ALBUM REVIEW: “KINDNESS, A REBEL” by RIVER WHYLESS

With a studious mix of Appalachian chamber pop and lyrical sleight of hand, Asheville group River Whyless has created something special but familiar in their latest release Kindness, A Rebel. While referencing their musical predecessors (see Fleet Foxes and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), they tread familiar ground and explore interesting territory while never losing a sense of self. With multiple members taking…

ALBUM REVIEW: “NOONDAY DREAM” by BEN HOWARD

When thinking of Ben Howard’s music, eloquence, depth, and raw, unfiltered beauty come to mind. There is something unique and exceptional about his style that tugs at one’s heartstrings and stops you in your tracks. He encompasses anything and everything in his music and blends it with authentic creativity; from resounding piano notes that seem…

ALBUM REVIEW: “CLASSIC” by FREEDOM FRY

French-American couple Bruce Driscoll and Marie Seyrat, otherwise known as Freedom Fry, is an indie-pop duo founded in Los Angeles in 2011 whose authentic but versatile sound has truly changed the game. Their songs, which range from playful blends of instruments and upbeat tunes to vocals with raspy depth and soulful harmonies, tend to illustrate…

ALBUM REVIEW: “HAZE” by THE SHACKS

“I can’t avoid the haze,” sings The Shacks’ Shannon Wise in the opening track of the band’s new record, Haze, as her breathy voice emanates with tender nonchalance. It’s as if she is leaning forward to share a secret—a not-so-well-kept secret, as Wise and bandmate Max Shrager have been setting the scene ablaze since their…

ALBUM REVIEW: “LAVENDER” by O SUMMER

When I think of O Summer, I think of passion and the pursuit of dreams, of strength and sophistication, and of brilliance and boldness. I think of an indie-rock crew of fearless pals destined to change the world, and a circle of down-to-earth, funky friends who never miss an opportunity for a snack break at…

ALBUM REVIEW: “STYLO” by TOUBAB KREWE

OG Asheville band Toubab Krewe is breaking their seven-year studio silence with Stylo, their new album set for release on March 2nd.  Again, no words are needed as West African polyrhythmic melodies produced by instruments such as the Kora and Kamele n’goni are partnered with hypnotic beats from a traditional drum set and other African-centric…

ALBUM REVIEW: “YOU ARE HERE” by HIGH UP

Nostalgia in pop culture is at a current all-time high. Social division and unbridled technological advancement runs rampant, and has left many longing for something that feels familiar–for something safe, warm and comforting, something easily agreed upon and easily understood, a shared sense of time and place we can confide in to lift spirits as…

NEW MUSIC FRIDAY!

  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…