This Tuesday brings with it a mild hangover for me and a bevy of great music for all of us. Question for you all: What should I do with my life career-wise? I’m taking any and all suggestions, putting them in a Walgreens stocking cap, mixing them up and then the one I pull out is the one I will try. It’s like Dirty Jobs, but I won’t do it if I have to clean pig poop.
This week we’re going to start off a little differently because I have a couple of stragglers from last week that I didn’t want you to miss out on.
Rachael Cantu — Little Brutes EP (self-released)
This side project for out musician Rachael Cantu is like a comfy sweater you put on to get you in a good mood. While the songs are new, they take me back to my college years and the drives I used to take with my best friend from Boston to Northampton, Mass. The album opener, "Long Time Ago," is full of folk-soul and sets the tempo for the rest of the EP. Rachael’s voice and the guitar picking intertwine so well, neither overpowering the other. Put this on in the car when you’re with your sweetie or someone you want to be your sweetie, and enjoy. You can download the album over at Bandcamp now or from iTunes and Amazon in September.
Driftwood Fire — How to Untangle A Heartache (self-released)
Singer-songwriters Charlotte Formichella and Lynn Scharf are not only musical partners, they are also partners in love. Their storytelling, harmonies and instrumentals make for some great alt-country listening. For all my readers who shy away from country music, this might be a good starter kit for you. It seems as though the way to untangle some heartache is to make an album with someone you love.
Pistol Annies — Hell on Heels (Sony Music)
Speaking of country, I missed the new release from Miranda Lambert’s three-piece band and I know some of you really wanted me to spread the good word, so here I am! While I’m confused by what they’re wearing in the picture above, I can say without a doubt, while their voices are packed with twang, they sure know how to make country music accessible to the Yankee listeners.
Jill Scott — Hidden Beach Presents: The Original Jill Scott: from the vault vol. 1 (Hidden Beach Records)
Wow, the nerd in me is upset that there are two colons being used in that ridiculously long title. It’s a good thing I adore Jill Scott and her rich, smooth, voice filled with soul and sex. Yes, sex. This woman starts to sing and my mind goes to the bedroom. Listen to “Holding On” and you’ll know what I’m talking about. While I have yet to enjoy one of her albums from start to finish since the insanely great Who is Jill Scott?, she’s an artist I can always enjoy.
Ume — Phantoms (Modern Outsider Records)
Wow, if anyone was in need of an indie-power-pop-rock group, Ume is bringing the goods! The Austin-based band had an LP and an EP before this, but I’m sad to say this is the first I’m hearing of them. Their sound is very similar to the badassery that is Metric, and I’ve got to say, lead singer Lauren Larson has some serious swagger on stage. I can’t wait to play the hell out of this album and then go to their back catalogue. Stream the entire album over at Spinner.
Psalm One —Get in the Van 3 (self-released)
Shout out to my girl Psalm One for this hotness! She’s been working overtime on bringing music to everyone’s ears the last two years and this is hands down my favorite. “Need Love Too” has a sick beat and, what I thought were, quick rhymes, but then “I Did RPM” came on and I was like, “Will the real Slim Shady please get in the van?” Head on over to Psalm’s Bandcamp page to stream some songs and get a steal of a deal on these jams.
Juliana Hatfield — There’s Always Another Girl (Ye Olde Records)
The alt-rocking singer and guitarist is back with another album and she’s doing some good for the world with some of its proceeds. Not only will you get 14 songs making you wish you hadn’t given away your VCR so you could watch your worn-out copy of Reality Bites, you’ll also be making a charitable donation to a non-profit organization helping to save dogs living on the streets of Puerto Rico.
Kittie — I’ve Failed You (Entertainment One Music)
Admittedly, this is doing absolutely nothing for my hangover. So make a mental note to save this for a day when heavy ass-kicking guitar, drums and guttural growling sounds fun. So far, “Ugly” stands out as being my favorite song on the album. I need to go find a dark place to lie down now.
Honorable Mentions: Blood Orange (enjoying this a lot), The Wandas, Butch Walker and the Black Widows, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Morello, Cobra Starship, David Guetta, Doug Benson (comedy album), Lil Wayne, WIM (I really like these guys, and if you enjoy Clinic or Wild Beasts, I think you’ll like them), Stereo MCs, Puddle of Mudd, Lenny Kravitz, Mike Doughty and Cymbals Eat Guitars.