite to their show that was right in my neighbourhood left me feeling pretty small. I went home and wrote this new song as a confrontation that I knew I would never bother to actually have."

It's a song that could be a depressing, mopey number, but Grizzly Coast somehow keeps it almost danceable. Not quite, but close.

You can watch the video for "Half-Light Boy" below. For more on Grizzly Coast, check out their website.

Prescott Park Art Festival's 2019 Season is Already Fantastic

I've been praising Prescott Park Arts Festival since the very beginning of If It's Too Loud... They always book a bunch of artists we love, and there's just something great about watching a world class artist play for a $7.00 donation on the Portsmouth, NH waterfront in the summer. It's especially great since a lot of artists they book tend to normally charge more than I'm comfortable paying for a concert. In the past I've seen Carolina Chocolate Drops, Nikki Lane, Deer Tick, David Wax Museum, Shovels & Rope, Steve Earle, and Mavis Staples here, and every show is always a highlight of my summer.

This year year they've only announced three shows so far, but all three could easily be the highlights of the entire season:

Jenny Lewis: June 16
Drive-By Truckers: June 30
Conor Oberst: July 17

For more information on the Prescott Park Arts Festival, be sure to check out their website.

Danielia Cotton - "She Too"

New York's Danielia Cotton has a blistering blues rock single released earlier this month. I almost hesitate to refer to it as blues rock, since we all have a certain idea as to what blues rock is. "She Too" is far more intense than what you picture that genre to be. It's more of a soul/almost metal hybrid, like the less clunky sound of later White Stripes. The song is an anthem that demands gender equality. It's loud protest rock, the kind we could use more of these days. 

You can listen to "She Too" below. The single is available now via Cottontown LLC. For more on Danielia Cotton, check out her website.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Droneflower Cover Guns n Roses

Even if it didn't include a cover of Guns n Roses epic song "Estranged," we'd be impossibly intrigued by Droneflower's debut album. Droneflower is the pairing of folk/dream pop artist Melissa Nadler and Stephen Brodsky of metalcore bands like Cave In and Mutoid Man. It's not a pairing I ever thought we'd see, but the two became friends when Brodsky went to see Nadler on tour, which lead to the formation of Droneflower. 

For their cover of "Estranged," Droneflower cut the song down by two minutes. It still clocks in at over seven minutes, so they kept most of the epic scope. It leans more towards Nadler's artistic output than it does Cave In. It's haunting folk, but there is more of an edge and noise lingering than you might expect. It's folk with an unexpected menace and droning guitars. This is such an interesting pairing, and we can't wait to hear more.

You can listen to Droneflower's cover of "Estranged" below. Droneflower's self-titled debut album will be available on April 26. You can pre-order a copy on Bandcamp. For more on Droneflower, check out Marissa Nadler's website.

Yucca King - "Panic Attack #2"

When you get a press release that lists the "for fans of" as Dismemberment Plan, Faith No More, Soundgarden, Primus, and Jesus Lizard, the music is going to be strange. And the latest single from Yucca King definitely fits that. "Panic Attack" is loud, noisy, and groovy, fitting every single one of the previously mentioned bands in some way, with more than a little Frank Zappa sprinkled in. Vocalist Greg Arent describes the song much better than I possibly could:

"When I was in my early days of sobriety I struggled with crippling panic attacks. Every time I had to go out and be social without booze I would have a total meltdown. I always wanted to write a song about that feeling and the music in this song seemed to fit; with the dirty bass, screaming guitar and herky-jerky drumbeat. We want the song to actually make people feel anxious."

You can listen to "Panic Attack #2" below. Popcorn, but also House Fire, the new album from Yucca King, will be out April 26. You can pre-order the album via Bandcamp. For more on Yucca King, check out their website. Current Tour dates are below the song.

May 2 - O’Briens Pub - Allston, MA
May 3 - Arlene’s Grocery - New York, NY [Album Release Show]
May 4 - 33 Golden Street - New London, CT
May 5 - The Fire - Philadelphia, PA

First Listen: New Releases for 12 April

A super busy release week this week, but not a ton of true highlights for me.

