Something New: Matt McCloskey

I’m in love again.

I like to check out music that artists I like talk about. So when Lamar Stockton started posting about a singer-songwriter I’d never heard of before, I clicked.  And listened. And after a few go-rounds with Austin’s Matt McCloskey‘s lyrics and raw voice, I was spellbound. Game over, done. I was going to tumble hard for this one.

I first downloaded his latest EP, The Hard Rains, which came out last December (You can pick this gem up for free right now on Noisetrade).  My first thought was “Like Ryan Adams, but more accessible.”  The more I listened, the more the lyrics spoke to me.  The absolute heart-wrencher – one of the saddest songs I have ever heard – is “Not Tonight.”  Funny how a song doesn’t have to sound sad to be sad.  The entire EP is that way, full of acoustic guitar goodness, haunting instrumentation, and carefully crafted, but simple lyrics that demand self-introspection. “What if your life wasn’t as hard as it is, if the things keeping you down didn’t exist?  What would you do?  What would you do?”

I got busy downloading everything else Matt had on iTunes:  2010’s Let It Burn, and 2009’s These Times Won’t Last.  And every song is as good as the one before, if not better.  I find myself wrapping myself up in these tunes, falling asleep to them, listening to them over and over in the car, passing the hours at work with them as the soundtrack.

And so here I find myself, in love with another artist.  And happily so.  Betcha a buck that if you give Matt’s music a listen, you will be, too.

More Matt McCloskey:  Web | Facebook | Twitter | The Hard Rains on iTunes

Something New: Liam Titcomb

I love all music, but if I had to pick a genre that was my “power alley,” it would be singer-songwriter every day of the week, and three times on Monday.  So I thought it only appropriate that before I got to sleep to head into Monday, I share one of my newest favorite musical finds – a Canadian fella named Liam Titcomb.

There is nothing more than I love more than the sound of a great singer and an acoustic guitar.  Liam’s lilting voice pulled me in immediately and I made fast work of downloading his Love Don’t Let Me Down EP – which led to me immediately pre-ordering his new album, Cicada, set for release on August 7th. Anything this man sings, I want to own.

I’ll have to do a bit more buying because Liam’s been doing this songwriting thing for quite some time – he was signed to Sony Canada at age 15!  Apparently, the Canadians are trying to keep him all to themselves…why am I just now hearing about this talented singer?  Sorry ’bout your luck, Canada.  I found your secret and I’m sharing it with the world.

Here’s a video of Liam performing one of the songs that is on the Love Don’t Let Me Down EP and that will be featured on the new record.  I think I’ve played it 100 times in the three days I’ve had the EP.  Here’s hoping it gives your Monday a little boost, too.

More Liam Titcomb: Web | Facebook | Twitter

Memorial Day

Will Hoge posted a new song today – a demo from his upcoming album Modern American Protest Music.  Amongst our barbecues, parties and day off, it is a reminder of what today should really be about.

Thanks to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.  Our nation is eternally in debt to you and your families who selflessly shared you with us.

More Will Hoge:  Web | Twitter | Facebook

Christopher Jak … Free Music, Take 2!

He may run, but he can't hide...Jak is back!

If you’ve never heard me talk about Christopher Jak…well, either you’re a new reader or I don’t like you very much.  In my top five artists OF ALL TIME, Jak is simply one of the best songwriters out there.  Period. The man is just brilliant.

In fact, he wrote my favorite line of any song, ever.  You can find it in his song “Something” … “All I want in life is just a color picture of beauty in a golden frame of mind…” It’s so wonderful.  And his writing is FULL of stuff JUST like this.  He calls some of what he writes “Sad Bastard” music….I call it genius.

These days, he spends more time producing that he does writing and putting out his own music, but occasionally, he surprises me with an e-mail letting me know he’s up to something.  This week, I got a note advising me that he’d put one of the EPs he released last year, The Folk EP, up for free download over at NoiseTrade.  If you don’t have it yet, I highly advise picking it up.

Let me give you some reasons WHY you should be listening to this little 5-song gem.  A) This is what the EP opens with…I swear to God, this is how the man writes…it’s unreal…. “I’m the human wrecking ball and you’re the love grenade, we leave a trail behind us like a suicide parade…”  B) Cover of Neil Young’s “Birds” that will leave you breathless…. C) Acoustic version of Jak’s own song “Begin to Cry” (which is probably his biggest sleeper hit)… D) This line in “Down Below”: “I was a man on fire asking you to dance, but having been burned before, you’re not chances on me…”

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

And…for you fans…rumor is that Jak has booked some studio time.  Perhaps we’ll see new music from CJ in 2012?  A girl can dream….

If you’re a new fan, pick up other Jak music here:  The Leadfoot Lover EP | The New Nostalgia | Applause of the Rain | (And here’s one that not many people know about) Christmas Wouldn’t Be the Same Without You (Breaking My Heart) – with The Heyday