PJ Bond’s catch phrase for his sound is “honest music about real things” — and that’s a damn good summation, but it suggests bit more earnestness than the 11 tracks of Where Were You actually reveal. Not that the songs are without integrity. In fact, with continued play, they seem to peel back layers, revealing strata of meaning, insight and imagery.
Musical selflessness and open-book lyrics infuse “Appalachiacana” band Tellico’s album Relics and Roses with honesty. The 45-minute collection of mountain-inspired tunes is out now.
Xenography, the new album by composer and musician Chris Stack is intensely observant and deeply peaceful. It’s not an album that commands you to listen, that stage dives and struts and makes a spectacle of itself. But to really pay attention to these songs is to go into a deeper, quieter, slower-paced place; a place welling with its own life forms and pulses and magic.
Part experimental, part indie-pop, Kisses to the Sky — the new release from N.C.-based collective Oulipo is as risky as it is dreamy. The album “takes inspiration from the studio pop melodrama of Talk Talk, Phil Collins, and the two Bruces (Springsteen & Hornsby)” says the group’s Bandcamp page.
“Half a Heart,” the lead track to the self titled debut EP from local indie-soul outfit Magenta Sunshine, might have a sad-sounding name, but it plays like a tropical beach party.
Even at 11 tracks, the new self-titled album from former Ashevillean Woody Pines is just over 30 minutes long. It’s an album that wastes little time.
Stars and Dust, the new album by Songs of Water (out in June), is not easy listening — which is not to say it’s un easy listening. But these 10 tracks demand attention. From the first staccato notes of “11 Miles,” the album is a journey, transportive and transformative.
Local pop-punk outfit Running on E gets right to the heart of the matter. “Don’t waste away, don’t burn away the light that I refused,” sings vocalist Nick Norton in the urgent opening notes of “Vagrants and Vagabonds.”
Dark clouds form, roil and drift through Out from the Harbor, the new album by Nikki Talley. It’s a moody collection, though the barometric pressure is impressive rather than oppressive.
Each of the 13 tracks on Adrienne Ammerman’s new album The Hunt is relatively short and minimalistic, too — allowing for the melody to be carried by Ammerman’s voice. And that’s the magic of this record.
From the knuckle-pop percussion and the fuzzed-out opening lyrics of “The Kids,” Fashion Bath‘s newest release, Sunday Best is full of intrigue, dark shimmer and reticent importance. The EP is a mix of astute alt-pop (like “The Kids,” with its almost-slowdance beat and buzzy, heady melody) and explosive, driving noise-rockers (like “Funny Feeling,” with its […]
One of the wonderful (and sometimes confusing) things about instrumental music is how open to interpretation it can be. While lyrics and instrumentation go hand in hand, the introduction of words does effectively contextualize a song. Of course there are other markers — rhythm, key, the instruments being played — that set a mood, but […]
The entire six-song collection, is as much about the orchestration of Griffin’s voice in collaboration with the instrumentation, as it is about the lyrics. Tender strings offer poignant accents, but it’s the low, almost whispery bowed bass that’s the happiest surprise.
The local pop-rock act is the new project of Stephen Mortensen.
The Stump Mutts’ newest album, We Can All Relate (released in November), takes its title from the chorus of the track, “Ignorance Bring Bliss”: “Hey, we can all relate. Let’s sing along and play, don’t question anything.” That song, a driving — though mid-tempo — rocker pairs heavy bass (John Lindsey), guitars (Neal Ward and […]
The Tills (formerly The Critters) play every song like rock ‘n’ roll was just discovered and their veins run with undiluted caffeine. And that’s the elevator pitch for the local band’s new 7-inch, Howlin’ (out on Phuzz Records): A hyper-bombastic dash through Animals-era rock, made more jangly, more garage-y and, ultimately, more fun. The album’s […]
Already Nothing, the new EP (and third album) by local noise-rock trio Telecine (Andrew Larson, Steven Teague, Jon McDuffie) is, actually, a lot of something. In under 30 minutes, the scopic project crashes and drifts through moods and vistas. It’s at once aggressive and aloof, tightly-coiled and unpinned, gritty and refined. The album, recorded in Haywood […]
The new split album by Asheville-based Wes Tirey and Andrew Weathers (from Oakland, Calif. by way of Chapel Hill, N.C.) is titled, aptly, split. And while the Scissor Tail Records release is a mere three tracks, don’t expect a quick listen. The shortest song clocks in at over 10 minutes. But this folk and drone […]
Shane Perlowin is prolific. His new solo album, Odei, follows less than a year after his last release, Anatomy of a Moment, with percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani. Also in that eight months or so, Perlowin toured in Europe, composed sheet music and begat an heir — hence Odei‘s spritely-if-contemplative middle track, “Is That You My Daughter […]
Local singer-songwriter Paul Edelman’s February release is a pitch-perfect collection, inspired largely by travel — in both the exterior and interior sense. The 10 tracks stitch dusty Americana and gritty folk-rock with jangly guitar and the kind of songwriting that hits sharp and sticks strong as a stubborn splinter. In the very best way.
Marley Carroll’s new 12-track album is out on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Release show at The Millroom on Friday, Dec. 13. Photo by Nicole McConville.