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Tag: art-rock

An Ornate, Magically Orchestrated, Fresh New Album From Art-Rockers GADADU

Hannah Selin, frontwoman and violist of art-rock band GADADU explains that her songs are “equally inspired by the natural and the supernatural.” The title of the art-rock band’s new album The Weatherman Is Wrong – streaming at Bandcamp – reflects both the unpredictability of Selin’s through-composed melodies as well as the world around us. It’s definitely an album for our time, even if the overall atmosphere is breathtakingly verdant and optimistic: the arrangements are nothing short of sumptuous. It’s as if Selin is saying, “Bring it on, we can handle it!”

The strings rises with a swirl and then echoes around in the album’s evocative opening track, Cicadas. Keyboardist Nicki Adams adds blippy loops as the horns – trumpeter Patrick Adams and tenor saxophonist Ayumi Ishito – enter regally over the sway of bassist Dan Stein and drummer Arthur Vint. “In our little house, the walls are slowly crumbling down,” Selin asserts brightly: the band take it out with an enigmatic wash that dissolves into reflecting-pool piano. Does this fit the zeitgeist, or what?

The second song, Bear is a catchy, tantalizingly brief anthem, bursting out of a delicate thicket of pizzicato: the gist of it is facing down one’s inner demons.

The elegant web of pulsing string, keyboard and horn textures in Dreamhouse are deliciously layered: the cyborg vocals and woozy synths in contrast to the organic, sun-drenched crescendos bring to mind the NYChillharmonic in a reflective moment.

Likewise, the harmonies between the electric piano and horns in the next cut, At Play: there’s reverie but also danger in the stabbing accents and enigmatic depths. Bright, tersely incisive piano stands out against a balmy backdrop in Makeup, descending to a more organic take on Radiohead minimalism before a sweeping, tidal return.

Vint plots out a circling Afrobeat groove as Selin’s voice soars upward with the horns in Ocean’s Children, then the harmonies pulse in and out over a series of rhythmic shifts, up to a dizzying chorale of sorts. There are echoes of slow, broodingly orchestrated Portishead in Tides, Selin floating an aptly vast, dynamically shifting expanse, the horns bursting over organ and electric piano that resist complete serenity.

The Xanthoria Quartet – violinists Abby Swidler, Kate Goddard and cellist Alexandra Jones – bolster the towering grandeur of Prove to You, a soul ballad at heart beneath the flurries and uneasy maze of concentric riffage. The album’s final cut is City of Lights: just when it seems this is going to be a warmly swaying soul tune, Nicki Adams pierces the veil with his alternately biting and sagely blues-infused piano. This is the band’s best album, one of the most beguiling releases of 2022 and reason to hope this allstar cast – all of whom have their own careers in new classical music, jazz and latin sounds – continue to weave fresh spells like these.

Revisiting the Prophetic Musical Side of One of This Era’s Most Visionary Journalists

Tessa Lena may be best known as one of this era’s most fearless investigative journalists, but she’s also something of a prophet. While covering the technology sector several years before Event 201, she warned how the infrastructure that would eventually enable the 2020 plandemic was being rolled out.

But Tessa Lena does a lot more than just write. She hosts a podcast, Make Language Great Again, where she interviews guests as diverse as historian Steven Newcomb, New Zealand freedom fighter Emmanuel Garcia and mass media polymath Mark Crispin Miller.

She’s also a musician. Trained in her native Moscow as a classical pianist, she has as many voices as a singer as she has as a writer, with a special fondness for Armenian music. And her songwriting is just as prophetic and colorful as her prose.

There’s a lot of Tessa Lena up at Bandcamp. Her 2017 album Tessa Fights Robots is the soundtrack to a multimedia project and most closely aligned to her current work (her article The Great Reset For Dummies is as definitive an analysis of the ongoing totalitarianism as anyone has written in the past two years). The album, a satire of social media obsession fueling a global takeover by tech oligarchs. is as venomously funny as it is prescient: “A bunch of metaphorical walking dead who figured out a way to siphon your creative energy into making money for them…they’re training you to act like viruses,” she intones. And the jokes aren’t limited to lyrics.

The music shifts from dystopic synthpop to delicate, moody Slavic psych-folk, to sarcastic Brechtian circus-rock and creepy, twinkling dystopic disco. There are also two covers: a witheringly icy version of Michelle Gurevich’s Party Girl, and a spare, poignant take of Tom Waits’ Blue Valentines.

