sun 04/12/2022

Americana

Mary Gauthier, Union Chapel review - a living room concert in all but name

Mary Gauthier’s first tour in more than three years landed at London’s Union Chapel on Saturday, concluding with another sold-out gig. The venue is perfect for unplugged acts – intimate, architecturally pleasing and acoustically spot on. But cold,...

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Album: Weyes Blood - And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow

There’s been a quiet storm of critical approval building around Weyes Blood. American singer Natalie Mering has been releasing music for over a decade but, during the last two or three years a tailwind of positive verbiage has blown her faster...

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Album: Micah P Hinson - I Lie to You

Even the jolliest number on Micah P Hinson’s new album, a banjo-pickin’, wistful campfire jig entitled “Waking on Eggshells”, has him singing, “Give me a knife, I’ll show you my vein”, alongside offers to “blow out your brain” with various firearms...

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Album: Taylor Swift - Midnights

Taylor Swift’s transitions have become imperious, from the woody hush of her collaborations with The National’s Aaron Dessner, Folklore and Evermore, to the remade reclamations of her early work. Working at pace, she has assembled an impregnable...

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Album: Lambchop - The Bible

Lambchop’s 1997 breakthrough album took its title from Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Borrowing The Bible is a more purposefully brazen gambit, as Kurt Wagner tries to locate Americans’ spiritual hearts, in a shaken, besmirched and brutalised nation....

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Album: Mark Peters - Red Sunset Dreams

The word “immersive” has, of late, been hijacked. Now used with conspicuous abandon by everyone from estate agents offering piss-poor 3-D renderings of bang average houses to fancy-dress film screenings, its true meaning has been immolated to the...

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Fleet Foxes, Islington Assembly Hall review - exceedingly alive

Just under two weeks ago, Fleet Foxes finished their US tour at the 13,000-capacity Forest Hills Stadium. Now, here they are kicking off their European dates in an auditorium attached to a North London town hall. Capacity 890. Unsurprisingly, it’s...

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Album: Loudon Wainwright III - Lifetime Achievement

Celebrating, if that is the right word, his 75th year, Loudon Wainwright III offers us his 26th studio album in 52 rollicking years, Lifetime Achievement. Though he does have one Grammy on the shelf, for 2009’s double set, Charlie Pool Project,...

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Album: Cass McCombs - Heartmind

Cass McCombs has something of the detailed, opaque depth of his late peer Jason Molina, with more taste for pop shapes under a broader musical canvas, while still in the Americana underground. The Dead’s Bob Weir, Blake Mills, Tinariwen, Noam...

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Album: Hudson Mohawke - Cry Sugar

The journey of Ross “Hudson Mohawke” Birchard has been truly one of the most extraordinary in modern music. From teenage scratch DJ champion and happy hardcore raver in some of Glasgow’s more feral club environments, in the late Noughties he quickly...

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Album: Friendship - Love the Stranger

Over the past few years, Joe Pera Talks With You has been one of television’s joys. Each episode finds the small-town American music teacher navigating life in Upper Michigan. Unhurriedly, with good humour, he deals with the day-to-day small things...

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Album: Wilco - Cruel Country

As the pandemic receded, Wilco huddled together in Jeff Tweedy’s Chicago studio and played country songs, an easefully naturally act as the world around them shook. Though famed for the experimental, eerily timely Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2001) and the...

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