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The Harmaleighs
""Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush"
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College pals  Haley Grant and  Kaylee Jasperson bonded over shared musical tastes as students at Belmont University, . They were both also familiar with the hardships possessing the voices of angels; it was inevitable that a musical project would come of the union. The Harmaleighs formed in 2013, and the two proceeded to develop their sound, learning how to filter their shared experiences through an Americana sieve, until every heartbreak and setback sounded as though it occurred decades ago somewhere in the Appalachians.

 

The Harmaleigh's debut album, "Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush" will be released February 3rd. It covers the gauntlet of relationships that a young adult can encounter: partners, friends, hometowns. It also showcases the pair as the crackerjack musicians that they are. The same razor-sharp tightness that makes bluegrass so satisfying to hear is present in the entire album. Everything rings out as clear as a bell, and nothing is overdone or unnecessary. The girls have a healthy respect for the traditional, and can whip out a down-home rhythm as easily as a teenaged missive on heartbreak.  

 

Speaking of teenaged missives, a delicate balance is at work here. There are moments that the pair hit Watson Twin-levels of harmonies (like the ghostly intro of opening track "Hesitate") and there are times they turn right around with something more juvenille like "Got fired for dropping a glass of wine/ screw it I'm running out of time," in their recent single, "I Keep Ticking On." There's alot that can go wrong: their music acoustic guitar driven, with some lap steel and banjo thrown in, and they have a propensity to break into foot-stomping jags that recall the receding arena-folk wave. But it doesn’t matter. They’re so good, by grace of their conviction and clarity, that I’d probably be sucking this album down and singing along even if I were a 50-year-old truck driver.

 

That's the appeal of "Pretty Picture..." The album concentrates being young and new into something potent and delivers it with a little bit of sass; that's a combination capable of crossing quite a few boundaries. It's the emotional equivalent of four seasons of summer camp, thirty friendship bracelets, or ten viewings of "Milo and Otis." This album is bound to strike a chord within the most jaded of bastards. Keep up with The Harmaleighs at their website www.theharmaleighs.com


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Okay, so if you're a Blank Range fan, you might already have a cassette of "Phase II" kicking around in your car. The band recorded the 6-track tape back in April of 2013, an ambling testament to true garage grit that sparked enough momentum to won them a Bonnaroo set, sent them to SXSW, and lead them to record the 7" "Scrapin/Before I Go To Sleep" with a real engineer in a legitimate (read: non-basement) studio the following fall. The tape also wraps up with "Last Crash Landing," one of the most enduring gut-punchers of a song that we've come across thus far. Now the band is preparing to release a 10" pressing of "Phase II," lest there be an empty 10" space on their merch table on their upcoming 28-date tour supporting Two Gallants and Mountain Goats. Blank Range will be marking the occasion with a show at The Basement on April 10th with local bros Music Band and Joey Plunket. The show kicks off at 8pm and tickets are $5, so come on out and pick up the new format! -Terra James-Jura

 

March 26, 2015
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This is a great show to catch if you find yourself at the end of Broadway tomorrow night or are just jonesing to see some talented bands for $0.

We’ve been tickled by Dustin Sellers and his reformed alt-rocker with an old-school soul visage ever since he won our Artist of the Month poll last fall. We’re excited for his upcoming album “Mint Market,” and are looking forward to hearing some cuts off of it tomorrow night when he and his Rat Pack play No Country for New Nashville’s weekly showcase at Acme Feed and Seed. We're especially digging the driving, Western vibe of "Mind at All" (check out the Shaker Steps video below.) Joining the lineup are Whoa Dakota, whose blues rock machine has been gaining steady momentum since their self-titled debut EP last year, and has been propelled in no small part to front woman Jessica Ott’s steamy dynamics. Rounding out the evening’s new traditional theme is Amanda Broadway, who is taking a quick step away from being part of Acme’s Funky-Tonk house band to belt out a set of solo material.