Tessa Lena’s earliest track, a darkwave anthem, dates from 2013 and serves as a launching pad for her signature spine-tingling, operatic vocals. The next one, I Am This Child, is just as brooding and sounds like Portishead on acid.

The 2016 short album Tessa Makes Love is all over the map, ranging from jazzy noir cabaret to metal to a somber solo vocalese evocation of a duduk. Living Her Dream, a menacingly sarcastic 2017 art-rock tableau, could be David J with a woman out front.

Tessa Lena’s next appearance is not as a musician but as an activist onstage at the upcoming daylong Festival in a Field at at 55 Wenzels Lane in the town of Hudson, upstate, starting at 10 AM on Sept 10. Other freedom fighters scheduled to appear include Children’s Health Defense’s Mary Holland, hero attorney Bobbie Ann Cox (currently battling to stop Kathy Hochul’s appeal of the court ruling against her concentration camp edict), Autism Action Network’s John Gilmore and more. There’s music, too. It’s on the crunchy side. The highlight is shamanic multi-percussionist Kevin Nathaniel. Other artists scheduled to appear are Americana soul jamband the Mammals, multi-instrumentalist Bibi Farber’s Action Figures 432, kirtan-rock jammers Samkirtan Band, the Red Threat, Journey Blue Heaven and Americana guitar picker Jude Roberts, There’s also a haybale maze for the kids, local homemade food and crafts; it’s $25 for the whole day.

A Gorgeous New Album and a Williamsburg Gig by Purist Tunesmith Alice Cohen

Alice Cohen plays purist, often gorgeously melodic, artsy rock anthems and sings with an unpretentious delivery that’s sometimes cheery and sometimes borders on conspiratorial. On her new album Moonrising – streaming at Bandcamp – she plays most of the instruments herself, building a lush bed of acoustic and electric guitars and vintage synths over an unobtrusive drum-machine beat. Multi-reedman David Lackner and multi-percussionist Adrian Knight flesh out Cohen’s elegant arrangements. She’s playing Union Pool on August 24 at 9 PM. Since the venue has fallen under the spell of surveillance-state digital ticketing, the cover charge there lately has been measured in dollars and cents. It stands to reason that the door girl will round it up to sixteen bucks for those of us who are ahead of the curve and have gone to #cashalways.

Cohen opens the record with Wild Wolf, a swaying, twangy, Lynchian trip-hop ballad: this “eight-track Cadillac cruising through the milky way” seems to be on its way back from the Black Lodge. Then she looks back to the bittersweet starriness of 80s janglerock in Bodies in Motion. It could be a track from the Church’s Seance album, with a woman out front.

Cohen picks up the pace with Life in a Bag, an insistent, 90s-flavored downstroke anthem spiced with neoromantic piano flourishes. After the starry keyboard instrumental Inner Galaxies, she goes back to a pensive, richly textured sway with Under Chandeliers, her watery guitars and glimmering keys mingling with Knight’s vibraphone and Lackner’s echoing, spiraling soprano sax.

Baby’s Fine is a surreal mashup of early 80s new wave pop with hip-hop lyrics: it’s hard to figure out where the sax stops and what could be an old Juno synth kicks in. Vanilla Tea is a glistening backbeat stadium rock nocturne without the bombast – an oxymoron, sure, but just try to imagine.

The driftiest, most opaque song on the album is Telepathic Postcards. Cohen follows that with Queen Anne’s Lace, a breezy, jazz-inflected ballad in a Stylistics vein that she takes ten years forward in time – or forty years forward, depending on how neo-retro it seems to you. She closes the record with Fragile Flowers, following a serpentine series of chord changes with Lackner’s sax floating above. It’s been a slow year for rock records, at least compared to what we were used to before March of 2020, but this is one of the best of 2022 so far.

A Lusciously Layered, Anthemic New Art-Rock Record From Charlie Nieland

The 2020 totalitarian takeover didn’t stop Lusterlit mastermind Charlie Nieland from making another album: he pretty much did it himself, with a little help from outside. His latest release, Divisions – streaming at Bandcamp – is much more lush and majestically textured than you would expect, considering the circumstances. Predictably, it’s more guitar-centric than Lusterlit, although the songs are just as darkly luminous, with echoes of 80s goth and 90s Britrock. And they’re catchy as hell.

