Threats & Promises

Mary Margaret Cozart’s Emerald City, And More Music News and Gossip

Mary Margaret Cozart. Photo by Kyler Vollmar.

DEFINITELY MAYBE: The new album from Drew Beskin, Problematic For The People, is finally slated for release on July 2. Singles have slowly appeared since late last year, though, and the newest one is “Going Alright For You,” which is coming out May 21. Beskin is adept at distilling his undeniable Anglophile pop obsession into deceptively simple-sounding slices of hook-oriented sweetness. This particular track has tones of Nick Lowe, and by extension Elvis Costello, as well as slight touches of Blur and maybe even Supergrass. The video for the song is an all-star affair, too, featuring engineer Drew Vandenberg, Sienna Chandler, Jay Gulley, Josh Parsons (Cowboy Curtys), Phillip Brantley and Jeremy Wheatley. Find this on release day via, and for more information please see Find the video by heading to YouTube and searching for it like a grownup.

SPEAK SOFTLY: Alex Nicholson (Saint Syzygy) has a new release out via his project named Jarbins. It’s titled Fuan’na Jishin, which Nicholson assures me is the Japanese translation for “Insecure Confidence.” The record is seven tracks long and they’re mostly all around two minutes or so long. However, these acoustic meditations never feel shorter, nor longer, than necessary and each is very nicely constructed. Nicholson can wrench a fresh melody even out of major chord changes which is no small feat. Of particular note are “Nostalgia,” “Saving Ideas Too” and “icima Night.” The whole thing is just lovely and you can hear it for yourself at 

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES: David Eduardo of The World Famous and Jared Collins of Jock Gang have conspired to present a new festival down in Savannah. Because the universe must have run out of stock with regard to available names, this event is called the HalfAth Music Event or simply HalfAth—not to be confused with the AthHalf half-marathon—and takes place Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26. The shows will happen at Savannah venues Moodright’s, El Rocko Lounge and Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. Featured acts across both days so far are New Madrid, Elf Power, Cult of Riggonia, Jock Gang, Shehehe, Avery Leigh’s Night Palace, T Hardy Morris, Caleb Darnell, Vision Video, Caulfield, Heffner, Deep State, Linqua Franqa, Grand Vapids, Dope KNife, Donkey Punch and BennyHondaSuperShifter. There are additional acts to be announced as well. Needless to say, but I will, this is a stunning lineup and all appropriate kudos go out to the organizers. Tickets are not yet on sale, but check for more information.

THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD LESS TRAVELLED: Songwriter Mary Margaret Cozart (Common Currents) will release a solo EP on May 21. She’s named it Emerald City, which she ambitiously describes as paralleling “facets of the pandemic to the Wizard of Oz.” What’s immediately and thoroughly grabbing is her deft guitar playing, which holds down the rhythm just fine but shines with trills, fingerpicking and more. She’s been studying classical guitar for a while now, so this aspect isn’t too much of a surprise. Cozart’s voice is solidly and reliably based around a nice mid-range and her work around this base adds a sense of gravity to her vocals that a higher pitch just wouldn’t. That said, when she reaches the upper range of things—such as the repeated vocalizations on “Home For Now”—it never wavers or cracks. This is more straightforward and modern than her previously published work with Common Currents, but isn’t trendy or even particularly fashionable. It is a more muscular musical expression, though, and approaches an almost Joan Armatrading quality. Find this on Spotify or