New Music Tuesday: Blitzen Trapper: Wild and Reckless [Album]

It will come to no surprise to regular readers of Trainwreck’d Society, but the album I am going to talk about today comes from the band that I consider to be the greatest assembly of recording artists who are making music today. I will always remember when I completed my first listen to a Sub Pop promo of Blitzen Trapper’s then forthcoming EP The Black River Killer EP, and I actually stated this question out loud: “Did I just discover my favorite band?” On that day, and now a decade later, the answer was/is an absolute YES.

Whilst listening and enjoying each and every album that Blitzen Trapper has released over the last decade, which have been  motherfucking APLENTY, I have attempted to recognize some sort of adaptive theme that has been occurring over time. I always feel like I am just about onto what Eric & company are doing, but much like many characters in beautiful songs, I am just left wondering. I know there is something there, I just can’t quite figure it out. I know that Wild and Reckless is very similar to there latests album, All Across This Land, in some ways or another, yet there are obvious advancements. It has been occurring since Furr, honestly. It’s as though Eric Early writes 2 albums worths of songs, but knows how to make them just a little bit different with each release.

And then I realize, I should just shut my fucking mind down, and remember why I love these cats in the first place. No matter the forum, I love Blitzen Trapper. And with each album they put out on an extremely regular basis, I am only more solidified in the idea that I have found the most perfect band currently performing on this planet, or the next. And I can say with no hesitation that Wild and Reckless has successfully kept my mind on track in recognizing just how god damned wonderful Blitzen Trapper can be.

Wild and Reckless is deeply infused with the Americana & Country roots that have made Blitzen Trapper so special to so many out there. It is another brilliant batch of songs that continue to prove why I have and will always consider frontman Eric Early to be “the son that Bob Dylan wishes he would have had.” I have listened to each track at least a couple of dozen times now, and it is hard to single out a track to showcase. But, if I were hard pressed, I have to call out “Baby, Won’t You Turn Me On” to be as poignant and on par with some of my favorite tracks like “Every Loved Once” or ” Love the Way You Walk Away” from previous releases. But I will be damned if “Wind Don’t Always Blow” doesn’t just blow (pun intended) my damned mind.

It’s almost helpless and hapless at this point that I even continue to cover the work of Blitzen Trapper. I mean, I’m not going to stop, I’m just saying that there is nothing that these cats can’t do right. I am always going to love their work, and I am certain that there will never come a day that I am not impressed with the brilliance that they continuously give to the world. I have witnessed their live performances more times than any other band around, and each and every time, in every scenario, I am beyond impressed more and more each time. I’ve seen them on a small and intimate outdoor stage, a grandiose and headlining outdoor stage, an oversized night club in the middle of nowhere, and in a Portland, Oregon basement. And each time, I am beyond impressed. They are just that fucking GOOD!

Wild and Reckless is available now wherever you get music. So get your Google on and get a bit more Blitzen Trapper in your life. Also check out this brilliant, and even hilarious, official video for the single “Wild and Reckless”:

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New Music Tuesday: Grayson Capps: Scarlett Roses [Album]

I have long since considered myself a Grayson Capps fan. We had an amazing interview with him a few years ago that absolutely filled my heart with pride to have featured here at Trainwreck’d Society. But, I will admit, I sort of lost touch with what this mastermind has been up to. But then I saw his name appear in my inbox with some sort of subject announcing he was back after 6 years, and I was beyond intrigued, to say the least.

Grayson Capps has been a staple in my life for quite sometimes. His father penned the novel for film in which he would contribute some amazing tracks to, that would eventually be A Love Song For Bobby Long, a film that I would consider one of the greatest of all time. So let’s just get that out there.

To learn that Grayson hasn’t put out an album in 6 years almost made me sad to realize that I hadn’t been involved enough to notice. But, to learn that it was his own choice to let the material for a full length album just come to him was absolutely enlightening, and down right inspiring. And if it takes six years for a brilliant album like Scarlett Roses, well fucking so be it!

Scarlett Roses is a brilliant combination of Grayson’s amazing attributions towards the world of folk music and country rock. One of the most obviously lovable tracks, and the one I tend to go back to, is the amazing “Bag of Weed”. It is a simply melody that seems to poke fun at the bullshit world of modern country that is absolutely disgusting and intolerable. It is a playful, fun, and catchy track that manages to still toy with our emotions, all the while having a bit of fun. Which is a concept that many modern country artists simply can not seem to understand.

