Albums Of The Month – May 2024

Our Top Six Albums May 2024

The Yearlings – Photo: LTTL

Top Six Album Releases

May 2024

Our Top Six Albums May 2024

By Rob Dickens

Charm Of Finches

Marlinchen In The Snow

SPUNK! Records

19 April 2024

Charm Of Finches are sisters and musical soul mates Mabel and Ivy Windred-Wornes. Their third full-length album was the head-turning and award-winning Wonderful Oblivion, released in 2021.

In February 2023 the sisters spent a month in rural Nova Scotia recording with Canadian producer Daniel Ledwell and Marlinchen In The Snow was inspired both by their seemingly incessant life on the road and the frozen beauty of their surroundings. Their fourth studio album also takes its cue from the Grimm’s fairy tale The Juniper Tree.

“It’s a haunting tale of how Marlinchen discovers the death of her stepbrother at the hands of her mother. This found its way into one of our songs. There’s lots of symbolism in the story but really, it’s about female strength and intuition – overcoming obstacles led by your inner voice – a theme throughout the album.” –

Mabel Windred-Wornes

The heavenly harmonies are here again, but there is a new depth to the songwriting and the heightened mosaic arrangements which project the Charm Of Finches into the highest, A-list category. Sam Bentley’s appearance on “If You Know Me” is another winner. It appears there is no limit to what this pair can achieve.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Mora May Agency

Freddy Trujillo

I Never Threw A Shadow At It

Independent

24 May 2024

Freddy Trujillo is The Delines/Richmond Fontaine bassist and I Never Threw A Shadow At It is his fourth solo album. 

While born in Simi Valley, California, Trujillo is yet another musician who has headed to the thriving musical epicentre of Portland, Oregon. The album is personal and pulls no punches about Chicano experiences in the USA. A case in point, the album’s title track recounts an incident where Trujillo called the Los Angeles Police Department when someone attempted to steal his car, only to be treated like the criminal when the police showed up because of the colour of his skin .

The album is a sublime mix of Chicano-rock, folk and ballads and bursts at the seams with personality. Across its ten tracks, every member of the stunning band The Delines appears on the record, which was engineered and co-produced by the band’s Cory Gray at his Old Unconscious Studios.

“This record has all The Delines on it in some way or the other. But the record is super different [than The Delines],” admits Trujillo. “I am exploring different beats and tempos. If I didn’t say anything, a person wouldn’t have guessed that it is the same group of people.”

OFFICIAL SITE

Via In Music We Trust

John Shipe

Water This Dark

Involushun

10 May 2024

Speaking of Oregon, another resident of that State is singer/songwriter John Shipe who has plenty of life experience to work with in shaping some hard-hitting and astute observations. His sustained sobriety has become a means for a clarity of vision and Water This Dark contains some worthy material indeed. Songs about the Midwestern heartland of his youth, no-nonsense and challenged characters and a vivid emotional palette abounds.

“I can’t go in a river this muddy, I won’t drown in water this dark”, “What do I owe the sky for making me feel so small?” and “I thought I’d get this by now, live down my regret list by now” are just some examples of the fine songwriting here over the nine tracks.

The album was cannily produced by Tyler Fortier and features Shipe on vocals, piano and guitar, Mike Walker (keyboards), Bryan Daste (pedal steel guitar), Lilli Worona (violin and vocals), Nate Barnes (drums), Sam Howard (bass), Erin Flood Fortier (vocals), Tyler Fortier (guitars, vocals and percussion) and Phillippe Bronchtein on lap steel, organ and piano.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Broken Jukebox Media

Medium Build

Country

slowplay/Island Records

6 April 2024

Hold on to your hats, folks. There’s evidence of smoking, repeated cussing and an unrepentant attitude.

Creating Medium Build in 2015, Nick Carpenter has released plenty of music to date. This is a little surprising as Country feels to me like a debut, an album an artist has been waiting patiently to get absolutely right before it is ready to erupt onto the scene. And Country is surely an eruption – of passion, feelings and intensity.

Carpenter was born in Georgia and now shares time between the disparate poles of Anchorage, Alaska and Nashville, Tennessee. The album was recorded on Nashville’s Music Row alongside creative partner Laiko, where the two experimented with genre and style. Identifying as queer, Carpenter draws inspiration from personal experiences with sexual identity and a brilliant concoction of diverse musical genres. 

“I wanted this album to have my goddamn DNA on it. I wanted Country to have a human touch. I want Country to be something you love with and dance with and cry with and sleep with and lean into.”

Medium Build

OFFICIAL SITE

Sierra Ferrell

Trail Of Flowers

Rounder Records

22 March 2024

Life is smelling of roses for Sierra Ferrell. Trail of Flowers is her first new album following 2021’s impressive outing Long Time Coming. Since that time, Ferrell has collaborated with the likes of Zach Bryan, Margo Price, Shakey Graves and The Black Keys, been covered by Kelly Clarkson, received Emerging Artist of The Year at the 2022 Americana Honors & Awards, sold out all her live shows in 2023 and made her national US TV debut.

Her supremacy extends to this new album, which, to my mind, is this Nashville resident’s best work yet. The twelve songs have a gorgeous symmetry and balance, melding the best of roots music in tone and in style. Her colourful background provides plenty of creativity for the meaningful portrayal of the quest for love and musical success among small venues, truck stops and trailer parks. It is indeed a fascinating journey.

Produced by Eddie Spear, with additional production by Gary Paczosa, Ferrell is joined on the sessions by the likes of Chris Scruggs, Lukas Nelson and Nikki Lane.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Dave Laing Publicity

The Yearlings

Luck

Little Street Records

22 June 2023

I missed this release that goes back to the middle of last year. Having seen the South Australian pair The Yearlings (Robyn Chalklen and Chris Parkinson) live this month, I have immersed myself in Luck for way over my usual listening time for an album, such is its compelling groove and deft touch.

Luck was recorded live-to-tape in just two days in the Australian winter of 2022, with the pair engaging long-time collaborator and friend Lucie Thorne (producer), Hamish Stuart (drums) and James Haselwood (bass). The pair have been performing for years (I first saw them live in 2010), with the album marking their sixth studio album and it confirms a synergy and duality that underpins their songs of sensual groove and compellingly moody guitar riffs.

Luck has nothing to do with Luck. The Yearlings play with a composure and authority that make them irresistible and their profile should be way larger than it currently is. 

OFFICIAL SITE

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LAST MONTH’S BEST ALBUMS

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Our Top Six Albums May 2024

Our Top Six Albums May 2024

Our Top Six Albums May 2024

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Author: Rob Dickens

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