New Tracks On Laurel Canyon Radio – May 19, 2016
New Tracks on Laurel Canyon Radio – MAY 19, 2016
As long as groovy artists keep releasing groovy music, we’ll keep the light on:
This week’s new music includes:
- “Jordan” – Roanoke
Crystalline harmonies and crisp instrumentation make this welcome debut from the Nashville based band Roanoke goosebumpworthy. Shades of Ollabelle, Alison Krauss, The Civil Wars and Della Mae make this delicious new band a delicious entry into the rootsy Americana canon.
- “The Meaning” – Fruition
While we are not dismissing the lead single “Labor Of Love” from this 3-part harmony loving rockers from Portland, we are much more intrigued by the slow jam “The Meaning”. Although we certainly wish a little more thinking went into the band name (is it a fruit drink? A Christian rock band?) it doesn’t diminish from their well-scrubbed harmonies. Now touring the upper Northwest through June.
- “Like A Superman” – Daisy House
From right in our backyard of Long Beach, California, this is one of the bands that contacted us to raise awareness of their music and, boy howdy, are we glad they did. Although this is from an older album (available on Bandcamp), this particular track (from the album “Western Man”) is a veritable treasure trove of spot the influence including some smack happy Beatles licks and a Banglesque jingle jangle recalling forty years of rock-n-roll in a three minute tutorial.
- “Come Back To Stay” – Jeremy O’Bannon
We will let Houston singer-songwriters Jeremy O’Bannon’s website tell you the story. Recorded in Houston by local songwriter Jack Saunders, Jeremy O’Bannon’s debut album Olivia tracks love, loss, and holding on to what’s important in 12 pointed, singular tracks. It’s a songwriter’s album, with accessible guitar licks, definitive storytelling, and a clue of inspired musicianship, the summation of four years of writing sketched into the framework of the disc.
“There’s a theme of escaping in a lot of the songs,” says O’Bannon, 38, of his first collection. “It’s really about escaping this fine line we have to walk in order to be responsible in this world.”
The Houston native reels in such accomplished session musicians as Jack Saunders, Rick Richards, Riley Osbourn, Eleanor Whitmore, Tommie Lee Bradley, and John Calderon, all of whom lend a hand to bringing O’Bannon’s songs to life.
“It’s amazing the way talent like that can transform your work,” he says. “One minute they’re structures, the next, they’re living, breathing things.
There’s a hint of James Taylor in his writing and presentation, a warm approach to Americana music that gives folk a modern eye. It’s evident on “Find a Way,” a lively, soulful song augmented by sustained organs and hot guitar licks, as well as the back porch swing of “Closer Than I Was,” which employs a violin and acoustic guitar strum to settle on a familiar sound. Then there’s the title track, “Olivia,” with its slow build and charming lyrics – at once comforting, paternal, and adventurous.
Many of the lessons learned through the Olivia sessions have made their way onto O’Bannon’s stage, where he and his backing band – a quintet that includes Marcie Chapa, Andrew Menger, Juan Correa, and Wayne Wilkerson – have spent the past year gigging at venues like Continental Club, Cottonwood, Heights Lodge, Liberty Station, and Alley Kat Bar.
Born in Austin in the mid-Seventies, O’Bannon moved to Houston when he was three, growing up in the Bayou City before shuttling his adult life between the two cities. Work brought him back to Houston five years ago, where he picked up the guitar and started writing. Raised on Townes Van Zandt and the Band, Ray Lamontagne and Norah Jones, he nestled into a warm, cozy corner of narrative storytelling almost immediately. Olivia, due this autumn, is the consummation of that process, the first showcase of a songwriter working with a steady hand.
“It was a peace,” he says of the album. “Many things can overwhelm you, but you can find that peace where something brings you that kind of true fulfillment without question. Whatever happens, if I can write these songs and continue to work on something I love, everything’s going to be all right.”
- “On The Land Blues” – Damien Jurado
Although this late night bit of indie pop psychedelia appeared on folk warlord Damien Jurado’s 2016 release “Visions of Us On The Land”, it is also doing double duty on the soundtrack of the upcoming film “Tumbledown”
“Tumbledown” (with script by Mewshaw and his wife Desiree Van Til) is about a young grieving widow named Hannah (Rebecca Hall). Her husband, Hunter Miles, had recorded only one album in a makeshift studio behind their house in Maine. That album became a cult classic, and then he died suddenly, after falling into a ravine. Hunter Miles is imagined along the lines of Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley—men who died too soon, whose songs continue to influence. (The soundtrack for “Tumbledown” is filled with what is meant to be Hunter’s songs, composed and sang by musician Damien Jurado, with a high eerie voice reminiscent of Bon Iver’s.) Hunter Miles’ fans make pilgrimages to Maine to visit his grave. The wall of the ravine where Hunter fell is covered in scratched messages from fans. They hunger for more from him but have to be satisfied with what they got, only 12 songs.