Saturday, April 29, 2017

New Music 2017 - Part 19 - Wrangled - Angaleena Presley

When 'The Pistol Annies' hit the world with a delightfully sardonic take on country, back in 2011, it would be fair to say that Angaleena Presley was the least well-known of the three and, perhaps actually rather importantly, the oldest. Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe were already better known.
She was also the last of the three to release a solo LP and that when it came was the brilliant, off-kilter 'American Middle Class' in 2014. It immediately caught my attention, in the time before Margo Price was known-about, for it's uncompromising take on the grubby underside 
of the American Dream.
The two have rather different takes on what at the end of the day is discrimination, inequality and sheer frustration. The thread is that they are both brilliant about putting them to words and then weaving those words into songs. Songs that people far away can still relate to. 

I'm not afraid to write this and not least because Britain has plenty of the same problems and I'm not one to try and deny that. It is a big issue and also a massively divisive one: Poverty be that of food or culture, history suggests, does not tend to bring people together.

What I will say is that, of the most recent solo albums from each of the Annies, this is (and the others both guest on it, so its very clear they are still in touch) the the point when 'Holler Annie' finally becomes Angaleena the outlaw Annie.

Angaleena Presley - Wrangled (Mining Light Music/Thirty Tigers, 21 April 2017).

Pretty much nothing that she turns her lyric to, and therefore her voice also, comes out smelling of roses. That is telling it nicely; she often doesn't.
I don't even need to include the track-list because, in true old-school fashion, it is on the cover of the record. This release has multiple issues and one of them is that it may turn out to be amongst the best albums of 2017.
Yes, of course I would like to see Angaleena play live again.
 Not least because I know that she is astonishing. She is far better than my photography.

Stage 1, Cambridge Folk Festival, 31 July 2015.

Monday, April 17, 2017

New Music 2017 - Part 18 - Turn Your Face To The Sun - I Draw Slow

This is just so welcome news.
From Dublin, but also Americana and roots inspired, please embrace the return of 'I Draw Slow'. Centered around siblings Dave and Louise Holden the band is so much more than that.

I Draw Slow, Turn Your Face To The Sun (Compass Records, 21 April 2017).

I Draw Slow - Turn Your Face To The Sun:
  • Maria
  • My Portion
  • Same Old Dress Will Do
  • Garage Flowers
  • Apocalypso
  • Don't Wake The Children
  • Alveregna
  • Tell The Girls
  • Carolina
  • Twin Sisters
  • Crooked Life
This is Don't Wake The Children, taken from the new album...

You might find that a little searching of the bands's earlier recordings is rewarding too. Just one example, and another video, is this.

  'Goldmine', taken from the 2011 LP Redhills .

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Music 2017 - Part 17 - The Vintage TV Recordings - Danni Nicholls

Three months into 2017 and the days are longer. I have some 2017 festival tickets booked but the summer still feels a way off. Over the Easter weekend I intend to embark on another virtual road trip through music whilst also considering the fact that logic dictates at least some of the defining LPs of 2017 must have now been released, the consequent problem there being that I may not actually know about them yet.
Before that I'm going to indulge in my liking for live recordings; to wit that which is the title of this post. I finally saw Danni Nicholls live at Truck Festival last July after a couple of false starts due to venue issues resulting in shows cancelled to the detriment of all concerned.

This comprises tracks from both LPs and 
I have mentioned them before in posts. They are 'A Little Redemption' (2013) and 'Mockingbird Lane' (2015).  The play list here is as follows:
  • Long Road Home
  • Leaving Tennessee
  • Beautiful Game
  • Hey There, Sunshine
  • Beautifully Broken
  • Between Forever and Goodbye
  • Where The Blue Train Goes
  • Let Somebody Love You
  • A Little Redemption
If you like this you will like both the studio LPs too.  I believe that her third LP is in the works. Be that as it may I strongly recommend that you also need to catch the artist live-for-real because even the best, most sensitively produced, live recording doesn't hold a candle to being there in person.

Danni Nicholls, Saloon Bar stage, Truck Festival, 16 July 2016.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

New Music 2017 - Part 16 - Heavy Heart - Keepsake

Another band that was new to me as the result of seeing it live at a festival is London-based five-piece Heavy Heart. This was courtesy of Truck Festival 2014 and here they are playing then.

Heavy Heart, Veterans and Virgins stage - Truck Festival (18 July 2014).

As I mentioned in my last post there are acts that once heard are not easily forgotten and Heavy Heart is one of those as far as I am concerned. Throughout 2016 the band raised its profile on social media by releasing a new song each month. If you missed all this you can download or stream the songs from these links. In early 2017 it was announced that these songs would also gain a physical status as 'Keepsake' through new independent label I Can & I Will Records.

Heavy Heart - Keepsake (I Can & I Will Records, 31 March 2017).

It is still available but there is a catch.  The release  is limited to 300 copies, all numbered and signed, and it is only available on raspberry-coloured 12" vinyl (£10 + p&p), which quite frankly is a bargain given the prices being asked for many main-stream releases on vinyl at the moment.
This is the track listing:

Side A:
Time Will Stand Still
Teenage Witch
High Dive
Pretty Thing

Side B:
What Became of Laura R?
Fever Dream
Late to the Party
The World Is a Gumball
The Way Home

Now all I need to do is see the band live once again.

Note added 12 June 2017:
Keepsake is now available on CD too: