New Tracks on Laurel Canyon Radio Week of January 27
New Tracks On Laurel Canyon Radio Week of January 27
Happy New Year all – the rain has swept away our reason to be cheerful (oh wait and yeah, that OTHER thing that happened). Yet, never fear ye old faithful, we’re back with a sample of new music we’ve added to the rotation this week!
- “Drinkin Problem” – Midland
This 3-piece band out of Texas, out on Taylor Swift’s label has been anointed by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 20 bands you don’t know how you’ve lived without all these years in the 2017 music review issue. Calling out the “Laurel Canyon Sound” of this band specifically may be a bit of a stretch, but there’s plenty of conviviality in its George Strait-forward vocals to please anyone riding on the early Eagles/Buffalo Springfield nexus train.
- “Moving Over And Getting On” – John Mayer
Despite what you think of John Mayer and his personal life of debauchery, it’s hard to dismiss his musicality and the broad swath of genres he has decided to chandelier through, all without losing an iota of his pop music bent along the way. After a couple of elpees worth of Neil Young-esque interloping on the Laurel Canyon Sound, which while not his most popular certainly won all of us on the Wonderland Avenue tip, he’s reverted to the cool pop/soul vibe of his more commercial fruitful oeuvre. Appearances in jazz bands, Dead and Friends and even turning up on Frank Ocean albums don’t divert us all from his particularly instinctive musical talents. From the just released “The Search For Everything – Wave One” EP.
- “Wildfire” – Laura Marling
From her new album “Semper Femina” out in March, Laura blues-pops the heck out of this delightful track “Wildfire”. While not losing her mellow confessional English folkie tone, Marlin adds a lot of quixotic touches of instrumentation that finds her out Norah-ing Norah. A must listen!
- “Poison Rain” – Farewell Milwaukee
Minneapolis band Farewell Milwaukee released their fourth full-length album, FM, which includes this beautiful slice of alt-FM “Poison Rain” . FM is the product of successfully achieving the balance of furthering their artistic careers with a family life. “[The album] has the first song ever written about my daughter, called ‘Hurt No More,’” says front man Ben Lubeck. “I texted my wife a few weeks ago after revisiting the album saying that this was the record I wanted my daughter to remember me by. Musically and lyrically.”
Mainstays of the Minneapolis music scene since 2008, Farewell Milwaukee embraces the role that their Midwestern towns have played in shaping them artistically, garnering them fans through their authentic lyrics, lush vocal harmonies, and an honest sincerity at live shows. It is because of this, they have gathered accolades from local and national press, landed a song placement on major-network TV, opened for the Lumineers (among others), and are featured on compilations alongside Mumford & Sons, Adele and Amos Lee.
The band’s success has given them perspective and an appreciation for their roots, which continuously comes across in FM. The album, filled with a thematic sense of grounding, was shaped by the stage-of-life lens of being husbands and fathers, and it is this concept of home base that made a concrete impression on FM’s overall flowing sound.
Produced by Minneapolis’ Jason Orris and recorded in Terrarium Music Studios, FM is the first album the band has recorded in town since their debut album, Autumn Rest Easy. Farewell Milwaukee has previously shied away from recording close to home in order to keep the flow of the process as smooth as possible; however, for this album, being close to home had a positive and productive effect on the record. “We’ve tried to avoid that [recording in town] in the past with the fear of it being a distraction and taking away from the process. But it seemed to make things very comfortable this time around in the best possible way. It seemed like the easiest record we’ve ever made. The logistics were simplified, we slept in our own beds at night,” says Lubeck.
Through the ease of the recording process, the band was able to take time to experiment with new sounds; this creativity and adventurousness brings FM to life through the addition of strings, steel guitar, and other sonic touches that the six-piece group perfected in the studio. “One of our greatest strengths is that we are all sympathetic to each other’s playing,” added Lubeck. “We give each other space to play the others’ instruments and take turns letting certain instruments take the spotlight.”
The unique sounds of the album make it difficult to fit FM into a particular genre (call it folk rock with a head and a tail, as described in an earlier album review from the Netherlands); however, genre tags are less important when projects like FM have beautifully crafted instrumentation accompanied by powerful lyrics and melodies.
“We’re making the best music of our lives while experiencing some of life’s most precious moments with our children. We’re truly living out our personal dreams and couldn’t be happier. My three-year-old runs around the house with a bedazzled pink guitar playing harmonica as loud as she can, trying to be like her daddy, and I don’t have to experience that through the screen of an iPhone,” says Lubeck.
- “Shape Of You” – Ed Sheeran
OK, even we’re caught up in Sheeran fever. Yes, this is a Brit pop fellow singing about going to a club and meeting a girl for “friction”. Yes this song debuted number 1 on the Billboard Pop Charts this week. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have the pop kick and blast of a great pop song that we will play cause it’s just damn well good.