His trebly guitar through a cheap amp explodes into a majestic roar in the slow, swaying opening anthem, Always on Fire. Kleptocrats in basic black populate this grim, arson-infested gentrification-era Brooklyn tableau. Nieland is a one-man band, blending all the guitars, bass and keys, with a rotating drum chair shared by Brian Geltner, Billy Loose and Lusterlit’s Susan Hwang.

Nieland’s icy chorus-box chords and keening slide lines linger over hypnotic, suspensefully droning bass in the album’s title track: if Wire played long songs with an American accent, this might qualify as such.

Exploding is a catchy, bulked-up, artfully layered powerpop ballad. Violinist Heather Cole and cellist Patricia Santos build a lushly orchestrated coda in The Falling Man, which could be the Jayhawks taking a stab at a mid-90s Blur song. Then Nieland strips down the sound for I Refuse, a buzzy fuzz bass-driven new wave tune that wouldn’t be out of place in the Dada Paradox catalog.

He builds an insistent, minimalist menace before bringing the echoey guitars into The Land of Accidents, a broodingly rhythmic existentialist exploration. Meta Incognita, a metaphorically loaded explorer’s tale, has a tricky 15/4 beat and lush synth orchestration over insistent guitars.

Another Night on Earth is slower and starrier: the Eels meet Stereolab. Tightrope is not the ELO classic but an original, and it’s the album’s catchiest anthem, Hwang a one-woman choir wafting overhead.

Then Santos becomes the orchestra in Skin, a dreamy ballad, the Smiths without the pout. Nieland turns up the chilly guitars in So Few Have So Much, a swaying, syncopated dreampop song.

The allusively ominous Some Things You Keep to Yourself and the album’s closing cut, Pawns, could be late-80s Siouxsie with a guy out front – and superior production.

A Subtle, Soaring New Art-Rock Gem From Carol Lipnik

Singer Carol Lipnik‘s career was derailed by the lockdown in more ways than one. By March of 2020, she was already putting the icing on the sonic confections on her album Goddess of Imperfection, She ended up in limbo until March of this year, when she finally released that long-awaited follow-up to her 2015 art-rock masterpiece Almost Back to Normal in  But there’s more. She had two other albums in the can! She wrote the second of the three, Blue Forest – streaming at her music page – in an 1893 stone tower at the Yaddo artist retreat, where she’d been invited. It was worth the wait.

Lipnik may be a streetwise Coney Island-bred New Yorker, but her songs are galactic. Where Goddess of Imperfection is lavish and orchestral, Blue Forest is more intimately ethereal. Lipnik’s practically five-octave range mingles within a sometimes swirling, sometimes cascading mix of Kyle Sanna’s guitar alongside her longtime pianist Matt Kanelos, with Mathias Künzli on percussion.

The loosely connecting thread between the songs is the imperiled state of our natural world, a persistent theme throughout Lipnik’s music. She opens with the title track, a gorgeous, ELO-tinged mini-anthem with a towering, glistening coda from Kanelos.

“While our world was coming apart, we dreamed,” she intones soberly in the second song, All the Colors of the Sky, Kanelos’ stately, rippling, baroque-tinged piano behind Sanna’s spare fingerpicking. “Will we miss it when it’s gone?” she asks, on the way to one of her signature, breathtakingly operatic crescendos.

“There’s radiant energy, fire in the sky, darkness is coming to open our eyes,” she sings in the stately, similarly baroque Birds of a Feather. You want prophetic or what?

Sanna’s chiming guitar and drifting synth provide a starry backdrop for I Don’t Work Hard, an elegantly soaring cabaret number. The album’s only cover is Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes, a rare gem by Elizabethan composer and poet Thomas Campion, Lipnik channeling both grit and poignancy over Sanna’s elegant lute-like ukulele work.

She goes back toward a sly, knowing cabaret ambience as Sanna and Kanelos supply bouncy cheer in Tick Bite: “The flame that burns within you is the same flame that burns you,” Lipnik observes. The final cut is A Pure Dose of Mercy, a spacious, minutely nuanced meditation on the pros and cons of staying on the sunny side of the street…including when it gets dangerous. It’s a characteristic blend of deceptively simple, straightforward songcraft and vocal pyrotechnics. and an apt way to close the record. Even better, there’s another one on the way!

