Below, you will find the top-shelf sessions from everything we posted on Daytrotter last week.
The way that you break a horse is similar to the way that you break a person. You show it that you love it. Breaking a horse is often seen as an act that helps the horse, an act that tames it and removes the spooked wilderness from its thick muscles and wary, watery eyes. Breaking a person is not typically a triumph, though via love and its many loose structures, it is often approached as sport. Kindness, trust and soft, raw words are all that are needed to accomplish a total breakdown of defenses—a takeover. Madi Diaz found herself in various states of brokenness before, during and after the making of her new album, Phantom, a record that lugs a lot of dark clouds and heavy silver linings around, even when some of the minty pop hooks kick in. She dealt with and survived a lying and cheating man as best she could. She took long, late, orangey night walks through the misty streets and along the continually brooding ocean and tried to return substance to her vapors. She gets a line such as this one from Hemingway, “You never understand anybody that loves you.” She would add, for consideration that you never understand anybody who doesn’t love you either. All of Diaz’ hurt has a role here. It serves as the catalyst and the rebirth. It serves as the search and the findings. It acts as a healing agent as it bleeds itself out. The romantic dreamer in Diaz was chasing a feeling and what she wound up with was a better one, one that sounds like new life. Love’s always best two-out-of-three, and the horse awaits the next saddle. Phantom is filled with radio singles just waiting to be given their chance. Check out Madi Diaz’s session here.
So, not only does Canadian songwriter Afie Jurvanen make one of the year’s greatest records, but then he contributes this staggeringly great take on the great Bobby Charles song “I Must Be In A Good Place Now” to this solo session, taped two weeks ago in San Francisco. Mr. Bahamas is on one helluva hot streak. Do not wait to get on this train! Listen to Bahamas’ session here.
This Chicago musician strikes a beautiful balance between that part of the day that you know fairly well and the part of it that remains. It’s something like the twilight, I suppose, but it’s more dense than that. There’s more of a wolf’s howling in there and more of a fevered mind that passes for a shared darkness. Check out Brandon Seyferth’s session here.
Every night in a Rolling Nowhere song is one that could end in a fistfight, a blackout, a stiff hangover, empty pockets, boots still on your feet when you wake up and a shiner or two. These are lived in blue jeans country songs that take on some of the tendencies of the old work of the Refreshments, while they’re all riding around in the General Lee, trying to shake Roscoe P. Coltrane. Check out Rolling Nowhere’s session here.
It’s funny how something that was never supposed to happen can become anything like this session by artist Bill Delelles. There’s not much to find out about the guy on the Internet, but he was touring around with Moon Bounce, and so we said, “What the hell, let’s see what happens.” Go ahead and get vibed the fuck out, right now! Check out Kazimier’s session here.
CMJ, while a different beast than SXSW, is more exhausting if only for the city that it takes place in. New York City always mops the floor with you, and this past week was no exception, but highlights like seeing Moses Sumney’s enchanting and perfect first-ever headlining show in New York, catching a powerful Tor Miller show, realizing that Elliot Moss is as great as I wanted him to be, bringing Wyoming boy Luke Bell and his impressive country songs to New York for the first time (let me know if you’re hunting for a new Elvis—a country Elvis—cause he’s right here!), realizing how great Icewater, Marian Hill, Borns, Cookies and Aurora really are was worth it. Here are a couple more discoveries this week: The Peach Kings, Amason (WHOA!), Mitski, Gengahr, DMAs, Karlie Bruce, Beacon, Henry Jamison, Keta, NE-HI, Denai Moore, Feldspar and Emily Wolfe. Now go out and have yourself a week.