Virginia’s Juliana Daugherty has shared the first single, "Player" from her debut album Light. NPR premiered the track, writing; "Like the minimalist and monotone hypnosis of early Spoon and Cat Power, the song moves at a dramatic pace without breaking its stride; fixated on a destination, but with an end unknown to the listener.” Light was captured in Virginia’s countryside by producer Colin Killalea who is known for his work with Albert Hammond Jr and Natalie Prass. Click below to listen and read more about Daugherty’s gorgeous debut.
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, violinist, vocalist and songwriter Aisha Burns began playing violin when she was 10 years old, and has been touring and recording since 2006. Soon after moving to Austin in 2005, she gained her start with folk-rock outfit Alex Dupree and the Trapdoor Band, and joined the instrumental ensemble Balmorhea on violin in 2007. After years of secret singing, she released her solo debut Life in the Midwater in 2013. Her new album Argonauta, is a collection of songs about her struggle with the grief of losing her mother, while also navigating a new relationship, and ultimately trying to figure out what the new normal is for her life. NPR premiered lead single "Must Be A Way" and said it "...will break and fill your heart." Check it out here.
“Must Be A Way”
Comprised of eight aural vignettes, I See You Among the Stars by Jessica Risker is a wood-grained, amber-hued world respectfully orbiting influences like Nick Drake, Sibylle Baier, and the softest moments of Broadcast. Ultimately the album achieves what the best music in the genre does: pictures with tangible depth, color, and detail, painted with only a few well-chosen pigments. Through these songs Risker conveys the intimacy and introspection of a woman going about her simple matters at home, while creating an atmosphere to provide melancholy accompaniment to these very tasks. But the final result is something much more: a polyhedral, exploratory, and mystifying peer into a detailed pop-up storybook that reflects the mind and heart of its luminous creator.
“Cut My Hair”
Pennsylvania native Keith Kenniff’s output as Goldmund has established him as one of the preeminent composers of minimal piano-based ambient music alongside peers like Hauschka, Dustin O’Halloran, and even Ryuichi Sakamoto, who himself once described Kenniff’s work as “so, so, so beautiful.” Hyperbolic as it may sound, Goldmund’s newest collection Occasus may be his most exquisite yet. Where his previous recordings trod faithfully and sincerely on paths of dimly lit, polaroid-esque nostalgia, Occasus deepens the undeniable aesthetic that was hard-won over eight previous Goldmund albums, while expanding the palette to include desultory clouds of synthesizer and a tastefully distressed analog sheen. Check out the first single “Circle” below.
Nicole Schneit’s band Air Waves is back with their new album Warrior, which features contributions from Kevin Morby, Katie Von Schleicher, and members of Hospitality and Crystal Stilts. Understated, subtly sophisticated, and equally empowering and comforting, Warrior launches Air Waves above the apolitical complacency of too many of the group’s contemporaries. Schneit proudly declares her mission statement: “I want these songs to be heard by people in my queer community, but also by anyone that wants to feels strong, powerful, and included.” Check out the lead single "Morro Bay," which Stereogum called "…hypnotic and transportive" below. +
“Beginning to Fade”
Akinetic was produced by Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine) and recorded at Erik Hall’s home studio in Chicago. Expanding on Hall’s known penchant for densely layered yet deliberately understated song craft, Akinetic yields ten new tracks of spacious and textured handmade pop. With the addition of a kindred and veteran co-producer, the duo of Hall and Deck weave rock and indie-folk with ambient and electronica, bolstering Hall’s most intelligent and focused songwriting yet. The video for lead track “Beginning To Fade,” was lovingly crafted and directed by Natalie Bergman of Wild Belle. You can check it out here. +
No Fool Like An Old Fool is the sophomore LP from Austin via Alabama musician, Caroline Sallee, aka Caroline Says. Moving beyond the surf-folk foundations of her debut, on No Fool… Sallee loosens her earthly tether, allowing her songs to float to ever higher altitudes on clouds of loops, immaculate melodies, and hypnotic harmonies, as she sings about aging, the daily grind, and hometown stymie. The video for the first single “Sweet Home Alabama” (which Sallee directed and animated) premiered via NPR Music here. +
Austin producer Spencer Stephenson and Philadelphia emcee Raj Haldar are announcing their joint project The Skull Eclipses. They’re releasing their eponymous debut album on March 9th, and to coincide with the announcement the duo is sharing the lead single from the project. “Pillars” features Baba Maraire of Shabazz Palaces and Felicia Douglass of Ava Luna, and is a charged 5 minute cut that puts both artists' strengths on full display, a demonstration of how their abilities compliment one another's. Hear “Pillars” below, and click below to read more about the duo.. +
Lean Year (Richmond, VA based singer Emilie Rex and filmmaker/musician Rick Alverson) have announced their eponymous debut album with the first single “Come and See.” What for Rex was a departure from the structured life of academia toward the uncertain contours of a creative field, for Alverson was a return to form. Having released 5 albums with his previous band Spokane, Alverson took a 10-year hiatus from music to write and direct feature films [Entertainment (2015) and the cult-drama The Comedy (2012)]. These departures and approaches bring a transience and listlessness to the album, like a walk interrupted by both curiosity and caution. +
Indiana-born, everywhere-based singer-songwriter Peter Oren possesses a remarkable singing voice, low and deep and richly textured: as solid as a glacier, as big as a mountain. It rumbles in your conscience, a righteous sound that marks him as an artist for our tumultuous times, when sanity seems absent from popular discussions. The songs on Anthropocene are direct and poetic, outraged and measured, taking in the entire fucked-up world from his fixed point of view. Check out the title track below. +