#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.


#reviewoftheweek / Benjamin Booker - Live At Third Man Records

Jack White's Third Man Records has become an institution. Now, one of 2014's best new artists has released a live performance he gave at that very place. He doesn't have a back catalogue of music, so the setlist is mostly taken from his debut album, but because that album was so awesome, it makes for a great live show. The highlights of the set are the first 2 and the last 2 tracks. The end of the album features gritty live performances of his critically acclaimed single "Violent Shiver" and the hard rocking album standout "Have You Seen My Son?" Benjamin Booker is a stunning young talent harnessing sounds from way beyond his years, showing that there are certain timeless eras of music. Benjamin Booker takes his old school blues rock and mixes in a whole lot of rock and punk live on stage. The only thing better than this recording would have been to be there in person. This album is a great way to reinforce just how pure Booker's music is.


#reviewoftheweek / The Lone Bellow - Then Came The Morning

After having wowed critics and fans alike with their debut album, The Lone Bellow have returned with the second chapter in their story. Seemingly quick after the release and subsequent popularity of their first album, a second collection of songs might seem like just a bunch of throwaways from the first album's recording sessions. However, this album doesn't quite begin where the last left off, and, in fact, it has a quite different sound while still remaining familiar. The title track, which is the first single, is a defining moment for the album, kicking it off by opening the listeners ears to the rootsier, rockier sound of the new album. However, despite a few tracks that show of the southern rock elements of the band's sound like "Fake Roses" and "Cold As It Is," the band still showcases that their are rooted in folk music. The album as a whole has a fuller and bigger sound than the first, while still maintaining the intimacy of their music. Sometimes it takes a second album as good as the first to prove that a band is the real deal, and the Lone Bellow have crated just that.


BURN THIS / February 2015

  1. Mat Kearney "Heartbeat"
  2. Jessie Baylin "Creepers (Young Love)"
  3. Joshua Radin "We'll keep Running Forever"
  4. Will Dailey "Higher Education"
  5. Greg Holden "Hold On Tight"
  6. Needtobreathe "Multiplied"
  7. Judah & The Lion "Rich Kids"
  8. Elenowen "Half A Mile"
  9. JD McPherson "Let The Good Times Roll"
  10. JJ Grey & Mofro "Every Minute"
  11. Gill Landry "Just Like You"
  12. Brandi Carlile "Wherever Is Your Heart"
  13. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors "Shine Like Lightning"
  14. The Lone Bellow "Cold As It Is"
  15. Joe Pug "Stay And Dance"
  16. Luke Reynolds "No Way To Know What's Coming"
  17. Chadwick Stokes "Prison Blue Eyes"
  18. Benjamin Booker "Wicked Waters"
  19. Jessica Lea Mayfield "Standing In The Sun"
  20. The Barr Brothers "Love Ain't Enough"