TOM THUMB’S BLUES: When an album announces itself as being created by “some Athens, GA weirdo,” you’re best off just taking that as truth. Such is the case with The Vet’s Sketchings, which is the new six-track record by The Vet’s Fetching. I mean, yeah, your guess is as good as mine. These are all guitar-based ambient soundscapes, and they’re audaciously short for creations that might typically run into the tens of minutes. The longest track here, though, is a mere 2:10. As such, the entire thing runs under 10 minutes, but if you loop it you’d never know. Experientially, this is more an invitation to peek through a window than an invitation to a full presentation. I actually quite enjoyed this little oddball thing and am curious to hear more. If you are as well, then please find the entire thing over at thevetsfetching.bandcamp.com.
OPEN THE DOOR: Fourth Mansions teased a new release back in December and has now released their full EP named Standing Weird Era. It’s tempting at first blush to describe these songs, many of which are crafted atop an acoustic guitar base, as understated. Repeat listening, though, reveals them to be sufficiently stated. Fourth Mansions navigates their observant and tender personality through a few different voices. There’s a marching quality to “Many Stuff” that’s difficult to describe otherwise and it contains a pretty inscrutable use of the phrase “fight the power.” There’s also the hard-plucked physicality of “Talkin’ Blues,” a quality that comes up again in the multi-layered “Hamarimba.” The previously released “You And I” is the record’s most traditionally rock and roll-oriented song but, like the rest of this collection, arrives on the scene with the delayed immediacy of a sound transmitted into space that returns to Earth several years later. Ultimately, Standing Weird Era is decidedly era-less. While I’m not certain that necessarily imbues timelessness, it certainly seems that way. Hear this and garner other info at fourthmansions.bandcamp.com, facebook.com/TheRealFourthMansions and fourthmansionsmusic.com.
LOUDNESS IS AS LOUDNESS DOES: There’s a new single out now from Garett Hatch’s upcoming album The Low. His most recent album was the excellent Place Without A Name which came out last August. The new single is the title track, “The Low,” and it’s a modern goth-tinged pummeler of a rock song. It features a pretty unsettling and unexpected piano section that only appears once and only then for about 15 seconds. It’s like sonic quicksand strangely appearing on an otherwise solid, but still rocky, road. The first single from the record was “Room” which is another tell-tale rocker—Hatch has riffs and melodies falling out of each sleeve—and it’s double-dipped in heavy organ sequences and Kraut-rockish guitar lines. The full album isn’t out until May 14, but you can test-drive each of these at garetthatch.bandcamp.com.
RECENT HISTORY: The fourth solo album by T. Hardy Morris comes out in June, and he’s named it The Digital Age of Rome. Honestly, it feels weird to continue calling him a solo artist as if he just up and left a band recently, so I’m gonna stop. Anyway, the first single from the album is the title track, and it’s a meditative statement on our current times. Importantly, he leaves plenty of room for it to work as both an observation and indictment. It’s kind of mournful but not necessarily resigned. The full album won’t be out until June 25, and pre-orders are being accepted as we speak. You can find this over at newwst.com/digitalageofromeID (that’s a link tree; choose your own adventure). The record comes courtesy of Normaltown Records. For more information, please see thardymorris.com.
RELATEDLY: While I’ve been halfway hesitant to mention live shows in this column even as they’re beginning to appear, I think we’re at the point now where everyone is going to have to do what they’re most comfortable with and just Vaya con Dios. But, on the other hand, I’m happy to mention that Cicada Rhythm is playing a Farm Show at 473 Old Commerce Extension on Saturday, May 15. Sure, that’s a while off, but it also costs $30 and will likely sell out. Also on the bill is the aforementioned T. Hardy Morris, as well as Riley Downing (The Deslondes). The show is presented by the also aforementioned Normaltown Records. It’s BYOB, and you’ll need to bring your own blankets and chairs and such. So prepare to settle in and get comfortable. Tickets are available now via Eventbrite and you can find more information via facebook.com/NormaltownRecords.
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