Bear’s Den

I recently discovered this band out of the UK, although they’ve been around for a few years now. Their first record is a bit more in the same vein as Mumford & Sons or maybe even a little Of Monsters & Men, but their second record that came out at some point in 2016 drops the banjo for a synth, gaining a very cool 80’s vibe.

Lots of echoing guitar and echoing vocals. Slow grooving songs about love. It’s been soundtracking my writing a lot these days, reminding me of what it must have been like to sad dance around your living room back in 1984 with feathered hair and sweet, pleated pants. Something about the music is heartbreaking. A reminder of old love scorn that has been tormenting in the background for years, suddenly brought back to life. But at the same time, it’s modern and happy and straight out of Stranger Things. A gentle reminder that the past will always be there, but the future is yet to come.

Caitlyn Smith

Caitlyn Smith released an EP last year and with just five songs, she easily made her way to my personal list of best albums of 2016. I didn’t have this blog last year so I never had a chance to write about her, but if I did, I would have said that she is going to be country’s breakout star of 2017.

Smith is one of those behind the scenes Nashville songwriter extraordinaires who is ready for her own time to shine. She’s written or co-written songs for Cassadee Pope , Jason Aldean, Lauren Alaina, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, The Nashville Cast, and even mother fucking Garth Brooks (she sings the song Tacoma herself on her EP and absolutely crushes it).

I can’t really say enough about how much awesomeness her talent is, so just listen and judge for yourself.

 

Mansionz

Mansionz has released the best pop album that I’ve heard in a very long time and for some reason it is getting zero attention. What makes this extra surprising is that the duo is made of producer/songwriter Blackbear, who has worked on a few hits, most notably Bieber’s song Boyfriend, and Mike Posner, who is a the singer/songwriter of Cooler Than Me and one of the most overplayed songs of 2016, I Took A Pill in Ibiza.

Now, I might be a bit biased in that I already think Mike Posner is one of the absolutely most undervalued pop singer/songwriters of this generation. I find his songs to be incredibly introspective and dynamic. He’s an interesting character who supposedly didn’t handle the money and fame that he received after finding initial success nearly a decade ago, selling off his luxury cars and whatnot to live the life of a pauper. And now, he finds himself richer than ever with one of the biggest hits of the year along with numerous writing credits for other pop stars, including, Bieber’s Boyfriend. Yes, that is where he and Blackbear became buddies. Continue reading “Mansionz”

Sam Outlaw

I wrote a music blog for about five years, but a few years back it crashed and died. The entire blog and all of the archives are dead and gone. I held a candle light vigil for months, hoping the crime would be acknowledged by the local news, but all I got was a generally wonderful smelling home. Blood orange and sandalwood seemed to be what the candle was scented.

This is the resurrection. And I don’t know where to begin. Someone just asked me what my first post would be and I had no response. I’m honestly not insanely excited about any albums from the past few weeks, but there certainly have been some gems. So why not start with the album that I was just listening to as I put this website together.
Tenderheart by Sam Outlaw.
Continue reading “Sam Outlaw”