Artist: John Paul White
Album: The Hurting Kind
Quick Description: Latest solo effort from half of The Civil Wars.
Why You Should Listen: This is his best effort yet.
Overall Thoughts: I am sure John Paul White would like to escape the long shadow of The Civil Wars at this point, but I’m not sure how realistic that will be. With that said, this album will likely help, which is possibly the best merging of classic country and modern roots/folk. There are so many positive moments here that my fear is that this will be overlooked either due to how stacked this week is or because people expect something else from him entirely.
Recommendation: Don’t miss out on this one. It’s worth the time investment.

Artist: Reese McHenry
Album: No Dados
Quick Description: Genre-bending indie stuff.
Why You Should Listen: This is a truly special record that you'll likely fall for.
Overall Thoughts: This was a revelation in many regards. A strident, angsty affair from start to finish, and reminded me a lot of Sallie Ford in attitude even though this is more brash and noisy. McHenry is absolutely going to win over some people with this album, which has a great alt-country feel along with some serious emotion to each song. I’ll want to spend a lot more time with this, and there’s a good chance you will, too.
Recommendation: Absolutely a top release this week.

Artist: Shovels & Rope
Album: By Blood
Quick Description: New album by a favorite here and everywhere else.
Why You Should Listen: Shovels & Rope has yet to fail us.
Overall Thoughts: What can I say about Shovels & Rope that we haven't already? The married duo's latest is yet another rollicking adventure through their style of roots music that hits all the right notes in all the right ways. What they lack in producing that one clear heavy hitting song these days they more than make up for in great albums that work from start to finish.
Recommendation: I love these guys, and I love this album.

Artist: Evan Greer
Album: she/her/they/them
Quick Description: A protest record for people who don't like protest records.
Why You Should Listen: There's something here for everyone to like.
Overall Thoughts: Boston-area musician and activist Evan Greer presents what ended up being a surprise favorite of mine this week. A nice slice of indie pop that pleases the ear while not laying anything else on too thick, it's a great listen from a musician who should rightfully get a good deal of attention from this record. If the opening track, "First Boy," doesn't grab you, what are you even doing here?
Recommendation: Give this a listen.

Artist: Native Harrow
Album: Happier Now
Quick Description:
Why You Should Listen:
Overall Thoughts: Looking solely at the cover, you'd probably expect an early 1970s folk pastiche of some sort. Instead, what we get is a really confident singer-songwriter effort with some truly interesting instrumentation and some quality songwriting. A lot of this album in particular stuck with me long after I finished my first listen, and, of everything out this week, it's the one I'm looking forward to going back to the most.
Recommendation: Don't miss out on this one.

Of note:

* Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo - LSD (Not as adventurous as you might expect, but still great.)
* Spectator - Charlie, Baby (Haunting at times, but always compelling.)
* Emily Reo - Only You Can See It (Ken is really into Emily Reo, and this is a buzzworthy release this week.)
* Jess Riberio - LOVE HATE (Lots of solid songs throughout.)
* Melissa Etheridge - The Medicine Show (This is a lot better than you'd imagine it might be.)
* Saint Lo. - We Could Be>
* Band of Skulls - Love is All You Love
* The Leisure Society - Arrivals and Departures
* The Chemical Brothers - No Geography
* Anderson .Paak - Ventura

7 Song Album:

* Norah Jones - Begin Again


* GFOTY - If You Think I'm a Bitch, You Should Meet GFOTY
* Theia - Not Your Princess
* Robotaki - Anachronism
* Broken Social Scene - Let's Try the After Volume 2

Also out:

* Emma Bunton - My Happy Place (Baby Spice with a covers album.)
* Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing
* Eli "Paperboy" Reed - 99 Cent Dreams
* Sophie Auster - Next Time
* Damien Jurado - In the Shape of a Storm
* PJ Harvey - All About Eve