Dilemma Season – ‘Fault Lines’

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Dilemma Season is the musical alter ego of Vancouver, British Columbia-based artist and musician, Scott Hardy.

Through Dilemma Season, Hardy extricates an undeniable talent for evocative lyrics, the craft of songwriting and Americana-tinged alt-folk. ‘Fault Lines’ is an exemplary example of this as it rumbles, rolls and stomps its way into your heart. An irresistible track, Hardy’s distinctive vocals – sounding world-weary and wise – are first to suck you in, only to be joined by a gentle guitar which is intermittently cut with a stomping beat that eventually surges onward with an electrifying guitar and tidy riff work for an uptempo finish. A wonderful tune, with a hint of rawness yet beautifully crafted music. There’s a touch of Wilco, Bright Eyes/Conor Oberst to ‘Fault Lines’, an that is in no way a bad thing at all.

You can listen to ‘Fault Lines’ below. And if you like that, Dilemma Season’s latest record is available to digest here.

Lauren Ruth Ward – ‘Sheet Stains’

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Baltimore bred, Los Angeles based singer/songwriter, Lauren Ruth Ward, started 2018 on the front foot, releasing her debut album Well, Hell.

The latest track lifted from the album is ‘Sheet Stain’ and we find Lauren Ruth Ward in fine but a little rowdy and loud, form. It is a swaggering slice of americana soul, with its loose swing, stomp and jangly guitar hooks. The rolling and rumbling and rowdy combination provide the energy and propulsion, while Ward’s smokey vocal, casual yet compelling, is given space to breathe. With its rowdy aggressive tones, swing and swagger, ‘Sheet Stain’ makes for a brilliant, catchy and compelling song.

Listen to ‘Sheet Stains’ below and if you like what you hear, Lauren Ruth Ward’s debut album Well, Hell is available here.

Beev Rations – ‘The Bigger Tricker’

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Based in Santander, Northern Spain, Beev Rations is the musical alter-ego of Alan James, a songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist, with a loving flair for psych-tinged, country & western flavoured folk jams.

As far as introductions go, you couldn’t ask for more from recent single ‘The Bigger Tricker’. A kaleidoscopic musical mosaic, it serves up a rather special brew of psych flavoured country & americana, rootsy folk and just a lot of off-kilter magic as it clip-clops along its merry way, like many a pioneer heading west out upon the plains. It’s warm, sunkissed and a wee bit weird but most importantly it is incredibly infectious and a joyous listen.

You can listen to ‘The Bigger Tricker’ below now & of you like that, there’s plenty more where that came from, over here!

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry Team Up for Album, ‘Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad’

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In March, 2016, Billy Bragg and Joe Henry caught a train from Chicago to Los Angeles. Over the course of the 2,728 miles of winding track, they recorded a collection of classic railroad folk and blues songs – originally made famous by Hank Williams, Lead Belly, The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Glen Campbell & more – at various stations along the way.

The result is the new album, Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad, which they recorded live at train stations, and will be released on September 23 via Cooking Vinyl. To get us right in the mood, accompanying this announcement is ‘The Midnight Special’. First recorded in 1926 by Pistol Pete, a member of the western group Otto Gray and his Oklahoma Cowboys, the song is generally attributed to Leadbelly, who recorded his version while serving time for attempted homicide at Louisiana’s Angola Prison Farm. Bragg and Henry have stuck with the acoustic roots of ‘The Midnight Special’, and the result is pretty damn fine. Those rough harmonies and rustic sound, work ever so well.

Watch a trailer for the album and listen to ‘The Midnight Special’ below.

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Introducing: Bad Sea

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Bad Sea are Dublin duo Ciara Thompson and Alan Farrell (occasionally joined live by violinist Éna, from Tandem Felix).

Their sound flows from a rich well of influences and styles to produce a smooth, smokey, alt-country sound. The pair’s most recent release, single ‘I’d Want U’, is a simply stunning example of their prowess. It is intimate and sincere, with a slightly rough around the edges feel amplifying the wounded, raw emotion. Amid these gloomy, doleful surroundings and stark strum, Thompson’s rich, distinctive and emotive voice is buoyed by a swelling guitar, paired so well against a sparse, smokey backdrop. A smooth, tender and stunning, emotive little gem and if you’re anyway human, ‘I’d Want U’ should stir something in you and leave the hairs on the back of your neck on end.

Nothing concrete but Bad Sea are rumored to be recording more material but. if you’re back home, keep an eye out for them as they seem to busy on the gig front around Ireland. For now, sit back and enjoy ‘I’d Want U’.