two sentence reviews of reasonably new albums i listened to in november

midtown dickens @ haw river ballroom

November: through with you.

Black Prairie — A Tear In The Eye Is A Wound In The Heart: I don’t know if any of you (actually, this is a lie, I know some of you have) have spent considerable time driving around Southern Minnesota, but it’s the sort of almost-prairie that’s stark and lovely and occasionally has all the trees in the world, and also a river that I could fall into, and maybe a great diner; that’s what Black Prairie’s record sounds like to me, like driving to Owatonna to eat at the diner that Natalie Goldberg writes about in Writing Down The Bones, feet on the passenger side dashboard of Lirette’s Subaru, sweat on the back of my knees, happy and lonely all at once. Also, it has a fiddle and some really gorgeous harmony vocals. But, I don’t know, if you can picture that scene, that’s what this album feels like in a better way than I could otherwise say it.

Pawn Shop Gold — Pretty Enough EP: miss Uncle Tupelo? Pick up this debut EP, which has the same rough twang and genius songwriting feel to it; it makes me think of late Tupelo and early Son Volt, and also my friend Travis and lazy summer afternoons on porches. It’s real good, like.

Browan Lollar — For The Givers and the Takers: you might know Browan Lollar from his time as Jason Isbell’s lead guitarist, but this EP definitely takes a big step to marking Lollar as his own man; it’s a sweet slice of fuzzy guitar-ed power pop, lots of catchy choruses and really, truly fantastic songwriting. It’s a sharp and stellar debut, and I can’t wait to see where Browan takes this. You can buy it from This Is American Music here.

Eight Knives — Maiden Names: Chattanooga garage pop with great guitar playing, I kind of want to see these guys tour with Spider Bags, because it’s the same sort of fusion of a lot of styles as the Bags; a little soul, a lot of garage rock, some indie pop. Plenty of catchy surf rock hooks. I had a dance party at my desk to this one.

The Fair & The Foul — The Fair & The Foul: I’m always delighted to see the non-Triangle NC music scenes burgeoning, and the Fair & the Foul are a great addition to an already strong Greensboro scene; their debut LP, which is free on NoiseTrade right now, is a bit dreamy and a bit grounded, and reminds me strongly of Kate Bush, in the best possible way. It’s very delicate and thoughtful music, with an otherworldly feel and lovely orchestration.

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