And then there is a song like “Hold Me Darlin” that is like a blast from the past to the Bobby Long days, that I will absolutely never turn down. But, the song that truly needs to be showcased is the absolutely brilliant “New Again”, which is unlike anything I have heard from Grayson before, and almost unlike anything I have heard before in the world of music in general. I truly can not say enough how much I truly love this track. It mixes so many different elements of country, folk, soul, love, loss, and miracles, that you really have to hear it for yourself to truly understand. So do yourself a favor, and do that. Listen. Don’t just hear, truly fucking listen. Now.

Are you one of our many fine Italian readers? Well, I will be god damned if you aren’t in luck! Check out these dates with Grayson all across your amazing country:

November 16Cantu, Italy – All’Una E Trentacinque Circa
November 17Milano, Italy – Spazio Teatro 89
November 18 – Ravenna, Italy – Marlin
November 19Verona, Italy – Le Cantine dell’Arena
November 22Correzzola, Italy – Cockney London Pub
November 24 Dozza, Italy – Teatro Comunale
November 26Fiorenzuola, Italy – Teatro Verdi

And don’t forget to pick up your own copy of Scarlett Roses when it is release on December 1st, 2o17. Until then, check out this YouTube lyrical preview for “Hold Me Darlin”, right here:

New Music Tuesday: Robin Grey – From The Ground Up [Album]

 

Over the last decade, my love for the work of Robin Grey has been well documented, I would say. He is one of the finest songwriters we have out there these days. I dare to say that he is a damned genius in the world of songwriting. He can strum and sing around topics from politics to love to nostalgia with the greatest of easy, and brilliant flow that is both soothing and exciting.

And with his first full length album in 3 1/2 years, Robin has brought more of that same sort of magic to the world with From the Ground Up. This brilliant songsmith has brought to us another brilliant collection of thought-provoking and compelling tracks. And while Grey’s music has always had a bit of a politically driven force behind it, he really hits it hard on this one. And it so many different ways! He revels in the darkness on a track like “Underneath the Skin”, and then moves a bit more light hearted in the environment driven track “Woodman, Spare That Tree”.

Photo by Sunniva Taylor

Of course it isn’t all politics and uproar filling the time space continuum of From the Ground Up. To say that would avoid talking about the absolutely brilliant track that I have listened to on repeat for over a month now, the lovely “Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy”, which features vocals from one of my new favorite voices in the music world, the great Chance Kellner. Dammit does she have a lovely set of vocal chords! Chance unknowingly channels the tenderness of Lotte Kestner, and blends it with the a dash of Edie Brickell to create something timeless and original. While I don’t want to take away from the 10 other tracks that Robin Grey’s fantastic singing abilities are displayed, I simply felt compelled to let you all know that you NEED to hear this track with Chance Kellner, and then anything else you may be able to hear her on. She is that damned talented.

Overall, From the Ground Up is a brilliant display of the continuous abilities of Robin Grey. For the close to the last decade or so that I have been adoring his music, he never fails to impress. Time may be of the essence for us in so many different fragmentations of our life, but it is definitely not a hinderance for Robin Grey to continue sharing his passion for the world through music with us all. To know Robin Grey’s music is to know love, compassion, and strength through melody. And we could obviously use a bit more of that in the modern world.

Head on over to robingrey.com to purchase and stream From the Ground Up, right NOW!

And check out this lovely little music video for the very powerful track “Leave It in the Ground”:

 

New Music Tuesday: Lotte Kestner – Off White [Album]

Note: Welcome to our first edition of our upcoming irregular segment, “New Music Tuesday”. I know that music is now released on Fridays, and frankly I don’t care for it. We don’t have anything for Tuesdays now! So therefore, welcome to “New Music Tuesday”.

As many avid readers of Trainwreck’d Society can attest, I have been listening to and enjoying the work of Anna-Lynne Williams in different capacities for a very long time. She is a damned treasure for us here at TWS. She is one of those rare beings who has a beautiful soul, and is also conveniently talented as all hell and so very easy to appreciate as a delightful songwriter and the owner of one of the greatest voices of our generation. And with her latest full length Lotte Kestner album, Off White, she proves once again that she has definitely not lost her touch. In fact, the one thing that shines through the brightest in her work is her experience. After all the time and heartache that she has put into her craft, there is so much to love about her latest album, and absolutely nothing to despise. Yes, with each and every Lotte Kestner we have been blessed with, we are only just receiving more and more genius. And we should all be eternally grateful for the opportunity to hear it happen right in front of us.

