Wednesday, March 01, 2017

What Caught My Ear in February (17.6, 17.7 and 17.8)

Hi readers... getting harder and harder to keep up with this weekly, even bi-weekly, so catching up here for the last 3 weeks. I've selected one release each week that introduced me either for the first time or just a bit deeper into who these artists are. So enjoy...

What Caught My Ear for 17.6 (Feb 10 releases)
Its the throwback 70's vibe that catches my ear hear on Mr. Elevator and The Brain Hotel's second album, 'When the Morning Greets You'. Amazon's editorial review says "the bands' love for vintage keyboard sounds, concept albums, and 70s pop remains intact, furnishing an album that entrances listeners and evolves over the course of its run-time into an array of bright, complex patterns and shapes." See, makes you want to listen to, doesn't it?

What Caught My Ear for 17.7 (Feb 17 releases)
Biggest standout for the week comes from Strand of Oaks and their project "Hard Love". Had a chance to hear this band live last year in Charlottesville when they opened for Alabama Shakes. A reviewer of the record on Exclaim! writes "Written by a person whose conscience seems to keep him from having too much fun, Hard Love is a conflicted yet summarily good record that breathes new life into good ol' rock'n'roll." The reviewer says the record is "rough around the edges but still soft, sensitive and introspective where it matters."

What Caught My Ear for 17.8 (Feb 24 releases)
This week I was drawn to "Freedom Highway", Rhiannon Giddens' second solo album. Paste Magazine has already named this one their top album so far of 2017 and had this to say in their review: "Always ambitious, Americana/traditional folk artist Rhiannon Giddens uses Freedom Highway, her second solo album, for a contemporary end: tracing the roots of the #BlackLivesMatter movement from plantation property to today." Gidden, a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, provides a great cover of the Pops Staples' tune as the title track.

As Victor Hugo is quoted to have said “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
― Victor Hugo