The Irrepressible NYChillharmonic Bring Their Epic Art-Rock to Queens Tonight

The NYChillharmonic are one of this city’s most enjoyably explosive bands. Much of the time they sound like symphonic Radiohead, the big obvious influence in frontwoman/composer Sara McDonald’s mighty anthems. Her lush, dynamically rising and falling arrangements can be just as thorny and packed with unexpected twists and turns. She and the band are back in action onstage tonight, July 8 at 7:30 PM outdoors at Culture Lab in Long Island City.

They’ve also been recording lately, all the more impressive considering how hard it became to find studio space for a 22-piece jazz band during the mass psychosis in the wake of the 2020 lockdown. Their most recent material is all up at Bandcamp, including their latest single, I Don’t Even Want It, which sounds like My Brightest Diamond at their bubbliest and most blustery, with a whoomp-whoomp dancefloor thud.

Their previous single, Mean, has an allusive, Middle Eastern-tinged chromatic feel: it’s the crunchiest, heaviest guitar tune they’ve put out yet, which makes sense considering that it’s a lot easier to mix a simple, straightforward rocker that’s been recorded over the web in a couple dozen different sonic environments.

Their first full-length album, simple titled 1, came out in 2019. McDonald sings and also plays keys on this one alongside the lush, often fiery textures of the brass, reeds, strings and rhythm section. The first track is Surface Tension, a catchy, pulsing, cheerily orchestrated new wave tune with warmly hazy dips and lulls.

The weird effects on the vocals disappear serendipitously in Aubergine, a cleverly syncopated mashup of newschool disco, ba-bump cabaret and 21st century classical string composition. Surrealism is big in McDonald’s songs, especially with the wry contrast between a brassy march and drifting, enveloping psychedelia in Wax Garden.

The Radiohead influence is most apparent in Blumen, from McDonald’s warpy, keening synth, to the spacy electronic effects and the trickily circling rhythm beneath her puffy, elegantly textured syncopation. The best song on the album is Observer Effect, McDonald pushing the limits of her vocals over a tightly rapidfire groove with the band rising from lush to stormy.

The strings punch through the mist in Patterned, the album’s most epic anthem, playful individual voicings rising to lavish waves. The last track on the record is Sun, an aptly titled, comfortably enveloping coda with an inventive choral arrangement.

A Lushly Ambitious New Album and a Return to a Favorite LES Haunt From Becca Stevens

Becca Stevens has made a career out of defying all attempts to fit her songwriting into any particular category. It’s probably overly reductionistic to call her an artsy rock tunesmith who has engaged various configurations of jazz musicians – and most lately, Balkan and classical ensembles – to play her acerbically complex material. Her latest album may be her most ambitious yet, a collaboration with her husband, violist Nathan Schram’s group the Attacca Quartet, streaming at Soundcloud.

The music itself is closer to Elvis Costello’s Juliet Letters album, or Tift Merritt’s work with Simone Dinnerstein, than, say, Rasputina or My Brightest Diamond.

The tracks are a mix of material from throughout Stevens’ career. The original of the opening number, Be Still was a more energetic take on what a certain songwriter who quit Spotify in a huff over something Joe Rogan did was doing back in the 70s. This version is more lush, as you would expect, but also more hypnotic, although Stevens’ vocals are impassioned bordering on breathless.

The quartet – which also includes violinists Amy Schroeder and Domenic Salerni and cellist Andrew Yee – dig in with a similarly rhythmic attack in the second track, Reminder, an anxious entreaty to try to smile, more or less.

There’s a welcome storminess in Canyon Dust, downplaying the spiky circularity of Stevens’ earlier version. A new number, For You the Night Is Still coalesces into an energetic lullaby out of Stevens’ signature, tricky syncopation. She and the ensemble elevate No More – from her 2011 Weightless album – from a catchy, swaying ukulele pop tune to a striking, dynamically shifting, metaphorically loaded seaside tableau.

Venus is even punchier and more anthemic than the original, tightly tethered by a stern undercurrent from Schram and Yee. Schram’s new chart gives welcome, pulsing gravitas to I Am No Artist, the closest thing to a straight-up pop song here.

She and the quartet play Radiohead’s 2 + 2 = 5 with a crescendoing, flamenco-esque, rhythmic drive, Stevens rising to a practically feral intensity on the mic. It blows the original away – and that was a good song. 45 Bucks, one of Stevens’ big rockers, gets a slightly stripped-down, starkly pulsing attack: it makes a good segue.

