#reviewoftheweek / Tom Freund - Two Moons

Tom Freund is one of those musicians that, every time you hear his music, you are amazed that he not more famous or popular. But, the music suits the type of musician he is. Freund is a true west coast folk singer/songwriter and transports you on his journey through every lyric. On the first track, "Angel Eyes," he reteams with friend and collaborator Ben Harper, for one of the album's best songs. The album also features appearances by Serena Ryder on "Lemme Be Who I Wanna Be" and Brett Dennen on "Weekend Guy." The album is like listening to an old soul or a friend you've know for years. His music is personal, yet allows the listener to be inside each story, and essentially a part of Freund's life. "Happy Days Lunch Box" is a clever lyrically, and "Same Old Shit Different Day" is both comedic and poignant. Tom Freund is a diamond in the rough, but that's one of the reasons all his music, especially this album, is so awesome.


#reviewoftheweek / Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad - Steady

GPGDS is back with their newest album, and best to date. This album is full on reggae glory. The band has brought their live performing jam friendly attitude to the studio, and developed a great collection of reggae jams. The album leads off with "Whatever Cost" which hooks you right away for the journey that you are about to take. You feel like you've just stepped off an airplane in Jamaica at times, especially on tracks like "Take Your Place" and the title track. There's no way you'd ever know these guys were from upstate NY. "Mr. Cop" and "Not The Fool" are both fun old school style reggae songs. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad have come into their own on this album, and are poised to become one of the powerhouses on the jam and reggae scene.

BURN THIS / April 2015

  1. Trey Anastasio Band "Never"
  2. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers "High Neck Lace"
  3. Andrew Combs "Pearl"
  4. Brandi Carlile "Murder In The City"
  5. Joe Pug "If Still It Can't Be Found"
  6. Josh Rouse "New Young"
  7. Taylor Berrett "Those Days"
  8. Mat Kearney "Billion"
  9. SOJA "Shadow"
  10. Xavier Rudd & The United Nations "Come People"
  11. Trevor Hall "Unpack Your Memories"
  12. Chadwick Stokes "I Want You Like A Seatbelt"
  13. My Morning Jacket "Big Decisions"
  14. Alabama Shakes "Gimme All Your Love"
  15. Kopecky "Quarterback"
  16. Milo Greene "Lonely Eyes"
  17. Death Cab For Cutie "No Room In Frame"
  18. Lord Huron "The World Ender"
  19. Jose Gonzalez "Leaf Off/The Cave"
  20. Jarryd James "Do You Remember"


#reviewoftheweek / Gill Landry - Gill Landry

Although this album is not his first as a solo musician, it may be the one that makes him a household name. He is best know as a member of the famed bluegrass band Old Crow Medicine Show, but he showcases his individual talents incredibly on his new self titled album. An equal combination of rock and country, Landry tries to distance himself from OCMS and show that he's not a one trick pony. Combining elements of indie rock throughout, the album even features guest vocals from Laura Marling on the track "Take This Body," one of the album's best. AAA radio is going to eat this album up, and Landry might find himself with a secondary career if OCMS ever hangs it all up. "Just Like You" may be the most radio-friendly track on the album, but songs like "Fennario" and "Funeral In My Heart" are also great, showing off Landry's songwriting. Going solo while still maintaining being a member of a band at the same time is tough, but Landry's solo voice needed to be heard, and this vessel is superb.


#reviewoftheweek / Archis - Archis EP

This is one of the most interesting and exciting musical collaborations in years. Both musicians have had incredible success on their own, but together they create beautiful groundbreaking music. She is Dia Frampton (one half of Meg & Dia and runner-up of season 1 of NBC's The Voice) and he is Joseph Trapanese (known for his work as a film composer on movies like Oblivion and TV shows like Tron: Uprising). Together they are Archis, and this debut EP combines both sensible indie pop and cinematic and electronic music, creating a collection unlike any others. "Bittersweet" and "Blood" are two incredible songs, and although they might not be the type of thing you'd hear on the radio, the artistry of both far exceeds the need for airplay. Sometimes musicians just do things for fun and to express their artistic impulses, but never has it sounded so beautiful as this.


