It’s been no secret that Juliana Hatfield will be joining Evan Dando for an upcoming Lemonheads project “ they’re touring with the Psychedelic Furs this fall. Glad news for fans of all three, especially considering the long history between the two once-and-future alt-rock darlings “ Hatfield played bass on The Lemonheads’ beloved It’s A Shame About Ray LP, Dando was briefly a member of Hatfield’s pre-solo career band Blake Babies, and the two performed a spate of shows as a duo last year. Now comes word that, in addition to Hatfield, Lemonheads co-founder and former co-frontman Ben Deily (now of Varsity Drag) will be on the new record, after he and Dando reconnected recently. Compound that with the revelation that known Dando accomplice Ryan Adams will be producing, and, well, you’ve got yourself either a hell of an album, or an impending implosion of massive, massive proportions. Twitter tells us that Adams is manning the drum kit, as well. Not sure what that portends vis a vis massive implosion.
Reading Jesse Terry’s list of tour dates from the past few years is a lot like looking at an actual calendar. Almost every single day corresponds with yet another gig, often in an area hundreds of miles away from the previous night’s show. A self-described “road warrior,” Terry has played his way across the contiguous United States multiple times by now, and the wanderlust evident in his musical travels plays a major role on his new LP Empty Seat on a Plane. Whether he’s describing Montana’s Bitterroot Valley or the dusty back roads of Tennessee, it’s clear that Terry isn’t merely going through the lyrical motions. He’s been to each place, soaked up its essence, and reproduced it in the form of gorgeously sung folk songs. Even if he isn’t doing the traveling himself, Terry is busy imagining the voyages of others to far-away locales like Portugal, Spain, or France. He envisions cars, trains, and planes carrying people off to the bright new lives they want, or at least think they want.
That is not to say that Terry doesn’t maintain a strong sense of groundedness amidst his travels. Woven throughout the various narratives on Empty Seat on a Plane is an enduring sense of Americana. In Terry’s lyrics, home is less a single place than a group of ideas and images (ballparks, carnival rides, and wide-open roads) that conjure the unified feeling of America as one expansive home. Specific nods to gospel, funk, and blues instrumentally achieve a similar effect, compressing America’s vast musical history into portable tuneful mementos that give listeners a coherent sense of place no matter where they might be. Never crowded or ostentatious, Terry’s arrangements give each instrument just enough space to make these musical influences clear, and his soothing vocal delivery is calming without being sleep“inducing, which is a rare feat. While Terry has been accurately compared to the likes of Ryan Adams and James Taylor, Empty Seat on a Plane shows that now he may be well on the way to becoming a reference point for other up-and-coming singer-songwriters himself.
Here at SoundTrax, our goal is to provide you with weekly music that is specific to an event or mood. No genre limitations, no time-period restrictions, just great music. The order of the songs selected is equally important to the content itself in our opinion, so more often than not, this blog will be presented in the form of a playlist.
As the weather takes a turn for the worse here in Boston, I find my taste in music changing as well. Tempo begins to slow, euphoric bustling arrangements give way to introspective and sparse recordings, and themes shift towards the darker end of the spectrum. So throw on your favorite pair of headphones, slip on some mittens and brave the cold, gray January skies with these tunes:
“Codex” by Radiohead
Radiohead have been the kings of introspective rock music for years now, and Codex is no exception. The slow, steady pacing of the song provides a sense of safety to an otherwise haunting track.
“Wonderwall” by Ryan Adams
Adams’ cover of Oasis manages to take a stereotypical ’90s rock track and turn it into a beautiful, bare-boned love song. The perfect track to listen to as the sky blackens and the first bit of snow coats the ground.
“Hold On” by Angus and Julia Stone
As the pace quickens, your feet start to fall in line with the subtle shuffle of drums. Hold on, you’re not quite through this storm.
“Temptress” (Tyler Stone’s Forbidden Fruit Mix) by Sutro
Our very own Sutro provides you with this sultry track. With simple yet striking production, and vocals that absolutely drip with sex, this song should warm your insides.