Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (January 22, 2021)

Things are rocking as well as rolling right along entering the new year. We have a lot of really hip releases as several artists are stepping their toes into the waters fully understanding that we will likely have problems remembering these tasty morsels when it comes to putting together our best of the year lists.

David Gray is representing full-on with a sublime tune from his quarantine bunker.

Our boy, Allen Stone is bringing the voodoo down for Jam in the Van.

And, Austin’s own, Black Pumas represented with pride performing at the Biden inaufuration.

On top of all that, here are five really good records released this week.

James Yorkston – The Wide, Wide River

Here. the Scottish singer-songwriter joins forces with The Second Hand Orchestra on a set of songs that run the gamut from Baroque-Pop to Pastoral Folk on to the Indie-Folk brilliance of “There Is No Upside.”

Rhye – Home

If you are hip to the Rhye scene you understand. While this record does not deviate too much from the norm it is nonetheless a record that demands some of your ear-time. Sensual sonically pleasant musings that are perfect for a Sunday afternoon or a night of rekindling that fire that burns within you.

The Dead Daisies – Holy Ground

Here in the halls of Rock is the New Roll we have been waiting for this one for a really long time. Glen Hughes, the voice of Rock and Roll, fronting the Dead Daisies. If you like good old fashioned Rock and Roll brought to you by a frontman that has scorched the earth with Deep Purple, then this is your jam.

Cub Scout Bowling Pins – Heaven Beats Iowa

Shhhhhhh, don’t tell anybody but Cub Scout Bowling Pins is actually a side-piece band of Guided By Voices. Certainly in the Indie Rock Mold, and certainly in the wild and wonky Robert Pollard Vein, this is about as good as it gets. The title track should be in consideration for top ten of the year honors.

John Diva & The Rockets of Love

This band could very well have been stapled up to a telephone pole in the Sunset Strip back in the glory days without blinking a mascara wearing eye. These guys make no bones about their influences that fall squarely in the Motley Crue, Poison, RATT mold. They are even more old school than Guns ‘N’ Roses for that matter. But love ’em, or loathe em’ and we stand firmly in the love them camp, if you like your rock on the roll side, John Diva and his band of hooligans are your jam.




Five Cool Ones: Five Cool New Songs Our Ears Are Enjoying This Week (January 15, 2021)

One of the more enjoyable things to do this time of year is to catch up on the singles that dip towards our years in anticipation of the proper release likely to hit the shelves in the upcoming 3-6 months. This time out we have ear-picked 5 choice cuts to rock your world.

Julien Baker – Hardline

The new record, Little Oblivions, comes out on February 26th, but here, with her single “Hardline,”  you get a chance to check out Julien’s more expansive less introspective sound. And, so far we like what we are hearing.

Field Music – Orion From the Street

Shimmering and lush, this expansive track that brings to mind early Electric Light Orchestra is a great placeholder for their new record to be released later in the year.

Baio – Dead Hand Control

The title track from the upcoming January 29th release of his solo record from the Vampire Weekends member Chris Baio.

Still Corners – White Sands

The new record, Last Exit, comes out on January 22nd with their terrific single carrying a bit of a Chris Isaak vibe into the new year.

William Doyle – And Everything Changed (But I Feel Alright)

We will need to wait until March to enjoy the new record from William Doyle, formerly known as East India Youth, but in the meantime, we have this bit of Syd Barret and Robyn Hitchcock wholesomeness to savor.



Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (January 15, 2021)

The yearly musical hiatus seems to be over. Artists that have been waiting in the wings for the right time to elicit maximum exposure for their music are back and ready to entertain us once again hanging on to the hopes that they will be able to get back on the road very soon. In the meantime, Rock is the New Roll favorites Moon Taxi performs “Stay” a song from their upcoming album to be released later in the year looking pretty lonely at a Tennessee Titans playoff game.

The Last Internationale with frontwoman Dilila Paz for some reason dressed like Zorro delivering a beautiful socially aware song and video with “Modern Man.”

The Power Pop mavens Radio Days bring joy to the world with their Big Star meets the Rubinoos “I Got A Love.”

Here are five new records that are tickling our ears, touching our soul, and are making the world a better place.

