Song of the Day: Steven Wilson – What Life Brings

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Most people, after releasing a new album from a long-dormant band, might be content to rest on their laurels for a bit. Steven Wilson is not most people.

Just a little over a year after the release of Closure/Continuation, which saw Wilson reuniting with (most of) his bandmates in Porcupine Tree for their first release since 2009, Wilson is back with his latest solo album, The Harmony Codex, with that album itself following fairly close on the heels of Wilson’s previous solo album, 2021’s The Future Bites. Clearly, this guy likes to keep himself busy.

The Harmony Codex is out September 29 via Virgin Records. Check out the video below for latest single “What Life Brings.”

Song of the Day: Sonic Tides – The Maze, Pt. 2

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“The Maze, Pt. 2″ is the latest single from Belgian psych/noise/post-rock band Sonic Tides, taken from their upcoming EP Six Sided Square, which is out on October 13th via Epictronic. Check it out below.

Concert Review: James McMurtry, September 22, Horseshoe Tavern

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In the moments before Texas singer-songwriter James McMurtry would take to the stage at The Horseshoe Tavern on Friday night, a fellow concertgoer struck up a conversation with me, commenting that he knew it was going to be a good show as most of the crowd were over the age of 60. I think I kind of get what he was going for, but then again, I’m also not quite sure that his logic fully works out as older folks are often also into a lot of dodgy stuff. After all, Eric Clapton still seems to have a relatively thriving career.

Still, there is something to be said for experience and over the course of his set, McMurtry definitely made the case for veteran performers who’ve perfected their craft and their ability to put on a great show. To borrow a line from McMurtry’s “Canola Fields,” the first track off of his latest album The Horses and the Hounds, “You can’t be young and do that.”

While we’re on the subject of being young, McMurtry did reminisce about his younger days, noting that he first played the Horseshoe back in 1992, on the night that the Blue Jays clinched the World Series. “I was here … me and about fifteen of y’all.” Luckily for him, 31 years later, and without the World Series as competition, his drawing power has grown considerably. And the fairly packed crowd at the Horseshoe demonstrated that McMurtry does have a pretty dedicated fanbase, with several shouting out song titles when they saw an opening. McMurtry was having none of that though.

“Some of you know what you wanna hear, none of you know what you’re gonna hear,” he said in reply to the shouted requests. “There’s an art and a science to planning a setlist and I’ve just about got it down.”

McMurtry did in fact put together a pretty solid setlist on this occasion, with tracks like “Copper Canteen”, “If It Don’t Bleed”, “Jackie” and “Chocktaw Bingo” standing out as just a few of the highlights. And while he may or may not have mastered the art of crafting a perfect setlist, as he ran through a set full of songs from throughout his career, McMurtry proved that he’s definitely got this whole songwriting thing figured out.

Song of the Day: Teenage Fanclub – Back To The Light

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Today sees the release of Teenage Fanclub‘s latest, Nothing Lasts Forever, an album that deals with themes of mortality, darkness and light, and the changing of seasons.

Based on some of the album’s lyrics and subject matter (or for that matter, the title of the album itself), one might suspect that the members of Teenage Fanclub were feeling a bit down during the period when they were writing the songs for this album, and while it does have its moments of melancholy, the overall tone is generally a hopeful one, as evidenced by tunes like “Back To The Light.”

Nothing Lasts Forever is out now via Merge Records. Check out the video for “Back To The Light” below.

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