Now with that, I believe it is important to note that with Off White, it really feels as though an entire new world is opening up. It feels like, as far as songwriting goes, we are seeing a whole side of Lotte Kestner. And let me tell you folks, it is far from disappointing. While I can always go back and listen to basically every track off the other Lotte Kestner albums and feel perfectly content, I have to say that I am truly in awe of the new direction that Anna-Lynne has taken us with Off White. What makes it so cool and different, is actually just how hard it is to truly pin down what has changed. We still get to hear that same beautiful voice over a consistently delicate undertone, but there is something new. When I hear a track like “Ashland”, it is as though I am hearing the result of a new take on love. And when a track like “Go To Sleep Now” pulsates through my brain with it’s infectious drum beat, I know that I am feeling a bit lighter of a heart whilst being reminded of what can result from fear and the forgotten consciousness.

It’s not to say that Off White is better than previous Lotte Kestner work. And it’s not to say that its really that different. It’s just that when you find yourself so highly invested in an artist’s work, you can sense the subtle shift in attitude and performance. And more importantly, you can appreciate it.

I seriously can not express just how much I truly love this album. Seriously folks, I am going record by saying that Off White is nothing short of magical, and is hand’s down one of the best of 2017, if not the best. I know we still have a good bit of year left, but the idea that something can top this album frankly seems absurd. So check it out everyone!!

Off White will be available on Saint Marie Records on September 1st. Check out the amazing official video for “Ghosts” right here:

 

Carry Illinois: Garage Sale [Album]

In my attempts to simply create some background noise during the sometimes bore of editing a website, I wasn’t looking to be moved. I wasn’t looking to feel compelled to stop dead in my digital tracks, and start anew. But, I will be god damned if that didn’t happen when I threw on Garage Sale from the amazing Austin based group Cary Illinois. After only two tracks, just under 8 minutes, I was hooked. What was this gorgeous singer/songwriter led frontier-ship that my ears did hear? I was instantly hooked.

There is something absurdly whimsical about the 8 tracks that make up Garage Sale. It’s sad, but it’s uplifting. It’s catchy yet powerful at the same time. These are qualities that I am constantly searching for in music, but sadly just don’t hear enough of these days. But thankfully, a group like Carry Illinois can come along and make us all believe in the power of music once again. Reading up on the band, I learned that tragedy struck the band hard when their original bassists John Winsor took his own life in March 2016. And this is when I started to understand what was so brilliant with what I was hearing. It was one certain song transition that left me feeling something unexplainable. The beautiful ode to something truly dark entitled “Goodnight”, I would learn was a beautiful bit of poetry dedicated to Winsor’s memory, which made sense. But, then there is this amazing transition from this saddening tale into the uplifting perfectly choreographed track “Electric Charm”. And that is where it hit me. This is a rebirth of self. Garage Sale is a means of continuing on when the storm has passed. It is starting over. It is a proverbial garage sale of all the old memories that have been stewing and causing grief and hopelessness. By slapping a hypothetical price tag on this sadness, and presenting it to the world, front woman Lizzy Lehman and company are able to move on with their lives, yet never forgetting a man who obviously touched their lives so much.

It would behoove me to say that this is one of the greatest track lists I have heard this year. It becomes abundantly clear just how personal these songs are to Lehman, and how fortunate enough we are that she has continued on through her pain to share with us a bit of light even if it may have been extremely hard to do when you are “getting older, seeing darkness you don’t want to see”, to quote the woman herself. And while Lizzy’s brilliant vocals and songwriting are an obvious highlight, it must be pointed out that Darwin Smith shreds perfectly, and keyboardist Derek Morris shines brighter than the sun in his contributions, and is somebody I am definitely going to be keeping tabs on.

I seriously can not recommend Garage Sale enough. This album is 8 tracks of pain-soaked songs that somehow become uplifting in their brutal honesty and perfectly choreographed fortitude. If you’re looking for a bight of light in your darkest days, Carry Illinois is a force you should definitely turn to. I simply cannot say enough great things about this wonderful band that should rightfully be a mainstay in every true music lover’s heart and mind.

Carry Illinois will be officially releasing Garage Sale on May 12th at The Mohawk in Austin, Texas along with acts Star Parks and Lex Land. For more information and tour dates, check out the band’s website for all the details you need to know and love Carry Illinois.

