5. Our Dears Friend Murray Shakes Off The Belleville Blues
As the chief songwriter, and only ever-present member of, The Dears, Murray A. Lightburn has carved out a niche in the musical landscape; his earnest, open-hearted, melody-driven pop and crooning vocal always at heart of the band’s seven album career. On writing new material though, Murray decided it was time for something different, the track he’d written didn’t lend themselves to The Dears, and the seed of his second solo album, the follow up to 2013’s Mass:Light was planted. That album, Hear Me Out, will arrive early next year, and this week Murray has shared the latest single from it, Belleville Blues.
Initially planned as an entirely solo, “Murray plays everything”, record, he eventually relented and fleshed out his demos into full-blown band pieces. Belleville Blues is one such example, with gorgeous weaving guitar-lines, complex understated drums, and of course that hair-raising vocal all present and correct. Much of the lyrical inspiration for the record comes from what Murray describes as, “grown-up stuff”, the sort of ground largely un-trampled by pop-music, where kids and the home life are more important than the open road and the low and highs of a youthful heart. Much of the record explores what it means to be a man and a father in 2018. At a time when so much seems uncertain, Murray’s honest thoughts might never have been more needed.
Hear Me Out is released February 22nd via Dangerbird Recordings. Click HERE for more information on Murray A. Lightburn.
4. The Kids Are Into The Champagne Again
“Life is a bastard, life wants to kill you, don’t get old”, as memorable lines go, And The Kids might just have nailed it. That’s the lyric they repeat often in the excellent new single, Champagne Girls, the first track lifted from their third full-length album, When This Life Is Over, out early next year.
Like much of the album it’s lifted from, Champagne Girls is a track that explores the freedom of knowing we’ve all got an expiry date hanging over us, as they explain, “we took inspiration from the lyrics ‘When this life is over, no more rules, no more orders’ and let that set the tone of the whole album”. With nods to the mid-noughties guitar pop of Broken Social Scene or Stars, Champagne Girls is a brilliant pairing of freedom and angst; it sounds like a party, it reads like the end of the world. We’re all going up in smoke, so enjoy it while you can, “life is a bastard, life wants to kill you, don’t get old”, a motto to live your life by and a soundtrack to go with it.
When This Life Is Over is out February 22 on Signature Sounds. Click HERE for more information on And The Kids.
3. Mistki Puts Her Heart Through The Wringer
Unless you live under a particularly heavy-rock or have no access to the internet, you’ll probably have noticed than in 2018, everyone is a little bit obsessed with Mitski, and it’s not hard to see why. Following on from the break-out success of Puberty 2, Mitski returned earlier this year with the excellent Be The Cowboy. This week in the midst of a completely sold-out, like actually no tickets left anywhere, tour of North America, Mistki has shared a new video to stand-out moment, Washing Machine Heart.
Part of a deliberate plan to not do what anyone expects her to do next, Washing Machine Heart foregoes many of the ideas Mitski has explored previously, gone are the crunchy-guitars for starters, replaced by pulsating synth-bass, claps of snare, and if you listen very carefully, a tiny bit of rather wonderful guitar for just a few seconds here and there. At the heart of it as always, is Mitski’s voice, an instrument of powerful emotional gravitas, swooping, soaring and generally being show-stoppingly wonderful. The video is also great, a sort of noirish, retro-Hollywood vibe, where Mitski may or may not fall in love with a statue. We’re sure this isn’t news to anyone, but Mitski’s an absolute star.
Be The Cowboy is out now via Dead Oceans. Click HERE for more information on Mistki.
2. Julia Jacklin’s Finally Feeling All Alone
After the roaring success of her 2016 debut album, Julia Jacklin finds herself with a lot more expectation surrounding her second record. That album, Crushing, will arrive early next year, and this week Julia has shared the latest single from it, Head Alone.
Head Alone feels like an anthem for anyone who has ever felt encroached upon, as Julia explains, “this song is me raising my arms and running into an open field. A bit of a plea to those around me to give me space”. As a listener you can almost feel the overwhelming tension in the intro, as Julia sings, “give me the room tonight, you know I’ve told you before that you hold me too tight”, and equally the release as the crunching guitars crash into place, like throwing open the curtains and gasping the fresh air, “I’ll say it ’til he understands you can love somebody without using your hands”. A hugely impressive return from a songwriter thriving under the weight of new found expectations.
Crushing is out February 22nd via Transgressive Records. Click HERE for more information on Julia Jacklin.
1. Don’t Stress Over The New Deanna Petcoff Track
Hailing from Toronto, Deanna Petcoff was inspired to pick-up a guitar by the likes of David Bowie and Patti Smith, and then learnt what to do with it when she attended Girl’s Rock Camp Toronto, back in 2011. Inspired to form a band, Deanna spent most of her High School years performing and writing with Pins And Needles, and following their demise is heading off on a highly promising solo career.
We first featured Deanna back in March, when she shared her excellent debut single, Terribly True, and this week Deanna has followed that track up with new single, Stress. The track is a dissection of a fading relationship, and the complex array of emotions that comes with that, as Deanna explains, “way too often, I find that feeling is described by leaning heavily on the sadness that it comes with, ignoring all of the anger in it, as well. I wanted to show the range of emotions women feel with the loss of love that aren’t just the sadness of heartbreak”. Musically, the track is a blast of guitar chords, tumbling flourishes of piano and Deanna’s dextrous vocal performance; one moment wistfully asking, “I could walk around your town for weeks, but I feel like you’d never even notice me”, the next raging into the pronouncement, “honey I don’t know how I’m not sick of you”. Deanna works on the premise of, “happy songs about sad things”, with her eye for an emotional detail and way with a perfect melody, the sad songs couldn’t hope to sound any better.
Stress is out now. Click HERE for more information on Deanna Petcoff
Header photo is Deanna Petcoff, courtesy of Sabrina Carrizo Sztainbok – https://sabrinacarrizosztainbok.format.com/