10 Dec 2017

From the two coasts - new folkie releases from the US

From New Horizons, 5:00 pm on 10 December 2017

William Dart drills into some newish American folkie releases from Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Deer Tick, and Ages and Ages.

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Photo: Partisan Records

New releases from US alt-rock bands Deer Tick and Ages and Ages are both out on the Partisan label.

Deer Tick are from Rhode Island, and after a recording silence of four years, they've given us not one, but two albums, titled, rather prosaically, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

The first is acoustic, the second a little heavier. But the general mood is definitely lighter than what might have been expected.

Singer-songwriter John McCauley has worked through some of the demons that came to a head in 2013's aptly titled Negativity.

The new songs are defined by their leanness and the way they get right to the core of the emotion that's up for expressing.

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Photo: Partisan Records

Ages and Ages is from the other coast - from Portland, Oregon. Relatively new on the block, their third album, Something to Ruin, is inspired by a trip to Central America and seeing nature positively gulping up the architectural heritage of previous civilisations.

It's little wonder that the album's songs often involve the issue of memory in its many lingering forms, presented with bubblesome irony.

How different today, the Portlanders tell us, when Nature is far from gaining the upper hand in the battle with humankind.

A song like 'Caught up in it' manages to be deliciously catchy and heartrending at the same time; so much so that you could find yourself singing along to your own destruction.

William finishes the programme with a track from Jim James's (of My Morning Jacket) new album of covers, Tribute to 2.

Music Details

'Song title' (Composer) – Performers
Album title

'Cocktails for Two' (Johnston/ Coslow) – Spike Jones and His City Slickers
The Spike Jones Anthology

'Cocktail' (McCauley) – Deer Tick
Deer Tick, Vol. 1

'Mirror Walls' (McCauley) – Deer Tick
GNWMT: Ten Year Anniversary

'End of the World' (McCauley) – Deer Tick
Deer Tick, Vol. 1

'Pulse' (McCauley) – Deer Tick
Deer Tick, Vol. 2

'Under a Cloud Shaped Like a Tomb' (Perry) – Ages and Ages
Alright You Restless

'They Want More' (Perry) – Ages and Ages
Something to Ruin

'Caught Up In It' (Perry) – Ages and Ages
Something to Ruin

'The World is Falling Down' (Lincoln) – Jim James
Tribute to 2