5. Seems Sunfair
Melaena Cadiz is a Michigan born songwriter, but her rootsy take on folk music has always sounded more suited to sunnier climbs. Since her last record, 2014’s Deep Below Heaven, Melaena has relocated from New York, and found a new life on the West Coast, and it’s that move that serves as the inspiration for much of her new album, Sunfair.
This week Melaena has shared a new teaser of that album, in the shape of beautiful new single California. It’s wonderfully uncomplicated songwriting, combining little more than a beautifully rhythmic guitar style, and her rich, raw vocal that brings to mind Hurray For The Riff Raff or Laura Veirs. Lyrically it’s a track of escapism, searching out “some California sunshine, and a reason to believe”. Sunfair may be an album about making a clean escape, but it’s also one that might just prove to be a critical and commercial break through as well.
Sunfair is released March 4th via Misra Records.
4. Orielles – Milk’s Favourite Band
The Orielles are a trio from Halifax, and for once it’s the Halifax in West Yorkshire and not the one in Nova Scotia. The band consist of sisters Esme and Sid Hand-Halford as well as friend Henry Wade. They’re not even out of their teens yet but with a keen interest in both the DIY Method and the riot grrrl scene, they’re already impressing with their delightfully lo-fi approach to making a fantastic racket.
This week they’ve confirmed details of their next release, an EP entitled Jobin due next month via Art Is Hard, and shared it’s title track. There’s something delightfully unpolished about The Orielles; messy drum hits, simplistic, pulsing, surfy bass lines and gorgeously glistening guitars, sitting behind the sisters shoe-gazey vocal harmonies, they sound authentically lo-fi, and all the better for it. Halifax’s best kept secret don’t look like staying underground for much longer.
Jobin is released March 25th via Art Is Hard. The Orielles are on tour in February and March, click HERE for details.
3. Skating Polly – Getting Oddier By The Day
Oklahoma step-sister duo Skating Polly, aka Peyton Bighorse and Kelli Mayo, have already existed for six years, having formed when they were just nine and fourteen respectively. That’s right nine! Whilst touring the UK last year, supporting the legendary Babes In Toyland, Kelli managed to trip, dislocate her knee, damage ligaments and still finish the show in true rock star style. To mark Kelli’s return from injury the duo have confirmed details of their latest album, the aptly titled The Big Fit, Skating Polly’s fourth album and first to be released in the UK, it will come out in April via Chap Stereo.
This week they’ve also shared the albums opening track and first single, Oddie More. Peyton has described releasing Oddie More as being, “like I’m throwing my journals out for anyone to read” and it’s that honesty and sincerity in her songwriting that makes Skating Polly such an intriguing prospect. The duo have described their sound as “ugly pop” and on Oddie More you hear that, blending accessible poppy melodies with the visceral gritty punch of punk-rock. As celebrity fan Everett True put’s it, “this is fucking fantastic. I don’t give a shit about their age. Either music gets it or it doesn’t. And this gets it”. We couldn’t agree more!
The Big Fit is released April 8th via Chap Stereo. Click HERE to keep up to date with Skating Polly tour dates.
2. The Sinister Sound Of Frankie Cosmos
This is far from the first time we’ve mentioned the music of Frankie Cosmos, aka New York native Greta Kline. However when a songwriter as consistent and prolific as Frankie Cosmos comes along, it’s hard not to keep telling everyone how great her music is.
Having released the excellent Fit Me In EP at the back end of last year, this week Greta has confirmed details of her new album, Next Thing, which will come out later this year and is her first LP for Bayonet Records. As well as detailing that record, she’s also shared the latest taster of that album in the shape of new single Sinister. As with Frankie’s previous output, Sinister is a bitter-sweet pop gem, hiding a dark sincerity behind it’s sugary melodic exterior. From the opening line, “my soul is not like the water park, it’s big but surprisingly dark, it’s not as forgiveable as you once thought”, Frankie invites you into a world of contrasts, where nothing is quite as it first appears. Sinister continues the evolution of a songwriter who delves into the minutiae of everyday life, and it serves to add further evidence that for Frankie Cosmos, Next Thing might just be the best thing.
Next Thing is released April 1st via Bayonet Records. Frankie Cosmos heads out on a US tour in April, click HERE for details.
1. Carter The Unstoppable Song Machine
Former frontman with Tulsa, Carter Tanton is surely one of music’s most prolific collaborators. Alongside a slightly under the radar solo career, Carter has toured and recorded with the likes of Marissa Nadler, Lower Dens, Strand Of Oaks and The War On Drugs, to mention just a few. In April this year the Baltimore native is set to release his third, and most high-profile, solo record, Jetisson the Valley. The album was written following Carter’s relocation from Baltimore to the rather different setting of Hambrook a village in South Gloucestershire on the outskirts of Bristol. Discussing the record, Carter has described it as his first concious effort to make an album, describing his previous releases as, “collections of scattered recordings, mixtapes essentially”
Fittingly for a man who’s spent so long on other people’s records, his latest album comes with a clutch of talented guests, including Marissa Nadler and Sharon Van Etten, Sharon featuring on the records latest single, Twentynine Palms. In moving to England, Carter rediscovered some of his earliest British influences, from Richard Thompson to Nick Drake, and the influence of those folk pioneers is clear in Twentynine Palms, with its hypnotic acoustic guitars, and beautifully judged vocal harmonies; Carter’s vocals recall a less exuberant Rufus Wainwright, a perfect match for Sharon Van Etten’s unobtrusive backing. It may be Carter’s famous friends that bring this record to the world’s attention, but if you come for his collaborators, it’ll be Carter’s own talents that keep this record on repeat.
Jettison The Valley is out March 4th via Western Vinyl.