Americana

Artist: 
I'm With Her
Label: 
I'm With Her

I'm With Her is a female folk trio composed of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aofie O'Donovan. The album "See You Around" is a proper demonstration of their beautiful harmonies and ability to add a bite into their delicate folk tunes. I was first introduced to I'm With Her with their song "I-89." The song starts with a cool bassline tied in with O'Donovan's delicate voice. It didn't scare me off for being folk because I'm With Her are masters at making folk have character.

Sounds Like: 
Brandi Carlile - Strong, female folk singers that are masters at emotion. Carlile is a bit more rock/country influenced however.
Sounds Like: 
The Wailin' Jennys - Another female trio with amazing harmonies but purely acapella (no delicate folk instrumentals like I'm With Her)
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
04/17/2018
Artist: 
Iron & Wine
Label: 
Sub Pop

On his most recent EP, Sam Beam returns to his more classic sound after foraying into the world of full band territorry. He's still got a small backing band with him, and there's minimal percussion, strings, banjo, etc. throughout the record, but this is a much more stripped-down affair than most of his previous work has been. I must confess that I do really love full-band mid era Iron & Wine and really enjoyed his sound when he added a bunch of extra band members, but Sam Beam's work is amazing in almost any context and that continues to be the case on this record.

Sounds Like: 
Sufjan Stevens
Sounds Like: 
Fleet Foxes
Name: 
Alex Siegel
Date Reviewed: 
09/06/2017
Artist: 
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Label: 
ATO

Alynda Segarra is the rock star we needed. Her group, Hurray for the Riff Raffhas been making americana seem more vital than it has felt in decades. Their latest record, The Navigator, feels like the arrival of a needed voice. A Bronx native now located in New Orleans, Segarra has a beautiful voice that delivers incisive and world-weary lyrics. While HFTRR's previous records have been more folk-oriented and more personal and intimate, The Navigator takes a hard turn into narrative rock opera.

Sounds Like: 
Broken Social Scene
Sounds Like: 
Calexico
Name: 
Nick Kivi
Date Reviewed: 
04/12/2017
Artist: 
The Weeks
Label: 
Lightning Rod Records

After seeing the Weeks on a complete whim in September and becoming a dedicated fan, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they were putting out a new full-length album. Easy is a swampy, energetic Southern rock album that showcases the many good aspects of this band. Easy is less of a Southern rock record than their other releases, but the Skynyrd-esque vestiges are still definitely present. Most of the songs are fairly simple, but this is where The Weeks shine. Songs like "Start It Up," show classic rock vignettes with Americana themes.

Sounds Like: 
Dawes
Sounds Like: 
Delta Spirit
Sounds Like: 
The Hold Steady
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
04/11/2017
Artist: 
Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers
Label: 
Ca-Ha-Nus Records

"Eyes on the Prize," by Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers is a decent Americana rock album with a female powerhouse vocalist. At its best best, the guitar is jamming and Carol Pacey's vocals mesh perfectly, giving the track an empowering sound. Her vocals, at times, are remiscent of the same twangly, gravely strength as singers such as Sheryl Crow and Joan Osborne. At its worst, "Eyes on the Prize," is kitschy and uninspired.

Sounds Like: 
Sheryl Crow
Sounds Like: 
Joan Osborne
Name: 
Brooke Blizzard
Date Reviewed: 
11/15/2016
Artist: 
Victoria Reed
Label: 
Botanica Records

In Victoria Reed's debut album, "Chariot," her delicate voice serenades over soothing guitar riffs and sometimes even beautiful violins or catchy piano chords. A simple drum beat in most of the songs keeps the listener from being distracted by the angelic vocals twittering about love or this ex-philosophy major's musings on happiness. Even though the lyrics and instrumental can be a bit repetitive, it doesn't take away from the warm and fuzzy feeling that her music creates.

Sounds Like: 
Dido
Sounds Like: 
The Cardigans (Long Gone Before Daylight era)
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
09/21/2016
Artist: 
Okkervil River
Label: 
ATO

For almost 15 years, Will Sheff has quietly made a convincing case of being the best lyricist of the new millenia. With a subtly brash wit and a Faulknerian sense of gothic tragedy, his band Okkervil River has made some of the most equally compelling music of the 21st century as well. For Okkervil River's first album in three years, Away, Sheff has completely replaced all musicians in the band (save for drummer Cully Symington).

Sounds Like: 
Mountain Goats
Sounds Like: 
Van Morrison
Name: 
Nick Kivi
Date Reviewed: 
09/21/2016
Artist: 
The Congress
Label: 
American Paradox Records

The Game by artists, The Congress, was quite enjoyable. While I don't think that there style or production was breaking any musical barriers, there was a pleasantness that existed within the artists' work. The tone of the album was overall uplifting and exciting. It felt like Boston, the musical group, actually. Especially the song September. There was an interesting mix of jazz and folk, but some tracks had tones of blues so perhaps it would be considered Americana. The variety of instruments was enjoyable.

Sounds Like: 
Bruce Springsteen
Sounds Like: 
Boston
Name: 
Nick Ziolkowski
Date Reviewed: 
09/14/2016
Artist: 
Gang of Youths
Label: 
Mosy Recordings

Gang of Youths are an Australia indie rock band. This album, Positions, has hints of americana and country, with some sweeping indie ballads reminiscent of U2 sans Bono's vocals and with a little more shine. It's good. Definitely check it out if you're into The National and/or Arcade Fire.

Sounds Like: 
The National
Sounds Like: 
Arcade Fire
Name: 
Molly Ragan
Date Reviewed: 
02/07/2016
Artist: 
Family and Friends
Label: 
Self - Released

Love You Mean It by Family and Friends sounds a lot like Mumford & Sons but with amazing drums that sound like they came right off a Local Natives track. But besides the fact that they have Mumford & Sons and Local Natives feel, the album has its own charm and style with the singers beautiful voice and the very heartfelt lyrics about love and family that are the common theme through out this album.

Sounds Like: 
Mumford & Sons
Sounds Like: 
Local Natives
Sounds Like: 
Blind Pilot
Name: 
Kyle Morris
Date Reviewed: 
04/15/2015
Syndicate content