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Review | Nicole Atkins – Mondo Amore


I was first exposed to Nicole Atkins last year when she had opened for the Avett Brothers on their winter tour.  I wasn’t sure what I was getting in to but kept an open mind; she was opening for one of my favorite acts so I assumed the best.  Atkins put on a great show, and her song Brooklyn’s on Fire was a definite standout during the show.

Since that show, I’ve quietly followed her, and when I got the chance to hear her upcoming album a few months ago, I frothed at the mouth.  At first listen, Mondo Amore is an outstanding album.  Nicole Atkins has one fantastic voice.  That really doesn’t do it justice, it’s gorgeous, simply gorgeous.If she isn’t known as one of the best voices in music in the near future, I’d be surprised.

Bold statements aside, Atkins’ album is just as fun and wide ranging as her voice.  From the dark, brooding ‘Vultures,’ to the twang of ‘My Baby Don’t Lie,’ to the poppy, and super catchy ‘Cry Cry Cry.’  To me closing track ‘The Tower’ is the strongest on the album.  It’s a must listen, a haunting, emotionally hooking, melodramatic and epically building song that feels really intimate.  Its at the point at which the music reaches a huge climactic theme and finally matches Atkins’ amazing vocals; a great exaltation that really wraps the album up perfectly, and MUST BE LISTENED TO.

Without exception, every song on this album is a good listen.  The music is varied and well done, the vocals are superb; Nicole Atkins is a talent for sure, and she needs to be more well known, and I think this is the album that takes her to the next level.

Buy Mondo Amore

More Nicole Atkins
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New Music | J Mascis – Is it Done

Is It Done “Is It Done” is the second single from J Mascis’s forthcoming album ‘Several Shades Of Why.’ Best known as the songwriter for Dinosaur Jr., Mascis is releasing this acoustic collection on Subpop and will be available March 15.  Mascis’ trademark raspy, dry voice is all over this, with backup vocals from Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell.

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Video | Akron / Family – Silly Bears

Silly Bears by Akron/Family from Secretly Jag on Vimeo. Check out the epic video for Akron/Family’s “Silly Bears.” Directed by Matt Brunson, the new video is filled with robots, stuffed bears, plastic horses, and a Rubik’s Cube element. This video may be exactly what you expect after listening to this album, the visuals seem to fit the album well. Buy S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNT [+Digital Booklet]

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Video | Rural Alberta Advantage – Stamp

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Stamp from Saddle Creek on Vimeo. Check out the video for The Rural Alberta Advantage’s Stamp, from the album Departing, out March 1, 2011 on Saddle Creek.  I really am excited to hear this album, Hometowns, was one of my favorite albums in ’09; and it sounds like this one could be just as good.

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Akron / Family – S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT

Silly Bears
So It Goes

Long strange album title aside, Akron / Family’s newest album is one of those albums that isn’t entirely definable.  The music is experimental in nature, they use audio samples, psych-rock explosions, tribal beats (see silly bears), syncopated guitar and vocals… to put it simply, the album is as wild as the title.  That’s not to say that its not likeable, enjoyable, or listenable.  It’s just one of the most experimental sound albums you’ll hear this year.  Recorded in an abandoned train station, Akron / Family sourced influences from Japanese Noise Cassettes to Cagean Field Recordings (yea I looked it up too) S/T II is actually a lot of fun to listen to.  What’s great is every song has it’s own identity, completely separate from each of its album-mates.  Each song can be listened to in a vacuum and listened to on it’s own.

Buy S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNT

Check out Akron/Family live all over NA:

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Brian McGee – The Taking or the Leaving

Hold Sway Brian McGee is an Americana Rock artist out of North Carolina.  In October he released his a new album recorded at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville. Getting his roots in the Pennsylvania Punk scene, his sophomore LP The Taking or the Leaving is a fusion of Americana and Punk.  The album swiftly moves through themes of Americana like the rockabilly like ‘Hold Sway’ or the twangy balladry of ‘Let’s Bleed.’  One thing is for sure, McGee has the chops to write and play some fantastic sounding roots rock & roll music.  His punk roots come out in the…

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Video | James Vincent McMorrow – This Old Dark Machine

James Vincent McMorrow – This Old Dark Machine from Vagrant Records on Vimeo James Vincent McMorrow’s This Old Dark Machine from his album Early in the Morning, finally got a video treatment.  This album has been picking up steam, and it seems as though the more times you listen to it, the better it is.  His voice is super emotive and the music goes so well with it.  This is one album that is so well done, its hard to really put it into words Buy on Early in the Morning iTunes

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New Music | Generationals – Greenleaf

Greenleaf After releasing their ‘Trust EP’ in late 2010 Generationals were already putting the finishing touches on their next album, entitled Actor-Castor.  This album is the summation of their recordings over the summer of 2010 and will be released next month (March 29).  This new track, is a delightfully shiny, playful track with poppy keyboards a bouncy bassline and steady drums.  Its got a slow & steady pace, but has bright vocal harmonies and handclaps reminiscent of 60’s pop music. More Generationals Web | Twitter | Myspace | Spin |  Musicsavage

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New Music | The Seedy Seeds – Verb Noun

The Seedy Seeds

Verb Noun

The Seedy Seeds are a Cincinnati indie trio that elegantly combine pop, electronica and bluegrass.  They have a similar sound to that of the Freelance Whales, but there is definitely a difference between the two.  This track is a gorgeous blend of the aforementioned styles, it begins with an assortment of bass and strings, and kicks into gear with some on and off electronic elements that bring the chorus into a fast paced blur before it relinquishes back.  This off and on construction creates a great stress and relief in the song structure.   It all sounds kind of janky when I explain it, but in practice is quite nicely done.  This song is super catchy, and fun to listen to and the upcoming album, under the same name will be out later this month.

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