#reviewoftheweek / George Ezra - Wanted On Voyage

The latest to come out from across the pond, George Ezra broke onto the scene in the US with his single "Budapest" on various radio stations all over the country. But the album which features the song isn't a bunch of other versions of the song with different titles and lyrics. He's actually got a big of crooner quality, and surprisingly, should be able to wow fans that venture into buying the entire album, rather than just downloading what they hear on the radio. Some fans get upset when an album isn't more of the same. It's refreshing to hear that Ezra hasn't taken what he became successful with and recreated it a dozen more times just to sell records. He is a true talent in the singer/songwriter vein, and may exist because of the success of those who came before him (i.e. Ed Sheeran, Hozier), but stands apart from them in sound. You'd not expect such a polished sound from a young artist, but George Ezra is one who has it all figured out on that front. Try the second single "Blame It One Me" as well as "Stand By Your Gun" and "Barcelona" for proof that he's the real deal.


#reviewoftheweek / Mat Kearney - Just Kids

Mat Kearney is one of those artists that, within the first lyric, you know it's him. He has a certain inflection, delivery, and lyricism that is unique and no other artists out there do it quite like that. That being said, the newest album by Kearney delivers on uniqueness 100%. He mixes synth elements and a little of his hip-hop-style flow into both poppy and indie songs, showcasing his ability to tell a very vivid story through song. The singles "Heartbeat" and "Billion" are showstoppers and destined to become the album's cornerstones, as well as fan favorites. But it's on songs like the title track and "One Black Sheep" where listeners get a lyrical insight into what it is to be Mat Kearney, and what it took to grow into the musician he is today. He duets with Young Summer on a track, which is another of the album's highlights. Kearney has developed into one of the most cookie cutter and equally out-of-the-box pop singer/songwriters making music these days. But the left field approach to his music makes him and his music, especially on this album, one-of-a-kind.


BURN THIS / March 2015

  1. Andrew Combs "Foolin'"
  2. Will Hoge "Middle Of America"
  3. Brandi Carlile "The Eye"
  4. Joe Pug "Bright Beginnings"
  5. Tony Lucca "Delilah"
  6. Cary Brothers "Lovin' On You"
  7. Mat Kearney "Just Kids"
  8. Jessie Baylin "To Hell And Back"
  9. Josh Rouse "Some Days I'm Golden All Night"
  10. Trey Anastasio Band "Speak To Me"
  11. The Jason Spooner Band "Red & Green"
  12. Chadwick Stokes "Mother Maple"
  13. JD McPherson "Shy Boy"
  14. Dwayne Shivers "Black Tar Heart"
  15. Alabama Shakes "Don't Wanna Fight"
  16. Little Hurricane "Hold Me Back"
  17. The Lone Bellow "Take My Love"
  18. Houndmouth "Sedona"
  19. Lord Huron "Fool For Love"
  20. Death Cab For Cutie "Black Sun"


#reviewoftheweek / JD McPherson - Let The Good Times Roll

JD McPherson is a student of music history. His sound is unlike anything you'll hear from current musicians, and that's a great thing. Other artists like Alabama Shakes and St. Paul & The Broken Bones are doing similar stuff, by taking a classic old sound and making it fresh and new. JD combines southern rock, soul, and rockabilly into one great rock album, that is a step up from his debut. This album has more of a modern feel to it than his last, bridging his influences with the sounds of today. The title track and "Bossy" are two stompers that will make you shake, rattle, and roll, and imagine yourself back in the 50's when this type of music was on the radio and in the clubs. "Shy Boy" is the album's gem, and draws comparisons to the Black Keys, showing off vintage sounds, including some excellent keys. McPherson is one of those rare artists that do what they want, how they want, and no one comes close to mimicking it. On this album, he proves why he is the only one these days who can pull this music off in such a way.


#reviewoftheweek / Chadwick Stokes - The Horse Comanche

Solo albums are hard to separate from the body of work done by a musicians other bands, but Chadwick Stokes does an excellent job when breaking away from Dispatch and State Radio. This album is a folk masterpiece, and surprisingly, it is produced by Iron And Wine's Sam Beam. Making for an interesting partnership, Stokes takes his protest-style lyrics and delivery and combines them with some 60's era folk sounds, while also giving them a modern twist. Born from a series of living rooms shows, this album features some of Chad's best lyrics and interesting songs, and the furthest departure from Dispatch and State Radio to date. Songs like "I Want You Like A Seatbelt" and "Mother Maple" rock a little heavier than others, and the cornerstone of the album is the first single, "Our Lives Our Time," which is the most familiar sounding song on the album. Highlights include the folky "Prison Blue Eyes" and "New Haven" which featuring collaborative vocals by the girls from the indie rock band Lucius, which is another welcome twist on the album. All in all, Chadwick Stokes is one of this generations best road warrior type singer/songwriters, and this album is a great new collection of unique songs. Although he's not all over the airwaves like other musicians, his almost 20 year history on the indie roots rock scene has allowed him to prove his worth through music like this.