The NBT Review 37

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Songs Of Sins And Redemption – The Molenes (Independent Release)

Take in the purity of Roots Americana, dirty it lovingly with hints of feedback, splashes of political anger and huge gulps of driving rock n roll, and you have the first two tracks, the gateway into the world of very human very fragile saints, and  sometimes beautiful sometimes scary and sinister devils.

As just music this collection is oh so easy to fall in love with. There is not an instrument out of place, no arrangement over blown or underdone, and the nuanced interplay between musicians (who follow each others rhythms as instinctively as brothers) is thrilling.

Of course it’s not just about the playing and the tunes, but a journey towards the light with all the perilous thoughts and shadowy images that the odyssey entails.

Stealing from the track, ‘Bring the Bottle’ these are often snapshots onto a world that is ‘One Righteous bloody mess!’ and as the cover of the CD suggests, there is  an allure to the decay, there is something deeply uplifting in the fact that the broken souls will keep standing, keep moving on.

And the Molenes will be the dance band they party  loud to, in wicked stops along the way.

Find out more here

http://www.themolenes.com

And you can hear the Molenes on this episode of the NBT podcast

http://www.nextbigthing.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=495389

Foresight/Poorsight- The Johns (Ghost In The Cupboard)

Rewind the film, slowly. A train sneaks back tragic into a tunnel, and the sun slipSlides behind a cloud. With rolling thunder, the drama of ‘Sun For Days’ unrolls. This is the end. NO, actually this is a seductively brutal beginning.

The theme of loss continues, made strangely sweet with a power pop chug, kinda like Mathew Sweet fronting a new wave Byrds. These are songs about dancing as close to the edge as possible, sometimes accepting that the fall is the most wonderful thing, these are songs that SEEM to be about giving up, but look/listen closer and they are about surviving the dull chaos of break ups and fractured dreams.

The singer is a cynic, the singer is conflicted, and the singer is a romantic, he searches through the shudders of the songs, through leftovers of a rock n roll explosion, the shattered remains of affairs and love, and he tries to explore the truth of things. And with this band, these are his findings.

This is no one man quest though; this band is a whirling strumming thrumming beating heart of a music machine, creating swirls and harmonies, a subtle modern wall of noise.

Through the loneliness, this band wants to reach out and touch you.

Find out more here

http://www.thejohnschicago.com/

Catch songs from this album on this weeks NBT podcast.. Going out this Friday

http://www.nextbigthing.libsyn.com

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The NBT Review 36

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Heart Anchors  – Dune Tran (Independent Release)

Think of a movie. The beach at dawn, the film sped up, the sun thrown UP out of the darkness into the sky, the waves crashing senseless lonely.

Think of this movie. The 1st track of this tender collection is the soundtrack to that movie.

The movie slides into sepia crackle, and we see a young girl skip, dance kinda innocent, then falter walk backwards, the weight of the questions push at her, almost stop the shimmy, too much passion here though, the dance continue, the kites fly.

She can’t help herself she wants to always to hop, canter, swing herself around, then the Internal of the song takes her, things get slower, she allows herself to fall, hoping no, knowing, the music will catch her.

Time shifts, TimeChanges, this is sparkles, sparkling in the darkness illuminating lost lovers sitting quiet on cluttered couches, memories craving release.

Her songs are complicated things who wear a subtle orchestration, they are ballet dancers, half child half ghost.

Imagine another movie. A window, a fluttering curtain, the night sky, now here, now hidden.

She sings from another room, where moonlight shines through another window.

She invites you to dream.

Find out more here

http://www.dunetran.com

My Blacks Don’t Match – Darren Gaines and the Key Party (Independent Release)

Oh I adore this dirty Swing.

Gaines takes his ragged words and pokes them into the skin of proudly bruised songs, howling poetic, scaring the neighbors while seducing their daughters.

Track ‘She Says She Does’ is a poker game between Jim Carroll and Lou Reed, the shock sweetened by jiving horns and vocalist/violinist Sara Syms adding grace to the battle.

This is an alternate universe’s Blues Brothers, who kept their love of classical soul, but shared a beer or twenty with Joe Strummer and played messy and murky with Patti Smith.

While the swagger is infectious, this music has heart too, huge beating bleeding wanting pounding.

There is a true sense of urban epic in these songs that match a beautiful and honest story telling, images, harsh, vivid, intensely moving, completely unforgettable, spill out of the tunes and skitter restlessly around the listener’s soul.

Already, for me, an album of the year.

Find out for yourself

http://www.thekeypartynyc.com/

Hear Darren Gaines and the Key Party on this episode of the NBT Podcast

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=495389

and Dune Tran on this weeks broadcast (either Thursday or Friday)

 http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com

The NBT Review 35

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As NBT head honcho Martin Smit is down with the Flu this week,( yes summer flu in a heat wave, not wonderful!)  He just reviews Tag by Adriana, second in command William Elliot takes the reigns for Nick Daugherty

Movin’ Higher – Nick Daugherty (Sky Rocket Records)

The title track sets the mood, a song for flying, for those thoughts that touch a soul as you travel to a loved one, a gentle gliding melody full of bright easy harmonies.

This is summer drenched pop, evoking the same laidback rock and jazz tinted soul journeys that Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson often take, and in the track ‘Out of My League’ Nick even adds a hint of cool gospel.

The album is full of accomplished emotional ballads like ‘A Thousand Times Tonight’ and ‘ Please Come back Home’ showcasing a heartfelt vulnerability  counterpointing the amiable swing of other tracks, during which Daugherty invites you to slow dance the humid sultry night away with him.

All is not just unruffled and dreamy though, in standout track ‘Staring At The Sun’ Nick allows his voice to get a bit rougher, and rocks out with the best of them.

This is a fine pop album of the sort that will always be full of sweet summer breeze, that was made for lazy Sunday afternoons, and that brings a little bit of California to the room where ever it is played.

http://nickdaugherty.com/

 

Tag –Adriana (Independent Release)

This collection is sneaky and delightfully seductive, it is wicked, human, and heartwarming, sometimes all these things resting gleefully together in one song.

It carries a European chill into the sweaty jungle rhythms, an ice cream swirly centre covered by day-glo  PoP Art laughter.

It slinks along, big back cat like, growling, purring, elegant and oh so  deliciously dangerous.

Adriana refines what worked so well with her previous band Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and disregarding nostalgia, she slips and slides onto wry modern dance floors, letting the words bite and kiss as the beat clitterClatters ambiguously across the dancers’ bodies.

Best of all, there is nothing shallow about these nightclub confections, layered in between the loops and licks  is the soul of the edgy, the thoughtful, the ironic and the daring.

An album that subtly surprises with every new spin, gently hypnotizes and revamps, rejuvenates the tired listener.

Get your own seduction here

http://adrianakaegi.com/

 

Catch both these artists on this week’s NBT Podcast

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com