Will Varley – Spirit Of Minnie
Today, UK-based folkster Will Varley released Spirit Of Minnie, his fifth studio album and first recorded with a backing band. Sweeping, yet subdued strings provide gauzy atmosphere around his delicate, acoustic finger-picking on some tracks, while others are fortified with keys, percussion, and yearning steel guitar. Whatever the arrangement or instrumentation, Varley’s lyrics are unyieldingly earnest, his vocals a blend of velvet and grit, a formidable and heart-melting combination at once. Give it a spin, and be prepared to feel all the things.
Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra – Stereoscope
On their second full-length album, Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra have incorporated indie rock and jazz-like movement into their craft, stepping away from their customary rootsy jangle, resulting in eleven tracks perfect for a road trip or a contemplative afternoon. O’Reilly’s dusty, tremor-filled vocals link the past to the present, and we dig it.
Lauren Ruth Ward – Well, Hell
“I’m ok with being a late bloomer,” sings Lauren Ruth Ward in “Sideways,” a track from her new album, Well, Hell, out today. Ward, who spent nine years as a hairstylist, may consider herself a late bloomer, but good things come to those who wait, and Well, Hell is all good things. Her unique, razor-sharp vocal style, which breaks exactly the right way and screams emotion from roots to rafters, fits like a glove with her pop-infused psych-rock sound—like a snarl with a smile. Check it out.