It’s Saturday and I hope everybody is enjoying their weekend. This also means it’s time to take a fresh look at newly released music. All picks appear on albums, which were released yesterday (November 4).
Big Joanie/Cactus Tree
Kicking us off today are Big Joanie, a black all-female punk trio formed in London in 2013. From their website: Championed by BBC 6Music, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan, Big Joanie are a London-based Black feminist punk band who combine the fury of nineties riot grrrl with synth-heavy post punk. Following their 2018 debut album ‘Sistahs’ on Thurston Moore and Eva Prinz’s label Daydream Library Series, the band secured a coveted run of support slots playing with Bikini Kill, Gossip, Sleater-Kinney and IDLES. Ahead of their second album, set to come out on Daydream Library in the UK and Kill Rock Stars in the US, Big Joanie are ready to bring their unique brand of feminist punk to the entire world. Big Joanie are Stephanie Phillips (guitar and vocals), Estella Adeyeri (bass guitar and vocals), and Chardine Taylor-Stone (drums and vocals). Their aforementioned second album Back Home is now out. Here’s the opener Cactus Tree, penned by Phillips. It’s safe to say Big Joanie are the first black punk band I’ve ever encountered, not to mention all-female. More importantly, these ladies have an interesting and I find distinct sound – not even sure I’d call it punk. Check this out.
The Lone Bellow/Cost of Living
Next up is another trio, The Lone Bellow, an Americana and roots group that began as a song-writing project for Zach Williams (guitar, lead vocals). Following an accident his wife had, which led to temporary paralysis, Williams began writing in a journal to cope with the situation. At the urging of friends, he learned how to play guitar and turned his journal entries into songs – what a cool story! After starting out as a solo act in New York City, he joined with Brian Elmquist (guitar, vocals) and Kanene Donehey Pipkin (mandolin, bass, keyboard, vocals). In January 2013, they released their eponymous debut album. Cost of Living is a song off Love Songs for Losers, the fifth and latest album by The Lone Bellow who are now based in Nashville. I love their harmony singing and warm sound!
Emily Nenni, according to her website, is a California-born and Nashville-based [country] singer and songwriter [who] chronicles her life through delicate songcraft rife with honky-tonk spirit and spiked with just the right amount of soul...Growing up in the Bay Area “in a family of music nerds,” her father worked in radio…Mom and dad took her to countless concerts as a kid and regaled her with endless tales of music lore. Emily’s mother introduced her to the likes of Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Jessi Colter, and Hank Williams, while her father spun James Brown and John Coltrane. Following high school, she attended Columbia College with a major in audio engineering. After a year, she dropped out and saved up enough money to move to Nashville…Eventually, she linked up with producer and frequent collaborator Mike Eli. Together, they cut her independent debut LP, Hell of a Woman, in 2017. Next up, she joined forces with Teddy and The Rough Riders for the I Owe You Nothin’ EP before serving up 2020’s Long Game EP. This brings me to On the Ranch, Nenni’s label full-length debut, and Useless, a tune she co-wrote with Michael Elias LoPinto. While other tracks on the album are traditional country, this song has more of a country-rock vibe – not bad!
Turnover/People That We Know
My last new music pick for this week comes from an American band called Turnover, formed in Virginia Beach, Va. in 2009. From their AllMusic bio: Turnover emerged in the early part of the 2010s, quickly outgrowing their emo and punk roots to create a more introspective sound that incorporated the lushness of dream pop and the tender melodies of indie pop. 2015’s Peripheral Vision marked the beginning of their transformation as it dialed down the distortion and added touches of shoegaze haze and summery vocal harmonies. Further works saw them branching out into wistful introspection (2017’s Good Nature) and soft pop (2019’s Altogether.) By the time of 2022’s Myself in the Way, they had cooked up a slick slowcore-meets-disco sound inspired by Quincy Jones and Chic. Turnover are Austin Getz (vocals, keyboards), Nick Rayfield (lead guitar), Danny Dempsey (bass) and Casey Getz (drums). Here’s People That We Know, credited to the entire band, from their above-mentioned latest album. The smooth and groovy tune drew me in.
Last but not least, following is a Spotify playlist with the above and a few additional tunes by the featured artists.
Sources: Wikipedia; Big Joanie website; Emily Nenni website; AllMusic; YouTube; Spotify