Albums Of The Month – April 2024

Our Top Six Albums April 2024

JJ Grey & Mofro – Photo: LTTL

Top Six Album Releases

April 2024

Our Top Six Albums April 2024

By Rob Dickens

Claire Anne Taylor

Giving It All Away

Cheatin’ Hearts Records

16 February 2024

It’s no surprise that Claire Anne Taylor was a winner of ‘Best Live Voice’ at the Australian National Live Music Awards. The Tasmanian singer-songwriter has upped the ante with this, her third solo album which showcases the powerful, sultry vocals that bring to mind Janis Joplin.

Giving It All Away does not leave much on the studio floor – it’s all been captured on the recording – this record is elemental and unfearful. Tracks like “Swallowing Stones”, “Dance With Death” and “Lay You Down In The Cold Hard Ground” leave little doubt that raw emotions are on the line here.

Recorded at Hobart’s Frying Pan Studios in the famous Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the album is backed by some of Tasmania’s finest musicians.

Claire has said “Our aim was to make honest music so we tracked most of it live as a band in the studio with very few overdubs.”  Mission accomplished.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Jo Corbett Publicity

Hurray For The Riff Raff

The Past Is Still Alive

Nonesuch Records

23 February 2024

The Past Is Still Alive may be Hurray For The Riff Raff‘s finest and most accessible album to date. It is fiercely honest, grappling with some big and uncomfortable themes – transphobia, substance addiction, outsiders, shoplifting and other encounters with the law.

At the helm, Alynda Segarra recorded the album just one month after the death of her father which was made lovingly in his memory. The stories and characters contained within are vivid and compelling, reflecting a sweeping, and often disturbing, landscape of modern America.

The album was produced by Brad Cook, with contributions from Anjimile, Conor Oberst, Meg Duffy, Mike Mogis, Phil Cook and S.G. Goodman.  

OFFICIAL SITE

JJ Grey & Mofro

Olustee

Alligator Records

23 February 2024

Well, it’s about time. Olustee is the first JJ Grey & Mofro album in a decade (and the first ever produced by Grey). While Olustee was the only Civil War battlefield in Florida, the album title and cornerstone track is a composite of personal stories including Grey being caught in a wildfire.

Grey is immensely proud of his Floridian ancestry and is an effective ambassador for the natural attractions of that State. His songs are steeped in his own experiences there and people who have crossed his path.

The man’s vocals are off the scale with precision and power and again are a feature of this record, none better evidenced than the opening track “The Sea” (clip below) where his delivery is nuanced and pitch-perfect amongst the power. The title track and “Seminole Wind” are among other highlights.

It’s a thrill to have JJ Grey & Mofro making new music.

OFFICIAL SITE

Katherine Priddy

The Pendulum Swing

Cooking Vinyl

16 February 2024

I was a big fan of her debut The Eternal Rocks Beneath (read our REVIEW) and the follow-up The Pendulum Swing sees Katherine Priddy stretching out with her songwriting, compiling a collection of captivating songs centred around family and home. The gorgeous voice is there again, of course.

Her two tours of Australia have allowed me to see her live several times (often with artist-in-his-own-right George Boomsma) which has only confirmed her talent and assurance.

Jim and I chatted to her at the Port Fairy Folk Festival this month and we can confirm she is delightful as well! (read our interview).

OFFICIAL SITE

Robby Hecht

Not A Number

Tone Tree Music

12 April 2024

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Robby Hecht is no lightweight when it comes to substantial subject matter. Not a Number boats twelve tracks, beautifully arranged and vocally pristine, all of which will tug at your proverbial heartstrings.

Themes of recovery, divorce, sweet nostalgia and, above all, empathy and humanity that Hecht exhibits by the bucketful. It’s a colourful palette that resonates deeply.

The album was produced by singer-songwriter and much sought-after guitarist Anthony da Costa, who also contributed significantly to the arrangements. The recording took almost two years and features notable guest vocal performances from Caroline Spence, Jess Nolan, Jill Andrews, Katie Pruitt, Lydia Luce, The Sea The Sea, Ruth Moody and Trousdale.

A triumph of songwriting.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Brooklyn Basement

Tim Easton

Find Your Way

Black Mesa Records

17 May 2024

This may well be Tim Easton‘s finest album to date, which is something given his impressive and detailed musical history. He’s often been one to mix his folk sensibility with rock ‘n’ roll that he has eagerly absorbed over the years and Find Your Way provides a cohesive and attainable group of songs that naturally fit together, with insights and humour aplenty.

His extensive music past – busking in Paris and Prague, nomadically living on both sides of the US and touring often and everywhere – gives him the backdrop for expressions that less mature eyes don’t have.

Easton turns his attention this time to Canada, the birthplace of his mother and dear friends and it has lit a creative fuse. The album was produced by Leeroy Stagger in Victoria, British Columbia and is an impressive accomplishment.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Hello Wendy PR

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LAST MONTH’S BEST ALBUMS

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Our Top Six Albums April 2024

Our Top Six Albums April 2024

Our Top Six Albums April 2024

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Author: Rob Dickens

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