Falling In Love With: Mr. Sanka
Inspiration hits in the weirdest of places. Case in point: Take Flight by Mr. Sanka. On most days I might dismiss it as just another attempt by a NYC band trying to make their way to EDC. But not this morning. Everything about the song felt right. Refined, polished and utterly captivating, the song stopped me dead in my tracks.
Take Flight is instantly catchy bedroom pop with a sweetly affecting chorus and a mouth watering video to boot. With a song this good, it’s only a matter of time before the band is on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
Time for a cocktail.
Kyle Cox Goes Country On New Release
Nashville singer-songwriter Kyle Cox has made a big statement with his new EP Trio and Friends, which was released in June of this year. The album opens with “Trusty Ol’ Pair of Boots,” a twangy and vernal offering that signals Cox’s move to Tennessee has suited him well. That hunch is cemented on “The One Left Behind,” a timeless paean to Nashville’s halycon days that is equal parts irreplaceable and indelible. Most artists don’t show such stark signs of maturity from one album to the next, but Cox goes for broke on “The One Left Behind.” In short, Trio and Friends is a giant leap forward from Cox’s prior discography and his move towards twang seems to be doing wonders for him. To date, Cox has never sounded more natural or at ease.
Trio and Friends surges forward on the sturdy and confident “Just Outta Reach,” a song meant for beer-swilling, knee-slapping and hip-shaking. Far be it from me to predict the future, but “Just Outta Reach” will probably flood the airwaves of Sirius XM in the not so distant future. Arguably the strongest song on Trio and Friends is “The Artist,” a masterwork that proves Cox is wise beyond his years and blessed with a voice that never reached its full potential on 2014’s The Plan, The Mess. Aided by a lilting pedal steel and a cadre of backing vocals, “The Artist” is a song that needs to be heard to be realized. The EP closes with “Richest Man Alive,” a familiar and intimate ballad that feels most like Cox’s earlier work. Unfortunately when stacked up against the disc’s predecessors, “Richest Man Alive” falls way too short. With the exception of “Richest Man Alive,” everything about Trio and Friends feels nostalgic, timeless and well worth remembering. Much like Canada’s Daniel Romano, Cox has tapped into something indelible, intimate and irreplaceable. More albums like this and Cox might just find himself at the Ryman before all is said and done.
Getting to Know: Augustines
One of my favorite rock bands over the last decade is New York City trio Augustines. Marrying Springsteen-esque grit with U2-esque reach, Augustines has something for everyone. The band’s first two albums has garnered praise from the likes of Frightened Rabbit and Counting Crows, among others. Their latest album This Is Your Life is easily their best to date and will hopefully (fingers crossed) vault the band to larger stages. Frontman Billy McCarthy took a few minutes to answer a few questions. Read more…
Twelve Questions With Red Sun Rising
Ohio quartet Red Sun Rising achieved a rather spectacular feat earlier this year when their song “Emotionless” went to #1, making them the first independent artist to have two #1 active rock singles from their debut album on Mediabase. “Emotionless” follows in the heels of lead single “The Otherside.”
Earlier this spring, the band took a few minutes out of a busy schedule to answer some questions. Read more…
Young Mister Shines On New LP
Let’s face it: these days finding an album that’s good from front to back is quite a challenge. Every once in awhile, a disc comes across the RMP desk that’s strong from start to finish. Though there have been a few this year worth mentioning, few shine as bright as the self-titled album from Charleston, SC’s Steven Fiore, who performs under the name Young Mister. Read more…
Three Cheers for D.C’s Wylder
Rain and Laura, the debut album from Washington, D.C. sextet Wylder is a sterling record of melodic chamber folk with winsome arrangements and enough staying power to vault this band beyond their Mid-Atlantic home base. Self-described as indie-folk for indie folks, Rain and Laura drips with the same creative hallmarks that have allowed indie-folk acts like Grizzly Bear, Phosphorescent and Peasant to achieve critical acclaim. Read more…
Must Know: San Francisco’s Mosaics
I don’t keep up with the California music scene, but I do know this much, Mosaics are a band to watch. Below is a link to their song “Year of Valor” and hot damn is it good.
Fingerpicked acoustics, slick production, and entrancing vocals from Maryam Sadeghian are the hallmarks of this must-listen. Cylindrical, woozy and sweetly affecting, “Year of Valor” is a triumph from a band that’s hitting their stride at just the right time. Dream-pop just might have a new titan in Mosaics. Songs this good don’t come around regularly.
Mark Erelli Shines on For a Song
He’s been called the American male equivalent to Neko Case, has opened up for Faith Hill and calls Josh Ritter and Paula Cole close friends and yet nine albums into his career, Mark Erelli has still yet to become a household name.
All that’s about to change. Read more…
Ben Cosgrove Shines Again on Field Studies
Ben Frost’s Aurora
Are albums intended to be inspirational or are they just catharsis? Or is it a lot more complicated than that? Read more…