Category: Albums of the 10s

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins ‘Diamond Mine’

Posted 09 Feb 2014 in Albums of 2011, Albums of the 10s

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#907 in the Series) is King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Diamond Mine It begins with “First Watch” which is just a quiet little piano meditation, it’s barely there at all but it sets the mood for the full album, a gentle but effective introduction to the world of wonders we’re about to be granted access to. Thereafter unfolds an exquisite song cycle, beautifully crafted and perfectly executed. It’s a short album, 32 minutes but not a moment is wasted and with repeated listens it begins to seem as if there’s no beginning and no end to it, it’s just there, wrapping itself around you, you could get lost in here for hours at...

Ummagma .. ‘Rotation’ b/w ‘Live and Let Die’

  Today’s Cool ‘Album’ of the Day (#906 in the Series) is Ummagma “Rotation” b/w “Live and Let Die.”  To paraphrase the bio on their website, Ummagma is a Canadian-Ukranian duo comprised of Alexander Kretov and Shauna McLarnon. They deliver an eclectic yet harmonious kaleidoscope of dream pop, post-punk, ambient/ethereal, shoegaze and spacerock, creating sublime resonance, beats and rhythm to create other worldly soundscapes. Truthfully, it would be hard for me to describe them any more clearly than that. If you are a fan of shoegaze (Lush, My Bloody Valentine), dream pop (Air, Chvrches, The Cranberries), or space rock (Pink Floyd, The Verve) then in all likelihood this is a band you should give a listen to. More specifically,...

Rosanne Cash ‘The River & the Thread’

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#901 in the Series) is Rosanne Cash,The River & The Thread.   Many people will to want to know – is this a country album, a folk album, an Americana / Alt-country album? Well – yes to all three but primarily I think it’s a Southern album. Each of the songs are finely crafted short stories in the great Southern tradition. They each work all by themselves telling a story that’s either from the Cash family history or a work of fiction. They also work together to paint a portrait of the South that is equal to the best Southern fiction writing. There are songs of family, a feeling of community or the...

Tom Russell ‘Heart on a Sleeve’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#897 in the Series) is Tom Russell, Heart on a Sleeve  Going back to Lukenbach with Waylon, Willie, and the boys, Texas has been ground zero for singer songwriters. With a couple of them you only need to mention their first names to experience the magic. With others, two first names may be necessary. Just ask Jerry Jeff, Billy Joe, or Jimmie Dale, and with Bob Wills you only need to hear a few notes to understand that he is still The King, but the true beauty of the Texas music scene is the regional diversity and eclectic musical differences you can experience depending on what part of the Lone Star State you...

Popkissed .. ‘It’s a Fine Day’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#893 in the Series) is Popkissed, It’s a Fine Day (Aquavit Records) If you loved Madonna’s hypnotic hit “Frozen,” then you’re sure to dig the equally trance-inducing sound of the Norwegian duo Popkissed. The beat is just as steady, driven by simple, catchy drumlines and encompassed by Lill-Ann Blauenfeldt’s bold, controlled vocals. She might not command the Material Girl’s vocal range, but there is something about Lill-Ann’s heavy alto that lends her delivery an almost tangible intimacy. Creating the vivid soundscapes through which Blauenfeldt’s husky musings float like a restless lark is producer Robert Solheim. These two talents are the heart and soul of Popkissed, an electro-pop act that has just upped the ante...

The Bottle Rockets ‘The Bottle Rockets’ and ‘The Brooklyn Side’

Today’s Cool Albums of the Day (#s 891 and 892 in the Series) are The Bottle Rockets – The Bottle Rockets, The Brooklyn Side When it comes to game changing bands that first began surfing the banzai pipeline of the Americana tidal wave that began in the early 1990’s and gained momentum in the new millennium, The Bottle Rockets, along with The Blasters, Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, and The Old 97’s, were among the first explorers to plant the Roots-Rock flag on American soil, and now, courtesy of Bloodshot records, we are treated to a re-mastered, deluxe edition treatment of the band’s first two albums, The Bottle Rockets, and The Brooklyn Side. Formed in 1992, from the not so musical...

The Ria Reece Band ‘The Ria Reece Band’ – NEW MUSIC REVIEW

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#890 in the Series) is the self-titled debut by The Ria Reece Band With the amount of musical talent Montreal is churning out, it just might be that there’s a new Motown north of the border. The latest off the conveyor belt is a four-piece band hell-bent on instilling in us a reverence for the roots of rhythm and blues. The Ria Reece Band doesn’t do half-baked and there is a richness in their instruments and in Ria’s gravy-sweet vocals that will appease the staunchest of soul purists. Their mastery of the intricacies of the raw, passionate melodies of the sixties and seventies belies the fact that The Ria Reece Band was...

The Waterboys ‘Fisherman’s Box: The Complete Fisherman’s Blues Sessions 1986-1988’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#887 in the Series) is The Waterboys, Fisherman’s Box: The Complete Fisherman’s Blues Sessions 1986-1988 This may be one of the more interesting box sets of the year – a year that has already seen many. They have been some really great ones and some that I have to shake my head and wonder if there was really a need for that. They have come in all shapes and l sizes. There have been career spanning Boxes by Stephen Stills and Duane Allman, Re-releases of several artists entire discographies and a number of deluxe sets expanding albums of long ago such as Nirvana’s 20th anniversary release of In Utero, Van Morrison’s Deluxe...

Sturgill Simpson ‘High Top Mountain’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#886 in the Series) is Sturgill Simpson, High Top Mountain High Top Mountain, the impressive new album by Country Singer Sturgill Simpson, is the best Outlaw Country throwback album released in years, and would have fit right in with Willie’s Red Headed Stranger, Waylon’s Dreaming My Dreams, and the Mighty Merle Classic, Back to the Barrooms.  This guy is that old school, that true, and that damn good. The opening track “Life Ain’t Fair and the World is Mean” sets the template for 12 tracks of superb playing and true-life story lines, with Sturgill himself telling you what he thinks of all of the outlaw hoopla that is starting to envelop and mostly...

Jason Isbell ‘Southeastern’

Posted 19 Oct 2013 in Albums of 2013, Albums of the 10s, Americana

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#884 in the Series) is Jason Isbell, Southeastern. Well, this one has kinda taken me by surprise to be honest. As a long-time admirer of both Jason Isbell and his former band Drive By Truckers I really thought I had him pegged and that I knew pretty much what to expect from anything he’d release next: good, solid  Americana fare with maybe three or four exceptional songs on each album. I have to say however that he’s proved me wrong with Southeastern, this time out he’s offered up a complete gem of an album, full of wonderfully personal songs, straight from the heart, sparkling and emotive. He’s taken it to the next level...

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