seracahoone“I’m safe for now, but I know the rest is on its way…”

The music on Sera Cahoone’s second album, Only As The Day Is Long, is solidly in a country vein, complete with acoustic and steel guitars, fiddles and banjos. This set of ten songs has been aptly described by her record label Sub Pop as “country noir,” as the lyrics are often marked by unease or tension, but listening to the record is hardly the heavy going “country noir” may imply in the minds of some potential listeners, as the focus here is on solid, stylish songwriting and musicianship, highlighted by Cahoone’s lovely and evocative voice. Definitely recommended for mainstream country and alt-country fans alike. Standout cuts: “Baker Lake,” “Only As The Day Is Long,” “Shitty Hotel” and “You’re Not Broken.”

http://www.myspace.com/seracahoone

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kelleystoltzCircular Sounds, the fourth album from San Francisco based artist Kelley Stoltz, finds him partying like it’s 1969 (or so). As with his other albums, it’s mostly a one man show, with Stoltz playing the vast majority of the instruments himself. That said, Circular Sounds has a pretty full sound, with nothing much suggesting the low fi home recording style for which Stoltz has been known. The reference points for the music seem pretty clear, the Byrds, the Beatles, the Kinks and the Beach Boys among them, but Stoltz still manages to put his personal stamp on the genres that influence his songs. It’s actually a pretty delightful album, with a nice mix of psychedelic pop and garage rock material, and other points between. