Tuesday, January 31, 2017

New Music 2017 - Part 8 - Ags Connolly - Nothin' Unexpected

The second full-length from West Oxfordshire native and resident Ags Connolly has been a while in the making, quite deliberately so it would seem.
The first was 'How About Now' and  it appeared back in 2014. That was around the time that the blossoming of the indigenous UK Americana scene was starting to be noticed
 as the real change it was, rather than just the preoccupation of die-hard fans and would-be journalists.

Nothin' Unexpected - Ags Connolly (At The Helm Records, 3 February 2017).

The title of this latest is 'Nothin' Unexpected' and might sound almost underwhelming but that is quite deliberate too as the music is no such thing. The point here is that it is not flash or crass in any way at all. It is however very well done indeed - from the ten songs (nine originals and a cover of the Loudon Wainwright III song 'I Suppose'), to the instrumentation that accompanies them and the carefully balanced production values. It ticks boxes.
  • I Hope You’re Unhappy
  • Do You Realise That Now
  • When The Loner Gets Lonely
  • Neon Jail
  • I Suppose
  • Nothin’ Unexpected
  • Haunts Like This
  • Fifteen Years
  • Slow Burner
  • I Should’ve Closed The Book
It is certainly often wistful and resolutely stoical, especially about times spent alone and this applies as much to the honky-tonk influenced numbers as to the others; there's both a time and mood for that.  I happen to be listening sat in front of the fire on a dark and wet winter's evening but it would be just as good heard in the early hours around the dying embers of a summer campfire, with the last few burnt BBQ ribs and a beer to go with it.

One thing even better would be to see him play live, preferably in one of the old small-town bars that are mentioned in a couple of songs. Rather like this...
Ags Connolly, Saloon Bar stage, Truck Festival 2015.

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