Five Cool Ones: Five New Records Released This Week (September 4, 2020)

Things are starting to heat up, from the singles front at least, which bodes well for a killer September and beyond for new records to be released. Our favorite song of the week is the Beach Boy fun in the sun vibe of “California Girl” from the upcoming Cayucos album that looks to be their best yet.

When the scions on an Allman and a Betts get together to form their own band the apple shouldn’t fall too far from the tree and it certainly doesn’t here on the first single from their new record, Bless Your Heart.

Here are five groovy tidbits that are taken up some ear tiume in our heads this week.

Pineapple Thief – Versions of the Truth

If your ears have not had the pleasure of listening to the Pineapple Thiefs 2008 record Tightly Unwound, give them a treat and check that one out. With elements of Radiohead, Elbow, and Muse ever-present in their music their latest effort blends global political messaging with rich Talking Heads style polyrhythms. The opener, the title track “Versions of the Truth” outlines the struggles many of us are going through when oftentimes things are not quite as clear as they may seem.

Declan McKenna – Zeros

It would be short-sighted to classify this English singer/songwriter as an Ed Sheeran clone of an artist, this bloke has some serious mojo about him that could break him out this year. His new one, Zeros, is more like a completely different record than a follow-up to his 2017 debut, What Do You Think About The Car. Citing Crosby, Stills & Nash as influences on this new one, recording the record in Nashville with Wallflowers producer Jay Joyce gives the record an Indie Pop sheen that is completely ear-pleasing.

Hayes Carll – Alone Together Sessions

Using the unexpected time he has on his hands during the pandemic Hayes Carll is using the time off quite wisely with this release of some of his old songs reimagined in an acoustic model that may be quite different than when the tunes originally saw the light of day. Going back as far back as 2002’s “Arkansas Blues” and the co-write, “Drunken Poet’s Dream” with a drop-in by the drunken poet himself, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Hayes also throws in a Lefty Frizell cover, “That’s The Way Love Goes.” With the harder edges softened a bit courtesy of the harmonies of wife Allison Moorer, this is an appealingly intimate record.

San Cisco – Between You And Me

Paired down to a trio, Australian Indie-Pop band Cisco may just have recorded the best album of their career. Entering into their 30’s now, the band is much more reflective in their songwriting and much more polished in their approach to the production on the highly addictive ear-worm of a record, Between You And Me. From the almost ABBA sounds of “Reasons” and California breeze energy of the semi-break up “On The Line” there are no miss-steps to be heard. If you are looking for a record to take you to a beach in Mexico with the wind blowing through your hair, this might be your jam. Fully inspired by Western Americana music, the Phil Spector sounding “Gone” is worth the price of admission alone.

Grant-Lee Phillips – Lightning, Show Us Your Stuff

Not hardly as politically bombastic as 2018’s Widdershins, Grant-Lee Phillips has found his introspective soul with his latest, Lightning, Show Us Your Stuff. Focusing on the larger stuff in life most notably on “Sometimes You Wake Up In Charleston” and the smaller stuff on “Walking in My Sleep” the smooth soulful tone of his voice is a calming influence in a troubled world.