"The Cross We Bear," by the North Country, pushes and pulls against the private and the public, the clear-eyed and the chaotic, as a good, mult-layered, folk-rock tune should.
The music of Canadian-American songwriter Neil Holyoak has traces of Americana chamber folk, but those traces wouldn't mean much without his wide-open, impassioned voice and his dreamlike way with a lyric -- skills that shine on the new track "Sidereal Sunrise."
After going on a brief hiatus and putting down his guitar for the first time in 15 years, Horse Feathers' lead singer Justin Ringle realized he desperately needed to have more fun with music. The group's new album, "So It Is With Us" is Ringle's transition from sad and quiet to upbeat and spirited. The album is unlike any of their previous releases; it features stronger drums and bass, powerful violins and climactic tempos with intros that build energy.
It's not often one encounters exciting, experimental folk-rock from Prembrokeshire, Wales, but that's just what one discovers in the band Little Arrow and the dense, sound-shifting "Medicine Moon."
You don't get the impression that Sharon Van Etten is a tour-de-force talent when you're talking to her one-on-one. But that's exactly what she is -- an artist with a simple sound of great magnitude. At first thought, the Luminary seems like a small venue for such an growing artist. But the intimate space only allowed her to shine brighter.
The last time the Rural Alberta Advantage came through town, tornadoes and technical difficulties kept the Canadians' set short. This time they brought a night of perfect weather and some of the greatest tunes that America's hat has ever produced.
Lucius cannot be contained. The last time the five-piece indie-rock ensemble, fronted by the stunning vocal harmonies of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, was in town their energy and sound seemed to push at the tiny confines of the Duck Room walls, begging for a larger venue. It was an unforgettable show.
Singer and songwriter Dave McPherson, best known for his work with UK alt-metal band InMe, demonstrates the power of his plaintive voice, furtive guitar and searching lyrics on the new solo acoustic track "Nothing Is Enough."