New Music | Happy Dagger – Indian Summer

HappyDagger

Portland, OR songwriter Jesse Robertson creates music under the moniker Happy Dagger and has recently released his first EP, available now through Soundcloud. The self-titled release is a 4-song collection of beautifully crafted, glam infused, psych-rock that is sure to make the day swirlingly better.

This is a 100% bedroom project, as he wrote, recorded, and produced everything you hear coming through your speakers on his own. Robertson taught himself how to play guitar, drums, and piano about ten years ago, and the now 20 year old musician has a collection of tunes that reflect the hard work and determination of an artist making it on his own. When Happy Dagger takes his show on the road he will do so as a 5-piece band to fully incorporate the intricate sound layered together in his debut. 

Check out the great track “Indian Summer” above and head over to Happy Dagger’s Soundcloud page to check out the rest of his fantastic eponymous debut. Someone needs to sign this guy quick!

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New Music | We Were Promised Jetpacks – I Keep It Composed

We Were Promised Jetpacks

Everytime a new single is released from the forthcoming We Were Promised Jetpacks album, Unravelling, I scratch my head in amazement that the Scottish 5-piece are not yet filling up stadium sized arenas full of crazed fans. The latest track to be shared from the band’s third album is the surging “I Keep It Composed,” a bass-heavy, emotionally driven song, hell-bent on grabbing a hold of your head and not letting go. The addition of multi-instrumentalist Stuart McGachan has added an intensity of sound to an already energetic, and tightly composed, sonic machine. These guys are the real deal! You know it, I know it…eventually everyone else will too.

The new single “I Keep It Composed” will be released September 22nd via FatCat Records, with the new album following shortly thereafter. 

Review | Cory Branan – The No-Hit Wonder

Cory Branan - Nicole C Kibert

The rag on Cory Branan is he’s too Country for Punk, and too Punk for Country, but I think what we need to start realizing is Cory Branan is a damn fine musician, and an excellent songwriter. His new record, The No-Hit Wonder, follows up his 2012 critically acclaimed record Mutt, and was released yesterday on Bloodshot Records. Over the course of the last month, I’ve turned this record on again and again, it’s been in heavy rotation, and for great reasons. Branan’s songwriting is top notch, it’s vivid and bright and a bit tongue-in-cheek. We’ve all been saying it, but I think this is his most accessible effort to date.

The album opener “You Make Me,” is a nod to Branan’s new wife, new kids, and shows a different Branan, he’s loose, having fun, and just enjoying himself, how could you not when you are recording with Jason Isbell? The second portion of Branan’s 1-2 punch is the titular single, “The No-Hit Wonder,” which features Craig Finn & Steve Selvidge from the Hold Steady. It’s a rockin’ tune that should be played at high speeds and high volumes, the song may be written as a self-deprecating joke, most of the press surrounding Branan has mentioned he should be bigger than he is, writing a song about it might be one way to ditch the stigma, and it’s one hell of a song.

Digging deeper into the record, Branan shows his eclecticism with the rockabilly “Sour Mash,” the ragtime crying in your beer song “C’Mon Shadow,” the traditional C&W “All the Rivers in Colorado,”
even a bit of Springsteenian travel song in “Taking the Highway Home.” The No-Hit Wonder is a full album effort that puts Branan’s songwriting front and center, his songs seemingly always have a hook, can make you laugh, and hit the right chords in a bevy of different genres. If the question still lies whether Branan is too country for punk and too punk for country, who really gives a shit? This record is fun to listen to, and it not fitting in is not going to stop me for a second.

Do yourself a favor, and buy The No-Hit Wonder. Today. Now.

Review | Shovels & Rope – Swimmin’ Time

ShovelsandRope

There is an inherent sense of foreboding and unease layered throughout the new sophomore release titled Swimmin’ Time from Charleston, South Carolina duo Shovels & Rope, which is almost a complete 180 from the uplifting merriment found in the pair’s first album released under the moniker Shovels & Rope, 2012′s O’ Be Joyful. It’s as though our favorite southern charmers, Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst, took a peek through the curtain of popularity that was opening wider for the singer-songwriters and were slightly taken aback by the response of the ever-growing crowd.

Now, don’t read that opening paragraph as a condemnation on the more introspective outlook the new Shovels & Rope album brings to the (turn)table. I am crazy about this record and have been listening pretty much non-stop since it arrived at Music Savage, however with each push of the play button I can’t help but wonder what the catalyst was for creating this musical shift in gears.

There are quite a few heavy topics Hearst and Trent wade through throughout Swimmin’ Time, most notably (as the title suggests) the songs focus on the power of water and the struggle to move forward through fluctuating tides, or to pick oneself up and dry off after the storm subsides. Whether it’s the plea for guidance and hope found in the beautiful song, “After the Storm,” the impassioned call of the album’s title track to swim or drown as the ocean waves pull you away from shore, or the true story of “Thresher,” a submarine lost at sea in 1963 with 129 souls on board, the main theme here is the struggle.

The struggle of ol’ fashioned good versus evil is also explored. The album’s stellar opening track, “The Devil Is All Around,” focuses on finding salvation and turning against temptation. With the glory of a church organ, and the almighty power of a kick-drum, the song perfectly sets the fight or flight tone of the album. You also find the theme in the 50′s inspired numbers as well. The Doo Wop style of “Coping Mechanism” looks for answers away from the obvious inebriants, and my favorite track, the rockabilly, “Mary Anne & One Eyed Dan,” delves into the topic of redemption through love.

