September by Lydia Loveless

Lydia Loveless released a tremendous new record, Daughter, last Friday. It’s sad, twangy, rootsy and near perfect. Her voice is the beautiful match to her songwriting. There are many great songs on the album, including the singles Love is Not Enough, Wringer, and the album closer Don’t Bother Mountain. The stand-out track for me is September, a piano ballad about her childhood and teenage years. Loveless commented to Stereogum: “It allowed me to let go of a lot of pain, finally recording it, as it is a fairly old song I’ve never felt comfortable releasing.”

That feeling is palpable in the song. It’s the kind of song about being stuck in the wrong place with a right person, longing to leave the hellish place, and in that way made me think of the best moments of Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman and Bright Eyes.

The addition of Laura Jane Grace’s voice in the chorus add extra depth and makes it perfect.

Daugther is out on Lydia Loveless’ own Honey, You’re Gonna Be Late label. Get it on Bandcamp.

Bayuk – Old June

Last night I went to see Me and My Drummer live at Kulturladen, Konstanz. Their show was great, and I loved the new material live more than I initially did when Love Is A Fridge came out earlier this year. (I love the band.)

The true discovery of the evening, however, was the opening act Bayuk. Soulful, haughting vocals combined with guitar, drums, and intricate electronica. The full sound of the duo reminded me not only of Me and My Drummer, but of Get Well Soon, Naked Lunch, and Hozier, in a completely fresh mix. For the time being they’re unknown (and rather difficult to google) but we’ll more from them soon, I’m sure. Pop music for the 21st century, right down the fact that their merch after the show was a uniquely printed card with a download link. 

Blood Orange Performs “Augustine / Thank You” On Conan

I don’t quite know what to make of Blood Orange. Musically, it’s based on a kind of synth, drum computer pop that I usually don’t connect with, even when it is executed to perfection as it is here. Yet Dev Hynes’ voice – meaning his singing, his art/aesthetic,  and his public, political message – is incredibly fascinating to me. 

This performance on Conan is a perfect example of this personal conundrum. The song is at first listen only moderately interesting to me, but combine it with his words, the performance and the staging: I’m enthralled. Fascinated. I probably should give his record Freetown Sound another listen. Or two.;eyJ0eXBlIjoicmVsYXRlZCIsImlkIjo5NjE5MH0
Blood Orange Performs “Augustine / Thank You” On Conan

We’ve all been there: Those days in bed, when

the space left by heartache and/or ennui cannot be filled by books, magazines, lovers or our extensive guitar collection. Jokes aside, I dig the aesthetics of this new Lydia Loveless video for “Longer,” a precursor to her new album Real, out on Bloodshot in August.

Okkervill River – or rather, Will Sheff  – have released a new song, “Okkervil River R.I.P.”, and as usual, it is beautiful, sad, and literary. Unfortunately, the upcoming release might be the last one.

 (ATO Records)

Get Swole

Working out in a gym can be a joyless activity if you can’t get yourself into the right frame of mind. (Not to mention the obnoxious people around you.) Instead of cranking up the EDM or metal, think of this charming slacker pop hit by Izzy True. Or better yet, just kick back and watch the video.

Izzy True’s new ep Troll is out on Don Giovanni Records, available on their bandcamp page.