Catch Dustin Sellers, Whoa Dakota and Amanda Broadway at Acme Feed & Seed on Tuesday, March 24th.  The show starts a 7pm, and cover is free!

March 23, 2015
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All your buds down in Austin right now? Well, enjoy a night out with your extra funds not spent on gas and tacos at The 5 Spot this Saturday. Our buddies and Artist of the Month winners Creature Comfort are returning from a brief hiatus with a few friends to make you thankful you stayed in Tennessee. The quartet put out the amazing "Fox Tales" last year, an intelliegent mashup of dream pop and Modest Mouse-level prosiacism (check out the beautifully shot and NSFW video for "All My Friends" below.) They are being joined by darkly catchy Cincinnati crew of Injecting Strangers and more hometown sounds from female-fronted party rockers The Saturday Night Specials. The show starts at 8pm and is a measly $5. Come on out! -Terra James-Jura

 

March 20, 2015
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Our post on BASECAMP earlier this week must have whet our ears for moody, slightly off-kilter soundscapes, because they were totally primed when we listened to “Monolith” by Realms. There’s a similar bass-heavy tension to the album, and tracks like “Progress” have kindred slow, unnerving builds that resonate like a frozen lake cracking underfoot. Realms is a trio consisting of Josh Pantana, David Gross and Graham Blecher, who built their startling chemistry over five years of acting as studio band for several Nashville acts (including Andrew Bell and Neulore.) “Monolith” is the first stand-alone effort as Realms, recorded over the course of a year in their home studio and officially released March 10th. Check out opening track "Dinosaurs" to see if it hits you in a sweet spot. If you’re a fan of Sigur Ros, Radiohead, or strikingly pretty atmospheric experimentation, then this album is worth checking out. –Terra James-Jura

www.realmsmusic.com

March 19, 2015
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Growing up Amarillo style is a far cry from nascent. Just Texas sun, oil riggers, and firebrand folk tunes.

Ryan Culwell’s debut release, Flatlands, packs rootsy grit and redemptive rest stops. Opening track "Amarillo" rings with a sweet melody. "You Won’t Come Home" tender lyrics demand listening ears. Dusty anthem "I Think I’ll Be Their God" and true-blues "Piss Down In My Bones" offer gusty backbeats and steel guitar. His depictions hold a certain yearning of a man finding his Americana on folky fretboards. You can feel the embittered pride in "Red River" and Culwell’s own sacred rest in "Horses." And if ominous feels overdone, porch-strummers "I Will Come For You" and "Flatlands" provide windows-down nostalgia. Flatlands is a melodic fortitude that loves memories and loathes realities. Through the thirsty panhandle, distressed as Culwell’s raspy range, you feel what he feels: his journey of story and relationship; an honest man on his way. Flatlands was released March 3rd, 2015 via Lightning Rod Records. -Ben Neumann

Ryan Culwell has two upcoming Nasville shows: March 25th at Loveless Cafe and April 2nd at Exit/In with Whiskey Meyers (tickets here.)

 

March 18, 2015
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 For the few of you that don't check in with our Artist of the Month poll as frequently as your Instagram and Facebook feeds, rest assured that this recent poll was a doozie. Both HR_Lexy and Foster McGinty turned out with a ridiculous number of votes, but ultimately McGinty would come out on top with 571 fans showing favor for the songwriter. 

This win comes hot on the heels of McGinty's second album, "The Lucy Stone" (released February 19th). While songs are penned with a pop mindset, getting the job done in under 4 minutes with an appropriate chorus-to-verse ratio and the "oh" and "la" quota filled, the music resonates as so purely American that were surprised each album doesn't come with a pack of bottle rockets. Check out "The Lucy Stone" if your a fan of male/female vocals (the other half courtesy of the lovely Chelsea McGinty) and endearing songwriting. The next hometown show is April 24th at The End, so come out and buy him a beer (if our calculations are correct, he has about 571 coming.) -Terra James-Jura

http://www.fostermcginty.com/  

March 17, 2015
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