Rose Cousins – Natural Conclusion
The JUNO Award-winning Canadicana songstress‘ rich voice brims with wisdom and depth while it gracefully dances and trips along each stunning verse. Hers is a voice that can make us fall in love and break our hearts in one note, supported but not overrun by its lushly-produced acoustic stylings. The beauty housed within the 12 remarkable tracks on Natural Conclusion, out via Cousins’ own Old Farm Pony Records, is effortless and complex at once–likely one of the best records this year will have to offer.
Sarah Beatty – Bandit Queen
Sarah Beatty brings girl-powered folklore to the forefront with her new album, Bandit Queen, an album inspired by notorious American outlaw Belle Starr, the fabled bank heist mastermind turned horse thief. The album takes us on an imaginative journey where Beatty relays the kinds of stories in her sassy style that rarely get told about women. It’s an adventure worth taking.
Alex Dezen – II
Alex Dezen, prolific songwriter and former frontman of now-disbanded rockicana outfit The Damnwells, has released his second solo effort, aptly-titled II. On the album, he embraces the late 70’s and early 80’s, a golden age of muscular singer/songwriters, who melded daring rock guitar riffs, thought-provoking lyrics, and ample storytelling–an age when the songwriter was the smartest, and most clever person in the room. Unafraid to tackle sensitive topics such as racism, sex, and death, the introspective Dezen shines as he bares his soul .