Kacey Musgraves – Velvet Elvis.

I seem to be a little slow of the mark in catching up with some great albums released so far this year. That said, Golden Hour is my introduction to Kacey Musgraves and her country-pop inspired world. I’m told by a friend that while she still manages to plays around with the familiar country sound that brought her to the world’s attention in 2013, this album is the closest thing she has done that can be called a sweeping pop-inspired crossover. Surprisingly, I think everything on this album works. That said, Velvet Elvis with its synth beats stands as my favourite track at the moment, but I’m also taken by her attempt at crossing over to ‘70’s soft rock territory with the album’s self titled track Golden Hour. The disco spirit of High Horse is also irresistibly catchy, while her ode to LGBTQ rights with Rainbow, a testament to her unequivocal goal to continue to speak to and for the LGBTQ community, is admirably as the album’s last track. Honestly I’m torn which song from the album I want to play here for you. But I think I’m going to stick with Velvet Elvis. Enjoy!

The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army.

I don’t think it’s humanly possible for Jack White to release a bad album, right? But I think he has finally succeeded in creating his first dud earlier this year, despite some great elements of free-play and inventiveness on Boarding House Reach. At it’s best, beginning with Connected By Love, I think it’s a really brave album, but soon after it descends into a weird avant-garde road trip that is unfortunately a little too much even for me. Seriously, what’s with White’s cringeworthy attempt at rapping on Ice Station Zebra all about? But please don’t be put off by my seemingly unfair rant. It’s probably a throwback of mourning and longing to hear The Whites Stripes’ Seven Nation Army and its infectious riff and chant.  Back in his heyday, Jack White almost single-handedly reinvented the rock wheel with his minimalistic approach to instrumentation and recording and that particular song just always stands out for me as The Whites Stripes crowning achievement. By the way, that matrix of a music video with interchanging images of Jack and Meg White is out of this world.

Amy Shark – I Said Hi.

Amy Shark, the young woman who loves her Adidas attire, almost gave up on music a few years ago. But with an incredible voice and a real knack for writing intimate songs, I’m thrilled that she didn’t give up.  She had a little help on the way though when her song Adore made it debut on national youth radio station Triple J in 2016. Within weeks it was on high rotation and ultimately helped propel Shark into the music stratosphere. Last month her long-awaited debut album Love Monster was finally released and I have to say it’s pretty good. It contains a collection of songs that prove she isn’t a one hit wonder. From it comes I Said Hi a song that calls out all the music moguls, particular men, who rejected her music for a decade. It’s in your face and bloody honest with an amazing beat. I wonder how many music industry bosses are now kicking themselves.

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