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Misra Indierock | Alternative 6 Artikel

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William Matheny - Strange Constellations
William Matheny
Strange Constellations
LP | 2017 | US | Original (Misra)
20,99 €*
Release:2017 / US – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
The best storytellers often aren t the ones who have had the wildest experiences; they re the ones who have experienced things we all have, and can articulate them in a way we haven t yet figured out ourselves. They give us a new vocabulary for talking about ourselves and our world. That s the gift William Matheny presents to us. Matheny, a West Virginia native and longtime keys player for Athens, Ohio, indie heroes Southeast Engine, has broken out on his own with Strange Constellations, his debut 11-song solo collection out February 24, 2017, which might more than anything provoke the question: Why not sooner? William Matheny would best be classed as a songwriter s songwriter--the kind of composer who gets the melody just right every time, and the kind of lyricist whose turns of phrase bring an involuntary grin. Once you ve heard his deft songcraft, you might feel cheated that he withheld it so long. Strange Constellations came about while Matheny was still plying the trade of a touring musician, supplying piano and organ for someone else s grand musical plan. While I found the job creatively fulfilling and I wholeheartedly believed in the creative vision of the band, at some undefined point, I began to feel as if I had something else to say, he explains. So he began to sneak off when he had time, often while bandmates slept during the final year of Southeast Engine s touring life. It was a challenging enterprise, moving back into writing after years in a primarily supporting role. But songs began to coalesce: songs about touring life, about family history, about coincidence and circumstance. If you weren t listening to the lyrics of Matheny s songs, they d be plenty appealing already: Jackson Browne pop hooks alternate with alt-country tunes that might call to mind Drive-By Truckers. At times, his delivery recalls a twangy Craig Finn. But then, if you weren t listening to the lyrics, you d be doing it wrong. Take, for example, God s Left Hand, the album s second track. An upbeat country-rocker, it presents a series of vignettes that in a way illustrate the maxim about life happening while you re busy making other plans. But instead of missing the minutiae while thinking ahead to the next big thing, Matheny s character is taking in the little challenges of life while waiting on that lucky break--and thinking about what that lucky break may mean in the larger picture. It s in the details where Matheny will make true believers. His songs are full of moments that match smart observation with wordplay that s impressive mostly in its effortlessness. There s some laughing Katherine / down at the end of the bar / with some funny Daniel / down at the end of her arm, he sings in Blood Moon Singer. It s a scene that could take place anywhere, and does, which is Matheny s point, as he illustrates the blur of touring life. But no one put it quite that way until William Matheny came along. Storyteller, songwriter - William Matheny is the kind of artist who garners instant respect from other artists, even as he makes songs so effortlessly catchy. We could resent that he didn t arrive with this collection sooner, but let s instead celebrate that he s here with it now.
Julian Jasper - 2AM, Chinatown / I Don't Mind
Julian Jasper
2AM, Chinatown / I Don't Mind
7" | 2016 | US | Original (Misra)
6,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
Growing up along the San Diego coastline does strange things to a person, with its endless series of lifeguard towers that overlook a plague of red bodies and even redder tides, a seemingly endless parade of fascist bodies & underfed minds. It’s the kind of place that makes a young man want to drift. And so today Julian Jasper finds himself in Los Angeles, awash in a surreal trashed-out decadence and struggling to make sense of it all. His debut single is a Steely Dan for the 21st century, or maybe a lapsed Rundgren. Either way, Julian Jasper is the greatest double-J artist in the history of pop. Who was better? Jesus Jones? Jessie J? JJ Cale? It’s Julian Jasper, and Julian Jasper is here, and so the last Southern California century finally begins. "2AM, Chinatown," the A-side, sounds like Boz Scaggs on a dopamine bender, with Jasper distractedly strutting & bouncing from one disused phone booth to another looking for a connection. The B-side, "I Don’t Mind," effortlessly evokes an early morning in a beach town: the deserted streets, the closed-up burrito stands, the marine layer and its endless overcast coastal skies, terraces of bougainvillea, rhododendrons, and ice plant. The sound of someone talking to himself. Which is appropriate, because at the heart of the California dream is a loneliness, an ugly isolation, an iron fist behind the sunny smile. In the capital of eternal youth, fear will always run the town. And as long as American life remains something to escape from, Julian Jasper should have a bottomless pool of eager listeners.
