Diane Cluck Feat. Karen Dalton Lyrics: This Is Our Love

Diane Cluck Karen Dalton This Is Our Love

Diane Cluck — whose Boneset LP was a favorite last year —  is among the perfect group of artists to pay homage to folk great Karen Dalton this month. Not only are Patty Griffin, Isobel Campbell, Josephine Foster and others offering a nod to their influence, though: they’re giving a voice to Dalton’s unsung words, whose own LPs consisted of cover songs in her lifetime. The new set, Remembering Mountains, features unearthed lyrics lent by fellow folk legend and Dalton friend Peter Walker to living songwriters providing new original music. Cluck’s sparse take on “This Is Our Love” is a standout, complete with a prescient moment aptly fitting of this project, the poignant line: “A choir of angels with no song / A winding road, steep and long.” Hear it above.


Rayland Baxter: Yellow Eyes

Rayland Baxter Yellow EyesHere’s “Yellow Eyes,” the first single off Rayland Baxter’s new record. That last name might ring a bell, and for good reason: his father, Bucky Baxter, has performed standout turns on guitar with the likes of Bob Dylan (Time Out of Mind, Unplugged) and Ryan Adams (fan favorite “Dear Chicago”) to name a few. His dad’s a fine side man, for sure, but that’s just a side note to him backing up Rayland in the lead role for this set. Despite the cut’s bittersweet subject matter, a midtempo groove, hits of twang lead guitar, and a sunny melody lend it a more summertime, back porch feel. Baxter sums up those opposing vibes quite well on the bridge: “All in all it’s a beautiful day.” Even with the shades drawn, humming this tune certainly lets a little more light into the room. Imaginary Man comes out on August 14th.

Mynabirds: Semantics

Mynabirds SemanticsWe last heard Laura Burhenn’s Mynabirds with the 2012 studio LP Generals and an equally rousing live set at our SXSW show. Now she returns with a record said to be “steeped in break-up themes,” and — per this first glimpse at Lovers Know — she’s left some of the previous palette behind as well. Teaming up this time with producer/Black English frontman Bradley Hanan Carter, Burhenn enlists a kaleidoscopic bed of synths on “Semantics,” a buoyant and undeniably catchy bit of post-romance transcendence. Promising stuff indeed; hear it above.

The Tallest Man On Earth: Dark Bird Is Home

Tallest Man on Earth Dark Bird is HomeKristian Matsson starts out in familiar territory on this one, the title track to The Tallest Man On Earth’s next album, Dark Bird Is Home“Sagres” felt like a “Song For Zula”-esque turn toward echo and synth-washed sounds, but the Swedish troubadour goes back inward this round. Until the coda, that is: an unexpected, jubilant rush that makes the previous solo-acoustic minutes feel like a contemplative run-up toward some kind of assured transcendence. Underneath any such pomp and circumstance, though, is a fine bit of indelible melody from the Tallest Man. Hear it above.

Video: Esmé Patterson Performs ‘The Glow’

Esme Patterson“The Glow” was the first track among four on our introduction to Esmé Patterson last spring. And while that unfolding arrangement from Woman to Woman did the tune justice in studio form, this live take — featuring Paleo‘s David Strackany on a ramshackle drum kit — lets the cut breathe further, filling it with even more awkward pauses and dynamic nuance. This tune was inspired by Brian Wilson’s “Caroline, No,” and there are other men-penned love songs that warranted a fresh take on her debut here. Patterson & co. are on tour with William Elliott Whitmore right now.

Johanna Warren: nūmūn

Johanna Warren NumunEven without knowing the album’s unabashed bohemian mission statement, words like “celestial” spring to mind on these tracks from Portland’s Johanna Warren. But they also conjure up something more personal and haunting than what she calls a dedication to the phases of the moon. “Figure 8,” “True Colors,” and “Less Traveled” aim inward as much as they pull from the heavens, recalling the intimacy of Nick Drake, Sibylle Baier, and Sam Beam, as much as broader-minded luminaries like Joni Mitchell and a long list of British folk forebears. These hushed tunes do, as she says, “make peace with the cycles of all natural things,” but they sure do find a pretty way to make peace within oneself, too. The LP, nūmūn, is out via Team love next month.

Watkins Family Hour Debut Album Announced

Watkins Family Hour Debut AlbumThey have been known for epic collaborative live sets at their Largo home base for years, but now the Los Angeles collective starring siblings Sara and Sean Watkins are finally putting out a record. Along with an incredible lineup (Fiona Apple, Benmont Tench, Don Heffington, Greg Leisz, and Sebastian Steinberg), the Watkins Family Hour will release their debut LP on July 24th, the same day they’ll head out on a dozen summer tour dates. Featured on the set are 11 covers by the likes of Roger Miller, Bob Dylan, Lindsey Buckingham, and others, reworked Watkins-style with a rotating cast on lead vocals. Check out the trailer above and tracklist below: [Read more…]

Tom Brosseau: Perfect Abandon


These cuts move well enough without the recording backstory, but dig this: Tom Brosseau and John Parish (longtime PJ Harvey collaborator, Sparklehorse producer, and all-around underrated genius) put the whole record live to tape, the 5-piece gathered around a single microphone, Sun Studio-style, in Bristol, England. Brosseau says, [Read more…]