As suggested by the name of this blog, the independent music scene is full of hopeful, talented people who want their music to take them to a career of touring, seeing the world and playing tunes. In some cases though, independent musicians simply write because they want to, safe in the knowledge that their day job will sustain their creativity.
Joe Rhinewine, a clinical psychologist from Portland, Oregon is a case in point. His music clearly isn’t looking for a wide audience, just perhaps a small band of like-minded individuals who appreciate his skill and sense of humour. As shown by his new track ‘In the Box (Put It)’, his is a sound not destined for radio. However, there’s enough quality here to pique the interest for his new EP.
The ‘Songs from NowHere’ EP is out now on Amazon.
When done right, folk music has the unique ability to capture a mood. Perhaps thanks to the rawness of the common acoustic setup, you often feel as if it’s just the simplicity of the chords and lyric that draws you in, without need for excessive layers or overwrought production.
This is the case with the excellent EP from Philip Murray Warson, released last year. And now you can get the closing track ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ on free download.
Having found cult success with underground comedy folk group Hayseed Dixie, John Wheeler has already discovered that his unusual brand of tongue in cheek songwriting has a solid audience. Looking to build on that foundation while exploring his own style, Wheeler has in recent years worked on developing a solo sound away from the band.
His first album showed a confident songwriter who didn’t rely on a narrow folk genre and twisted cover versions to string together a strong collection of tracks (not that there’s anything wrong with that). And with his second solo outing ‘Difficult #2 Album’, Wheeler further explores a newfound love of piano and develops his solo voice further.
The album is out now from all the usual digital outlets, and you can also find John Wheeler on tour in the UK over the next few weeks. If you enjoy roots music with a twisted sense of humour, his is a live show that comes highly recommended.
Chris Hornsby is a folk songwriter who works to write songs which, in his own words, ‘have the smell of leaves and mud about them’. This approach, achieved by recording each instrument with as simple a set up as possible, gives rise to new EP ‘Human, Too Human’ which includes the delightful track above.
Full of this kind of rustic, folky charm, the EP is one of those quiet releases which can really get under your skin. Each track is relatively simple in message, mostly centered around the everyday. But the complexity and subtleties of how they build is something that grows in appreciation with each listen.
See for yourself, when ‘Human, Too Human’ is released on May 22nd.
A singer-songwriter who never fails to impress, it gives us great pleasure to let you know that Alexander Wolfe’s new album ‘From the Shallows’ is out now on iTunes and other online stores.
The album, which opens with ‘Trick of the Light’ above, sees Wolfe return to fuller, more rounded arrangements after the pared down acoustic second album ‘Skeletons’.
This rebuild has taken in full orchestrations, from horn sections, strings and more, to lend a depth his music hasn’t felt before. It helps that the light and shade offered by those extra layers is used perfectly, not overly ‘in your face’ but there when it needs to be.
As a third album, this really feels like an artist hitting his stride – this could be the year Alexander Wolfe gets the attention he deserves.