#reviewoftheweek / Mason Jennings - Wild Dark Metal

Contrary to what the title sounds like, this album is not full of heavy metal music sung by Mason Jennings, one of our generations prolific folk-rockers. However, the album is a little heavier and darker than what we are used to from the Minnesota singer/songwriter, similar to his 2009 release "Blood Of Man." Mason's voice is instantly identifiable and he branches out, away from his traditional acoustic folky sound to get a little more raw and rock 'n roll. Crunchy guitars are a signature of songs like "Arma" and "Two Dollar Man" while the lyrics are the star of songs like "Heaven" and "Death Grips." The bones of the music are typical Mason Jennings, but the sound is a bit edgier than we are used to. It's nice to see singers branch out and give us something different than the norm, and Mason Jennings is one of the best at doing that while still keeping true to his roots and his influences.


#reviewoftheweek / Matt Corby - Telluric

Matt Corby was a virtual unknown until about 10 years ago when he appeared on season 5 of "Australian Idol" (the down under version of the hit US TV show) where he finished as runner up. Fast forward about 10 years and Corby has been making music and making waves in his native country, churning out a handful of critically acclaimed singles and EPs, some of which have been released stateside. Now, he's finally released his first proper album and has broken down the barriers of what you'd expect from a reality show contestant. Indie rock and folk rock collide to create a sound unlike anything you'd hear on the radio these days. His voice is almost gospel like and the instrumentation mixes funky with ambient in a way that can only be described as unique. Incredible songs like "Monday," "Knife Edge," and "Sooth Lady Wine" could have legs on US airwaves if given the right exposure. From start to finish, the entire album is adventurous and proves that the genius of a musician comes out when the musician has full control of their vision. Corby made sure this album, a work in progress for years, was exactly what it needed to be before unleashing it on the world. And, thankfully and expectedly, the music was well worth the wait.


#reviewoftheweek / Roo Panes - Paperweights

The debut album from Roo Panes is a thing of wonder. This up-and-coming singer/songwriter is going to spearhead a new generation of mellow folkies that is going to take the world by storm. Just as musicians like David Gray and Damien Rice, Panes is bringing straightforward mellow acoustic music across the pond. The airwaves have been dominated by poppy singers with acoustic guitars and folky balladeers, but Panes is different. His voice is an instrument equally as much as any actual instruments on the disc. Highlights on the album include "The Original" and "Where I Want To Go." This is the type of music you can listen to while falling asleep, going on an adventure, or chilling by the pool. It's different and familiar at the same time and accessible by fans of all genres. One of this year's true gems, this album is destined to be among the year's best come December.


#reviewoftheweek / The Hunts - Those Younger Days

It's hard enough to imagine what's it's like to be in a band that features 7 members. It's another thing all together to imagine what's it's like to be one of 7 siblings. The Hunts are a new folk band that features 7 siblings ranging from 16 to 24 years old, that are all incredible singers and multi-instrumentalists. Their performances are mindblowing, and that is because this album is mindblowing. Featuring every instrument you can think of from banjos and mandolins all the way to violins, their mini string orchestra coupled with the talents of their main singers (both male and female) show just how exciting folk music can be. The entire album has an underlying pop feel but lives squarely in the new folk movement, similar to bands like The Lumineers, The Lone Bellow, and Houndmouth. Songs on the album that showcase the best of their best are "Illuminate," "Make This Leap," and "Just For A While." You will never hear a band have more fun making music on a studio album, but it is evident that this family band loves what they do and does what they love.


#reviewofthweek / The River Arkansas - Golden Light

Indie folk has taken the world by storm over the past few years, so it's only natural that anyone with a remotely identifiable sound would come out of the woodwork to try and grab a piece of the action. The River Arkansas are not doing that. Instead, the band has subtly appeared and quietly announced that they have something to offer. The album's title track is a standout, showing off how lyrics and simple instrumentation can paint the same types of pictures that full orchestras usually do. This is local music at it's best. It's the type of music you hear at coffeehouses and want to seek out when having a beer. The River Arkansas do not strive to be the next big thing. What powers them and what makes this album shine is the honesty of the lyrics and their sound.


BURN THIS / March 2016

  1. Mason Jennings "Arma"
  2. Roo Panes "The Original"
  3. Matt Corby "Knife Edge"
  4. The Hip Abduction "Before We Lose Our Mind"
  5. Pepper "Start You Up"
  6. Iration "867"
  7. The Movement (featuring Mr. Williamz) "Dancehall"
  8. The Cat Empire "Bulls"
  9. Allen Stone "Perfect World"
  10. Gabrielle Aplin "Sweet Nothing"
  11. The Saint Johns "Lost The Feeling"
  12. Parachute "Crave"
  13. Ryan Cabrera "House On Fire"
  14. Matt Wertz "Slow Motion"
  15. Matthew Mayfield "Wild Eyes"
  16. Anderson East "Learning"
  17. JD McPherson "Precious"
  18. The Hunts "Illuminate"
  19. The Lumineers "Ophelia"
  20. The Milk Carton Kids "The City Of Our Lady"