1. The Wild Feathers – Live At the Ryman
The Wild Feathers released their second album, Lonely Is A Lifetime, in March and their debut album in 2013. So it would seem a rather ambitious prospect to consider releasing a double live album, especially one recorded at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, former home to the Grand Ole Opry. But that’s The Wild Feathers’ home turf, and the band isn’t afraid of big, broad gestures. They’ve got an Americana/classic rock sound, and hit all the right spots for that genre, singing about freight trains, lonely highways, and the woman left behind. To the uninitiated, “Left My Woman” might sound like a bootleg from an old Black Crowes show. They cover the basics, dynamics-wise, too. “Lonely Is A Lifetime” is a harmony-driven acoustic ballad with touches of slide guitar, contrasted with the blast of power chords of “Americans.” The Wild Feathers fit somewhere on the spectrum with the Crowes, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Chris Stapleton, Dawes, and Blackberry Smoke. Kind of a classic rock Swiss Army Knife. The band is from Nashville, so they’re playing to a hometown crowd here, but a demonstrably enthusiastic one. At one point, a guy yells, “This is awesome!” And they sing along. The Wild Feathers are on one hell of a three-year plan.
2. TAMMY – This
TAMMY, the playful, Brooklyn-based indie folk duo, break their thematic content into two categories – “the satirical lover” and “the woman of longing.” They also seem to be pushing the genre label “Sex Folk.” That’s what Aaron and Brooke call their music. Whatever comes after that description, the only thing for certain is that it won’t take itself too seriously. Musically, This is bouncy, toe-tapping stuff. It was their sense of humor that hit me first. The opening track on This is “Los Angeles,” a kind of ode to the surface-y west coast attitudes as imagined by east coasters. “Rain – no thanks,” they sing, “Snow – no thanks/Carbohydrates – no thanks/Implants – yes, please/Socks? Whatever.” Then comes the ennui of hipster love in “I Miss You (Hope That’s Cool),” and a fifties-style breakup ballad “Hated It (With You),” which begins with the lines, “I am wearing pink shoes/And I’m forgetting all about you” and ends with “I am wearing pink shoes/And I really fucking hate you.” Sometimes it seems like there’s not such a wide line between the satirical lover and the longing woman. Even on a dreamy, earnest love song like “I Must Be Doing Something Right,” it feels like there’s a punchline coming. That’s delightful, too.