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Posts Tagged "indie folk"

HAROULA ROSE-Covers + Swimming Song

Chicago’s Haroula Rose is a smart lady. She won a Fulbright back in 2005, and she’s been making folk music for the past six years or so. Over the course of a series of EPs and albums, she’s produced a bunch of covers, and they’ve now been collected as a Soundcloud set list–perhaps to promote her latest single.

Let’s start with the cover songs. The choices are all G-rated–ranging including The Everly Brothers (the new single, released this year) and Sonny Miller–perfect selections for a voice so pure.  She does a wonderful job with Mason Jennings’ “Duluth,” a sweet and traditional love song, and she absolutely kills The Eagles’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling.”  And I’m always up for hearing a new version of “Wichita Lineman.”  I’m not sure why I’m such a sucker for that song.

And as for the new, original song…Swimming Song is about swimming. Literally. She does the crawl. She does a cannonball. She moves her arms around in the water. It’s a great summer tune, and it feels as delightful as the clear water of an abandoned rock quarry. Light, simple, and it has some catchy banjo work.

Get to know this artist!


FRANK TURNER-Positive Songs for Negative People

“I don’t want to spend all my life indoors, laying low and waiting for the next storm. I don’t want to spend all my life inside, I want to step out and face the sunshine.” The Next Storm is absolutely the perfect song for an album titled, Positive Songs for Negative People. It’s a raucous, “rise up” song: “Rejoice, rebel, the storm is passed!” he shouts at the end, and if you’re not on your feet throwing your fists up and looking for a reason to rally, you shouldn’t be listening to music. This is what it all used to be about: Meaning, power, movement. Change. The power of belief, the soaring inspiration that come from a feeling and words and sound and Goddamn I love this record.

This is Turner’s sixth album and his most mainstream to date. It’s an album he deserves to make money off—if this guy can’t make a living making music, nobody should be able to.

It reminds me of Joe Strummer, my favorite musician of all time, and so many other folk-rockers who have brought passion and fire to the world only to be forgotten too soon.

And if it’s too much of a break from his more rootsy punk background, get the bonus album: All acoustic, and just as terrific.

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MARY LOU LORD-Backstreet Angels

I guess if you take over a decade between albums, you can expect people might have forgotten you. But I didn’t. I remember when she was singing in a subway tunnel in Boston, and my buddy picked up her CD and sent it to me. It was stunning. Then her career was cut short, meanly, by a vocal condition. And somehow, she returned this year with a truly terrific record.

The single, Buddy Valentine, is a love letter to classic rock—mostly Bob Dylan—but the entire album is terrific. Not only has she recovered, Mary Lou Lord has gotten even better.



A freEP that comes with a warning: Do not listen to it while driving. It may lull you, hypnotically, into a such a quiet state that you’ll run into a truck and won’t even feel it. If a record could be a meditative state, it would sound like this. Great stuff.


CARY KANNO-The Light Fantastic

Cary Kanno is a Chicago singer/songwriter who was in the bands Abstract Giants and Doko Benjo before striking out on his own in 2009. His latest, “The Light Fantastic,” is a great collection of well-written, gentle tunes full of heart. One is reminded of Josh Ritter or Andrew Bird. He’s not twee, but his music is definitely sweet.

Check out the new album below–I particularly recommend “We are All Animals” and “Ignorance is Bliss.” Also, there’s a neat over of Nirvana’s “Something in the Way.”


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