And check out this amazingly produced music video for their track “Alabaster”, performed live at The Ball Farm in Dale Texas:

Sadistik: Altars [Album]

It is absolutely insane to stop and think about what time can do to us all. It has almost been 6 full years since I first wrote a few words on this very site about the “underground” sensation that was/is Sadistik. “The bourbon in the espresso” I called him. And I will still stand by that one. So 6 years and  3 albums later, I can still only find great words to say about the legendary moody rapper that is Sadistik. He is a man who is constantly perfecting his craft, and always getting better at it as you can all hear right now on his latest album, Altars.

Altars is an album that brings us back a bit. It is a brilliant collection of poetry that is reminiscent of Flowers For My Fathers, in only that it reminds me personally of what it was that made me fall in love with this guy’s work. I’ve constantly referred to this man as “your favorite indie rocker’s favorite rapper”, and with Altars he only proves my point further. Just listen to “Roaches” and try to soak in all of the elements that went into telling this very dark story. You will soon realize that Sadistik is so much more than just a dude spitting bars over a some sounds with a heavy bass line. But, that is if you are a new listener, of course. Die hard listeners of Sadistik will definitely not be too surprised by some of the insane content he provides on Altars, but I guarantee they will be pleased! This dude has branded himself very nicely as the dark horse in the rap game, and his latest album proves just why he is the king of moody and gothic oriented hip hop.

With a solid track list, and some very nice cameos from old favorites like Kristoff Kane and P.O.S., Altars is an album that is destined to go down in history as one of his finest collections of poetry to date. Because in the long sighted view of his career, that is what Sadistik truly is: A fucking poet. And Altars is a brilliant addition to his catalogue that you absolutely must hear.

While we are sadly a bit behind in getting our words out to you, there is still time to catch Sadistik on tour with wonderful support from the great Nacho Picasso and the stellar Rafael Vigilantics, especially those of you out there in the cold midwest. And if you weren’t able to catch him on this round, you can definitely rest assure that Sadistik is far from being done with you. The demons in this man’s mind have to freed, and he will sure release them upon you for many years to come.

To check out Altars in it’s beautiful entirety, just go HERE.

 

 

Check out this amazingly produced video for the single “Free Spirits”:

Cas One Vs. Figure: So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us [Album]

By the time you are reading this, Cas One and Figure will be wrapping up their nation wide tour in support of this album (I believe they are in Portland Maine tonight!), and the explosion of So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us should have already exploited your ear holes and hearts and sad minds by now. So, just consider this a fan note if you will. And if you haven’t quite gotten around to hearing this incredible album, stop what you are doing, and either go listen to the album right now, or just park your running car in a garage and sit there, because I don’t want to know you. It’s that serious, People! I am going to straight up say it here and now…So Our Egos Don’t Kills Us is one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. A bold statement, I know, but arguable to the death. It’s just that damn good!

Long time readers will know that we have proverbially been on Jacob “Cas One” Snider’s nuts for quite sometime. We’ve even covered SOEDKU‘s debut single “Murder Media”, which is still a gem from the album, but just one of 15 now that we are hearing it all. I’ve personally talked about how his opening bars on the track “Savior Self”, released by another old friend Sadistik, are some of the most pivotal words ever put to record. And his long time connection with another dear friend of ours, Alexander “Bodi” Hallet, has come up from time to time. And I’m only bringing that last part up because Bodi produced another one of the finest hip hop albums, of all time, The Fall of Atlas, just a few years ago, and I want it to be on record when I say that So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us is the best hip hop album since Atlas. It is truly fascinating how amazing this album is, and I can’t express enough just how infatuated I am with it. There is a power in this duo that I simply was not expecting to hear, and am so happy with how surprised I am by its power. I knew I was going to love this record, but I didn’t realize just how fucking amazed I was going to be by it. And that is always a treat.

