ALBUM REVIEW: The Singing Skies – Head In The Trees, Heart On The Ground
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Americana / Folk / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: The Singing Skies – Head In The Trees, Heart On The Ground

The driving force behind The Singing Skies is Sydney songwriter Kell Derrig-Hall, who has previously worked with Melodie Nelson and Moonmilk. This is his second album as The Singing Skies and it’s quite the immersive, mesmerising and atmospheric listening experience. Evocative moods via a lush and swooning sonic palette afford Derrig the ability to paint … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Raised By Eagles – I Must Be Somewhere
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Raised By Eagles – I Must Be Somewhere

Album number three for Melbourne’s Raised By Eagles and a further refinement of their lush, wistful and yearning country rock. Ironing out some of the creases of their earlier releases has resulted in a unified sound across the songs which are mostly only a few shades either side of mid-tempo. So much of it floats … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Ray Davies – Americana
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Country / Rock / Videos

ALBUM REVIEW: Ray Davies – Americana

Reportedly the first of two volumes to be released this year, Americana is the first solo album from Ray Davies in nearly decade. It is also a companion of sorts to his autobiography of the same name and it certainly has a nostalgic feel to it – both geographically and culturally – and a predominantly … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Roland Kay-Smith – As Cool As They Come
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Americana / Blues / Folk / Rock / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Roland Kay-Smith – As Cool As They Come

If you can get past the self-deprecating cover with Smith as a leather-jacketed, sunglass-wearing and sax-tootin’ dude then you’ll find a whole range of styles on show. The songs are either Harry Nilsson-styled piano barroom tales, Jack White keening blues, Dylan-esque wordplay or loose-hip Stonesey rock ’n’ roll. It all adds up to a varied … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Chris Shiflett – West Coast Town
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / alt.country / Americana / Country / Videos

ALBUM REVIEW: Chris Shiflett – West Coast Town

Chris Shiflett is a busy man, dividing himself between Foo Fighters duties, hosting his Walking The Floor podcast and working on his solo career. He’s increasingly immersed himself in country music and this, his third solo album, is his finest yet. He pulled together a master team including producer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell), … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Sam Outlaw – Tenderheart
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Americana / Country / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Sam Outlaw – Tenderheart

Across these thirteen new songs, Sam Outlaw hits more consistent territory than he did on his debut album. The music is fuller and finds a greater synchronicity with his voice and the required sympathetic tones for his tales of affairs of the heart. Outlaw’s wordplay is in fine form, “trading looks and gossip over bottomless … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Jonny Fritz – Sweet Creep
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Videos

ALBUM REVIEW: Jonny Fritz – Sweet Creep

In the current country music world things can certainly get a tad over-earnest at times. A surefire antidote is Jonny Fritz. On Sweet Creep he’s recorded his finest record to date and found the perfect balance between heartache, humour, pathos and musicality. Produced my My Morning Jacket’s and with Joshua Hedley and Dawes’ Taylor and … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Old 97’s – Graveyard Whistling
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Country / Rock / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Old 97’s – Graveyard Whistling

Old 97’s return with their 11th studio album and it finds them in fine form. From the opening frantic rattle and strum of  ‘I Don’t Wanna Die In This Town’ they blast out the cobwebs and immediately re-establish their credentials as one of the pre-eminent alt-country bands – in the same echelon as The Jayhawks, … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Ryan Adams – Prisoner
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Rock / Videos

ALBUM REVIEW: Ryan Adams – Prisoner

Always one for following his own muse, impulses and stylistic influences, Ryan Adams cuts a wide path through contemporary rock ’n’ roll. Not content to be the poster boy for alt-country he’s increasingly explored hardcore, 80s MOR, metal and pop music and now on Prisoner he continues the sound of his previous self-titled album and … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: The Aviary Presents: Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Country / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: The Aviary Presents: Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings

It’s an intriguing premise – gather a group of some of the finest singers, songwriters and players on the Melbourne alt-country scene and record them singing each other’s songs backed by a studio house band. That approach ensures continuity of style and feel from a musical perspective but there are still plenty of pleasant surprises … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Kasey Chambers – Dragonfly (plus giveaway!)
Album Reviews / Americana / Bluegrass / Blues / Country / Videos

ALBUM REVIEW: Kasey Chambers – Dragonfly (plus giveaway!)

Double albums certainly aren’t in vogue these days but Kasey Chambers, Australia’s queen of Americana music, isn’t one to shortchange her muse. Dragonfly covers two recording sessions, the first helmed by Paul Kelly and the second by brother Nash Chambers. The first disc covers a range of styles, from the throwaway ‘Talkin’ Baby Blues’ to … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Freya Josephine Hollick – The Unceremonious Junking Of Me
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Americana / Bluegrass / Blues / Folk / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Freya Josephine Hollick – The Unceremonious Junking Of Me

Born of a fractured and unsalvageable relationship, yet blessed by the birth of a child, Freya Josephine Hollick’s second album is a deep emotional record that sounds at times desperate and fragile, yet often also defiant and optimistic. The album dials into a sound of pure, unadorned folk and lonesome country music. With just three … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Big Smoke – Time Is Golden
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Alt-Country / Americana / Soul / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Big Smoke – Time Is Golden

Time Is Golden is an often melancholic yet sometimes euphoric album, tragically shadowed by singer/songwriter Adrian Slattery’s diagnosis of terminal cancer and subsequent passing in May 2016, only weeks after he recorded his final guitar track for the record. Widescreen Americana is the best description of this set of songs that take in Wilco, The … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Okkervil River – Away
Album Artwork / Album Reviews / Americana / Indie Folk / Rock / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Okkervil River – Away

Fans of Okkervil River may not have realistically been expecting a new album from Will Sheff – his stock seemed in decline and it felt like either a sea-change was needed or the band would drift away. The reset of the regular band did dissolve into the real world but Sheff eventually hit a purple patch … Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Lucy Roleff – This Paradise
Album Reviews / Folk / Stream

ALBUM REVIEW: Lucy Roleff – This Paradise

Out of a dreamy mist emerges ornately plucked notes and the heavenly voice of Lucy Roleff. That’s how her album begins and continues over the next beautiful 36 minutes. Classically trained, the Melbourne songwriter sits in the same haunting, autumnal territory as Nick Drake, Aldous Harding, slow motion gothic country and occasionally the European icy … Continue reading