Skirts-Always

Skirts-Always was written out of heartache.Despite the tension, it leaves the listener with a soothing and gentle calm

photo by Charles Knowles

Alex Montenegro is behind the band, Skirts. She is a young talented songwriter from Dallas, Texas, and even though she has been releasing music since 2017, her latest album Great Big Wild Oak has garnished some serious attention. Her first release from the album was “Always”, a low fi, soft, hazy, dreamer of a song. The melting guitar adds texture and depth to the bittersweetness of the tune. There is a soothing quality to every intonation and a calming feel to the music. Skirts has a real vibe that I am loving right now…a must listen.

Skirts-Always

“You wanted to mention
That I left a lasting impression
But I watched you walk away
Step into a house that isn’t mine

Take a breather, step to the side
I look for you in every eye
I turn left when the light is red
I hope it’s you who slams on the brake

Can’t always be the right one for them”

Ducks Ltd-18 Cigarettes

Ducks Ltd is jangle pop at its best. Their new release, Modern Fiction, is a worthy listen. Click and learn why.

My favorite Ducks Ltd’s song, “18 Cigarettes” is jangle pop at its best. The fun beat is meant for an ear bud supported workout, a cross country road trip with the windows down, or even getting ready for a sparkly night out. The beat will give your ticker a much needed reinvigoration. The beat and tempo are powerfully enhanced with frenzied guitar throughout which keeps the tune interesting.

Their album, Modern Fiction, is a must listen if you appreciate good songwriting and music with dueling guitar influence. Thankfully, this duo carves out their own specific style. Ducks Ltd. are masters at balancing uptempo tunes with a bit of lyrical melancholy, crushing the mold.

Photo by Chritiane Johnson & Laura Hermiston

“I wanted things to stay

how they would not stay

I’d ask you to explain

but its not your problem

Oh I’ve been in a state

and you don’t relate

I wish that I could say

where it got me

but its not me”

New Music-Remember Sports, Lunar Vacation, Evan Wright and UV-TV

It has been awhile, but I am back sharing incredible songs you should hear

Sofra by Ece Günaçar,

So Much Time Has Passed

I hope you are vaccinated from the danger of Covid and safe. I don’t even know when I last posted . Not knowing without looking back is actually horrific. There was a time in my life where this blog put air into my lungs….like a beautiful bubble, the air expanded in such joyous happy ways, until it didn’t.

I am not really sure where I stand at this very moment, just a little wobbly and unsure of myself and the longer I don’t post, the more pressure I feel to speak my mind. But after a weird wonky year of uncertainty, unrest, and political upheaval, I am unapologetically speechless. Maybe it is time to open up.

The sadness and loss of live music truly put a veil of darkness over me. I can’t even begin to express the emotional amputation I felt. I wondered what was the point of sharing new music, if I couldn’t see it live on a stage. Yep, that is ridiculous and utterly absurd, but it still existed in my brain.

Then, I felt the pressure to release my blog silence with a genius song meant to be on everyone’s sayonara to 2020 list. I recognize the demand was entirely self made and off base, but it was still in my head. I am only just beginning to make sense of it.

Today, I hope to share what I hear.

Black Lives Still Matter. Love is Love. Biden was the best choice in an election with a liar and an autocrat. I am still fighting for human rights and voting rights. I am not sure when I will rest from the chaos left after our incredibly tough year.

My 2021 Heart Project

But in the meantime, when I am not listening to music, I am quietly building a garden of flowers to be shared. It is slow and tough going, but isn’t that how most things worth doing begin? I am hoping each day the freshly seeded patches of earth survive chipmunk raids, robin runs, and the dry heat of the summer with sporadic torrential rains. Will I personally grow beside my tiny seeds? I hope so.

There is so much to be said for the life lessons we can take from nurturing a tiny seed. I completely get it, now more than ever before. But isn’t music built that way too?

