New Music

Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Tady!

In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Scott:

Andrew Leahey & The Homestead, "Little in Love" - "Let's stay up 'til the church bells ring," sings Leahey on this easy-going single from a May 27 album produced by Uncle Tupelo/Wilco drummer Ken Coomer. "I wrote that song in my friend's van on the way back home from South By Southwest," the Nashville-based Leahey says via email. "It was a perfect afternoon -- open windows, lazy sun, road markers, stretched sky -- and I tried to funnel that feeling into the music."

Citing Tom Petty as an influence (I hear a little Dawes), Leahey's entire album brims with hooky, straight-forward rock songs that celebrate life's simple joys. He wrote the album while recovering from emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor, which spurred the album's joie de vivre. Leahey will entertain March 19 at a cool local music club, Wooley Bully's, in New Brighton, where there's never a cover charge.

Laura Gibson, "Empire Builder" - A different kind of road-trip tune; pretty and poetic with images of lumber yards, coal mines, dried up oil fields and "1,000 lonely pines bending their backs to the sky" whisking by as the folk-rock singer takes a train trip, leaving behind the man she loves for a journey of self-discovery. Gibson recounted that trip in an NPR interview, saying, "The whole time on the train I was checking my phone for some sort of text, an affirmation from him that this choice I was making was OK. He was conflicted too, and much of the first half of the route is beyond the reach of cell phone towers. I'd stare out into the dark, and every so often capture more footage. I found myself writing the same two sentences over and over again: 'Hurry up and lose me. Hurry up and find me again.' This song captured a moment of utter unknowing, of self-doubt and confliction."
Do yourself a favor, and check our Gibson's lyric video to this, title track for her album coming out April 1. Better yet, check her out live tonight (March 16) at Club Cafe, opening for Shearwater.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Patrick Bowman!

In case you missed, it here's what Patrick played:

Little Scream, “Love as a Weapon” - Back in 2011, Laurel Sprengelmeyer released The Golden Record, her debut album as Little Scream, which drew comparisons to St. Vincent / Neko Case/ CHelsea wolf for really intense electric folk/ with gothy overtones. She’s back with a song/new direction/new label (Merge) on “Love as a weapon” a funky little pop song with Sprengelmeyer trying on a very vampy falsetto, and a generally very cool vibe.

Kendrick Lamar Feat. Cee-Lo Green, "untitled 06 | 06.30.2014" - King Kendrick surprised his fans with an album of eight unreleased tracks last Thursday night, titled untitled.unmastered. that for whatever reason didn’t make his generation defining, shoulda-been-album-of-the-year To Pimp a Butterfly. "untitled 6 I 06.30.2014" is another trip down the acid funk rabbit hole, sharing extremely similar creative real estate with the bulk of TPAB, but still capable of surprising. Kendrick is in the zone right now, and it seems like anything he touches is worthy of thorough analysis and celebration.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs!

Woods, "Sun City Creeps"  - Woods does it again! For the ninth time! These Brooklyn freak-folk dudes are freakishly consistent, and also amazingly prolific. For fans, that means a new album almost every year with surprisingly few (none, to my count) duds in the bunch. "Sun City Creeps" is a fun, horn-driven little ditty with a sneaky groove from Woods' latest album "City Sun Eater in the River of Light."

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, "No Love Like Yours" - The flower cult king has returned. Edwarde Sharpe may always be that guy who sang your hipster cousin's wedding song ("Home"). On his third album with the Magnetic Zeroes, he takes a less sing-songy approach with some stretched out, darker performances. But on first single "No Love Like Yours," we've got his familiar sound — a happy-go-lucky chorus, some rambling group vocals and lots of singin' about love.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of WYEP’s trusted music experts joins me (Cindy Howes) on The Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Sarah Wardrop from WFUV in New York!

In case you missed, it here’s what she played:

Freakwater, Bolshevik and Bollweevil - I confess to knowing the band's name more than its music until recently, but Freakwater's history stretches back into the '80s and now includes their first album in a decade, called Scheherazade. Led by Catherine Irwin and Janet Bean, it's a loose, old-timey sound with a dose of punk too, and Irwin's more Hazel Dickens/Lucinda Williams vocals and Bean's more Emmylou Harris tone mix in dissonance as much as harmony, especially in this song.

Quilt, Roller - Another recent discovery (for me) reminds me that I haven't lived in Boston for many years, because Quilt started making music together there back in 2008. Now the band is releasing its third album, called Plaza, this week. This song has a smooth, psychedelic feel, and the vocals of Anna Fox Rochinski and the steady bass groove grabbed my ear.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Tady!

In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Scott:

Ron Pope & the Nighthawks, "Hell or High Water" - Averaging 15 million Pandora spins per month, indie-folk-pop singer Pope releases this debut from his new band, The Nighthawks. Peppy horns, buoyant piano, tight guitar and soulful vocals ... all present and accounted for. Says Pope, "This song more so than any of the others reminds me of what it’s like to run with the ‘Hawks on the road, up on stage sweating, dancing until I almost fall over, watching a room full of people lose it as we get loose."

Holy Wave, "She Put a Seed in My Ear" - From out in the West Texas town of El Paso, people are falling in love with this psych-rock band. Vocals have that hazy/dreamy vibe, though the guitar is more focused, the hooks more crystalline than some of their neo-shoegazer peers. Pitchfork dropped comparisons to early Kinks (I'm not quite hearing that) and "Nuggets" psychedelic-garage rock (I'll buy that.)

