If it wasn’t for the accent, you would think Jade Bird was another southwestern American half-country, half-Stevie Nicks songwriter. You know, the kind we love around here. It’s easy to know where the confusion might come from: in her second album, the English musician is joined by producer Dave Cobb (who else?) to bring us one of the most interesting Americana records of the year so far.
Signing singer-songwriter Arlo McKinley for his Oh Boy Records was probably one of the last gifts John Prine gave us. With a full powered Memphis-based band backing him, “Die Midwestern” is a goldmine of western folk-rock tunes. Plus: new tracks by Will Johnson, Jeremy Ivey, Paul Cauthen, Jerry Joseph, Ulver, Protomartyr, Julianna Barwick, Sufjan Stevens, Jupiter Sprites, Tomberlin, Orville Peck, Sam Rae Music, Liz Simmons, Kathleen Edwards, Bonnie Prince Billy, Charley Crockett, Samuel Úria, Puerto, The Two Tracks, Jeremy Tuplin, Daniel Romano, THE EELS, Father John Misty, The Avett Brothers, and Warren Givens.