A funky chord mix, a phrase worth saving, and a creative imagination that can replicate an emotion, a feeling, or a powerful statement in song. I remain in awe of songwriting creativity. The talent is vast and wide and has mostly remained quiet, like me, during this abnormal era. But now as the world opens again, music brims with promise, excitement and fortitude.

I believe we may be entering a new roaring 20’s of the 2000’s. The introspection of the past year and the need to develop close interpersonal ties with those nearest and dearest, naturally developed art, music, survival, and life.

How will I step out of the quiet hollow of 2020? What songs should I share in this moment.

Honestly, it isn’t as important as the importance of just doing it. Forgive me if you aren’t impressed. I am simply sharing what impresses me. Somehow the new music that is releasing right here and now, is something I will cherish because it germinated in a similar creative struggle from a year that no one wants to relive. The thread of expressiveness lives on, despite all we have been through.

So I hope this brings you a moment of simple joy, knowing the emotions of time and the complicated human experience are forever knotted into something worth listening to.

I hope you are okay. I hope you feel the light beginning to shine on you, as I do. Please check in dear ones. I want to know how you are.

Here is the music that I am listening and loving right now….

Remember Sports-Out Loud

“I won’t stop, never give up

Trying to get everything out

Of your head into your mouth

We can make this last if you say it out loud”

If you love them, check out other posts, click here Remember Sports

Lunar Vacation-Shrug

More… click .Lunar Vacation

Evan Wright-Turn The Other Way

UV-TV Distant Lullaby

Waxahatchee-Light of a Clear Blue Morning

Need an uplifting song that is a reinvented blast from the past? This song is a reminder you are worthy, you are strong, and you can face the future head on!

Sometimes a remake of a classic song can spark a new generation to listen and appreciate its worthiness in the world. This is truly the case of a 1977 Dolly Parton original that has been replayed and reinvented for the latest Waxahatchee album, Saint Cloud +3, “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.”

Today, as I face the results of a tragic surgery for a basal cell cancer on my cheek, I needed this reminder that my worthiness and my power rests within me…. not in my appearance or any superficial friends that don’t accept me for me. I am still the crazy girl of my youth, the party thinker-upper, concert front row dancer, and the gal that can also sit in a corner having deep conversations with strangers that express an openness to thought and some mind bending ideas.

I am just a week or so post-op, but I am encouraged by my closest buddies that I have full freedom to stretch my truth and create a new story for my wild facial scar. I am planning a reveal which will morph, depending on my situation or my need to push the boundaries. Forgive me if I fib a bit. Yeah, you should see the other guy!

So on occasion, as I fretted over my new face in the mirror, this beautiful gem of a song popped into my inbox and I am a falling to my knees fan. It was a spiritual message I needed to hear. This lovely rendition is a song that empowers me to stretch beyond the darkness of fear and worry to find hope and internal reconciliation.

Waxahatchee is perfection and Katie Crutchfield’s soulful voice takes center stage to showcase the strength of a well written song which transcends time and place. Dolly Parton wrote this gem when she parted ways with the Porter Wagoner Show. It was a moment of female empowerment and she shares that hope in her poignant yet simple lyrics. Katie Crutchfield just brings it home and into a new era.

I hope you might also listen to find the strength for your own personal story and celebrate this moment, this hour, this day.

“Everything is going to be alright, it’s going to be okay.”

Everyone You Know, Joy Anonymous- Just For The Times

“This one is for the daydream believers
Parents turned teachers
And believers 5am preachers
For the ravers divas and dealers
To the late night lovers boxset watchers in duvet covers
Round the clock mothers and part time clubbers
Remember
We’re all going through thе same thing”

I wasn’t prepared for how hard this song was going to hit me. I had so many feels, sadness, reflection, appreciation, and a bit of hope. Music moves all of us and the duo out of the UK, Everyone You Know with Joy Anonymous, nailed it.

As we continue to wade through the sludge of our times, this song provides a beautiful reminder….we’re all going through the same thing. Stay Strong!

Crank up the volume and enjoy!