Kurt Vile – Speed, Sound, Lonely KV

Mostly known for his Slacker Rock vibe, here, Kurt Vile leans into the Country and Americana side of life with an impressive 5 song E.P. that serves to pay tribute to his hero John Prine, having toured with the songwriter just before he passed away in 2020. Vile’s handling of Prine’s “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” is hero-worthy and floats into Gram Parsons territory, the version of Cowboy Jack Clement’s “Gone Girl” could have been on a Steve Earle record, and the gemstone of the record, “How Lucky,” a duet with Prine himself is worth the price of admission alone.

One of the shorter Kurt Vile efforts we have heard in a while, his records typically go one hour or more, here, less is more as this short-stack of sublime tunes is pretty much perfect.

Beach Bunny – Blame Game

The E.P. is all the musical rage these days as artists are floating out little nuggets of wonderfulness as they raft the COVID waters waiting to release a full album until they can hit the stage and entertain the troops live and in person.

Here, in a short burst of perfectly hooky teenage-anthems the Pop-Punk burst of energy from the opener “Good Girls (Don’t Get Used)”  as well as the closer “Blame Game” will have you firmly convinced that the problems of the world may finally be solved.

Pearl Charles – Magic Mirror

Already earmarked for the 2021 top album list, Pearl Charles has finally found her voice. After experimenting with Garage and Psychedelia, here, she definitely sticks the landing with a laid back blend of Southern California Beach Soul and late ’70s Country Pop in the Bobbi Gentry mold.

The sun-warmed touchstones are in abundance right from the ABBA inpired opener “Only For Tonight.” From there, she takes a left turn toward the coast with the Fleetwood Mac evoking “What I Need,” a song that brings to the ear “Baker Street” as well, with “Imposter” she delivers Dr. Hook without the eyepatch vibes, and The Carpenters make an appearance on “Don’t Like Myself.” The spot-on production value is highlighted on the George Harrison-esque “Sweet Sunshine Wine” and don’t sleep on the Helen Reddy loveliness of “Take Your Time.”

Vintage sounding while still being fresh, this record will stay in your rotation on into the summer when it will be the perfect time to pick it up once again and bathe in its dandelion glory.

Matthew Sweet – Catspaw

With Catspaw, his third record since joining the mass exodus out of Los Angeles, Matthew Sweet has returned to the studio in his home town of Nebraska on another set of Power Pop Wizardy. Turning the guitar dials up just a bit, a-la Crazy Horse, this record has a raw sound with a bit more of an edge than we may be used to from the Fuzz-Pop maestro.

Sweet plays all of the instruments with the exception of the drums here and does so impecibly well. Rooted firmly in ’70s inspired rock, songs Like “Driftwood” have a Sweetheart of the Radio era Byrdsian vibe to them, “Stars Exlode” could have been on any mid-era Neil Young record, and “Challenge The Gods” is Tom Petty fronting Big Star.

Bring out the good stuff and warmly embrace and old friend.

Midnight Sister – Painting the Roses

There is no sophomore slump going on here with Painting the Roses, the fine new record from the Stylized-Pop mavens, Midnight Sister. Delicately mood setting from the sultry “Satellite” on to the disco dancefloor worthy “Limousine” calling for you to put on your Sunday Dancing shoes there is nary a miss-step on this one. “Wednesday’s Baby” is a love song to a dog, and the opener “Doctor Says” is a great string-laden introudiction to the album and to a band that deserves more attention.

Five Cool Ones: Just Five Cool Ones for This Week (January 8, 2021)

As musicians are dusting themselves off and getting ready to make their plans for the new year, the new record releases for this week have been a bit tepid, to say the least. But, fear not musical buckaroos, we will be back in full glory in the next couple of weeks as there are some really cool tunes primed and ready to hit our ear-waves very soon. In the meantime, here five cool ones that have hit our radar recently.

Grace Potter – Release

Somewhere along the line, Grace Potter has started to morph into a slightly more hip Beth Hart. But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here, on her fresh as a daisy new video for some inexplicable reason, we see her pulling a boat down the beach in a bikini, slow walking seductively in a field of flowers, and sitting down at the piano singing like a bird. But ours is not to question why ours is only to enjoy the ride provided by this song from her highly excellent 2019 record, Daylight.

