It’s been a while since I’ve done a new music related blog post. That’s because this blog has been on a semi-hiatus since autumn of last year and I haven been mainly focusing on that. But since I’ve been writing some new blog posts, I decided to come back to share a few new songs to feature on the blog. It’s not going to be as long as my usual posts, but hopefully you find something you like.
1. Lover’s Hands – Mary Devlin
My friend Mary, who I’ve interviewed on the blog before, has a new song coming out on June 24th called “Lover’s Hands”. She’s been working really hard to promote it, sending out beautifully designed and packaged promo packs. It’s a big milestone for this New Jersey based classic rock inspired musician, as it’s her first single that was professionally recorded, mixed, and mastered. The producer is Brandon Ireland and Tyler Sarfert mastered the recording.
A lot of hard work has gone into this song and I’m honoured to have heard it before its release. Mary’s releases before already showed a lot of talent and ability. She has a great voice, plays guitar well and her sound fits well in the lo-fi style. I love the graduation to pro-level recording: going from great to amazing! This song blew me away! The hard work paid off! Congratulations Mary on an excellent single, as well as Brandon and Tyler who worked behind the scenes (those working behind the scenes deserve so much more credit)! I really hope it gets a lot of radio airplay and streams because it deserves it!
Update 24/6: The single’s out! You can stream it below! 🙂
2. Stand Up! – Gerry Bright and the Stokers
I often seem to find new bands to listen to through Spotify recommendations or similar artists, and I found this group through the latter while looking for some new music to talk about in this blog post. Gerry Bright and the Stokers are a 60s garage/proto-punk/freakbeat inspired band from Rennes, France. One thing I really like about them is that they have prominent Hammond Organ and sometimes fuzz guitar – the things I love about 60s rock and roll. Stand Up! is an energetic album with an authentic 60s sound, perfect for parties, something that has been making a comeback in 2022. While the album came out in December 2021, it was during my hiatus and so good I thought it’s something that deserves your attention. My favourite tracks are the intro, “The Stoker”, “Sugar Town”, and “Heavy Jam #2”.
3. Lazuleen – Minaxi
I found out about this group thanks to the psychedelic rock subreddit. Minaxi are based in Brooklyn. Their sound mixes Hindustani music (you’ll hear both English and Hindi lyrics) with shoegaze, psychedelic rock, and dream pop – something the band describe as a sonic buffet. As a fan of sitars and raga rock, it makes me happy to see new psychedelic rock bands incorporating sitars and other instruments from South Asia in their music. Their second full length album Lazuleen, released this month is their latest release. Very chill, dreamy music overall and a nice Reddit discovery. My favourite tracks on the album are “Adore”, “Manchala”, and “August”.
4. “The Devil’s Porridge” – Alan Mair
I was given the opportunity to listen to this song before it came out on 17 July. Alan Mair is a Scottish musician who has been recording since the 60s. First as the bassist of The Beatstalkers, a group he formed in 1962 that became known as The Scottish Beatles. The band were popular in Scotland, but with the saturated beat music scene in England, it was hard for them to get the same level of fame further afield even though they appeared on the popular, but short-lived Ready Steady Go and toured England and Mainland Europe. At the end of the decade, the group split up after their van with all their equipment was stolen. What bad luck! After that, he took a break from music to be a fashion designer, making leather clothes and boots for the likes of Yes, Santana, David Bowie, and Uriah Heep. Remember how a pre-fame Freddie Mercury worked at Kensington Market selling clothes? He was actually working for Alan Mair, selling his boots and clothing. After five years, he came back to music and joined power pop group The Only Ones, best known for “Another Girl, Another Planet”. Johnny Thunders of The New York Dolls and The Heartbreakers was a famous fan of the band. Like a lot of punk groups, The Only Ones broke up in the early 80s, but with a resurgence in public interest decades later, they reformed in 2007. People seem to like things even more 30 years later – when it’s retro and therefore cool again. In 2014, Alan Mair started releasing music as a solo musician and his latest release, “The Devil’s Porridge”, caught my interest because my husband is a scientist, my favourite subject in school was history, and recently I worked on a series about socialist musicians, which you can read here: (part 1: the 60s and part 2: the 70s).