I will admit, I was not aware with the work of the 50% of this record, the widely successful in the electronic genre, Figure. I had honestly only heard his name brought up by Cas One himself. Upon further investigation, I realized that this was a big fucking deal. Figure has been one of the leading DJ’s in the industry for quite sometime. But, not being a part of that world, I was still clueless as to what Figure would bring to the table. And then I heard it. Holy shit, did I hear it. It is suffice to say that I can guarantee that I would not be as obsessed with this album if it were not for the beats that Figure provided and garnered strength for each track on this album. Snider is one of the greatest wordsmiths in the world of hip hop right now, and I will definitely get into that, but I have to say….with the production that Figure added to this album, this album could have been just Cas One reading the phone book in his best Mickey Mouse impression, and it would have surely still have been pretty dope. What I grab most from the music of Figure on this album, is the space. Through whatever spiritual algorithm that goes through this guys head, he knows how to fill the space in a track, with a perfectly delicate yet rash precision. He doesn’t over do it with extravagance, but he still manages to hold NOTHING back. It’s down right fucking brilliant how this man can fill the space perfectly on each and every track on this album. It flows together so beautiful that Cas One’s lyrics become just another piece of the the masterful jigsaw puzzle that is So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us. So simplify it all, it is fucking perfect!

And to make it all spin right back around, this album is a prime example of lyrical excellence! Though Cas One could have phoned it in on top of the beautiful production, we knew that just wasn’t what he is about. I honestly don’t believe it is possible. Jacob is known to cut deep. I honestly wasn’t sure how he could top his work on his last solo album, The Monster and the Wishing Well, but the motherfucker did it once again proving that his talent is almost unparalleled in the rap game. Whether he is making a political statement, or he is exposing is most inner demons for your god damned entertainment, he is telling a haunting tale that everyone should take heed form. There is a subtle difference on So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us from his previous work that has to be addressed as well….it’s not ALL sad shit! Jacob actually tends to lighten up a bit on some tracks (i.e. “Razor Blade Mark” and is 50 ft vape cloud), and proves that he doesn’t have to be brooding to tell an amazing story. His stories on this album will surely answer the questions that fellow followers of him in the social media world have surely been asking themselves, “How is the guy who writes all of these sad ass songs, so damn funny!”. Well, one quick listen through this album will give you all the answers. The album is not without darkness, of course, but beyond that darkness is a light that is undeniable and starts to shine through in a huge way. Cas One provides a perfect emotional balance within Figure’s perfectly filled musical space.

I won’t attempt to try and analyze each track on this album, as it would take a novel length set of  descriptors to truly do so, but I do have to point out that Cas One has some amazing company on this record to go along with his brooding yet light-hearted at times lyrics. There are some legendary names on this record even. Being that the album is a Strange Famous release, it was excellent to hear Sage Francis appear on “Time Bomb”, who will ALWAYS deliver. And of course, Del the Funky Homosapien and Carnage the Executioner fucking KILL on a track that is heavy on the old school vibe, “Lone Wolves”. And P.O.S. is on there murdering as well. These are golden names here, people. It should be no surprise that they brought an additional amazing element to this record. But, if I have to choose a favorite addition to the record, it would be difficult to choose one, so I have to make it a two way tie between Sean Little’s hilarious antidotes on the battle rap themed “I Should Just Warn You” and the return of Bitter Stephens on “Madness”. Stephens appeared twice on Monster and the Wishing Well, and was always a highlight to me. But, this is without a doubt one of the best verses I have heard from this cat to date. He absolutely slays in his role on this seminal album.

Look, I just have to say it one more time for you all….This is one of the finest hip hop albums I have ever heard! I come at this from a fan of lyrically based, or “alternative” as it may be called in some circles, hip hop music, and not just as another desperate for views Blogger with low self esteem and anxiety issues. I am absolutely in awe of So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us, if I haven’t quite made that abundantly clear. This is a brilliant collection of tracks that will forever be engrained into my mind as a reminder of why I love hip hop music so much. Very few artists today manage to bring this emotion out in me. Barely a handful actually, and the majority of them have actually already been mentioned in these words! The greatest take away from this pivotal album would have been that with the musical stylings of Figure and the lyrical madness that Cas One creates, Cas One Vs. Figure is a project that proves once again that hip hop IS an art form, and should be respected as such. If more artists would treat it with the respect that these cats have, the lack of respect would not exist. So, I implore each and every single one of you…..don’t just listen to So Our Egos Don’t Kill Us, experience it! I honestly don’t know how you could treat this album as anything short of a full on experience that will torture and delight your heart and mind. Again, it is that damn good!

Pick up a copy of So Our Egos Don’t Kills us directly from the Strange Famous website, available on vinyl, CD, cassette, and MP3.

Also you can catch a back end of their tour with DJ Abilities and B. Dolan. East coast get on it!

As a bonus for you fine folks, please check out this amazing music video for “Staying Gold”: