Timothy Showalter’s fourth album as Strand of Oaks, Heal, has all the hallmarks of a breakout release. Based on the lyrical depth, musical exploration, and ripping guitar solo from J Mascis on Goshen ’97, it deserves every bit of praise being heaped on it.
Strand of Oaks recently did a beautiful World Cafe set, which has been made available for free. In addition to the songs performed for David Dye, it includes the album version of Shut In, which we’ve been playing for a few weeks on WFPK.
If you thought Clap Your Hands Say Yeah was just an indie rock remnant of the aughts (yeah yeah, blog rock…blah blah blah), you were sorely mistaken. Alec Ounsworth and the gang are as relevant as ever with their new record, Only Run. It does a good job of combining instrumental elements from their 2005 self-titled debut and 2011’s Hysterical, all while illustrating Ounsworth’s crisp songwriting. The lead cut from the record, which you’ve no doubt heard on WFPK the last few weeks, is a dynamic rocker that features The National’s Matt Berninger lending a hand.
Nashville’s Dualtone Records has graced us with a free summer sampler. There’s a little bit of old (The Lumineers’ Stubborn Love, Guy Clark’s Diamond Joe), a bit of new (The Felice Brothers’ Cherry Licorice, Simone Felice’s Running Through My Head), and a whole lot in between. One thing is for sure, though – all of these tracks just have to be listened to with the wind blowing through your hair in the car or while grilling out and sipping on a beer. It is a summer sampler, after all.
Not long ago, the Kaiser Chiefs stopped by NPR’s World Cafe. They’ve since released the live session that ensued as a free EP. Here it is, in anticipation of their show at the Mercury Ballroom next month.
Nashville’s Leagues has just released a free maxi-single for the track Spotlight (which you might’ve heard on WFPK). The song does a great job of capturing the intense energy of the band’s live performance.
Speaking of which, Leagues is playing at the Fest-a-Ville on April 30 alongside the Same Roberts Band. So you’ll have a chance to find out for yourself just how crazy Thad Cockrell and the gang can be.
If Shara Worden recorded nothing but her voice, that would be enough. It’s powerful, vulnerable, flexible and downright beautiful. But she’s also blessed the world with three albums, as My Brightest Diamond, that pair her pipes with experimental-pop music that often defies easy categorization.
Worden has just released a six-song compilation, Until Now, that traces her entire career as My Brightest Diamond. It’s currently available for free via NoiseTrade.