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Screaming Females’ All At Once

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Artist: Screaming Females

Album: “All At Once”

Label: Don Giovanni Records

Reason We’re Cranking It: Seven albums in and the DIY-punk trio is still getting better, finding a seamless track-to-track studio groove with the return of producer Matt Bayles who previously worked the control booth on 2015’s “Rose Mountain.” It’s a beautiful marriage, the kind of best-case-scenario coupling that would make others in creative relationships jealous.

What The Album Tells Us About Them: For a band called Screaming Females, there’s not a whole lot of screaming going on and that’s perfectly okay with us because lead singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster’s resonating vibrato is best delivered when under control. It’s a mesmerizing serenade that calls out to you like a siren, and it’s an instrument she knows how to use to perfection in any given musical circumstance.

Track Stuck On Repeat: Sure, those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks, but those who rock will be unable to throw “Glass House,” at least out of regular spin rotation. If cassettes were still a thing (not in a collector’s way) and we were putting together a mix tape, this track would get the call.

Coming To A City Near You: Screaming Females tour dates can be found here.

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Olden Yolk’s Self-Titled Debut

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Artist: Olden Yolk

Album: Self-Titled

Label: Trouble in Mind

Reason We’re Cranking It: Are you folking kidding us? We’re having a difficult time finding a reason not to. Each song off of the self-titled debut is a nostalgic joy ride, the kind that places us in the backseat of our father’s lime green van circa 1983 as he popped in his favorite 8-track cassettes and took us on a Sunday drive down by the coast. This album doesn’t just pass along a feeling, it gives us the feels!

What The Album Tells Us About Them: The songwriting tag team of multi-instrumentalists Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer are committed to the idea of making all that is old new again. From their beautifully blended vocals to the sooth-induced pacing of the album as a whole, they’re tapping into an era of music that is not well-represented in modern music and doing so in a way that is still completely modern.

Track Stuck On Repeat: “Verdant” is folk with a psychedelic stimulant injected into its bloodstream. Hypnotizing in the way that it floats through you, it stays a part of your subconscious long after the music fades from the speakers.

Coming To A City Near You: Olden Yolk tour dates can be found here.

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Caroline Rose’s Loner

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Artist: Caroline Rose

Album: “Loner”

Label: New West Records

Reason We’re Cranking It: Infusing a fusion of pop and electronica with the bread and butter storytelling vibe of the singer/songwriter camp, Rose has bloomed into a unique voice that feels like the musical mashing of Poe (Anne Decatur Danielewski) and Butch Walker. “Loner” isn’t so much a loner as it is a standalone.

What The Album Tells Us About Her: While Rose takes her art seriously, she also isn’t afraid to have a little fun in the creative process. “Loner” is the kind of album you listen to in the car with the windows down, one hand thrust outside the vehicle as it rides the continuous oncoming current of air. Surfing the breeze while shooting the breeze with Rose on such subjects as loneliness and monetary fixation, these are the kinds of conversations you find yourself having with friends on extended road trips. When Rose hits the road again with her next album, we’re calling shotgun.

Track Stuck On Repeat: “More of the Same” is the first song off of the album and does a brilliant job at establishing the musical world you’re about to step ear into. Catchy with an infectious chorus, it’s like the perfect bag of trail mix, a commingling of sweet and salty that, no matter how much you convince yourself of having only “one more bite,” you continuously revisit over and over again.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to sit back and listen to “More of the Same” just ONE more time. Or 20.

Coming To A City Near You: Caroline Rose tour dates can be found here.

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Joey Dosik’s Game Winner

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Artist: Joey Dosik

Album: “Game Winner”

Label: Secretly Canadian

Reason We’re Cranking It: Dosik’s latest offering (being re-released with four bonus tracks), loosely inspired by the game of basketball, is a soulful, shoulder popping good time… a slam dunk. With a natural and seamless ease in the way he delivers on each track, the impassioned piano man ignites recollections of long lost pick-up games with friends while the radio sat on the blacktop pumping out songs that would forever be tied to memories. There’s a shared sentimentality to the EP that makes everyone who listens to it a member of the same team, and in crafting it in such a way, Dosik has created a true game winner.