The song is a tribute to the unsung working class heroes who worked in the world’s largest explosives factory, founded by Alfred Nobel after being forbidden from making dynamite in Sweden because of the dangers to the workers. A lot of times we think of the male soldiers, but there were a lot of women involved in the war effort too. With it being WWI, there was a long way to go with labour rights and the safety of workers, and 12,000 women suffered, with negative effects to their health: they were tired, dizzy, and their skin would turn yellow and their hair would turn bright green from the chemicals used in the factory, hence why they were nicknamed The Canary Girls. Not only were the women themselves affected, so were their children, hundreds of them being born with yellow skin. The song tells this story and it’s Horrible Histories meets punk rock. Very thought provoking.
5. “Shootout Sunday” – Midnight Rodeo
I previously interviewed Jim from Midnight Rodeo, who records solo work as Jiminil – check out “The Killing of the Sacred Buzzard” when you get the chance, it’s almost 9 minutes of instrumental Bert Jansch/John Renbourn like acoustic guitar bliss. He is also in the Nottingham band Midnight Rodeo, a psychedelic/folk rock band with a spaghetti western influenced aesthetic. Earlier this year, the band released their debut single “Now You’re Gone”, a mellow psychedelic song that has lots of echoes and reverb. They just released a new single this month called “Shootout Sunday” – a song with a surf rock meets psych sound reminiscent of the American Southwest and California.
6. Agadez – Etran de L’Aïr
I heard about this group through a friend from Tumblr who shares a lot of music he likes on social media. He has pretty spot on taste and I decided to check this band out. A while ago on YouTube I remember watching a YouTube video ages ago that essentially said that guitar music isn’t dead, it’s being reborn in the Sahara. I’ve said it so many times, but I think you’re limiting yourself if you listen to only music in languages you know or only music from the “west”. There’s a whole world of music out there and I love hearing how musicians in different countries approach rock music – I love seeing the musician’s own culture being fused with rock music. World music can be intimidating, but I’m here to give you a solid recommendation for great guitar music from this decade: Etran de L’Aïr from Niger. This is like nothing else you’ve ever heard, so fresh, mesmerising, something that 60s hippies would dig. If you like Mdou Moctar and Ali Farka Touré, you’ll love Etran de L’Aïr (translates to Stars of the Aïr – a massif in Niger). The album is named after the city they’re from Agadez, and it’s great from start to finish. Hard to pick a favourite track, but I’d go with “Toubouk Ine Chihoussay” – makes me think of Santana – and I could see Santana covering it.
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Some great picks here, none of which I had heard before.
Etran de L’Aïr definitely sound intriguing and I hope to eventually get to listen to the entire album.
Apparently, we do share a love of the Hammond, and I surely like how Gerry Bright and the Stokers use that great organ in their music.
I’m also intrigued by Minaxi and the three tunes you called out.
Last but not least, I’m curious to hear that forthcoming song by fellow New Jerseyan Mary Devlin. “Classic rock-inspired” got my attention!
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Thank you! I’ll update the blog post with a link to listen to Mary’s song when it comes out! Shouldn’t be long! 🙂
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Just updated the blog post to include a link to stream Mary’s new single! 🙂
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Great tune! Would you mind if I include it in my upcoming “Best of What’s New” installment? Of course, I’d give you full credit!😀
Go for it! I’m sure Mary would appreciate it too! Credit to her as well! 🙂
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[…] like to give a shoutout to fellow blogger Angie from The Diversity of Classic Rock. Angie first covered Lover’s Hand, a great rock-oriented tune by Mary Devlin. From her Spotify profile: New Jersey […]
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