We’re almost done with 2020, but December still had a couple of tricks on its sleeve, including a surprise new Taylor Swift release. But our album of the week has to be the unexpected collaboration between Canadian duo Kacy & Clayton and NZ songwriter Marlon Williams – one that makes all the sense in the world. “Plastic Bouquet” essentially feels like another essential Kacy & Clayton record, but the Williams-enhanced harmonies take the songs to another level.
Bolachas Now Playing, a new music Spotify playlist, updated every Wednesday.
Almost a decade after the last The Black Swans release, frontman Jerry David DeCicca keeps putting out great solo albums. Which are not strictly solo, if you look at the cast of musicians enlisted here, a list that includes the legendary Augie Meyers (of the Texas Tornados and the Sir Douglas Quintet). The result is an instrumentally rich set of Americana songs that are probably your best introduction to DeCicca’s work as a songwriter.
This week, we have new tracks by Kacy & Clayton & Marlon Williams, The Weather Station, Sharon Van Etten, Steady Holiday, Jane Weaver, Ohmme, SUUNS & Jerusalem In My Heart, Viagra Boys, Woods, Jeremy Ivey, Cordovas, Langhorne Slim, Family Jordan, James Ellis and the Jealous Guys, The Slim Kings, Elvis Perkins, Kevin Morby, Julia Jacklin, Desure, Le Ren, Julie Byrne, The Orchestra of Cardboard, Tomberlin, Pearl Charles, Holy Motors, and Jennifer Castle.
Sometimes it’s hard to be objective and unbiased when writing about a festival that is such a big part of your life. Except for two (very) unremarkable lineups that made me stay home, since I was old enough to go to college all my summers involved a trip to Paredes de Coura (and a painful trip back, too). When you’re a kid, they say you’ll eventually get older and boring, in a process they call “becoming an adult”. This usually comes with amazing perks such as ceasing to listen to any new music whatsoever, stopping seeing your (also ageing) friends, having great conversations about changing diapers with your remaining friends (yes, the other couple with kids you always go vacationing with to some shitty beach full of other couples with kids and the odd mother-in-law). Obviously, a multi-day, non-kid friendly, rural music festival such as Festival Paredes de Coura seems like one of those things that are amongst the first to drop from your newfound “adult life”. Except you don’t have to be that person; and is there anything better to remind you of that than going there and finding all your friends in the same place, same month, year after year, all over again? (Well, other than imagining the smell of those diapers.)
Vodafone Paredes de Coura 2018. Photo by Hugo Lima.
Another summer, another missed opportunity to have a vacation somewhere because there’s nowhere else we’d rather be other than at our little paradise of Paredes de Coura, in northwestern Portugal. The festival runs from the 14th to the 17th of August, but, like always, the fun begins way earlier than that, with four fun-packed, free entrance days with concerts and DJ sets right in the center of the small Minho village.
We knew from the first couple of singles that Julia Jacklin’s new album would be at least almost as good as her debut. We also know she never wrote a bad song, so a disappointment sounded very unlikely. Still, we weren’t prepared for how great it really is – and we’re so goddamn lucky she’s playing Festival Vodafone Paredes de Coura next August. See you all there.
Plus: new songs by Buck Meek, Damien Jurado, Baptiste W. Hamon, James Yorkston, Lowland Hum, Aldous Harding, Kalyn Fay, Molly Sarlé,Strand of Oaks, Orville Peck, J.S. Ondara, Justin Townes Earle, Reed Foehl, Harlem, Vandoliers, The Yawpers, Filthy Friends, and Black Country New Road.