Good News From The West Volume IX

I haven’t done one of my round-up posts in a long, long while. My inbox is building up with artist submissions from further afield than the Irish coast. So now is as good as time as any to highlight a few that I have been listening to. There is no reason or rhyme why I picked these artists out. They are just the mails I came across, liked the music and decided to feature. However coincidently, they all hail from east of here so instead of featuring music from America, today post is all about good music from the east.

Lars Bygden

Lars Bygden is an Swedish singer-songwriter. The song here ‘I believe in You’ is taken from his third solo record titled simply ‘LB’. The man has been involved in the music business for a number of years in his native Sweden. Lars background includes the founding of Sweden’s first alt-country band ‘The Thousand Dollar Playboys’ which released two albums in the late 1990’s.

His music reminds me, in a way of Beck (circa Sea Change era). The harmonies are gentle, the vocals soft but still impactful. Just lovely soulful music. Also check out the video for ‘The Hole‘. Both animation and sound are quite beautiful. More info at larsbygden.com

The Boombox Hearts

Another Scandinavian americana artist for you. The Boombox Hearts are a Danish outfit made up of Ivan Petersen (Vocals, guitar), Steffen Christensen (Lead guitar, banjo, vocals, lap steel, harmonica), Mikkel Max Hansen (bass, vocals), Kathrine von Seelen (keys, xylophone, vocals) and Arne Matzen (drums, percussion). The group have recently released their debut lp, ‘Hamar’. The group describe themselves as slacker-folky-indie-sadcore-rock. However I might add that there sound is generally a more mellow affair than that very specific genre description. The group do incorporate elements of folk, rock and americana. The lead single from the new release, ‘A Million Believeres’ is reminscient for me of the output of The Handsome Family, a gothic, folk, country song. The vocal style is relaxed with the sudden guitar led arrangement keeping you on your toes. The song just seeps into you. The group got a lot of attention in 2011 upon the release of their first ep (‘Monte Carlo’) which featured a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Cover Me‘. Check them out on Bandcamp and find them on Facebook. The album is up on iTunes too
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Danni Nicholls

Coming more westwards, Danni Nicholas is a London based but Bedford raised soul country artist. Last year she released her first album, ‘A Little Redemption’. The album was produced by Chris Donohue (The Civil Wars, Elvis Costello, Robert Plant) whom she met while he was touring as part of Emmylou Harris band. The album was recorded in Nashville and as you might expect features some exceptionally talented musicians. The album is pure soul-country. The vocals are so smooth, the arrangements shimmering,never intrusive, the songs exquisite. The opening song on the album ‘First Cukcoo of Spring’ sums this discription up. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a indie-western film i.e. it would have been perfect on True Detective. Check out her Facebook page and the album on Bandcamp for more.



Owen Tromans

Finally today, another English purveyor of americana. Owen Tromans is from The Black Country as they say over there (west midlands. He was a member of the group ‘San Lorenzo’ before persuing his solo career. With his band, ‘The Elders’, Owen is set to release his newest lp ‘Golden Margins’ on May 5th. The lead single is the title track. It’s a little gem of a tune. Led by spirited horns, the song sails along, a pop-americana tune that is reminscient, for me of artists like Mark Mulcahy. The music is summery and feels like the perfect soundtrack to this time of year where spring is slowing melting into the warm, long evenings of summer. Check the Facbook page for more on the upcoming release.

So that’s a round-up for this month. Hope you find something you like here and if you do come across something that you feel would fit the blog, please get in touch.
Images: Owne Tromans/Music Ninja/Lars Bygden/Danni Nicholas

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