Thursday, July 26, 2018

Sarah Jarosz - Undercurrent



Sarah Jarosz - Undercurrent
By
Jesse E. Mullen


Really beautiful album that deals with themes of maturation, and the difficulties that come with living in your early 20s. The instrumentation is exquisite, and Sarah is quite gifted, playing several of the parts herself. The vocals are excellent throughout, and fit the somber mood of the record. Her voice is like honey on top of the lush melodies she conjures. This album is truly a folk/alt country gem, and I believe anyone hearing it for the first time will marvel at Jarosz' dark yet hopeful songwriting, and clever arrangements. Growing up isn't easy, but this gives me something to latch onto amidst the confusion of it.
Sugar Hill/2016

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Kindling - Hush



Kindling - Hush
By
Jesse E. Mullen



An all-around terrific album from Massachusetts quintet Kindling. Opener "For Olive," and its delicious chord progressions will stick in your head for days. "Wait" and "Rain" are also highlights that show the softer side of the group. And while "Better World" is almost a sequel to "For Olive" in tone, it makes up for the reuse of the chord progression with a passionate performance from all involved. The two singers sound better than ever before, and their guitars are even more forceful (on the heavier tracks), while being more restrained in all the right ways (on the slower tracks.) Highly Recommended.
6131 Records/2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Fall – Sub-Lingual Tablet



The Fall – Sub-Lingual Tablet
By
Jesse E. Mullen



This album definitely resembles the Beggar's era of the group (1984-1988), but also brings The Fall in an exciting, and tightly refined new direction. Whether it's looking back via "Snazzy" (a funky distant cousin to "Slang King,") and the Brix-ish "First One Today," or to the future via the churning post-punk of "Dedication," and the extended jam "Auto Chip 2014-2016," it is an unqualified success. Mark E. Smith and company have brought out one of the best albums from any era of the group.
Cherry Red/2015