What The Album Tells Us About Him: Looking past the fact that he’s a Lakers fan (we bleed Celtics green here!), Dosik is impassioned and wears his heart on his sleeve, combining two of his loves, basketball and music, into a tell-all tale of who he is at his core. We can’t wait to hear what he shares with us next.

Track Stuck On Repeat: To steal yet another term from the world of sports, the title track is deserving of an instant replay. If “cool” had a signature sound, “Game Winner” would be it. Picture Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield, cruising around in a long lost scene from “Pulp Fiction,” one hand on the steering wheel and another holding firm to a Big Kahuna burger, as he grooves out to this song en route to lay out some epic monologue that people will recite for generations to come. That should give you a pretty good sense of just how cool this song is.

Coming To A City Near You: Joey Dosik tour dates can be found here.

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El Perro Del Mar’s We Are History

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Artist: El Perro Del Mar

Album: “We Are History”

Label: The Control Group/Ging Ging Recordings

Reason We’re Cranking It: A smattering of genres and techniques, “We Are History” is a delectable stew featuring ingredients of only the highest quality. If there were one complaint to be had about this sonic dish it’s that because it is an EP (six songs), it feels more like an appetizer than a meal and we were left craving more El Perro Del Mar.

What The Album Tells Us About Her: Sarah Assbring is El Perro Del Mar, and whether the two identities share the same POV or not, it makes no difference because the emotions delivered are as raw and as real as you can find on a record. Unlike the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, Assbring, even under the guise of El Perro Del Mar, isn’t afraid to let us peek behind the curtain to see who she really is.

Track Stuck On Repeat: In “Mirrors” the talented songwriter holds a mirror up to all of us, forcing us to look beyond the physical and to consider the those things larger than ourselves – the ripple effect in all of humanity’s reflection.

Coming To A City Near You: El Perro Del Mar tour dates can be found here.

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Born Ruffians’ Uncle, Duke & the Chief

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Artist: Born Ruffians

Album: “Uncle, Duke & the Chief”

Label: Yep Roc

Reason We’re Cranking It: Five albums in, Born Ruffians are born again, reintroducing the original three-piece lineup that we last heard on 2013’s “Birthmarks.” The rekindled creative bromance pays off because we have discovered no natural immunity to the infectious hand clapping, toe tapping and head bopping.

What The Album Tells Us About Them: Absence makes the rock grow fonder. In their time away from each other, the trio has honed and perfected their individual perspectives and reconvened with a collective musical consciousness. As listeners, we’re plugged into that state of creative being.

Track Stuck On Repeat: “Fade to Black” brings the feel-good vibe of a high school party spinning every-so-slightly out of control, but when you look beneath the surface of the pervasive percussion that is almost addictive, you discover a camouflaged melancholy that emphasizes suffering and loss.

Coming To A City Near You: Born Ruffians tour dates can be found here.

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Neal Morse’s Life & Times

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Artist: Neal Morse

Album: Life & Times

Label: Radiant Records

Reason We’re Cranking It: Prog rocker Morse is a classic storyteller, so this venture into singer/songwriter territory fits his creative POV perfectly. Each song off of the album is like flipping the page of a book that you can’t quite put down, and the controlled delivery of each chapter is a reminder that sometimes less is so much more, or in this case, so much Morse.

What The Album Tells Us About Him: Sometimes people get stuck in their ways. When things are working, it’s easy to get comfortable and stay that way. What Morse has done with “Life & Times” is proven that change can be a good thing, and at the same time, that it doesn’t need to be feared. Yes, this album may not appeal to all of the progressive rock fans who have followed Morse in his other musical endeavors (Spock’s Beard, The Neal Morse Band), but he’s growing as an artist at a time in his life when most of us find ourselves going static. That’s an inspiring thing to see… and hear.

