As we hopefully are only months away from real live music becoming a thing again and musicians actually being able to make a fair living, there seems to be a burst of energy in the air taking shape with a lot of interesting notes in the air.
’70s style blues rockers Dirty Honey are teasing our ear lobes once again with a new single video “California Dreamin’.” No, not that song that you have in your head right now, but it’s still a cool rockin’ toon.
The semi-outlaw country artist Travis Tritt takes us back to those halcyon days when you could smoke in a bar with “Smoke In A Bar” his first original song released since way back 2013.
And, the band Wolf Alice shares their freshly minted new single on Later…With Jools Holland.
Here are 5 cool new morsels our ears are wrapping themselves around this week.
Kings of Leon – When You See Yourself
Reuniting with their old producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay), the Kings of Leon are back with their driving crescendo-driven rock and roll gloriousness. “The Bandit” is the royal ones at their finest starting slow and building up a head of steam pacing the listener into an atmospheric finish. And, with “Time In Disguise” things are slowed down until tempo picks up careening the works into a wholly satisfying finish. The is no reinventing the Leon wheel here as the Followill brothers and cousin stick to the same experimental rock template they have been laying down for almost two decades now, but what they do, they do very well and fans will be pleased to have the band back in fine form.
Painted Shrines – Heaven and Holy
If there is anything good to come out of a global pandemic it’s the fact that artists have been able to collaboratively come together to combine their musical superpowers to come up with entirely new and different soundscapes than we may be used to from their individual projects. Here, Jeremy Earl from the Indie Folk Band Woods and Glenn Donaldson who is known for his work with the psychedelic band Skygreen Leopards come together forming the group Painted Shrines. Recorded over the course of one week the songs are loose, brightly energetic, and highly addictive.
“Panoramic” is a Jangle Pop instrumental gem with a bit of a Big Star influence, the song “Gone” highlights Earls falsetto voice that we have become accustomed to with his work from Woods, and the opener “Saturates the Eye” celebrates the Bydsian glory of Donaldson’s 12 string guitar.
This is a relaxed listen that will yield benefits with rotational spins.
Benjamin Biolay – Grand Prix
Most definitely from the “and now comes something completely different category” comes Grand Prix, the latest record from French artist Benjamin Biolay. Citing influences the likes of The Smiths, New Order, and The Strokes, Biolay weaves textures of Kraut Rock, Post Punk, Electronica, Euro-Disco, Brit Rock, and Chanson into a blend that is distinctly cool.
Being French, of course, he has an affinity for beautiful women, and here his sirens of choice are ex-wife Chiara Mastroianni, former love Keren Ann, and current girlfriend actress Anais Demoustier all lend a helping background vocal here. The small band and slinky synthesizers used on this record set down a groove you won’t need to be a hipster or even French to enjoy.