There are more interesting new releases than hours in the day. Not all of them can be reviewed. Here are five from the first three months of this year that missed the review cut, but are well worth checking out.
Stone Jack Jones – Ancestor
A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Stone Jack Jones offered few clues about his identity, but his album included contributions from Kurt Wagner and Patty Griffin. The songs were quiet, but full of dark little twists. Melody aplenty, but sometimes skewed in a slightly disturbing way. What could be better?
Dawn Landes – Bluebird
Always a sucker for break-up albums, this is up there with the best. Dawn Landes looks back on a broken relationship, yet manages to see the good in what went before. An album that channels hurt and pain, but somehow constructively. To be listened to in tandem with Josh Ritter’s The Beast in its Tracks.
Kramies – The Wooden Heart
Wonderfully atmospheric. You can almost hear the timbers creaking. And when the music kicks in, it’s like the sea swelling and crashing over the top of the barque. Produced by Jason Lytle, it has the master’s touch, but it’s a light one all the same. Kramies’ hand is firmly on the tiller and he’ll guide you safely home to port.
Lapland – Lapland
Gentle pop songs with a just a hint of Brian Wilson. Nothing busts its britches on this album. But then why should it when it all sounds this good? Lapland is the work of the artist formerly known as Josh Mease.
Wake Owl – The Private World of Paradise
A little bit ’60s throwback at times, but including a stone-cold classic of our age, the gorgeous ‘Candy’. A track so good it makes a comeback at the end of the album.