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Review | Tallest Man on Earth – There’s No Leaving Now

The Tallest Man on Earth – 1904

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.  That’s got to be Kristian Matsson’s formula for success.  The raspy voiced singer has been compared to Dylan on many occasions and although those are huge shoes to fill, Matsson seems to be trying to carry a torch of simplistic singer-songwriter folk music.  Just releasing his third full album, There’s No Leaving Now, is just that, a simple back to basics kind of album that is carried by Matsson’s scratchy vocals, songwriting, and simple guitar rhythms.

To boil it down like that, you might think I don’t like this album.  That is very untrue.  I love it.  In the past, he’s written mostly songs about running away, and claims on this record, something has changed, well he got married, and now plans on confronting a lot of the anxieties and pains presented in previous albums, thus the title … There’s No Leaving Now, and one track that feels eerily similar to “Kids on the Run,” from his The Wild Hunt.  Sometimes, I’d say mixing it up and going in a new direction is great, the expansion and growth of an artist can be a wonderful thing.  But Matsson I think is a different breed altogether, he’s pointed himself inward, stuck with his formula, dug his heels in and made another record full of solemn songs that can delight. It’s his direct no nonsense nature, his tradition of openness in his music that has delighted us for the last 3 albums.

Its a warm cup of coffee, a comfortable seat, and a lazy hour kind of album.  A slow burner, that grows on you.  You’re going to find all kinds of wonderful moments on this album, from the aforementioned titled track piano balladry, to the jangly “1904,” emotional vocals on “To Just Grow Away,” and the glimmering shimmer of “Criminals,” there are so many compelling moments on this record it is well worth the price of admission.

Buy There’s No Leaving Now

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Review | Ramona Falls – Prophet

Ramona Falls – Spore Portland, Oregon has graced the world of music with many fine bands these past few years, one of which is Brent Knopf’s latest project Ramona Falls. Knopf was a founding member of one of Portland’s finest live acts, Menomena, and created Ramona Falls as a side project in 2009, releasing the album Intuit, which was widely embraced by fans. In 2011 Knopf parted ways with Menomena to focus solely on Ramona Falls, and the new album Prophet, which was released on Barsuk Records in May of 2012. The latest release finds our fearless front man in…

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Review | Langhorne Slim – The Way We Move

Langhorne Slim – The Way We Move It’s been a long while since Langhorne Slim’s last album Be Set Free, which hit our ears back in ’09.  But this past tuesday, we all got a taste of what he’s been up to these last three years.  Although if you’ve been attending his live shows, you’ve heard quite a few of these tracks (and probably loved them). Attempting to capture the pure energy and soul of a Langhorne Slim show into a record is no easy task, but its most evident that they were trying and we can be sure listen…

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Review | Regina Spektor – What We Saw From the Cheap Seats

Regina Spektor has come a long way since her 2001 self-released debut “11:11,” which was exclusively sold at shows she played at venues in and around New York’s East Village. And while this album has become the holy grail of records for her fans, a search through eBay provides no help, her latest “What We Saw from the Cheap Seats” is a highlight in an already impressive repertoire. The album’s first single “All the Rowboats” has all the makings of a classic Regina Spektor hit as she combines lyrics which compare works of art as prisoners condemned to life, with…

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Review | Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Here

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Man On Fire It would not be foolish to think that a breakout band, with a breakout song that took the world by storm, would have a hard time following up on the success that followed. It would be foolish however to think that of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The new album “Here” finds the lead singer Alex Ebert and his merry band of musicians in fine, folk rock form, wearing the past 2 years of extraordinary success like a badge of honor. The album opens with the rambling, dreamy “Man…

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Sasquatch! A recap

I just got back from the Sasquatch Music Festival at the beautiful Gorge Ampitheater in Eastern Washington. It’s one of my favorite festivals because it always has a fantastic lineup and takes place in an unbelievably beautiful place. But this year I discovered another reason why it’s so great: small bands getting their chance to play for huge crowds. The festival itself welcomes 25,000 people through the gates every day, and the mainstage seats 20,000+. For some of these bands, playing the mainstage at Sasquatch (and even the side stages) is the largest crowd they’ve ever played.

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Review | JBM – Stray Ashes

JBM – Winter Ghosts Montreal born singer-songwriter Jesse Marchant, more commonly known to fans as JBM, just released his haunting new album “Stray Ashes,” a masterful follow up to 2008’s “Not Even In July,” and the years in between releases have seen the Canadian’s fanbase swell. A touring schedule with the likes of Elvis Perkins and St. Vincent, just to to name a few, has also opened new hearts to his captivating sound. He has been compared to one of the greatest singer-songwriters to pick up a guitar, Nick Drake, and that is praise not thrown around lightly. It appears…

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Review | The River and the Road – S/T

The River and the Road – Too Much of a Good Thing Spurred by a submission by one of the bands siblings of a couple of live videos I was desperate to hear Vancouver’s The River and the Road’s self titled debut. I contacted them, and waited. Having to wait while they were putting together the record I played this video again and again. And a month or two later, I had in hand, a full copy of their self titled debut album. Finally. The River and The Road are a two piece Vancouver based Folk Americana act comprised of…

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Review | Jack White – Blunderbuss

words by Ryan Doyon Ok sure, I am still saddened by the demise of The White Stripes. After an amazing 14 year run which produced 6 highly praised studio albums, giving us countless fuzzy guitar infused blues rock, they called it quits in 2011 leaving fans everywhere crushed. Jack White has added his musical one-two punch to many a band over the years but nothing came close to the energy that the Stripes produced in their time together. Almost a year to the date Jack White releases his first solo album, “Blunderbuss.” And it appears he has returned to form.…

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