With today’s four reviews, we have finally caught up on our submissions for albums released through August 31, 2017. We have a special feature coming up tomorrow before getting back to some live performance reviews. Enjoy today’s offerings.
Artist Name: Broken Bellows
Album Name: The Card Table
Label: Fervor Records
Track Listing: 1. Magic in a Gaze; 2. Misery; 3. In the Deep; 4. Waiting; 5. Steady Steps
Publicist: Noisy Ghost PR
Review: Broken Bellows bring us dreamy pop with incredible harmonies on their debut EP, The Card Table. Their sound is truly smooth and their lyrics are thought-provoking and relatable, especially “Misery.” This band has the goods to make a serious impact on today’s pop music scene, and deserve radio airplay. “In the Deep” has a great upbeat feel that house DJs could play with to make a great dance track. All in all, a very worthy first effort with five great songs. Can’t wait to see what else they have in store for their fans, which we’re sure will be many.
Recommendation: This is a great release for lovers of pop music. Just released on August 25, we recommend listeners not waste any more time, but just Get it.
Artist Name: Chelsea Williams
Album Name: Boomerang
Label: Blue Élan Records
Track Listing: 1. Angeles Crest; 2. Lonely Girl; 3. Fool’s Gold; 4. Anything Worth Saving; 5. Rush; 6. Six Bottles of Wine; 7. Little Halo; 8. Out of Sight, Out of Mind; 9. Toyota Song; 10. Don’t Want to die Alone; 11. Dreamcatcher; 12. Boomerang; 13. Angeles Crest Postlude
Review: Chelsea Williams has created quite the legacy in her career. After seven years of playing the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, she was signed to Interscope Records. Five years later, she is now with Blue Élan Records, and is releasing her first album on that label. Although previously known for her simple guitar and vocals, she branches out on this album to include hints of country, blues and Americana in her sound, with an emphasis on smartly written lyrics and impressive musical accompaniment. Her first single, “Lonely Girl,” is sheer perfection, with screaming guitar riffs and a simple drum beat. “Anything Worth Saving” has that lilting pop feel of Lenka, while “Rush” reminds us of the incredible Katie Costello. We really love the swing feel of “Six Bottles of Wine” and the bluesy “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” All in all, this is an album full of great songs from start to finish, and worthy of repeated listens.
Recommendation: As with most of the Blue Élan catalog, this one is a keeper. We strongly encourage you to Get it now. If you’re lucky enough to be in the Los Angeles area, you can grab one at her CD Release show August 29 at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena.
Artist Name: Kim DiVine
Album Name: This Time Around
Track Listing: 1. Maybe Tomorrow; 2. This Time Around; 3. Broken Bird; 4. By Your Side; 5. Stay; 6. Fancy Things; 7. Where I am you Are; 8. Broken Bird Remix
Review: Kim DiVine is a fiery ball of energy masquerading as a singer-songwriter. Her songs reflect her beliefs, and are uplifting, thoughtful and introspective. She keeps her music simple so that the message does not get lost in the melody. That doesn’t mean her songs don’t have depth, because she is not afraid to use layers when necessary. It just means that she prefers to let her lyrical content be the focus of her songs by using just the right amount of musical background. Check out the title track of her latest album, which is further proof that DiVine is one of the best singer-songwriters in the indie community today. Further evidence is in the form of “Broken Bird,” a soulful song about relationships and knowing when it is time to move on. We also love the upbeat “By Your Side.” The rest of the album is just as good, so we’re putting this one on repeat.
Recommendation: If you like music that inspires you, then This Time Around is one of the best. Run, don’t walk to your nearest outlet and Get this one now! If you’re in Los Angeles, she’s having a CD Release show at The Hotel Cafe on August 30.
Artist Name: The Band of Heathens
Album Name: Duende
Label: BOH Records
Genre: Alt-Country/Roots Rock
Track Listing: 1. All I’m Asking; 2. Sugar Queen; 3. Last Minute Man; 4. Deep is Love; 5. Keys to the Kingdom; 6. Trouble Came Early; 7. Daddy Longlegs; 8. Cracking the Code; 9. Road Dust Wheels; 10. Green Grass of California; Bonus Track 1. Out on Each Other; Bonus Track 2. DC9; Bonus Track 3. Carry Your Love; Bonus Track 4. Bessie Smith
Publicist: Missing Piece Group
Review: We had heard of this group peripherally, but it wasn’t until we saw them at the River City Roots Festival that we knew we had to review their album. We secured it on vinyl, which has the same 10 songs that are on the CD, plus four additional tracks. The release of Duende marks the 10th anniversary of the band, and their fifth studio album. The word “duende” is defined as a quality of inspiration and passion, and definitely sums up this band, both in their recorded music and their live performance. They combine elements of Americana, bluegrass, country and rock to create an impressive sound, with well-crafted lyrics that keep the listener engaged. Their sound is worthy of serious radio air play, as well as placement in television and film. In other words, this band has it all, and we listeners are the beneficiary of that greatness. Take our advice, put this one on repeat and dance, dance, dance!
Recommendation: You must Get this one. We recommend you go with the vinyl edition so you get 40% more of The Band of Heathens’ greatness.