I have had some cracking stuff sent to me recently, including some great re-releases from the ever-reliable Tompkins Square and VP/Greensleeves labels which I will get round to soon. But we'll start with some new records.
The first two acts have both been around for a while but for one reason or another I have never heard them before. The first, Joseph Arthur, has just never appeared on my radar. My loss. He has a new double album out now called "The Ballad of Boogie Christ". The man himself says it is "a psychedelic soul record about redemption and what happens when you find it and
lose it". Now, I don't know about that, but I do know it is an excellent record that all right-minded people will enjoy. On this track you can play Spot the Mott.
"Junkies and Limousines" - Joseph Arthur
By contrast, the second act is one I have been aware of through the blogosphere for some time but have consciously avoided. While their name does not offend me, yeah, as much as some others I could mention, I instinctively cringe at Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. Which is a shame, as judging by their new album "Fly By Wire" they are a pretty good band. With a very irritating name.
"Loretta" - Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
Next up we have The Halfways, known to their mums of Daniel Fernandez and Alejandro Facusse, who released their debut album "Exit" via Bandcamp earlier this year. Daniel is originally from Honduras, not that you would guess that from their music. Like a lot of bands that have popped up since the Fleet Foxes made it big, they are clearly influenced by the old Laurel Canyon sound. But rather than the pale imitators that many of them are, Daniel and Alejandro appear to be directly channeling Crosby, Stills & Nash.
"Down You Go/ The Queen" - The Halfways
Finally, the only one of the lot I already knew. You may remember me raving about "Acid Week" by John Cathal O'Brien a year or so back. John has been in touch to let us know that his new album, "Songs on Lafayette", is now available for free (!!!) on his Bandcamp site. He describes it as "even more lo-fi" than "Acid Week" - which takes some doing - but it is also n an even stronger set of songs that last time round. And at that price you would have to be made not to give it a listen.
"Far Out Lights" - John Cathal O'Brien
John is originally from Dublin but is now living in the States. Here is another O'Brien who left her homeland to seek her fortune over there.