Lukas Nelson – Set Me Down On A Cloud

Son of Willie proves once again that the apple falls right next to the tree. His series of quarantine songs, Special Soundcheck Songs, has been a beautiful respite of calmness during these trying days. Here, he performs an acoustically lovely version of “Set Me Down On A Cloud” from his debut self-titled record.

Peanuts Gang – Roundabout

This is a tough song to cover, but here the entire Peanuts gang joins in on one of the best versions of the song you will ever hear. Spoiler alert, Snoopy plays a mean upright bass.

Brothers in Exile – Last Orders

The former member of the Welsh band Sonny Jim, Lloyd Jenkins partners with Stu Calder for a new project, Brothers in Exile. With this, their latest single, the boys deliver a bouncy hook-laden gem in the Wildhearts mold.  Classic Rock magazine describes the tune as more fun than a clown car driven at speed into a bouncy castle. And, heck they may have something there.

The Quins – Wild Ones

Put a pin in this one and save it in your musical memory banks because you are going to bearing a lot more great music emanating from this band in the coming months, you can bet on it. Solid riffs, Power Pop textures with a dynamically voiced singer that can carry the day. For practice dive into their back catalog that includes their 2019 epic of an album, The Woods Look Good.

And, for extra credit check the band out live performing “The Devil’s Abode.”


Five Cool Ones: The Top 5 Rock and Roll Songs from 2020

If you have not heard the news rock is not dead, and the demise of good old barn burning Rock and Roll has been extremely exaggerated. Here are our top five singles worthy of checking out to increase your musical street cred.

Thundermother – Driving In Style

These hard-driving all-female Swedish rockers delivered their stellar record, Heat Wave, carrying a ’70s rock groove that can stand fret for fret with any of their male counterparts. The lead-off single “Driving In Style” will take you pedal to the metal down to the parts of your subconscious that you have not visited in a very long time.

The Struts – Cool

It’s no secret that we love Luke Spiller and the Struts. In fact, their new record, Strange Days, would have been our record of the year were it not for the fact that Robbie Williams appears on the single, and we will have none of that. Here, on the appropriately named “Cool” the most dynamic frontman in the game today struts his stuff in a fine fashion.

The Dirty Denims – Last Call For Alchohol

Another fine band with a female rocker leading the way, this time courtesy of Mirjam Sieben, the vibe is pure AC/DC by way of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. With this ode to blasting past the last call at your local bar, or these days in your living room, and letting things rip you can start your own countdown to ecstasy.

The Wild – High Speed

Another Born to Be Wild jump on your Harley and ride hard groover of a tune. You will grow a mullet just listening to this one.

King King – Dance Together

As groove-laden a rocker as you are likely to come across in recent months, these Scottish rockers will make you miss putting a couple more tokens in your local’s jukebox just to make the night last a little bit longer.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week – Or So (December 18, 2020)

Sure, it has been a slow couple of weeks for new music releases, and here at Rock is the New Roll we took this opportunity to take a week off for a little bit of a Staycation. But, fear not and ears up, we are back and ready to Rock and or Roll.

Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real continue to cement themselves as one of Rock is the New Roll’s favorite bands, here delivering a mesmerizing version of J.J. Cale’s “Magnolia” for their soundcheck series of videos.

La. funkster Marc Broussard brings it hard performing live from the Lafayette science museum with “Hard Knocks.”

And, our new to us discovery Fontaines D.C. perform “A Lucid Dream” from their latest record A Hero’s Death on an episode of 6 Music Live Sessions.

On top of all of that, here are five records that have tickled our ears this week.

Paul McCartney – McCartney iii

Much like taking your favorite jacket out of the closet when the weather gets cold, it is supremely comforting to have new Paul McCartney music in our lives. With McCartney iii, a direct sequel to McCartney released in 1970 and McCartney II in 1970, the high notes are not quite reached, but the slight nod of the head to whimsey and the wink of an eye to the oddities of life are clearly expressed along with the overall joy he gets from writing and presenting new music.

