more from our Spotify playlist:
31. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors: “Shine Like Lightning”. From Drew’s 2014 album “Medicine”. With close to 500,000 plays on Spotify, Drew and Co. obviously have a following. The Nashville band tours a lot.
32. Brandi Carlisle: “Wherever Is Your Heart”. “The Firewatcher’s Daughter” is Brandi’s 6th album and easily her best. If you’re a Prairie Home Companion listener you know her. One of the year’s best albums.
33. Courtney Barnett: “An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)”. From “Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit”. This is the debut full-length album from the Australian indie, alternative rock singer-songwriter and it’s a gem. One of my favorite new artists of 2015.
34. Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden: “The State I’m In”. From “The Shape The Color The Feel”. This Nashville indie rock band started out in Seattle in 2007.
35. Vetiver: “Current Carry”. From “Complete Strangers”, the 6th album from the Bay Area band. The perfect record for just kicking back and enjoying the day.
36. The Helio Sequence: “Upward Mobility”. Their 6th long player. They’re labeled alternative rock, but they remind me of early Coldplay. Go figure.
37. Colleen Green: “Deeper Than Love”. From “I Want To Grow Up”. The simplicity of her songs is refreshing and while her delivery seems blasé at times, it’s also very enjoyable.
38. Samba Toure: “Su Wilile”. From “Gandadiko”. Not as intense as his last album but the hypnotic rhythms keep a steady pace throughout. The intro sounds like a Bo Diddley record.
39. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Bird: “Riverman”. From “Chasing Yesterday”. I was expecting more from the former Oasis singer/guitarist. It’s not a bad album, but where’s the rock ‘n’ roll?
40. The Vaccines: “Dream Lover”. This isn’t a Bobby Darin or Mariah Carey cover. This UK indie-rock band reminds me of Duran Duran at times. Their third album.
41. This Way To The Egress: “We Won’t Go”. From “Great Balancing Act”. If you like a band that mixes gypsy jazz with flashes of Tom Waits, Queen and Flaming Lips. Obviously I do.
42. Bianca Caruso: “Don’t Lose Your Head”. From “Bravado”. The debut from the L.A. (by way of Austin, Texas) singer-songwriter who mixes soul, pop, folk and a bit of jazz. Here’s a link to a free download at NoiseTrade. click here.
43. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad: “Mr. Cop”. From “Steady”. I found this on a free Rarebreed Records sampler. click here. The album from this Rochester, NY jam/reggae band reached #1 on the Reggae charts.
44. Claws: “Set Me Free”. From “Feel It All”. This alternative-pop duo’s debut reminds me of Portishead but with a harder edge.
45. Reina del Cid: “The Cooling”. From “The Cooling”. She is classified as folk-rock but on the band’s second album they have moved way beyond that. Where the last album was a showcase for Reina, this is more of a collaborative effort sonically and lyrically. One of the year’s best.
46. Laura Marling: “Howl”. From “Short Movie”. It’s hard to believe that Laura has made 5 albums in 7 years. The initial comparison was to Joni Mitchell but since she went electric (for now) it’s Chrissie Hynde. I came across some free downloads (at Aquarium Drunkard) of an in-studio radio show she did for Sirius that included songs from the new album. click here.
47. Rachel Grimes: “And Today Was Her Birthday”. From “The Clearing”. This is Rachel’s second album, and while it probably belongs in our “Different” playlist, people need to hear this. Call it “neo-classical” if you like, but with hints of Radiohead.
48. Here Come The Mummies: “Bring That Down”. From “Muertodiesel”. They have to be one of the best party bands EVER. Here’s a YouTube video of the song live in Wisconsin (cheeseheads love it). Click here.
49. Snarky Puppy/Metropole Orkest: “The Curtain”. From “Sylvia”. This album has probably surprised and disappointed a lot of longtime Snarky Puppy fans. Where’s the funk? This is more jazz-fusion. Miles would love it.
50. Kamasi Washington: “Re Run Home”. From “The Epic”. Kamasi is part of Kendrick Lamar’s studio crew. While it is not a great jazz album, it is a very good one. Hopefully it will encourage hip-hop devotees to check out John Coltrane and Miles Davis.