Tag Archives: Another Lost Shark Music Reviews

Left to the Flood: The New Folk XII

There are albums that come into your life that you know will stay with you forever, that etch themselves somewhere deep and continue to reveal themselves with every listen… two such albums have come into my life in the last week: High VioletThe National & True Love Cast Out All EvilRoky Erickson with Okkervil River. Here’s a taste from each of these albums; these songs are sure to make that Autumn sun seem somehow warmer on the skin.

Runaway – The National

‘There’s no, saving anything, now you’re swallowing the shine of the sun…’ The opening line of Runaway is just one of the lines that has lodged its barb firmly in  my psyche. The rest of the lyric is just as unforgettable:

‘What makes you think I’m enjoying being left to the flood?/ We got another thing coming undone/ and it’s taking us over/ We don’t bleed, when we don’t fight/ go ahead, go ahead, throw your arms in the air tonight’

Runaway showcases Matt Berninger’s sweet baritone during one of the album’s softer moments.Throughout the album, Berninger moves from moments of personal catharsis to the blindingly surreal, while the band sound majestic, swooping divinely in and out of Berninger’s lyrical rabbit holes.

I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees – Bloodbuzz Ohio

I’m a confident liar, I put my head in the oven so you know where I’ve been – Conversation 16

Cover me in rag and bone/ and sympathy/ cause I don’t want to get over you – Sorrow

This album is going to be on super high rotation for some time… you can listen to the complete album here, prior to it’s official release on May 11.

True Love Cast Out All Evil – Roky Erickson with Okkervil River

When the sounds of crackling opener, Devotional Number One floated out of my speakers, my spinal fluid began to bubble. It reminded me of the time when I heard the first of the Cash/Rubin collaborations and how I knew then, that I had a lot of catching up to do… that I had somehow in my youth managed to overlook the genius of Johnny Cash. While I have long been a fan of Okkervil River, I have lived almost 39 years on this earth without any knowledge of Roky Erickson… thankfully that has all changed. This is a deeply spiritual album. Okkervil River frontman, Will Sheff’s liner notes (which are worth the price of the album alone) detail Erickson’s well-publicised demons, including a stint in a Texan Psychiatric Hospital and how the voices in his head, caged him for years. It is these experiences that Erickson has primarily drawn on during the writing of this album… but there is no wallowing here. This is an album of hope, redemption and the healing power of music and Will Sheff’s production is absolutely perfect. In the softer moments you can hear Roky’s lungs rattle as he draws breath and in the fuzzed up rocker, John Lawman, you can hear his spittle coat the mic. Albums like this don’t come around often…

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The New Folk XI – Sounds Like Local

Australia has always produced some of the world’s most original music… Johnny O’Keefe, The Easybeats, The Saints, The Go-Betweens, The Triffids, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Dirty Three, The Church… the list goes on. So I thought I would post some music from a new crop of Australian artists, making ripples in our waters. Hope these sounds paint your Sunday all the right colours.

Sunday Afternoon – The Stress of Leisure

Fine purveyors of Brispop ‘The Stress of Leisure’ are gearing up to drop their third album and these ears are hungry for it. Their first two albums blend that ‘striped sunlight sound’ with classic indie-rock riffing and pop hooks. Lead singer, Ian Powne’s keen observation, peeling back the veneer of inner-city Brisbane life. So this Sunday afternoon, take the time to step into The Stress of Leisure’s world… the clip has all the colour of Brisbane this time of year. Oh, and keep an eye on their website for details of the album launch.

Electric Mourning Blues – The Scrapes

The Scrapes are a relatively new Brisbane band, who have recently released their debut album Electric Mourning Blues. The duo blend feedback drenched guitar with searing violing lines. Of course there are going to be Dirty Three references, but there sounds also channel the western feel of Ennio Morricone. This is a clip of them jamming live in Alchemix studios in Brisbane, so if it takes you somwehere and you are near enough to Brisbane this Wednesday night (April 21), you can catch the band at The Troubadour launching their album and tickets are just a $10’er.

We’re Mostly Made of Water – Kid Sam

Kid Sam are another local duo who have been impressing people all over the country recently supporting the legendary Daniel Johnson. Cousins Kishore and Kieran Ryan blend poetic lyrics with exquisitely crafted layers of guitar, drums, field recordings, glockenspiel, and various other sounds. Kid Sam trancends what we expect from a guitar and drums partnership and have delivered a debut album that is strangely evocative, complex and thoughtful.

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The New Folk pt X

Sunday is shedding its light, but never fear… this handful of songs are perfect for the approaching darkness. They have been shining their light in my world of late and it has been brighter for it. Enjoy the last hours of your weekend…

Worst Friend – Vic Chesnutt

At the Cut has been on high rotation for this Lost Shark in 2010, so I was thrilled when I finally got my hands on a copy of Vic’s other album from 2009, Skitter On Take Off, recorded live in the studio with Jonathan Richman. This is classic Chesnutt… no overdubs, just the man, his beaten acoustic guitar and some very minimal backing. Lyrically Chesnutt seems to tap the global psyche, writing songs that make you stop and wonder, was that written for me? Worst Friend is one of those songs. I don’t think there is anyone alive that couldn’t put a name to at least one of the friend’s Chesnutt sings about… and the Wheel of Fortune guy sounds hilarious!

Like the Ocean, Like the Innocent pts I & II – The Besnard Lakes

Montreal ensemble, The Besnard Lakes have created another epic album – Are The Roaring Night – that rolls out of your stereo, like a driving wave. Part I slowly builds until Jace Lasek’s falsetto erupts over peaks of psychedelic guitar swirls and rumbling percussion. Rather than be constrained by the convention of a song, The Besnard Lakes create sonic landscapes of tension and beauty. Close your eyes for this one and let yourself be plunged headlong into the roaring night.

King of Spain – The Tallest Man on Earth

Scandanavian folksinger, Kristian Matsson has followed up his 2008 debut Shallow Grave with The Wild Hunt, an effortless album of raspy vocals and crackling acoustic guitar. And while there is nothing new about this sound, The Tallest Man On Earth does it better than most. He has tapped the roots of American music to write an album of earnest, front porch poetry that will have you smiling before the first four bars have rolled.

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