The songs are delicately sparse and there is never a sense that Sir Paul is trying to pander to the present-day Pop sensibilities. This is just one of the best artists that ever lived expressing himself through his music, staying in his lane, and delivering his best work in over a decade. The instrumental opener “Long Tailed Winter Bird” will take you back to a generation ago mind-space, the opus of a song “Deep Deep Feeling” is as solid a bit of songwriting you will have heard all year, and “Lavatory Lil” rocks things up a bit and shows that McCartney can still get saucy when he wants to after all these years. Word on the music streets is that McCartney has been hanging around with Rick Ruben. If this collaboration results in a new record in 21 or 22, that would be one hell of a swan song.

Margo Price – Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman

Fresh off of her sparkling 2020 release, That’s How Rumors Get Started,” one of the Best Americana records of the year, Margo Price virtually owns the hallowed grounds of the Ryman with this solid set of songs going back to her debut with Third Man Records and her breakthrough All American Made albums. Her infectious blend of Country, Memphis Soul, and Texas twang are all on full display accompanied by some stellar guests including Emmylou on “Wild Women,” Jack White on the White Stripes Deep cut “Honey, We Can’t Afford to Look This Cheap,” and Sturgill Simpson tearing it up on “I Ain’t Livin’ Long like this. If you are already a Margo Price fan you will love this record. The medley of “Hurtin’ on the Bottle,” “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and drink” and “Whiskey River is just plain cool. If you are not hip to the Margo scene, get ready to fall in love. Her version of “Proud Mary” is worth the price of admission alone.

Kacy & Clayton feat. Marlon Williams – Plastic Bouquet

Psych-Folk duo Kacy & Clayton this time out stretching all sorts of musical boundaries with their new record Plastic Bouquet delivers Classic Country  duet style musings on “Old Fashioned Man,” Roy Orbison crooner on “I Wonder Why,” and ’60s Sandy Denny British-Folk inspired grooviness on “Light of Love.” In short, courtesy of cousins Kacy and Clayton, along with co-conspirator Marlon Williams, this one is a record with an eclectic delight around every corner that takes you down a road that we all really should travel.

Foxy Shazam – Burn

Do not adjust your ears. You read this correctly. Foxy Shazam, the band that brought you Gonzo in 2014, and The Church of Rock and Roll is back, and, yes indeed they are better than ever. All of the key elements of the band that we love so much are present and accounted for. Solid hooks, operatic vocals, elements of Queen, Jellyfish and Low Cut Connie all blending together to create a Power Pop Masterpiece.

The opener and title track is pure bombastic Foxy Shazam, “In My Mind” is Jellyfish on steroids and S.Y.A.A.F could have been a Styx ballad.

Call Me Spinster – Call Me Spinster

This slightly left of center sister trio from Chattanooga combines old-timey ’50s vocal sensibilities, Think Andrews Sisters,  with pristine harmonies and clever arrangements for a blend that is not only genre-defying but wholly intoxicating as well. “Two Hearts” could have very easily come from a Palmolive commercial back in the day, and “Long Hard Day”  would fit quite nicely on a Norah Jones record. Enjoy this teaser of a 5 song E.P. in anticipation of a proper release sometime in 2021.

Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (November 27, 2020)

Sure, we have to dig a bit deeper as the December freeze-out time for new releases starts to hit us, but heck, we never said it was going to be easy. And besides, we are doing all of the heavy liftings so you don’t have to.

Aaron Lee Tasjan continues to release solid immaculately produced songs.

Icecream Hands are out with a Beatlesque gem with “No Weapon But Love.”

And, an epic version of “Stand By Me ” that features Roger Daltry and Gary Moore has recently surfaced.

Here are five deftly curated gems for your ears to savor this week.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Straight To You: Live

Kenny Wayne Shepherd who, fun fact, is married to Mel Gibson’s daughter, pretty much consistently stood in the shadow of fellow guitar slinger Jonny Lang until recent years. And, with this his the first live concert recording in 10 years, he may now be on top. A mix of covers along with Shepherd staples like “Blue on Black” the band crackles in places and explodes in others. “Mr. Soul” is a highlight with a scorched earth solo, and “King Bee” takes things a bit lower and slower and demonstrates the versatility of the band along with Noah Hunt’s impressive vocals not to mention featuring an off the rails organ riff.