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Patrick Bowman!

In case you missed, it here's what Patrick played:

Massive Attack feat. Young Fathers, “Voodoo in My Blood” - The godfathers of Triphop just dropped the Ritual Spirit EP, their first release since 2010s Heliogoland, and it’s an exciting, lively, suitably tar black four songs that proves these guys aren’t over the hill yet. My favorite track is titled “Voodoo in My Blood” which features a fire guest spot from scary good Scottish hip-hop trio Young Fathers, who are only a few years removed for winning the Mercury Prize from their debut album Dead, and it also shows how Massive Attack are going out and finding new, challenging collaborators.

Bibio, “Feeling” - Bibio is the project of UK-based singer/songwriter/producer Stephen Wilkinson who has a penchant for building songs around obscure folk guitar samples that sound like they were dipped in analog recording warmth before he spliced them into his own track. His 2009 record Ambivalence Avenue was one of my favorites that year, and really puts his “folktronica” into focus. His next album A Mineral Love is due out in April and he just dropped the super funky first single “Feeling” which sounds like he was the art school brother to the Bee Gees that no one ever talked about.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of our most trusted music aficionados joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Justin Jacobs!

Villagers, "Everything I Am Is Yours" - Hot damn, is this song pretty. Villagers is the moniker of Conor O'Brien, an Irish singer who has released three albums of get-choked-up-by-beauty folk music. His last album, Darling Arithmetic, was widely acclaimed when it was released over a year ago, but O'Brien decided to go back and have another crack at the songs. So now he's releasing Where Have You Been All My Life?, which takes some hushed folk rock and makes it even sparser. The result is a new album that's aimed at hardcore fans, but enjoyable by anyone.

Lissie, "Don't You Give Up On Me" - Lissie's back, everyone! The Illinois singer-songwriter's third album, My Wild West, is out this month and this track is its second single. Lissie's got a voice that could blow down a house, and she uses it on some gorgeous piano-driven ballads on the new record, with a few rockers like this one thrown in to keep things lively. Cindy tells me she's got a Pittsburgh date coming up, so if you know what's good for you you'll head to Mr. Smalls and get your socks knocked completely off.

 

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of WYEP’s trusted music experts joins me (Cindy Howes) on The Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Sarah Wardrop from WFUV in New York!

In case you missed, it here’s what she played:

Sunflower Bean, "Easier Said" - This Brooklyn band released an EP last year, and its full-length debut, Human Ceremony, is due out February 5th. Also last year, they went on tour with both Wolf Alice and Best Coast, and their sound fits with both bands. The trio can do gritty riffs, indie-pop or the more ethereal vocal feel of this song, but whatever the sound, they bring energy and an amazing ear for melody.

Laura Mvula, "Overcome" - I was completely blown away by Mvula's 2013 album Sing To The Moon. It was choral, orchestra, soul, pop and a beautiful display of her gift for arranging (and her gift of a voice). This song, which is from a forthcoming album, features the great Nile Rodgers, and the extra funk and groove added to Mvula's grace and energy is a perfect combo.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Scott Tady!

In case you missed it here’s what he played with commentary by Scott:

Bob Mould, "Voices In My Head" - Thirty-plus years since pioneering noise-pop with Husker Du, Mould still consistently churns out songs with great guitar hooks and relatable lyrics. He's done it again with this debut track from his "Patch The Sky" album due out March 25. Here, Bob addresses the voices in his head, noting they multiply and amplify his fears. He reaches the conclusion he can either play the victim, or get on with his life.

Violent Femmes, "Memory" - If you saw them last summer at Stage AE, then you know the Violent Femmes are still as off-kilter, twisted and fun as ever. Thing is, they haven't released a new album in more than 15 years, though that will change come March 4 with the long-awaited arrival of "We Can Do Anything." This is the single, with Gordon Gano still resplendently quirky and agitated, lamenting he can't conjure specific memories of someone who once mattered in his life. The band's still got that rowdy folk/sparse punk/frat-house rock feel.

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Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Patrick Bowman!

In case you missed, it here's what Patrick played:

Wild Nothing, “Reichpop” - Wild Nothing is the brainchild of singer/songwriter/producer Jack Tatum who has consistently made jangly, beach rock with ambitious flourishes since his 2010 debut Gemini. He kind of got lumped in with similar sounding bands like Beach Fossils and Real Estate around the same time but was quietly more ambitious. That ambition has manifested itself with the third track he’s released off his forth coming full length Life of Pause, titled “Reichpop” which unsubtly references legendary minimalist music pioneer Steve Reich. The song really does a good job of combining pop instincts with repetitive, meandering sonics to produce an unusually powerful song.

White Denim, “Holda You (I’m Psycho)” - Austin rockers White Denim new track “Holda You (I’m Psycho)” from their upcoming album, Stiff which is coming out in March is just a lot of fun. It’s a song that feels of the same ilk as the classic 70s rock they have embraced their entire career, including their last album, the bluesy guitar lick heavy Corsicana Lemonade, or the Quicksilver-esque head trips of 2011’s D, which is one of my favorite albums of the past few years. “Holda You (I’m Psycho)” wastes no time kicking down doors and kind of sounds like a garage rock take on Blue Sky by the Allman Brothers, from the crazy guitar licks to lead singer James Petralli’s soulful howl.

Check out The Filtercast, which discusses, dismantles, and celebrates the best of Pittsburgh's music scene.

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