Moonrise Nation – Moonrise Nation

Zinc, 2014

Though this trio of young women hail from Chicago, their sound is plucked from the spirit of Laurel Canyon from decades past. Graceful and sophisticated, but also gritty and rugged, this is as great an indie-folk EP as you’re likely to hear today, as each woman contributes their respective strengths with passion and soul. And hey, any tune that references The Price Is Right is okay by me.

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John Hiatt – Terms Of My Surrender

New West, 2014

Now in his 60s and after 40 years of making music, Hiatt’s 22nd album keeps his endless flow of vivid story telling strong and leaps into more rugged blues areas, with his voice a bit lower than normal. The reflections on aging here are thoughtful, sometimes comical, as Hiatt sticks primarily to acoustic guitar while his band carries the melodies. Very few people will ever be as consistently interesting as Hiatt, and it’s safe to say that he’s one of the most multi-faceted faces of Americana ever.

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Buffalo Sunn – By Your Side/Find Your Way

Reekus, 2014

An alt-rock 6 piece from Ireland who channel the hazy, harmonic and breezy rock of California from any decade from the ’60s on, Buffalo Sunn make great use of reverb, pop-friendly melodies, and a tightly knit rhythm section. A two song teaser for their forthcoming LP, this is hook filled, guitar driven indie-rock that leaves a lasting impression. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.

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Two Knights – Shut Up

Count Your Lucky Stars, 2014

Clamorous math-rock from a Texan duo who make enough racket for a quartet. Two Knight’s debut full-length often follows a quiet/loud tack, roughing you up via sections of frenetic, twinkle-guitared fury, then lamenting the wounds via slower, dreamy melodics. Similarly the vocals switch between tuneful emo pining and unhinged yelps and screams; the latter works better than it sounds, though might turn some off. With the majority of the 13 songs below the 2-minute mark, it’s a short and blissfully dishevelled listen. Grab it as a name-your-price download from bandcamp.

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7Horse – Songs For A Voodoo Wedding

7Horse, 2014

Joie Calio and Phil Leavitt play the sort of rough around the edges blues-rock that sounds both modern and retro, and seems to be as influenced by The Stones as much as today’s version of Americana. Adept at both speedy classic rock as well as simmering and soulful, it’s pretty clear these guys have a wealth of talent and aren’t spreading themselves too thin. Imagine The Black Keys on steroids.

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Tanner – EP

Boo Radley, 2014

Tanner plays and sounds older than his years, and on these quick tunes plugs scrappy riffs, vibrant keys and tambourines into a full fledged rock sound that could easily transcend indie-rock status into stadium anthems. Armed with a unique voice and the occasional harmonising with it, it’s a soulful yet rugged outing that leaves us wondering what an LP from this youngster could yield.

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