Just For The Times-Lyrics

“My favorite song’s playing
Everyone’s laughing, everyone’s smiling


This one’s for the daydream believers
Parents turned teachers
And believers, 5 AM preachers
For the ravers, divas, and dealers
To the late night lovers, boxset watchers in duvet covers
‘Round the clock mothers and part time clubbers, remember
We’re all going through the samе thing
And I’m sure it will all end soon
Laughing and dancing under onе roof
And that first time raving
Hands in the air to our favorite tunes
Hugs for your best friends, “Mate, I missed ya”
Another night of smiling and pictures
That’s gonna be night of our lives
So this one here is just for the times


So this one here is for the sunrise spectators
And the dance floor fiends
This one’s for the careless
The single parents and the troublesome teens
I mean this one’s for the DJ’s playlist
When we get back to them crowded places
Making best friends with strangers
We’re all going through the same thing
Can’t wait for them Friday nights
Wishful thinking, drinking inside
Whiskeys, wine, queuing for pints
They’re all on lines, but ain’t online
Hugs for your best friends, “Mate, I missed ya”
Another night of smiling and pictures
That’s gonna be night of our lives
So this one here is just for the times


And it don’t matter where you are
It don’t matter what you’re doing
What really matters is who you’re with
‘Cause none of this means anything if we ain’t together, you know?
That’s what it’s all about, it’s about being together
Together with the ones we love
With your best friends and your family
Your favourite song’s playing
Everyone’s laughing, everyone’s smiling
And that might seem like miles away right now
But I promise you we’ll get there
We’re all going through the same thing


This ain’t forever, this ain’t forever
Sing it together, please keep your head up”

Everyone You Know is Rhys Kirkby-Cox and Harvey Kirkby. They are brothers from London. Check out all of their dance/electronic music by clicking here, Everyone You Know.

Tuesday ‘tude – Claud, Major Murphy, and Ships Have Sailed

Tuesday’s atti’TUDE’ has me listening to new music from Claud, Major Murphy, and Ships Have Sailed

The loyal followers that know me well, have followed me through my many Monday Moods over the years. Today, I am also adding my Tuesday ‘tudes…specifically expressing my attitude on Tuesdays.

So today is Tuesday, and I am in a weird funky place. Yep, I have a bit of an atti’TUDE’.

Vaccinations are happening, the Covid-19 cases are decreasing and things are looking up for summer relief. I am thankful for sure.

I have multiple friends who have qualified and successfully received their vaccinations. Let me say how thrilled I am for them. It is life changing in a time where life has forever changed.

But what happens when they all go out and share their fun photos. Spreading their joy and excitement for a fairly Covid free experience seems happy but harsh right now. I don’t know about you but my lock down has me sad that I can’t be included and yet, in my cautiousness, I am almost punished for it. Tears flow as I see the celebrations, small and safe, but aren’t they a bit tone deaf to the many that are going on a freaking year of isolation?

Now, I am beginning to see the impending hardship. This will be a new world we will all have to navigate. The vaccinated and the not….

THE VACCINATED AND THE NOT

It is going to be tough.

I can’t be angry at their joy and their excitement for a new found freedom because I would totally feel the same way, but does it have to be placed in my face as I stay locked down? Have you experienced the harsh reality of those that easily move on and yet…because of uncontrollable circumstances you can’t?

As I ramble through my cozy cottage that I dearly love, like a ball in a pinball machine bouncing from room to room, I am reminded that I am virtually last on the list of vaccine takers. They said May, and now they are saying June for the end of the list of vaccinators. That seems forever away.

Can I hang on? We are talking MONTHS AWAY!

I will have to come to terms with friends that will laminate their Covid vax cards and have free reign of the world, parties…travel….concerts. I am happy for anyone that has made it through this tough year, but still, without the same freedom, I will remain reticent.

It will be a painful wait.

I have dreamed about my vaccinated Covid free plans. They are inclusive and wildly comprehensive. I am chomping at the bit for the joyous freedom of hosting friends and family again, and honestly pray that as I am the last to be free from the weighty chains of a deathly virus, I will make sure not to flaunt my freedom to others that are still, for whatever reason, hunkering down.