Cats In Space – Atlantis

After settling in with Damien Edwards, the latest new lead singer for Cats in Space, one of the best present-day AOR bands, we are all in here at Rock is the New Roll. With a vocal range that can time-warp back to the early ’80s, the music here is big, bombastic, and over the top in all of the right places. Very much in the Styx or Boston mold, songs like “Spaceship Superstar” and “Listen to the Radio” are pure Pomp-Rock pleasures, and the requisite ballad “I Fell Out of Love With Rock and Roll” is Queen meets Electric Light Orchestra with a side order of early Journey. And, of course, don’t sleep on the Glam wonderment of “Marionettes.”

Kelley Stoltz – Ah!

Guitar Pop Impressario Kelley Stolz with his latest effort Ah! proves once again that he can stand fret for fret with Matthew Sweet for Power Pop supremacy. Combining Power Pop, Indie Rock, Jangle Pop along with moody Post-Punk sensibilities, this record combines everything that Stolz does best. “Never Change Enough” is a bit of a Country Rocker with a bit of an Old  97’s feel, “She Likes Noise” has a Post-Punk ‘My Sharona feel to it, and “and “Moon Shy” puts it all in a blender of cool smoothness.

The High Water Marks – Ecstasy Rhymes

Their first proper release in over a decade, the Indie Rock pairing of Hilarie Sidney and Ole Bratset is still as strong as ever. Wandering just on the outer edges of lo-fi, the title track comes dangerously close to shoegaze, and the cleverly titled “Some Like It Lukewarm” cranks things up a bit. With Sidney as a founding member of the terrific band Apples In Stereo, these guys know their way around an Indie-Pop rock song, just listen to the R.E.M. flavored “The Trouble With Friends” and tell us we’re wrong.

Billie Joe Armstrong – No Fun Mondays
As evidenced by his collaboration with Norah Jones on a set of Everly Brothers tunes, the Green Day main man is not afraid of taking chances and sending us down a rabbit hole or two for the sake of his songs. And, on No Fun Mondays, a set of eclectically chosen cover songs, he does just that.
Fortunately, there are more peaks than valleys on this one, “I Think We’re Alone Now” doesn’t quite stick the landing, but “Manic Monday” delivers, and, if it’s possible for a Shaun Cassidy (sort of) cover song to be cool “That’s Rock and Roll” is pretty hip.




Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (November 13, 2020)

I don’t mean to be an alarmist here, but this may be the last really good release week until well into January. Stand ready to have your ears insulted with a rash of Christmas releases, greatest hits re-packaging, and, only if you’re lucky, some tasty reissues. But, in the meantime, it is a pretty terrific week of new releases for your ears to savor.

W.E.T – Big Boys Don’t Cry

For those frequent visitors to the Falcon’s Nest or Rock is the New Roll you know that we are big fans of contemporary Melodic Rock in the Night Ranger mold. And, this latest from W.E.T. fits the bill quite nicely.

If you are a Neil Young fan, in recent months you have been having the time of your life with all of the concert releases, archive deep-dives, and artistic videos he is releasing to his public.

And, one of Rock is the New Roll new finds Joyous Wolf is out with a tasty acoustic version of their song Odyssey.

Here are five tasty new nuggets we are enjoying this week.

Chris Stapleton – Starting Over

Chris Stapleton is not messing around with his latest record, Starting Over. Returning to the comfortable environs of RCA Studio A in Nashville with Benmonth Tench and Mike Campbell, a couple of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers in tow, he continues to deliver his own brand of Outlaw Country blending Classic Country, Country Rock, Soul, and Americana to create a soul-soothing mix of impeccably written and produced tunes. It would be a fools-errand to cull a favorite track from this package, suffice it to say all of them are the best. The title song is great, “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice,” Waylon by way of Steve Earle, is even better, and “Whiskey Sunrise” is a mournful Country-Noir belter.

AC/DC – Power Up

AC/DC is back, mostly better than ever, and it’s like they never left. The national nightmare that was the money-grabbing Axl Rose tour is long behind us, Brian Johnson is belting the songs out with Back in Black quality venom, the late Malcolm Youngs’ son is filling the rhythm guitar shoes quite admirably, and long-time drummer Phil Rudd is back behind the kit after taking a few albums off. Sure, this is reliable ground they are treading, their sound hasn’t really changed since the Bon Scott Days, but in the case of these Rock and Roll Lifers, this one is the welcome adrenaline shot of good old-fashioned, old-school Rock and Roll that we really need right about now.

