Penny & Sparrow – Wendigo
Kyle Jahnke and Andy Baxter follow up their acclaimed 2015 release, Let A Lover Drown You, with Wendigo, their brand new album out today via I Love You. Known for their cerebrally poignant lyrics and aching harmonies, this Texas-bred Florence, Alabama-based alt-folk duo sets the bar even higher with this record. Named for a mythical shape-shifter that can at one moment seem harmless and in the next, become a fang-ridden gore machine, Penny & Sparrow show they aren’t afraid to explore darkness from all angles. From the love song that is “Wendigo,” to the three-part exploration of The Grim Reaper, to their signature Les Miserables tribute in “Javert,” Jahnke and Baxter’s Bon Iver-esque vocal stylings, spine-tingling celestial harmonies, and simple production–which includes background sounds from their Alabama living room-turned recording space–are the perfect soundtrack for introspective reflection, a lazy day swinging in a hammock, or an evening gazing at the stars. The beauty and the darkness, the simple and the complicated, the exhilarating and the heart-wrenching–with Wendigo, Penny & Sparrow have beautifully explored the juxtaposition of the nature of life.
Hayley Thompson-King – Psychotic Melancholia
We can’t say enough about Psychotic Melancholia from Florida-bred Boston-based opera-singer-turned country wailer Hayley Thompson-King. With her debut album, Thompson-King puts her kickstand down in the realm of gritty garage rockicana, and shows it who’s boss. With a voice like a freight train, her stories pack a powerful punch–the self-described “skeptical kid with her hand up in Sunday School,” tell tales out of (Sunday) school inspired by the so-called “bad girls of the Bible,” viewed through the lens of gender politics and feminism, something she calls a “Sodom and Gomorrah concept album.” We call it a winner.
My Politic – 12 Kinds Of Lost
Nashville roots outfit My Politic released their seventh album–but their studio debut–recently, and it’s not to be missed. The album boasts beautiful harmonies, heart-tugging bluegrassy string arrangements, and lyrical reflections on loneliness, loss, addiction, and struggle. Even with its sad subject matter, the songs provide a warm blanket of comfort, a cure of for what ails you in the form of a front-porch jam session, a campfire conversation, or an intimate living room gathering of friends. Give it a spin.