Track Stuck On Repeat: The first song you’re introduced to upon hitting play, “Livin’ Lightly” immediately sets the tone for the album as a whole. An upbeat James Taylor-meets-Christopher Cross vibe, the track reminds you of days gone by, embracing your musically-curious youth by spinning dusty vinyl records in your bedroom as the summer sun sinks deep into the horizon. It’s the kind of music you can get lost in, and in the process, find so much more.

Coming To A City Near You: Neal Morse tour dates can be found here.

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Loma

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Artist: Loma

Album: Self-Titled

Label: Sub Pop

Reason We’re Cranking It: The planet has less atmosphere than this self-titled debut. Fanciful with a real sense of heart that is grounded in the very fabric of a shared reality, this collection of songs has so many layers to them that you hear something different each time through.

What The Album Tells Us About Them: We’ve learned so much, and yet, we still have so many questions. The thing that strikes us most however is that beyond its previously-mentioned fanciful face value, this album is also steeped in such incredible potential. If this is what the band was capable of achieving their first time in the studio together, what could the future hold for their creative output?

Track Stuck On Repeat: “I Don’t Want Children” begins as an exercise in relaxation. Until Emily Cross’ beautiful vocals kick in, you feel a bit like you’ve been transported to a spa, sipping cucumber water while breathing in the therapeutic aroma of lavender and sage, but once that first line breaks – “I don’t want children, even though if I did, I would want them from you,” – the calm fades and you prepare for what is an emotional storm to come.

Coming To A City Near You: Loma tour dates can be found here.

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David Duchovny’s Every Third Thought

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Artist: David Duchovny

Album: “Every Third Thought”

Label: Westbound Kyd

Reason We’re Cranking It: The truth may be out there, but the groove is in here. Duchovny delivers a sophomore album packed with straight forward, old time rock ‘n’ roll, the kind that would soothe Bob Seger’s soul.

What The Album Tells Us About Them: We have to imagine that it is not an easy road to travel being an actor-turned-musician. Haters are gonna hate, and in the age of social media, everyone has a platform to spread that hate. Being in the public eye, you have a target slapped onto your back, especially when you put yourself out there in a capacity that is unfamiliar to the audience you’ve been exposed to. To his credit, Duchovny doesn’t let the noise drown out his music, and instead, focuses on crafting his songs in a way that is honest to who he is as an artist. Haters be damned.

Track Stuck On Repeat: “Stranger in the Sacred Heart” is at its heart, an upbeat slice of Americana that offers a finger-tapping-on-the-surface-of-your-desk beat, the kind of song you’d hear playing over a montage featuring a fish out of water protagonist discovering a new city – a stranger in a strange land vibe that suggests we all need to just “let it slide.”

Coming To A City Near You: David Duchovny tour dates can be found here.

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Marlon Williams’ Make Way For Love

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Artist: Marlon Williams

Album: “Make Way For Love”

Label: Dead Oceans

Reason We’re Cranking It: Although there are familiar elements to Williams’ music, bits and pieces that harken back to artists who have come before, he is at the same time altogether and perfectly original. While the New Zealand songwriter may have tapped into his influences to create “Make Way For Love,” it is future generations of musicians who will tap into it for inspiration. It is the best complete album, a start to finish assemblage, we have heard in some time.

What The Album Tells Us About Them: Williams can make you feel. Each of the 11 songs off of “Make Way For Love” enters through your ears but roots themselves in your heart. This is not an album meant merely for listening. It is an album for assigning memories to, and that is the best kind there is.

Track Stuck On Repeat: Holy hell! “Love Is A Terrible Thing” is such a haunting, deeply-relatable song for anyone who has questioned the legitimacy of their own emotions, which as we can imagine, is nearly everyone on the planet. We’ve been listening to this one since we woke up this morning and will be revisiting it numerous times throughout the day.

Coming To A City Near You: Marlon Williams tour dates can be found here.

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