Won’t you also consider the masses as you slowly feel your own personal freedoms?

While I stay hunkered down, I stay connected with new music coming out every week. It is my life line and a beautiful reminder that creativity can occur even as I begin the next damn puzzle on my kitchen table…yep probably close to the 20th one since April 2020. Thank God for music!

So check out what keeps me sane despite the rotten hardships of staying in, tragic political disappointments, and missing visiting with the incredibly special people in my life.

Meet Claud, a bedroom pop musician from Chicago. Claud”s newest album release, Super Monster is totally worth your ears, Every song expresses emotion and experiences with authenticity, that we all seem to relate to in one way or another. There are so many gems, but this is the one I play on repeat.

Claud-Jordan

Major Murphy is a Grand Rapids, Michigan band that is breaking through the wider listening stream. They have an album, Access, out on April 2nd. I have a mark on my calendar for their second album release because I expect it to be a real gem based on this strong single.

The perfect reminder as I navigate the difficult waters of life.

“So in the meantime we’ll hold on/ We’re going the distance/ We’ll stand strong.”

Major Murphy- In The Meantime

Ships Have Sailed is a Los Angeles project of Will Carpenter – Vocals, Guitar, Production, Composition and Art Andranikyan – Drums. At first listen, I was totally captured by their sound and interesting arrangements. I now recognize that it is their uplifting message and my breath is a reminder I am here and alive….Let’s all Breathe.

“The song ‘Breathe’ is the exploration of what our traumas, our secrets, and our inner demons can do to us over time…how they can isolate us from those we need the most, and how they ultimately have the potential to be our biggest downfall. “

Ships Have Sailed-Breathe

Stay safe, wear a mask, and save lives.

Sharon Van Etten-Let Go

Happy New year’s to you and yours!
Letting go of 2020 feels so good!

As I sit at home (being responsible and cautious), I am listening to random fireworks blasting in the dark, rain spitting night. I think of a 2020 with so much heaviness. All I can say is that I simply want to let go. I want to release the pain and worry and fear of this past year. I want to be excited about the future, I want to be hopeful.

Hope only happens with letting go. Goodbye 2020.

Sharon Van Etten-Let Go

Mood Monday-Positive Vibes From Pynkie

In need of positive vibes, this fresh tune from new artist Pynkie makes the grade.

New Music -Pynkie

Pynkie is the musical project from New Jersey ortho/neuro nurse, Lindsey Radice. Her latest song, is the closer on her upcoming album, #37, releasing on October 16th via House Arrest. “Vacation”, is a charmer with it’s soft catchy harmonies and upbeat, smile infusing sound. She successfully weaves lo and hi fi sounds with a guitar centric song and gently spiced with a jangly tambourine. To top it all off, the accompanying video is home movie joy. It reminds me of that special time when family life had crazy highlighted reels and no posed, curated selfies. Home movies are mostly embarrassing moments which become endearing and wonderfully special over time.

Take me back, please.

Pynkie brings on positive vibes and yes, join me to welcome them. Give it a listen.

Pynkie-Vacation

According to the press release….

“Vacation” is a true highlight, an upbeat song about breaking free from a former relationship as well as the old ways of thinking that went along with it. Featuring one of Radice’s catchiest choruses, the cheerful nature of the song belies a darker sentiment, as Radice sings, “And I’m telling myself on this new vacation/ that the minute I feel you slipping away/ I’ll only give you the green light.” It’s a song about liberation and freedom from past things that bring you down. 

I want immediate liberation/freedom from all the messes in the world that bring me down. Hope you are all hanging in there in these crazy strange times. Check in with the people you love often, and be sure to….

Eight bands from around the globe you may not know, but you should!

If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music-Jimi Hendrix

Today I am skipping around the earth’s continents and seeking out beautiful music. Come travel outside of your quarantined space and experience a worldly music connection.

