It’s Saturday again and I’m thrilled to welcome you to yet another set of six new tunes – the third week in a row! All tracks are on releases that came out yesterday (April 28).
My first pick is by Country Westerns, a rock-oriented three-piece based in Nashville, Tenn. I first featured in a June 2020 Best of What’s New installment. Their origins date back to 2016 when singer and guitarist Joey Plunkett started working on songs with drummer Brian Kotzur. The trio’s current line-up also includes Jordan Jones, the newest member who replaced their original bassist Sabrina Rush. Here’s a bit more from their website: Country Westerns infuse punk rock chutzpah with a classic rock sheen, yielding a sound that’s simultaneously fresh and reminiscent of all the LPs you used to “borrow” from your cool uncle. Their debut album came out in May 2020, beautifully coinciding with… a worldwide pandemic...CW’s varied inspirations are evident on their self-produced “pandemic EP” that features covers by Richard Thompson, Jad Fair, and Dead Moon. This brings me to Forgive the City, CW’s sophomore album, and the nice melodic opener Knucklen’, co-written by Plunkett and Kotzur.
Annie Blackman is a 24-year-old alternative folk singer-songwriter hailing from Montclair, N.J. After she became a fan of Taylor Swift, Blackman was inspired to pick up the guitar and write her own songs in fifth grade. I love it when music grabs kids – so much cooler than video games! She began her recording career while still attending high school and released her debut album Blue Green in 2016. After Blackman had posted some clips of her original music on TikTok, she came to the attention of San Francisco-based Father/Daughter Records. The independent label signed her in 2021 and released her next (third) full-length album All of It in April 2022. Blackman is now out with Bug, her first EP. Here’s the lovely opener Ash, penned by Blackman.
The Damned/Western Promise
English punk rock band The Damned were formed in London in 1976. They have been active ever since, except for a short break-up from April 1978 to January 1979, after their second album Music For Pleasure had come out in November 1977. To date, The Damned have released 12 studio albums, which includes their latest, Darkadelic. As one would expect, they’ve had multiple changes over the years, with lead vocalist Dave Vanian having been the only constant member. The band’s current line-up also features original guitarist Raymond Burns, aka. Captain Sensible; Laurence Burrow, aka Monty Oxymoron (keyboards, backing vocals); Paul Gray (bass, backing vocals) and new drummer Will Taylor. From Darkadelic, let’s check out Western Promise, credited to Vanian and The Damned – it’s certainly not punk, but I love the tune’s sound!
Dave Hause/Drive It Like It’s Stolen
Dave Hause is an American singer-songwriter who performs solo and with his backing band The Mermaid. Starting from the mid-’90s, Hause played in a series of punk and hardcore bands, including Step Ahead, The Curse, Paint It Black, The Loved Ones, The All Brights and The Falcon, and between these groups released about 10 albums and EPs. In 2009, Hause also started a solo career, which has resulted in six albums to date, including his latest, Drive It Like It’s Stolen. After his third solo album Bury Me in Philly had appeared in February 2017, Hause put together The Mermaid. Hause’s solo work is notably different from hardcore and punk, focusing on heartland rock and Americana. Here’s the great title cut of his new album, co-written by Hause and his brother Tim Hause who also is a singer-songwriter.
Glen Matlock/Something ‘Bout the Weekend
Glen Matlock is best known for being the bassist in the original line-up of short-lived British punk pioneers Sex Pistols. While he left early during the recording sessions of the group’s first and only studio album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, Matlock is credited as a co-writer on 10 of the 12 tracks. Since his departure in 1977, he has been very busy. Matlock has performed and recorded with various other bands and artists, including Rich Kids, Vicious White Kids, Iggy Pop, The Damned and The International Swingers, among others. He remains a member of the last group and also joined Blondie’s touring band last year. Additionally, he took part in various Sex Pistols reunion tours. Oh, and in 1996, Matlock started a solo career with the release of Who’s He Think He Is When He’s at Home? Five additional solo albums have since appeared, including his latest, Consequences Coming. Off it, I got the perfect tune for a Saturday: Something ‘Bout the Weekend. The nice rocker is credited to Matlock, Hotei (Tomoyasu Hotei) and Mark Garfield.
Sock/Change Your Mind
This brings me to my final pick, Welsh alternative rock band Sock. From their Spotify profile: Formed in Cardiff, Sock make guitar-driven alternative rock, taking inspiration from psychedelic music. Known for their creative melodic arrangements and blending of genres, the band describe their music as “a rather progressive affair.” Following on from the band’s debut album ‘Fresh Bits’, in 2018, their much anticipated self-titled follow-up is out this April. The album features Jacob on Rhythm Guitar & Vocals, Billy on Lead Guitar, Sam on Bass & Keys, and Simon on Drums & Percussion. Produced by the band, the album was recorded during the pandemic and sees the music move into a heavier and more refined sound. From that album, here’s Change Your Mind – nice sounding tune!
Last but not least is a Spotify playlist of the above goodies plus a few additional tracks – another pretty good week on the new music front, at least in my book! 🙂
Sources: Wikipedia; Country Westerns website; YouTube; Spotify