5. With Jordan Moser It’s Better The Devil You Know
Hailing from the always fertile Austin music scene, Jordan Moser has been balancing his songwriting with his many other artistic endeavours, from film-making to ballet dancing, for the best part of a decade. He’s self-recorded and released a number of records, however his upcoming album, Long Night, out next month, is his first for a label, coming out via the excellent Keeled Scales.
This week Jordan has shared the first taste of the upcoming record, The Devil, which features backing vocals from Molly Burch. There’s a winning simplicity to The Devil; for the most part it’s just two entwining guitar lines, a gentle shuffle of drums and the beautiful vocal interplay. Throughout Jordan’s vocal is to the foreground, sounding rich and clear, while Molly’s is more distant, a subtle texture, a shadowy figure lingering over Jordan’s shoulder. Fitting nicely into a lineage of American songwriters from Jeff Tweedy through to M.Ward and Kevin Morby, Jordan Moser feels like an artist on the verge of something very special.
Long Night is out July 26th via Keeled Scales. Click HERE for more information on Jordan Moser.
4. Daughter Of Swords Set A Shining Example
Daughter Of Swords is the new solo project of North Carolina’s Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, best known up until now as a member of the acclaimed Mountain Man. Alexandra’s debut album, Dawnbreaker, out later this month on Bella Union, was written as, “a set of songs about a breakup that had yet to happen”, a series of songs about knowing the end is coming, and a way of outlining where the future is going to take you.
This week Alexandra has shared the latest single from the record, Shining Woman. The track was inspired by the idea of taking a motorbike and riding, “up and down the bends and passes of California’s fabled Highway 1”. It’s a song that finds Alexandra marvelling at the spirit and strength of a loan rider, and wishing for the freedom that brings. Originally, Dawnbreaker was planned as a set of barebone folk songs, until work began with producer Nick Sanborn, who alongside a host of collaborators re-imagined the songs as something far better. While Shining Woman remains gentle and muted, the additional complexity of a fuller production allows the songs emotional complexities to emerge, and allows the visions of open roads and breaking free to come to the fore. Dawnbreaker is the sound of a musician breaking out, moving on from relationships, previous recordings, and truly becoming the artist you’ve always wanted to be: it’s the sound of Alexandra setting herself free.
Dawnbreaker is out June 28th via Bella Union. Click HERE for more information on Daughter Of Swords.
3. Living Body Are The C.R.E.A.M Of The Crop
Living Body, are an ever evolving Leeds-based supergroup, led by Jeff T. Smith, alongside a loose collective including, members of Sky Larkin, Vessels, Crake and itoldyouiwouldeatyou, to mention just a few. They released their excellent debut album, Body Is Working, back in 2016, and have this week returned with their first new material since that record, a brand new single C.R.E.A.M. The track forms part of a compilation for this year’s Long Division Festival.
C.R.E.A.M. is part of a recent decision from Jeff to take a break from playing live to work on new material. Jeff played all the instruments on the recording himself, yet it is in no way a stripped back affair; it’s full of soaring guitars, crunching drum beats and rumbling, rhytmic bass, all topped by Jeff’s passionate vocal delivery. A sparkling return, Living Body are well and truly alive, and sounding better than ever.
Long Division: New Addition Vol 1 is out now. Click HERE for more information on Living Body.
2. Lights, Camera, Deanna Petcoff
Toronto based songwriter, Deanna Petcoff, grew up worshiping the musical greats, Lou Reed and Patti Smith, David Bowie and Joan Jett. A former member of Pins & Needles, since they split back in 2018, Deanna has been pursuing her own musical vision, which continues this week with the release of her latest single, Stage Lights.
Stage Lights is inspired by the idea of asking, “what if”? It was written shortly after a break-up, trying to rediscover who she was on her own, when at a concert she met, “this man”. An evening of flirtation, laughing and pretending, “I was someone braver than I was”, led to well nothing and everything all at once. The reality was heading home alone, the thoughts were what if, “what if I pursued him? What would it be like to be in love with a nomad? Could I ever be happy?” The words poured out and Stage Lights was born. Musically, the song is a wall of bright guitar-lines, intricate rhythms and abrupt changes of pace, a perfectly complex slice of pop perfection. In a way, Stage Lights is a celebration of not knowing what might have happened, and being okay with that, the one that got away might have been the one, but don’t worry, at least you’ve got a really good song out of it.
Stage Lights is out now. Click HERE for more information on Deanna Petcoff.
1. Kate Davis Is For The Rbbts
Up until this point, Kate Davis was probably best known as a youthful jazz prodigy, with admirers as diverse as Herbie Hancock and Jeff Goldblum. As Kate’s attachment to music became more emotional, her interests evolved to the point where, “days spent practicing and performing standards became nights spent writing cathartic indie rock”. This week ahead of the november release of her debut album, Trophy, Kate has shared her new single, RBBTS. The track was premiered, somewhat unusually, on Sharon Van Etten’s Facebook page, the pair having met at a songwriting session that produced Sharon’s recent single, Seventeen,
RBBTS is a world away from Kate’s jazzy roots; here we get simple lilting guitar lines, cracked emotional vocals, steady, driving rhythms. Lyrically, the track seems to be a plea for someone to open up, “this is me calling ’cause you really need to let me inside your heart“. Throughout Kate seems to not promise anything, other than a willingness to try, ending with the perfectly simple closing line, “show me everything you feel and fear inside”, a request for openness and a chance. The jazz world’s loss, is very much the alternative world’s gain; an open hearted, poetic lyricist, a stunning vocalist and one of the most exciting new songwriters we’ve heard all year.
Trophy is out November 8th via Solitaire Recordings. Click HERE for more information on Kate Davis.
Header photo is Kate Davis by Melissa Nelson