She sticks with the world of numbers, in a brooding, alternately stark and sweeping version of 105, from her 2015 Perfect Animal album. The quartet have fun with a plucky take of Little Dragon’s Klapp Klapp, raising it far above the level of the original’s second-rate Goldfrapp goofiness.

There’s an icy glisten to the acoustic guitar mingling within the steady gusts from the quartet in We Knew Love: it’s one of the most evocative numbers here. Stevens’ signature anthem Tillery has a determined sway with a lull before the end. She and the quartet close the record with the balletsque bounce of Traveler’s Blessings.

Her album with brilliant Balkan group the Secret Trio made the best albums of 2021 page here and this one ought to do the same when the best of 2022 page is up here in December – if there is an internet in December, anyway. Stevens’ next gig is with the Secret Trio on July 7 at 7 PM at the big room at the Rockwood. Cover is $20.

Some Fireworks But No Marching Bands on Today’s Fourth of July Playlist

Today Americans celebrate a nation born in a spirit of defiance and freedom. Wherever we are in the world, the time has come to reclaim our sovereignty. As this blog’s favorite intuitive, Adrienne Elise says at her youtube channel today, “It’s time to stop living everybody else’s lie.”

So here’s a playlist to give us a jumpstart: about half an hour of good tunes and a few snarky visuals, since we don’t want to lose our ability to laugh at the New Abnormal, right? If you know this blog, you know the drill: click on artist names for their webpages, click on titles for video or audio.

The most telling clip of this entire playlist is ten seconds of a baby girl responding to a muzzled adult. Sometimes a video really is worth a thousand words. Thanks to Substack author Mathew Aldred for passing this along.

On the sweet vengeful visual tip, Alex Schaefer paints the LA Federal Reserve in flames, with a gallows in the foreground. Thanks to the mysterious polymath New Yorker who calls himself the 2nd Smartest Man in the World – whose Substack is a must-read – for spotting this.

First song on this list is Pretending, Van Morrison’s gorgeous, bittersweet portrait of lockdown-era atomization. “Pretending I’m not depressed…pretending that it’s not real…pretending I’m someone else, pretending that I’m in the present tense, I’m really miles away in a trance.”

This rare solo acoustic clip of New York noir legend LJ Murphy playing his big mid-zeros audience hit Sleeping Mind makes a great segue.

Milwaukee legend Peggy James delivers a somber parable of both Kristallnacht and the Putin invasion of Ukraine in her dark Americana ballad Isn’t Anybody Coming. One of the most gorgeous songs of the year so far.

There were a million Siouxsie wannabes kicking around in the 80s. Ava Vox‘s Silent Tear is better than most of them were. Is this about a lockdown suicide? A satanic ritual? Both?

Lydia Ainsworth‘s hypnotically drifting orchestral rock miniature Cosmic Dust makes a good setup for Maria BC’s Carol Lipnik-lite Betelgeuse. Then we crash back down to earth with Love’s Sudden Death, by Darkher.

Thereminist Nebula and the Velvet Queen‘s Can U Teach A Robot How 2 Love? is pretty self-explanatory: “Will it cry or will it pretend to cry?”

Let’s bring this full circle with a cruelly amusing meme: here’s Jake Shields’ idea of a hot new toy, the Pfizer Doll. An unbeatable Halloween present! Thanks to El Gato Malo for passing this along.

The Best-Ever Playlist on This Page

Today’s playlist is a murderer’s row of singles. Just for starters: a deviously subtle new video for the best song of 2020, and a new electric recording of the best song of 2016. There’s about half an hour worth of music here, plus some funny visuals. If you know this blog, you know the drill: click artist names for their webpages, click titles for audio or video.

Karla Rose’s allusive, slinky serial killer parable Battery Park topped the charts here in what was a pretty nightmarish 2020. She’s got a new video for it: see if you can spot her!

Another noir-inspired artist, LJ Murphy earned the top spot for 2016 with his cruelly prophetic Panic City. It was mostly acoustic then; it’s an electric scorcher now.

We live in perilous times, and Grace Bergere offers a more metaphorical take in A Little Blood, one of the most offhandedly chilling songs of the past several years.

Mark Breyer made a name for himself as sort of the Elvis Costello of powerpop and janglerock with his long-running studio project, Skooshny. And he keeps cranking out sharp, jangly anthems as Son of Skooshny. His latest is Runs in the Family: imagine the Church at their lyrical peak in the 80s..

