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Jeff Hulett – “Sun Recordings” [Single Review]

Jeff Hulett releases his double A-Side 7-Inch, “Sun Recordings,’ via Small Batch Records and both tracks are excellent, brimming with misty layers of instruments materializing into beautifully integrated leitmotifs.

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Drummer/guitarist and singer-songwriter Jeff Hulett releases his double A-Side 7-Inch, Sun Recordings, via Small Batch Records. The two songs are “Spin Your Wheels (Tongue Tied)” and “This Bird.” Speaking to the first track, Jeff says, “‘Spin Your Wheels’ is a laid back, mid-tempo tune about letting go of a complicated relationship.”

He goes on, “‘This Bird’ is a story song, a dream if you will. It’s about a plane crash and how strangers become friends after miraculously surviving said plane crash. It speaks to the disconnection we all feel because of technology and reinforces the importance of authentic connection.”

A member of the Memphis band Snowglobe, Jeff’s first musical love was the drums. After watching Fascist Frank & the German Brigade play at the Antenna Club, he purchased his first kit, a used set of Maxx drums. Eventually, he ended up in Snowglobe, where, in his spare time he began working on his own projects.

He collaborated with Leah Keys in Me and Leah, followed by dropping two solo albums, followed by forming Restless Townies with Melissa Goodwin and Adam Poor. In 2021, Restless Townies released Miles Away, and has a full-length album forthcoming.

Sun Recordings, recorded at the legendary Sun Studios, features Jeff Hulett (acoustic guitar, vocals), Jacob Church (electric guitar, vocals), Jonathan Schallert (Hammond B3 organ, piano, vocals, melodica), Lehman Sammons (drums, percussion, vocals), and Adam Poor (bass, vocals).

“Spin Your Wheels” opens on low-slung harmonics, vaguely reminiscent of Procul Harum merged with Bob Dylan. Perhaps best defined as indie-folk with tangs of prog-rock, Jeff’s scratchy, nasal voice imbues the lyrics with delicious drawling timbres as radiant harmonies kick in on the chorus. Schallert’s oozing organ gives the melody its diatonic elaboration of static harmony, akin to Procul Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”

“This Bird” rides loose, crunching drums and a subterranean bassline, topped by Jeff’s inimitable vocals. The feel and mood of the tune lie somewhere between a rift and a revelation, conveying the ensuing concatenations of cause and effect – human connection through a near-death experience.

Both tracks are excellent, brimming with misty layers of instruments materializing into beautifully integrated leitmotifs.

Sun Recordings Track Listing:

Side A: Spin Your Wheels (Tongue Tied)
Side B: This Bird

Run Time: 2:46 / 4:40
Release Date: February 25, 2022
Record Label: Small Batch Records

Alternative/Rock

OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival Returns with Powerhouse 2024 Lineup

OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival dropped an unbelievably impressive lineup for their 2024 edition this week.

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OSHEAGA 2024

The OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival dropped an unbelievably impressive lineup for their 2024 edition this week. The 17th edition of the festival will take place from August 2nd to 4th, at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Saint-Hélène, close to downtown Montréal. Headliners include SZA, Green Day, and Noah Kahan setting the tone for a diverse exhibition that is sure to appeal to the masses.

Representation is present for all genres at this year’s fest. Rock is covered by old-school legends Rancid, LA rockers The Linda Lindas, ’90s indie favourites Sleater-Kinney, and grunge icons The Smashing Pumpkins. R&B will be backed by hip-hop pioneer T-Pain, as well as Tyla, Ayra Starr, and Michaël Brun. Pop is represented by Mean Girls powerhouse Reneé Rapp, Euphoria star Dominic Fike, and alt-pop phenom Melanie Martinez. Indie will be covered by Irish musician Hozier and this generation’s Elvis, Stephen Sanchez. EDM will be showcased with sets by world-class producers like Martin Garrix and Labrinth.

If you’re someone who enjoys all types of music, this year’s OSHEAGA is a can’t-miss event. The lineup easily competes for the best of 2024. Tickets are on sale 2/21 for 3-day passes and 2/23 for single-day passes. Prices are as follows:

GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $165 CAD
GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET / 3-DAY: starting at $395 CAD
CASINO DE MONTRÉAL GOLD TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $320 CAD
CASINO DE MONTRÉAL GOLD TICKET / 3 DAYS: starting at $745 CAD

PLATINUM TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $685 CAD
PLATINUM TICKET / 3 DAYS: starting at $1,620 CAD

Get your tickets while they last!

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Alternative/Rock

Levitate Music & Arts Festival Returns for its 11th Year!

Levitate Music & Arts Festival has announced it will be returning for its 11th year this Fourth of July weekend in Marshfield, MA.