George Bens0n – Weekend In London (Live)

This one should be on the shortlist alongside Linda Ronstadt’s Live at the Hollywood Bowl for the best live album of 2020 consideration. Pristinely recorded at the famed Ronnie Scott’s in London, there is a sense that you are spending some quality time with a person that you really missed and had let too much time slip away between visits. The band is top-notch, the 10 feet from stardom backing singers are belters, and the overall vibe is that he is singing for you in your living room. All of the standards are here, classics all, with “Give Me The Night,” “Turn Your Love Around,” and “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” setting themselves apart as silky standouts.

L.A. Guns – Renegades

If you are a fan of Sunset Strip Rock and Roll, and if you are not, you really are taking life a bit too seriously, you will relish the chance to be transported back in time to the glory years of L.A.’s Rainbow Room and the Whiskey A-Go-Go. In this 2020 line-up, the Steve Riley/Kelly Nickels/Scotty Griffin version, the band that incubated Guns ‘N’ Roses, the original sound from the Cocked and Loaded days is replicated to a Rock and Roll edge that will have long-time fans of the band headbanging in approval and newcomers to the Glam-Rock sleaziness of L.A. Guns will be scrambling to ingest their back catalog.


Five Cool Ones: Five New Albums Released This Week (November 6, 2020)

The dog days are here my friends. As artists hunker down in advance of the holiday madness of Christmas releases soon to drop from the heavens and we all wait in anticipation of the new AC/DC record to drop next week, there are still a couple of gems that deserve a bit of your ear-time this week.

Seattle underground popsters The Young Fresh Fellows are back and indeed better than ever. Think of these guys as The Replacements lite.

Sir Elton John continues to release some great previously unheard cuts from his new career retrospective box set.

And, our boys in Cats in Space are out with another fine set of AOR Dad Rock gems.

Here are five ear-worthy cuts for this week. We do the work so you don’t have to.

Orianthi – O

Having spent years as the main ax-woman for Alice Cooper and more recently serving as the musical muse for Richie Sambora, Rock is the New Roll favorite Orianthi is back on her own again with a scorching new record that brings her back to the roots of her heavier rock and roll days. The Blues Heavy riffs presented here clearly show that the Aussie guitar queen is ready to shed her pop princess baggage and get back to her old-school grit. The opener “Contagious” has a bit of a Metal edge about it and sounds like it was dropped in right from an Alice Cooper show, “Sorry” has somewhat of a Prince by way of Alanis Morissette vibe and is the best song in the lot, and “Impulsive” throws down some golden era Sunset Strip angel dust. This is the impassioned, chops displaying rock and roll record we always knew Orianthi had in her.

The Silence – Electric Meditations

This one will take a few listens to rid your ears of the somewhat Tom-Waitsian ramshackle explorations the songs on this record seems to take, but the effort put into this Psychedelic Space Rock epic of a record will lend rewards. “Butterfly Blues” is an MC-5 meets Frank Zappa freak-fest with the best flute solo this side of Jethro Tull, “Electric Meditations” and the instrumental closer “EA” will bring you down from the Acid-Folk clouds. This is the record you would have been listening to in Grace Slick’s living room playing twister with Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, and Hunter S. Thompson.

Pylon – Pylon Box

With the brevity on the new release front, it is a very good time to revisit old friends in the form of several reissues and choice box sets released for your listening pleasure, one of the best being The Pylon Box, the career retrospective from the cult Athens, Ga band that grew up in the shadow R.E.M.. Blending New Wave with a dash of Jangle Pop and Reggae along with a bit of Dub thrown in for good measure, this band landed squarely between that other Athens band The B-52s and R.E.M. on the hip music scale. If you have not experienced this great band before, dive on in, the water is fine. If you are one of the hip-to-the-scene few that are long-time regulars of the band, welcome back to the pleasuredome.

