Music Monday: February and March Releases That Excite Me!

Hey Friends,

A busy week went by again with no posts, already breaking my consistency pact. That’s the bad news, but the good news is that I have two post ideas planned for this Thursday, February 2, and Saturday, February 4! Here’s hoping I can keep to a consistent Monday, Thursday, and Saturday posting schedule (I do have Saturday evening plans this week, but I have the whole morning and afternoon to write!)

Today’s Music Monday post is pretty straightforward; I have five releases coming out during the months of February and March for which I can’t wait! If more pop up during these two months that I learn about later, they’ll certainly be included in future Music Monday posts. Those of you who know me well know that I have an extremely eclectic taste in music, and if you don’t you’ll learn it after this post which reflects that entirely. I have a rock record, two pop-rock/singer songwriter records, a country record and an electronic record, so without further ado, here we go!

Ryan Adams, Prisoner (release date: February 17)

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I’d heard of of Ryan Adams on & off for many years, but probably got the most into him around 2010 or 2011, when my friend and music mentor Laura Shay–whose show, incidentally, I’m attending Saturday night– covered a couple of his songs in different shows, and then I learned he wrote a couple of great songs with Norah Jones on her record The Fall (Incidentally, on a non-musical front, he’d almost married singer/actress Mandy Moore, who he’d divorce in 2015, but whom I met in probably 2000, when she was still a pop starlet and blonde. She was the first celebrity I’d ever met and got so nervous I cried as a 6 or 7 year old. Smooth, right? I digress). Anyway, my solid fandom of Ryan was cemented with his 2014 eponymous album, though I’d liked and still enjoyed his 2011 effort Ashes and Rain and many others (the man used to crank out an album a year, and in 2015 covered Taylor Swift’s entire 1989 record in a rock/singer-songwriter style). Needless to say, I’m pumped for this release in a couple of weeks and the tracks already released are fantastic. If you like solid rock records combined with a singer-songwriter’s honesty and vulnerability, check this out.

Amy MacDonald, Under Stars (release date: February 17)

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Amy MacDonald is a Scottish singer-songwriter who doesn’t get much attention over here in the States, and I think that needs to change (mainly so she can justify touring over here!) This will be her fourth record, her previous three are all incredibly solid, and the tracks already released from this album are fantastic (“Dream On” and “Down by the Water”). Amy writes fast-tempo, acoustic guitar driven pop songs, and you can hear her strong Scottish accent when she sings, which I find all the more endearing.

Ed Sheeran, Divide, ÷ (release date: March 3)

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Ed Sheeran has had a huge influence on me ever since one of my closest friends, Ryan, showed me his first album, Addition (+) before it was even released in the States; I actually play a Little Martin acoustic guitar which Ed happens which is just as much for me as a nod to Ed. Ed’s style is varied, having some hip-hop style rapidly delivered lyrics is some songs, to tender acoustic ballads and everything in between. The two singles released ahead of Divide, “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You,” illustrate a more eclectic sound than ever; the former has heavy U2/The Edge influenced guitars, while the latter is a reggae/dancehall/bachata infused pop tune. At the risk of sounding redundant, I’m pumped!
Rodney CrowellClose Ties (release date: March 31)

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Rodney Crowell is a country guy who’s been around since the heyday of the great Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, and I recommend him to people who don’t think they like country’s twanginess as Rodney just has a very convicted, ever slightly southern lilt. I discovered him in earnest quite recently honestly, when he sang a heartbreaking  duet with Jewel on the song “It Doesn’t Hurt Right Now” from her 2015 Picking Up the Pieces album. The single from Close Ties, “It Ain’t Over Yet,” features two more of my favorite alt-country vocalists, Rosanne Cash (Johnny’s daughter,) and John Paul White. Seriously, check out Rodney if you think you don’t like most contemporary country, which I don’t either.

Goldfrapp, Silver Eye (release date: March 31)

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Goldfrapp was one of my first forays into electronic music as a middle schooler (unless you count 1998-2005 Madonna as electronic). They’re a British duo, fronted by Alison Goldfrapp, who, like Amy MacDonald, don’t get to tour here much and that makes me sad. Alison’s counterpart, Will Gregory, doesn’t tour with her and she has a 4 or 5-piece band for live shows who are awesome). Goldfrapp are an interesting duo, because they tend to have one of two sounds: 3 out of their already released 6 albums have a very quiet, ambient electronic sound, while the other 3 have a very pop and dance-like slant. The lead single from Silver Eye, “Anymore,” sounds like an interesting hybrid of the two, and hearkens back to the albums that made me fall in love with them, 2003’s Black Cherry and 2006’s Supernature. Again, redundant, but I’m pumped!

I hope this post makes you interested in these artists and their upcoming releases, as well as their back catalogs. Enjoy and have fun! I know I did writing this for my first Music Monday post.

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