After blowing up big in the ’90s with their platinum-selling LP Troublegum, Therapy? went on to explore and push musical boundaries over the course of 10 subsequent releases. Today, our own Amazing Record Co. is proud to release Disquiet, the label’s first full-length album, and one that could be considered a sequel to the landmark Troublegum. Striking a perfect balance between melodic, intelligent, and ferocious, Disquiet finds Therapy? circling back to forge a new path forward from the sound that made them such an enduring and original band.
Out now. Watch the video for the first single, “Still Hurts.”
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper is now officially just Lady Lamb. While we will always silently add “the Beekeeper” in our minds, we understand the move, considering “Lady Lamb” has become the shorthand anyway.
Whatever she’s called, Aly Spaltro, continues to amaze with her deep, dense lyrics, her commanding voice, her aching melodies, and her adventurous production. All of this is on display on her newest album After, which is available now in the US. Europe will have to wait until June 19 to get their copies.
Catch her on tour:
The Wallies, Florida’s greatest rock export since Tom Petty, is getting ready to release a new EP in April. The band documented their time in the studio last month on social media, and have just shared the track listing and cover art. The EP, titled Vanilla Sex, is being released via Tone Deaf and Drunk Recordings. Hoping like hell that track 5 is a cover of The Sonics‘ classic. And, come on, “Tom Cruisin?” How can that be bad?
1. Mellow And Rockus
2. Tom Cruisin
3. Put Me To Bed
4. Watch Them All Flock
5. Have Love Will Travel
6. Not Very Picky
7. All of You
Every month, the community ranks the songs competing on OurStage, and once those songs get to the Finals stage, five grand prize winners are selected. Those winners get featured on the ‘OurStage on Amazing Radio’ show, broadcast from the UK to hundreds of thousands of music fans, both in the UK and online around the world. Last month’s show is streaming now. Below are the top five that you’ll hear on this month’s show, but you can preview them now by clicking here for a playlist.
“Diamond in the Rough” by Wes-tone
“Shoot You Down” by Wes Kirkpatrick
“Personality Overload” by The Beat Seekers
“Life Is Crazy” by Louis Anthony
“The Dream of the Angel” by No Hair On Head
Aloud, those purveyors of pure rock and roll, have released a new video for their single “A Little Bit Low,” from the LP It’s Got To Be Now. It’s an appropriately and increasingly tense clip, as the seconds tick away, boredom bears down, and Jen de la Osa sings, “It’s easy to lose your mind / over nothing… Yeah, we all get a little bit low from time to time.”
All true. Enjoy.
Today is Monday. Sorry. But here’s something to be glad about: Yonas, the amazing MC from Bronx, NY, is dropping remixes every other Tuesday. So you’ve got that to look forward to. But you don’t have to wait (the next one isn’t due until next week), because there’s already four out there. Here’s the most recent, a remix of Hozier‘s hit “Take Me To Church.” It’s accompanied by a great video, including live footage from a recent performance with Wale in Knoxville, TN.
I think maybe YouTube user MrAnjelorion said it best: “Just threw out all my lighters because this track is fire enough for anytime I need to light up.”
We last heard music from Joel. (aka MaG) on his 2013 release (via RCRDLBL) Freedom, a soulful slice of American hip-hop. He didn’t go silent between then and now – those who follow him on Twitter know that Joel is a poet and a non-stop thinker, with an eye toward social progress and absolutely no patience for bullshit.
It’s no surprise to find that same spirit in the music he’s been working on. songs for charles is an independent release dropped via Bandcamp just last month, and it kicks off with a short audio clip from Jay Z in the studio, taken from the film Fade To Black. This track, titled “what Hov said…(intro),” captures Jay discussing young rappers coming up, who think they have to write about things they don’t feel and don’t know. He tells the cameraman to put the lens on him before saying, “See what y’all did to rappers? They scared to be theyself.”