I have to begin with a sweet collaboration of 200 artists from 28 countries around the world. The video is Major Lazer + Marcus Mumford “Lay Your Head On Me”. It is filled with great music, great dancing, and captures glimpses of scenes around the globe. I love the new world intimacy of sharing personal/private home spaces with others. Zoom has become a new connection. Love it or hate it, we can all benefit from the kind faces we greet.

Our first travel spot is the United Kingdom. Bibio is Stephen James Wilkinson. He leans into a more folk-oriented, electronic, and experimental sound. His newest release, “Sleep On The Wing”, is dreamy and soothing. It showed up right when I needed it.

Next is a song with a chill vibe and a subtle dance beat meant for toe tapping and body swaying. Straight from Moroccan Rabii Harnoune and Frankfurt electronic producer V.B.Kühl, is “Baniya” which fuses traditional North African Gnawa with the sonic pleasantries of modern club music. It spans across the world, creating a sound that connects us all.

“It’s a telling about a journey by a father and his son, who are visiting different places and historical monuments, to collect wisdom for keeping the spirituality” Rabii explains.

The Beths, from New Zealand, have announced a new album Jump Rope Gazers out on July 10th. This song has been out for a couple of weeks, but I am gaga about all things Beths and their music never disappoints. I can’t wait for more and bet they continue to release songs up until their July date.

Let’s skirt over to another continent….Gym and Swim is a Bangkok-based tropical pop band featuring members from a host of different bands in Thailand. It is straight up fun. Don’t we all need that right now? Listen to “Round and Round”.

I recently heard from a young band out of India, Blood Brothers, and found their story to be pretty cool. They are more metal, hard rock than I usually share, but there was something kind of wild about how young they are and how they are writing their own amazing material. So I thought I would share. This is hot off of the presses, and it is beautiful and jam packed with hope in these uncertain times. Be sure to listen to the stellar guitar riff at @ 3:00 minutes in, and catch a sweet glimpse of the band at the end.

“Every time the song gets played, we pay the double of what we get to the COVID relief fund. This is because band wants their song to actually give people hope. Just that one word is all the world really needs right now. And what better way to spread that message than through the wonderful language that’s music.”

Juan Pablo Vega was born in Bogotá, Colombia. He grew up surrounded by music, and as a child he remembers accompanying his Dad’s piano performances at home with a Fisher Price gas station that he turned into a drum set. I listened to his latest release and was transported to another place instantly. I travelled without going anywhere, but in my head and my heart. I needed the outside force of a worldly influence. Perfect.

“Juan Pablo Vega’s fresh and original sound certainly agglomerates most of today’s independent music movements of Hispanic America into one unique style”.

Circling back to North America, I fell instantly for the San Francisco band, Field Medic. There is a perk to waiting out this pandemic safely in Atlanta, and I am one to benefit. Overhearing music from my closest music family has been a true plus to a tough quarantine situation. Through shared music, I find the brightest light in the darkness of it all.

“Any song that’s true is a good song in my mind,” says Kevin Patrick, the lo-fi bedroom folk artist better known as Field Medic. “That’s why I never find it necessary to add too much stuff to my recordings. I’m just into songs themselves.”

Big Thief-Love In Mine

Make your day better and listen to Big Thief’s, “Love In Mine”

The day unfolds infinitely better when I learn Big Thief released a new song. “Love In Mine” is simply raw and beautiful. Originally an outtake from 2019’s Two Hands, and a B side on a 7″ sent out to fans, it now is available for all of us to hear. Thank you, I needed it.

“Love In Mine” shuffles with delicate finger pickings, soft percussion, and Lenker’s tender, hushed voice. As the track ends, the band’s multiple voices blend together into a gentle invocation: “Whatever comes // When it calls // Whatever leaves.”

“LOVE IN MINE” LYRICS
 
Put your love in mine
Let your body sing when your words won’t
Tell me everything
 
When I ramble on
And I often do
Remind me to travel home to you
 
Whatever comes
When it calls
Whatever leaves
 
What we leave behind
Like cicada shells
Will be hollowed
And eaten by the hills
 
Whatever comes
When it calls
Whatever leaves