Dermot Kennedy’s “Sunday” Took Me To Church

There’s a clock ticking in my living room, and right now it’s all I hear, as I sit and let Dermot Kennedy’s song “Sunday” sink into my heart and my mind. The lingering piano chords move over my soul like dry snow swirling in gusts over pavement on a cold winter’s day. As I listen, […]

Katy Kirby Celebrates Something Sparkly on “Cubic Zirconia”

A cubic zirconia is an artificially created diamond. A competitor to the real thing, it’s close enough for the average person not to be able to tell the difference. It’s also the title of Katy Kirby’s new song. The song is charming. But it’s also arranged to surprise you.  For whilst it contains sounds and […]

The National offer hope on ‘Send For Me’

The National seem to have slowly and purposefully shuffled towards legendary status over the years. Collaborating with superstars and boasting a rabid fanbase, they create wild bursts of rock about random moments of social interaction or elegiac laments about abandoned clothing or emotions with extraordinarily colourful and inscrutable lyrical content. Less regularly, as with the […]

J Lind’s “Don’t Let Them Steal Your Joy” is Pure Joy

It’s fine…It’s not fine…Don’t let them steal the backbeat in the rhythm in your voice. J Lind’s “Don’t Let Them Steal Your Joy” is a joyful song in the face of criticism, skepticism, and even prejudice. It doesn’t matter what you do, there will be those who doubt, those who oppose. As often as not, […]

Is “Wherever You Are” Neil Finn’s most romantic song?

In 1996, a TV advert ran with the tagline, “you know more Crowded House songs than you think you do.” It was clever, but also true. The inherent catchiness in Neil Finn’s songwriting paired with lyrics that sit on a knife’s edge between reality and dreams ensure that his songs, once in your brain, are […]

“Will Anybody Ever Love Me?”

“Will Anybody Ever Love Me,” by Sufjan Stevens, is a song about a quest. The ultimate aim is to experience love – an honest, authentic love – so, another journey, really. Various landscapes are traversed in the music video, and each landscape has a portal to another landscape, and the journey goes on. This isn’t […]

Noah Gundersen isn’t giving up on “Better Days”

There’s a piano. It’s broken or muffled. There seems to be the sound of people moving about in the background. It turns out those noises are the drums that soon join in. This is how Noah Gundersen’s “Better Days” starts. Quietly, effected, but deceptive, for when the singing starts it’s crystal clear, soulful, and emotional. […]

The Mountain Goats Witness a “Murder at the 18th Street Garage”

The Mountain Goats don’t need me to tell you that they have a new album, Jenny From Thebes, out October 27. The need is in me. I have to tell somebody Jenny is back. In her prior appearances in the Mountain Goats catalogue, Jenny is a vanishing figure. Even in the song named for her, […]

“Your Side Of Town” Is About The Wrong Side Of Town

Punk rock goes to raw places that usually just tend to fester in the dark, and it shines a light on them. There is something about punk rock, including 80’s style synth-driven punk rock like that of The Killers, that gets supremely honest and cuts through politically correct “you can’t say that” with a “that’s […]

“Yes Maybe No” by Telephone Friends

The introduction to “Yes Maybe No,” by Telephone Friends, is a mix of wind instruments and light synthesizer sounds that don’t reappear in the rest of the song. It reminds me of my college days, sitting in the hallway between practice rooms, hearing a variety of instruments playing a variety of songs, and enjoying the […]

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