Being true to himself, then, serves as Joel.’s mission here. “I can’t speak for no one else / but I’m gonna keep on being myself,” goes one of the refrains on the first song, “creston and 188th.” What follows is a personal catharsis. The next eight songs are all at least rooted in the past, even while facing the present. He looks back on his upbringing, his family, lessons learned and carried forward. “We was young / we was reckless,” he says, in the frank and unsentimental “hash browns.” The chilled out, hypnotic loop of the song keeps the mood static and, as much as the lyric, creates a vivid atmosphere, if not an especially warm one. It actually feels like a carefully constructed sound collage, pieced together from ‘70s-‘80s AM radio dials, video games, cassettes rewinding…the sounds of a childhood, running in the background.
“new, new york” brings us into the present, or at least the very recent past. But each track here, just like real life, builds on what came before. That’s why, even though this is an eight-song collection (nine tracks), I take songs for charles as an “album.” It’s not a mixtape, it’s not a collection of singles. It’s a thematic, narrative flow. And like a lot of Joel.’s work, it’s densely filled with imagery and wordplay, and almost has the feel of a play. With only a few listens so far, I have not absorbed every nuance, but I look forward to trying.
“better late than never (intermission)” is a dreamy flight, with a backing that sounds like recent Radiohead; droning chords bracing syncopated, jazz drums. The lyric is equal parts past, present, and future, and how they are helplessly intertwined, with a hook that declares, “I’d rather die than let go of one of my dreams / one foot forward, all I gotta do is proceed…It’s never too late to dream.” Hope continues to be a central theme here – aspirations for a better life, one that’s more fulfilling, one that is free from the troubled past, and one where glory is attained on no one else’s terms but your own.
Certainly Joel. knows there’s no complete escape from what came before. But songs for charles is at least an attempt at exorcism. Facing pain in stark terms, he describes a present in which personal reconciliation is already under way, and this music – in all its expressive, subtle complexity – is the conduit.
On Bandcamp now —> songs for charles by Joel.
Joe Mauldin, the bass player for one of the most influential early rock and roll bands, died on Saturday February 7th after a battle with cancer, Billboard reports. Mauldin played double bass in the Crickets, off-and-on backing band for Buddy Holly before his death in a plane crash in 1959.
Listening to Mauldin’s playing on those early records, it sounds familiar – almost archetypical – and thus perhaps less unique to modern listeners some 60 years later. But this of course is because he helped create the sound and style that became the bedrock for the then-new hybrid of rhythm and blues and pop that Holly was ushering in. While the double bass itself would not be in vogue for much longer, Holly and the Crickets influenced the biggest rock acts of the next decade, and they, in turn, shaped modern music as we know it today.
After Holly’s death, Mauldin continued to perform with the Crickets, who had already begun recording without their former frontman, who had moved to New York from their home in Texas. The band backed the Everly Brothers on tour before Mauldin enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving from 1964-66. He later became a recording engineer at the famed Gold Star Studios and, in 2012, was inducted with the rest of the Crickets – Jerry Allison, Sonny Curtis, and Niki Sullivan – into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Here’s a preview of some of the artists who will be featured on the next installment of “OurStage on Amazing Radio,” an online and terrestrial radio show broadcast out of the UK to hundreds of thousands of listeners. Last month’s show is streaming now and features some really great, undiscovered acts. Below are your January Top 5. Listen to a direct playlist of these songs by clicking here.
“Taking Me Under” by Austin Renfroe
One of the winningest artists on OurStage with this fan favorite song. Meticulously constructed pop with a soulful delivery.
“Drunk and Unemployed” by Wes-tone
The #1 track in the Folk channel also took the top of the Roots finals channel. The novel of this song’s title belies an earnest and sad lyric.
“Fake This” by The Upset Victory
Catchy-as-hell modern rock from a great band.
“Why It Wasn’t Me” by KParker
R&B takes top honors again this month. Mellow, grooving, smooth…everything modern R&B should be.
“Wake Up” by Project KF
Another mellow entry, with ambient and chill elements, but riding over a driving rhythm.