STICK AROUND: Longtime Athens songwriter Adam Klein has just released his new three-song EP named Little Tiger. These tracks are outtakes from his album Low Flyin’ Planes, which came out in early 2019. The title track is a sweet and loving tribute to a cat that met his demise in Klein’s driveway. The way Klein imagines an entire personality and life for this poor creature, not to mention the positively gospel-worthy melody and arrangement, is simply stunning. Klein imbues his subject with a combination of brittleness—or at least vulnerability—and strength, creating a stark reminder that the world around us is much richer and more complex than we think. The record is bookended by the breezy, but not lightweight, “Halfway To Heaven” and the honky-tonk rave-up “Take It ( On Faith).” This is a wonderful little collection of songs, but its centerpiece is the real gem here. Check it out at adamklein.bandcamp.com, and keep up with Klein at adam-klein.com and facebook.com/adamkleinmusic.
BY THE WAY, WHICH ONE’S PINK?: OK, so here’s the deal. I was waiting until closer to the album’s release to tell you about the new Pink Stones album coming out on Normaltown Records. But I figured now that the news has broken—in Rolling Stone no less (congrats, guys, by the way)—I really better get it in gear. Introducing…The Pink Stones, is a title so stark and absolute that it could only be emphasized further if it’d been subtitled “Athens, GA’s Phenomenal Pop Combo.” It’ll also serve them well because, even though we know ‘em, there are probably a lot of folks out there who still don’t. The first single is the country-pop-psych song “Blueberry Dream”—in my defense, I did review its live version back in 2018, so at least I’ve got that going for me—and it’s a swell way to start this next chapter of The Pink Stones story. The album comes out Apr. 9, but you can pre-order it now. For more information, head to facebook.com/thepinkstoners and thepinkstones.com.
GHOST HOUSE: Also coming out Apr. 2, is the debut album Faltering Light from Haunted Shed. It arrived courtesy of new-ish Athens label Strolling Bones Records. The debut single is the super-strong and moving “Old Joy,” which, led by a driving bass line, pulses and flows through straight-up power pop sections mixed with deliciously well-executed psychedelia. The whole track is too long by about a minute, but it’s a killer way to meet this record, and I’m looking forward to hearing the whole thing as soon as possible. For more info, check out facebook.com/hauntedshed and strollingbonesrecords.com.
SHOW ME THE MONEY: Multiple times over the past 12 months, streaming and download service Bandcamp has waived its fee and let 100% of your purchase dollars flow straight to the artists. No, it’s not an Athens-based business, but it’s a very popular one with Athens artists, and I link to Bandcamp constantly in this column. These days, known as “Bandcamp Fridays,” have been wonderful as both a promotional tool for individual artists and bands and a great way for them to capture 100% of their earnings. The next Bandcamp Friday is Feb. 5. If there’s any music from Athens artists you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on, that would be a great day to do it.
DUOPHONIC: Songwriter and musician SaVana Cameron (Atria) has a nice new track out named “Cellophane” on which she handles vocals and keyboards, while drums, bass and guitar are taken care of by Winston Westerman. Released under the name Marie Marie, the song isn’t a huge step away from the music she’s made before—it’s still got a solid portion of melancholy, even through its upbeat personality—but it’s more relaxed in both performance and composition and appears to be coming from a place of emotional comfort. At any rate, I’m diggin’ it. Head to mariemarie-music.bandcamp.com to hear for yourself.
LOVE WILL SEE YOU THROUGH: Back in 2016, the late songwriter Daniel Johnston was booked to play the Athens Popfest, which would have been his second appearance at the festival. Needing a backing band for the show, Jesse Stinnard (Tunabunny, Antlered Auntlord), along with Jake Ward and Marie Uhler, of Eureka California, rehearsed together and sent Johnston a tape of themselves performing his songs so he’d be up to speed. Until now, this tape has gone nowhere, but it’s about to be released as a limited-edition cassette tape that’s fashioned after Johnston’s own homemade cassettes. You can order now and also stream the entire thing over at hhbtm.bandcamp.com.
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