Big Blood – The Daughters Union

bigbloodI have barely listened to music made by other people the last month or so, and that is because I have started recording again. However, a new album by Big Blood is a ‘drop everything’ moment.

This doesn’t disappoint because Big Blood. But also, they’ve put on their glam clothes for some of the tunes on here. And I’d like to point out that ‘Reproduce & Get Dirty,’ besides being an ace title, is one of the great Big Blood songs, which is to say, it’s one of the great songs.

I love Big Blood because they have total creative freedom and they use it. They’re not trying to please anybody but themselves. They have a huge advantage, of course, in the fact that their songwriting abilities are outrageously good, which always helps. I personally think that great material comes from having the right attitude to start with rather than the other way round.

Long may they continue to be themselves.

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Roo & the Howl – Me/We

rooandthehowlSo I have a habit of clicking on the supporters of an album to see their collection, something I’m sure we all do. I tend to be more interested in people whose taste only vaguely corresponds with that of my own, because that’s a way of seeing through a window I wouldn’t have otherwise looked through. And by doing that, I listened to Roo & The Howl, a great artist name by almost any standards you can possibly care to mention.

For reasons I’m not entirely sure of, I haven’t listened to much music lately. What I have listened to hasn’t formed any coherent thread, either. Even so, a very tastefully produced country flecked indie-americana album would not have been high on my list of suspects as ‘worth dusting off my blog’ for.

If you imagine a mellower, country-er Heron Oblivion then you’ll be getting somewhere close, at least given my very limited knowledge of this particular field, a limitation which makes it impossible to give you any further references. Maybe I’ll edit some in later.

I’m not sure if she’s got anything else coming as the website seems to have not been updated in a while, but if she does, I’ll be most interested in seeing which way she travels.

Emma Ruth Rundle & Jaye Jayle – The Time Between Us

errnjjCollaboration / split releases can be a hit and miss affair, but when they work well, they are a joy to behold. They’re even better when they introduce someone to you who you wasn’t familiar with and now glad you are.

For me, that is Jay Jayle, which is not the name of the person but the entire outfit. Research tells me that this is the project of one Evan Patterson of the Young Widows.

This collaboration came about because both artists had songs leftover from their most recent releases, and decided to combine them onto a split release. Although they have different styles, said styles complement each other well. Emma Ruth Rundle’s songs are highly personal and emotionally charged, with a very late night feel to them. She’s really hard to put a label on and doesn’t really sound like anyone else that I’m aware of, and that’s a good thing. Jay Jayle is a more rootsy, alt-country-blues affair that likes to repeat the groove throughout the tune, reminding most of all of Little Axe, albeit without the samples, and that also is a good thing.

I had intended to do a post on Emma Ruth Rundle’s Some Heavy Ocean last year, but didn’t because it was such an interesting year (which I realise doesn’t tell you anything, but hey ho). Let it be known, however, that the album comes with a hearty recommendation. It contains some great tunes; the lady clearly knows her way around a song.

 

Wovenhand – Blush Music

.blushmusicWe interrupt this trip around the music I’d like to buy with a nod to a great album from 2003. Apparently, this was music that David Eugene Edwards wrote for Ultima Vez, a Belgian dance company, which may have something to do with having a less overtly religious theme than his usual fare.

It is also more laid back than the usual Wovenhand approach to things, which has been increasingly heavy in its southern gothic approach to americana. Check out the 14 minute version of Ain’t no Sunshine. There are occasional moments of upping the volume, though, and the contrast increases their power, a good example being Your Russia (without hands).

His previous outfit were 16 Horsepower, who made the absolutely wonderful Sackcloth & Ashes, a proper hoedown of an album with quite a preaching from the pulpit feel to the lyrics, all apocalyptic imagery and burn-in-hell admonishments. Despite that, I fackin love that album; the songwriting is astonishingly brilliant all the way through, and the arrangements are top notch.