Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekend Roundup.

Goodman-What We Want. Goodman is Michael Goodman, a 22-year-old New York-area musician with some impressive pop chops. What We Want is his first full-length (he released an EP in early 2012), and it sounds like the work of a veteran singer-songwriter. Perhaps the artist Goodman most reminds me of is The New Pornographers' A.C. Newman in that his catchy pop is supported by a sense of nervous energy. Opener "Night Person" is a great example of this, with a restlessness right lurking underneath its frenetic melody. Elsewhere, "Waiting" offers a earworm chorus, and "Yawning" almost re-imagines Roy Orbison as an indie popper. My favorite track here is "Fever", which is pretty much a slowed-down "Sugar Sugar" that comes off as that song's neurotic (if not evil) twin. This is some impressive work, and Goodman has the potential to become one of the more interesting artists in the genre.

CD Baby | iTunes

John Amadon-The Bursting Sheaf. If Goodman's point of reference is AC Newman, John Amadon's is Elliott Smith, an artist he resembles vocally as well as stylistically (and geographically as well, hailing from Portland, Oregon). This was apparent on his outstanding debut (2011's Seven Stars) and on the follow-up he gives us more of the same. After clearing his throat with the fun 2-minute instrument "Saltwater Crocodile", Amandon gets down to business with the lovely and laid-back "Walking the Shoulder" which also owes a debt to Alex Chilton (another artist he bears a vocal resemblance to). The piano-backed "Set Stone" moves with purpose, and the midtempo "Two Hunters" features a slightly western noir sound that reminds me of Joe Pernice's "Bum Leg". But Amadon can also rock out a bit, as evidenced by "Sisters of the Blue Horizon" (which really does sound like something that came off Big Star's third album) and "Taking My Field Away" which wouldn't have sounded out of place on Smith's posthumous From a Basement on the Hill. This is top-notch stuff, and a welcome listen for those of us who miss his two greatest influences.

CD Baby | Bandcamp

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