Racing Heart - What Comes After
Chet Vincent & The Big Bend - Celebrate
Chet Vincent & The Big Bend
LP | 2016 | US | Original (Misra)
20,99 €*
Release:2016 / US – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
We tend to love the musician who starts their career strong, even if it means they flame out early. Romantic? Maybe. But if you’re a songwriter, you probably aspire to be more like The Big Bend’s Chet Vincent: Each album stronger, cleaner, more thoughtful, more polished. Chet Vincent has been kicking around Pittsburgh bars and clubs, playing in bands since he was a teenager. A regular fixture both at small open mics and at rock venues with The Big Bend, Vincent has quietly established a reputation as one of the city’s most dedicated figures. The payoff: Celebrate, The Big Bend’s fourth release, has the hallmarks of a career milestone, calling to mind early-‘70s Neil Young in its songwriting, with sonic elements straight out of Abbey Road-era Beatles. The Big Bend has been a work in progress: The band’s first albums had a definite country accent. Then, in 2015, the five-piece produced Unconventional Dog, a certified rocker. That full-length got the band attention from local radio, from Triple-A station WYEP to commercial rock entities WDVE and WXDX. Celebrate gives the band plenty of reasons to pop a few bottles (besides Vincent’s recent nuptials to beloved Pittsburgh country artist Molly Alphabet, with whom he also collaborates musically). The album shows the band’s range -- from the first discordant, psychedelic notes of album opener “The Spins” through the closing bars of the stripped-down, folky “Su La Ley.” In between, the band hits overdriven blues rockers and twangy honky-tonk tunes. Vincent’s vocals show range stylistically, from shouts on the more raucous tunes, to lilting crooning reminiscent of The Weakerthans’ John K. Samson on the softer songs. He’s backed by precision in the form of the rest of The Big Bend. Abe Anderson on thundering drums is joined in the rhythm section by bassist Madison Stubblefield. Andy Voltz provides keyboard work that helps steer the feel of the record, from honky tonk piano to a mellotron sound straight out of Strawberry Fields. Dan Dickison provides lead-guitar counterparts to Vincent’s rhythm. The production -- the band recorded and engineered itself -- is nothing short of spectacular. Vincent says the idea this time around was to not hold back: “I feel like the songs where we took more production risks on the last record tended to be people's favorites, so we took that as a license to go a bit farther this time.” Lyrically, too, Vincent continues to grow and find his voice. He’s always been a storyteller, weaving characters and situations into songs, but here he takes on social issues, both obliquely and directly, on songs like “Cut Us Down” and "Fingertrap." He also challenged himself on the new material. “I admire how ‘60s and ‘70s bands could pack so much into a three-minute song making it feel longer than it really is,” he says. “I tend over-write lyrics, so focusing on arrangements and economy of words has been a fun challenge for me.” Far from flaming out, Chet Vincent and The Big Bend have spent years building up steam for this moment. Vincent is one of those figures who serve to show us that working hard and honing your voice really do pay off. Pittsburgh is already in on the secret of The Big Bend; the rest of the world is on the verge of finding out.
Will Johnson/Justin Kinkel-Schuster - Inclined / Moccasin Bones
Adam Torres - Nostra Nova
Adam Torres
Nostra Nova
LP | 2015 | US | Original (Misra)
19,99 €*
Release:2015 / US – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
While playing in Southeast Engine, Adam Torres wrote Nostra Nova in the mid-aughts. In extremely DIY fashion, he handed.out CDs to select friends around Ohio. Friends handed it to friends who handed it to friends. Each was stunned by the album's beauty. Soon, Nostra Nova became something of a cult classic. Misra is proud to finally give it a proper release."Torres' work is a collection of tiny, beautiful things. It's a way of seeing the world, with the realization our own odd adventures and small brushes with mortality are important but just one piece of a larger shared experience."— Jillian Mapes • Wondering Soundlimited to 500 copies clear vinyl
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