Kylie Minogue – Disco

There is no rocket scientry going on here, just good old-fashioned groovy fun of the highest order. This blend of snappy dance-pop is a bit of a coming home for Minogue leaving her more Country vibe behind while she puts on her disco-diva hat. With the bouncy groove of “Miss A Thing” on to the studio 54 mirror ball of “I Love It” all the way to the Madonna by way of Donna Summer vamp of “Fine Wine” this is an ebullient affair that you might not realize it right now, but is a dose of sunshine that you sorely need.
Donovan Woods – Without People
Recorded with several collaborators working remotely, this post-breakup album is a slow paced sublime and supremely calming listen. With a lot of influence from his idol Paul Simon showing here, most notably on “She Waits For Me To Come Back Down,” there is an honesty to this record that reaches to the core of the human condition. His hushed, never forced vocals seem to float slightly above the music in the best of ways. With songs like “Clean Slate” and “Last Time I Saw You” it appears that it will take a bit of time for Woods to lick his wounds, but we are certainly looking forward to his found a new love masterpiece certain to be a major theme on his next record.

Five Cool Ones – Five New Records released this Week (October 30, 2020)

Get on it music Peeps. The dreaded Christmas blackout period is right around the corner and there are only a few music weeks before we will be getting more version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” Another Garth Brooks Christmas record, or horror of horrors, a Michael Buble special.  So, let’s sit back, put our feet up, and enjoy the goodness that is a new music release.

If you’re not hip to Jaime Wyatt and her latest record, Neon Cross, your ears deserve a bit of a treat with her latest single, “Rattlesnake Girl.”

Danny Elfman, the lead singer of Oingo Boingo, is front and center just in time for Halloween with the spooky “Happy.”

And Trev Lukather, son of Steve, introduces his band Lavara and their unique brand of Classic Rock with a modern twist.

Here are five more records that have caught our ear-tention from this week’s batch of goodies.

Elvis Costello – Hey Clockface

Yet another well crafted, exquisitely produced, and impeccably written record from Elvis Costello. From spoken word, to ’50’s Tin Pan Alley crooner and beyond this record will come across at first listen as somewhat of a disjointed affair. But, give it a view grooves in your ear-space as you move from the dead of night poetry of “Radio is Everything” to the Tom Waits inspired “Hetty O’Hara Confidential” and this path less travelled will reveal itself.

Black Stone Cherry – In Love With The Pain

One of those bands assigned the daunting task of saving Rock and Roll, Black Stone Cherry with their latest record In Love With the Pain takes steps towards shedding their their Swamp-Metal label in favor of good old fashioned Rock and Roll. And, starting a record out with the lyrics “People, people your attention please, I want to tell you about a new disease,” might give the impression that this is a current events record instead of the Rock and Roll opus that it truly is. From the supremely rocking driving tune “Ride” to the almost ballad refrain of “If My Heart Had Wings” there is an old school vibe to this one that should be savored.

Skyway Man – The World Ends When You Die

James Wallace, the singer songwriter known as Skyway Man, fully embraces his role as one of the leaders of the Cosmic Country movement on his latest offering, The World Ends When You Die. Self described as a psychedelic space opera, the record has a mellow feel to it reminiscent of mid-era George Harrison in places, most notably on “Night Walking, Alone” and in other spaces brings to mind The Band front and center like they do on “Old Swingin’ Bell.”

Smokescreens – A Strange Dream

A band that was formed around their collective love for New Zealand’s Flying Nun record label, jangle, Byrds-Ian Power Pop is the order of the day with this group. The sunshine on your shoulders opener “Fork in the Road” will send you on a jaunty stroll that will keep on going all the to that one and only love of your life ending opus, “I Love Only You” that will cap off your journey on the highest of notes.

Sam Morrow – Gettinby on Gettin’ Down

If Little Feat is your band then Gettin‘ by on Gettin’ Down, the latest from Country rocker Sam Morrow, is most definitely your groove-laden jam. The eclectic mix of funky licks and swamp rock kicks combine to make this one a delectable comfort food listen. The title track sends out a Lynyrd Skynyrd vibe, “Round ‘n Round” is pure .38 Special, and “Golden Venus” carries with it the spirit of Tony Joe White, great touchstones, all.