While the emphasis of Swimmin’ Time is on the trials and tribulations of a life in the spotlight, I think the message is pretty clear. The road (or river) may be tough going but if you keep your chin up, and swim against the current, eventually you will find your way back to shore. As with most sequels the storyline cautiously dives into the heart of the conflict with the determination to rise above and conquer. Shovels & Rope have created the Empire Strikes Back to their Star Wars, the Superman II to their Superman: The Movie. We all know the heroes win in the end!

Buy Swimmin’ Time

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Shovels & Rope Tour Dates:

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New Music | The Del-Vipers – The Sonic Deterrent

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Austin, TX purveyors of old school surf-rock, The Del-Vipers, are anglin’ the release of their double spinner of a debut album titled Terror of the Del-Vipers, which will be available digitally Tuesday, August 26th via their Bandcamp page. I am stoked to share the bitchin’ new track “The Sonic Deterrent,” and I know you gnarly hot-doggers will think it’s as boss a rock n’ roll number as I do.

Ross Ott (guitars), Sam Rich (drums), and Dave Hawkins (bass), kick-out the pipeline laid down by the likes of Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, The Ventures, and many other notable legends of the genre, while infusing their brand of punk style into the kamikaze sound. This may be the trio’s first wave but they are clearly not poser gremlins.

The excellent video for “The Sonic Deterrent” is above and is sure to make you yell BANZAI!

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New Music | Generationals – Black Lemon

Generationals -By Akasha Rabut

Summer jams are still in season, I don’t really care what you say; and Generationals new one, “Black Lemon,” off their upcoming record Alix, is just that. A bouncy, islandy, marimba based jam I’ve had blasting on my headphones, bobbing my head like a dope. Alix will be the band’s 4th record, and based on what we’ve heard, is very promising, not to mention they enlisted Richard Swift to produce it, I’d imagine it will be the perfect end to another great summer.

Alix comes out Sept. 16.

New Music | Bear Medicine – Infestation

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The strength of actual bear medicine is introspective thinking, and finding solutions to problems through that search within. That introspection shapes the lyrics on this first single “Infestation” from Lexington Kentucky’s, Bear Medicine, a single on an upcoming split single with tour partner Ancient Warfare. As self-appointed healers and shamans, this song is the salve that soothes the soul’s problems with the gentle waves of acoustics and soothing falsetto vocals that instantly charm the ear, the lyrics seem to speak the opposite, they’ve got a dark pensive tenor, that pulls you into their mind, all of this wrapped inside a beautifully simple and wonderful folk environment.

You can grab the Ancient Warfare / Bear Medicine split single now on iTunes. Look for “Infestation,” to also appear on, their self-titled debut out in October.
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New Music | The Curtis Mayflower – King of the Fools

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Massachusetts boys The Curtis Mayflower released their critically acclaimed debut album, Everything Beautiful is Under Attack, back in January and it quickly became a favorite of mine. The Kickstarter funded project was recorded live in a New England farmhouse last year with the band committing to capturing each of the 11 tracks in one take. The resulting album is a collection of great blues-rock, chock-full of raw emotion, deftly woven together.

Today we here at Music Savage are excited to share with you brand new music from The Curtis Mayflower. The fantastic single, “King of the Fools,” is the first release since their debut, and it is as smooth as a fine glass of top-shelf whiskey. The track was recorded at the esteemed Machines With Magnets studio in Pawtucket, RI, and it will be followed by even more singles throughout 2014, and into early 2015. A new album is slated for mid-2015 and will contain these new singles, as well as a live performance of the new material.

To accompany “King of the Fools” the band released the above video, which is a compilation of oddball 50′s instructional videos pieced together to perfectly reflect the song’s lyrics. Do enjoy!

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New Music | Field Report – Home (Leave the Lights On)

Field Report

Another Field Report tune has found its way out there, and I’m totally in love. On “Home (Leave the Lights On)” Porterfield wraps beautiful writing into these really interesting package that’s instantly catchy and familiar, his voice raspy, warm and inviting; and there’s a subtle, electronic repeating beat that gives the song an almost whimsical feel to it, it’s one of those songs that is instantly delightful, and begs to be listened again and again. It’s really interesting to watch this band bend “folk” music, with electronic components right up next to pedal steel, it’s a pushing of the genre that’s all too refreshing. Home, will appear on Marigolden which drops on us October 7th from Partisan Records. I think we’re in for a great sophomore release.

New Music | Devan Dubois – Long Live

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Los Angeles musician Devan Dubois perfected a southern sound in his hometown of Nashville, TN and moved to the City of Angels to hone his style. His long-awaited debut album, Le Fou, will be released this coming Tuesday, August 19th via Sensibility Music. From what I have already heard of this record the music world better be ready.

The first single from the forthcoming release is the super-soulful, “Long Live,” a track that beautifully blends electronic hip-hop beats with twangy folk guitar and swirling strings. I haven’t heard anything quite like this quite frankly, and the moment the song ended I simply needed to listen to it again… and again. The accompanying video is super slick and perfectly crafted around the imagery Dubois weaves together in his lyrics.

We here at Music Savage suggest you not be a fool (see what I did there?) and grab yourself a copy of Le Fou on Tuesday. This album is stunning and we are excited to share every single that comes our way with you fine people, starting with the fantastic “Long Live.” Enjoy!

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