Atlanta band Faithless Town‘s roaring slide guitar-driven protest anthem New World Order has a great newsreel video: protestors battling SWAT teams in Europe in the summer of 2020, images of the Lockstep tabletop exercise and Event 201, and plenty of usual Davos suspects.

Amy Rigby was not idle during the lockdown here in New York. Here’s her hauntingly hazy cover of the Bob Dylan classic Not Dark Yet

From the anonymous protest songwriter known as POTP – the same guy responsible for the viral video Bill Gates Sings – here’s Vaxx in the Cradle, sung to the tune of the old Harry Chapin hit. Beyond the snarky jokes, it’s amazingly well-crafted – it even follows the plotline of the original. “This song has Emergency Use Authorization to be deployed far and wide in the effort to stem the epidemic of infant experimentation.”

Loosie‘s No Future is the catchiest, most anthemic thing the band’s ever done, with a wistful Lynchian edge. A scruffier Sharon Van Etten, maybe?

You might know Mike Adams as the scientist in the lab coat who founded Brighteon, home to innumerable good censored videos. Want to know what video is at the very top of the search page today? The full stream of the Plandemic II documentary!. But believe it or not, Adams also has a history as a rapper. Check out his hauntingly prescient 2010 video Vaccine Zombie, which has resurfaced courtesy of the consistently brilliant and provocative Midwestern Doctor Substack page.

Moirai’s Völuspa is a starkly gorgeous recreation of an ancient Icelandic dragonslayer myth. Is this classical music? Folk music? 21st century minimalism? Maybe all of the above?

Let’s close with some funny stuff. First, click and scroll down the page for a 45-second tv ad for Oomph’s new “human meat plant based burger” via Jeff Childers’ indispensable Coffee & Covid. Reputedly the jury’s out on how it tastes compared to genuine human flesh.

And here’s a meme from cartoonist Anne Gibbons: a spot-on take on the FDA’s self-declared “future framework,”  where if they get their way there will be no more safety trials for any pharmaceutical products.

Singles, Useful Information and Cynical Jokes For 6/16

So much good short stuff has come over the transom in the last few days that it would be a crime not to share it. Today’s list is about half an hour worth of good jokes, some dead-serious stuff, and some great tunes. If you know this blog, you know the drill: click on artist or author names for their webpages, click on titles for audio, video or a quick read. Make sure you use Brave or another browser with an ad blocker so you don’t have to mute the intro to the youtube clips!

By now you’ve probably heard the news about a certain faulty doctor and how everything he said would work, didn’t work – in a very personal sense. The irreplaceable Jordan Schachtel has a suggestion for the protocol that Dr. Faulty should follow, now that he has a cold and failed the PCR test. About sixty seconds of laughs.

Another insightful Substack writer, attorney Michael Senger – author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World – has an irresistible parody of a New York Times article about the Shanghai lockdown: another one-minute read.

Today’s first song goes back a few months, but it’s no less timely. Here’s the Stone Roses’ Ian Brown doing Little Seed Big Tree, a solo electric anti-lockdown spacerock classic. The ending after the Bill Gates sample – “People think they have a choice, you don’t have a choice” – is priceless.

Travel further back in time, to the heyday of bands like Genesis in the mid-70s, with the tricky time signatures and baroque whirl of Pennies by the Pound playing Burning Wish: “Fools that we were, we ate up all the soothing lies.”

The latest angst-fueled art-rock single from A.A. Williams is Evaporate: it’s Erika Simonian with crunchy guitars

Moving from gloomy Europe to slightly less gloomy Nashville, here’s Rachel Sumner & Traveling Light playing Strangers Again, with an intricate lattice of acoustic fingerpicking and high lonesome steel guitar. “People change and sometimes not for the better.”

With gospel piano and wide-angle tremolo guitar, Abby Hamilton‘s Trailer Park Queen is an evocatively funny story: she’s hitting on the box wine and he’s on his second round of you-know-what.

This last piece is a little longer than what you usually see on a page worth of singles here, but hang with it. While the narrative itself is very troubling – Dr. Pam Popper offering a very concise overview of how deeply the grooming-industrial complex has infiltrated the American public education system – a miracle happens at the 10:30 mark. You can start the video at about two minutes in, but stick around for some badly needed comic relief. You don’t actually have to be watching to get it..