Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

EPs of the year!

December 22, 2016

Here are Independent Clauses’ EPs of the year! The lead link takes you to a place where you can hear/purchase the EP. The quote is from our review, and the last link sends you to the full IC review. Enjoy!

7. Sunset Park – A Valley Son. “Between the distinctive, versatile vocals and the enthusiastic alt-country/roots rock instrumentation, AVS has a lot of pieces that can translate easily onto bigger and brighter stages.” (full review)

6. salt’n’long distance – Foxall. “The sort of acoustic EP that just about everyone wants to write: effortlessly catchy songs with clear, relatable lyrics that are just specific enough to be unique.” (full review)

5. Where We Started – Reddening West. “The warm, full folk tunes that Reddening West puts together … have gravitas to spare while still maintaining strong melodicism and soothing arrangements.” (full review)

4. S/t – Roan Yellowthorn. “Her confident alto has a unique personality and sonic profile that is the rarest of things to hear in a (chamber pop) singer. Once you’ve heard her once, you’ll know her again–and that’s rare.” (full review)

3. S/t – The Jonah Project. “Packs more emotional punch into 16 minutes than most emo albums can get into a 40 minute full-length.” (full review)

2. Cattle Ranching in the Americas, vol. 1 – Ovando. ” Nate Hegyi’s vocals seem like they tumble gracefully out of his throat, while the female harmonies are similarly unadorned. Those voices carry a song of woe about the American West (are there any other type?), floating over lithe, smooth guitar fingerpicking.” (full review)

1. Cold Blood – Josiah and the Bonnevilles. “It’s a stake in the ground that establishes the outfit as one to watch: a specific vision expertly handled within the goalposts of a genre framework that people are already familiar with. … Call it alt-country, alt-folk, whatever; you’ll know what it is when you hear it. … Cold Blood EP is a remarkable first effort that shows off unique arranging skills, intriguing vocals, and strong overall songs.” (full review)

Quick Hit: Reddening West

March 30, 2016

reddeningwest

Reddening West‘s debut EP Where We Started reminds me of Austin’s Central Presbyterian Church, which is in my mind the far-and-away best venue at SXSW. The towering space allows music to gather majesty during its rise to the rafters and return to my ears, imbuing already gorgeous work with extra grandeur.

The warm, full folk tunes that Reddening West puts together would be perfect for that space, as they have gravitas to spare while still maintaining strong melodicism and soothing arrangements. Fans of the Barr Brothers will be particularly excited to hear the dense arrangements of tunes like “Golden Light,” while those more into country will be charmed by closer “Every Wind.” The thread that runs through each of the tunes is a clear-eyed focus on creating beautiful work; it’s a wonderful present to listen to. I look forward to what Reddening West will put forward in the future.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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