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Levitate Music & Arts Festival 2024
Levitate Music & Arts Festival 2024

Levitate Music & Arts Festival has announced it will be returning for its 11th year this Fourth of July weekend in Marshfield, MA. The Marshfield Fairgrounds will host the likes of Sublime with original members Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson, Lake Street Dive, Tash Sultana, Mt. Joy, the Dirty Heads, and many more.

The music festival originally started as a surf shop’s 10-year anniversary party and is now the premier boutique music and arts festival for the region. The festival features national and local acts while including the arts with vendors and installations throughout the grounds. The festival is a family-friendly event, including a kids zone with interactive activities.

On top of bringing together the East Coast community, one percent of each ticket sold will go to the Levitate Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by creating and conserving access to music, art and the outdoors.

With the reunion of Sublime and several powerhouse appearances, this year’s Levitate is sure to be a must-attend event. The festival runs from July 5th through the 7th, 2024. Tickets are on sale now here. See you there!

Levitate Music & Arts Festival 2024 admat

Levitate Music & Arts Festival 2024 admat

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Folk

Tom Cheshire Premieres His Crucial New Single “Forgiveness”

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Tom Cheshire, photo courtesy of Tom Cheshire Band
Tom Cheshire, photo courtesy of Tom Cheshire Band

Musicians don’t usually go into the writing and recording of a debut album as well prepared as Tom Cheshire. Most often young and inexperienced, it’s usually a challenging learning experience for the young artist. But not for Cheshire, a man who has run across the musical spectrum over the last 25 years.

Today, the Tom Cheshire Band premieres their brand new single, “Forgiveness.” It’s from Cheshire’s forthcoming solo debut, Everything Is New Again. Cheshire wants to make clear that the Tom Cheshire Band is still a group, but it’s his solo project and a representation of him as a solo artist. “Forgiveness” is notable for so many reasons, but what’s perhaps most notable about it is how it represents Cheshire as a solo artist. It’s one of those career-defining tracks representing everything he is as a musician.

Although easily digestible, the song is musically complex, conjoining many different styles. It’s got a kind of outsider’s Americana sound with a Southern gothic vibe. Think of a combination of Tom Waits and Johnny Cash with a street-punk attitude.

Discussing the song, its origins, and how it relates to the record, Cheshire states:

“‘Forgiveness’ was originally a song I recorded with West End Motel. It wound up on our 2012 Warner Bros. record, Only Time Can Tell. The song was brought to us by my good friend Mike Shina, who was in my old bands Rent Boys, West End Motel with me, and also currently plays in TCB. When he first came up with the idea, we were on tour with West End Motel in the mountains outside of Asheville, N.C., and we’d spent the night in this cabin. Early in the morning, I got up and Shina was outside already, and it was clear he’d been up for a while working on something. So he says listen to this, and starts playing an early version of what would become ‘Forgiveness.’ Immediately, it blew me away.

“For Everything Is New Again, the idea was to revisit and reimagine some of the songs I’d recorded in the past alongside a few new songs. With ‘Forgiveness’ we slowed it down considerably and approached the guitars in a very different way. Brent Hinds (West End Motel, Mastodon) played guitar on the original version, and he’s the best guitar player. What he had done on it almost sounded like something from an Indian wedding, like he’s playing sitar or something. It was beautiful and lovely. But on the new version, it sounds like we took some heavy stuff out in the desert. It’s dark and trippy.

“Over time, you hope you get better at things. I know my voice is way better than it was a more than a decade ago when we first recorded ‘Forgiveness.’ I’m a much better singer now, and I really like how the vocal came out. We also fooled around with updating the lyrics a bit. The world’s such a mess these days, so at the end of the song we sing, ‘This land has chosen silence’ because there aren’t nearly enough people speaking up. So it’s become a bit of a political statement.”

Cheshire approached the writing and recording of Everything Is New Again with much ambition. He wanted this to be a definitive statement of who he has become as a musician. It’s a culmination of his 25-year career, a record born out of an enormous amount of experience in the underground music and arts scene. Aside from West End Motel, Cheshire also fronted Atlanta cult band Rent Boys and All Night Drug Prowling Wolves. He’s using this debut solo effort as a way of starting afresh, both personally and musically.

Cheshire has had previous battles with anxiety and depression, and writing Everything Is New Again helped him fall in love with music again. That shows through on the record, an album focused on hope, friendship, love, and brotherhood. This album is a renaissance for Cheshire, a symbol of how, in rock n’ roll, you’re never really ever out of the game.

Everything Is New Again Track Listing:

1. I Can’t Hold On
2. New York Waltz
3. Forgiveness
4. She’s on Fire
5. Take the Place
6. Dirty Your Heart
7. The Devil Called me Tommy
8. Mr. Champ
9. All the Witches
10. Santiago

Tom Cheshire Band “Forgiveness” single artwork

Tom Cheshire Band “Forgiveness” single artwork

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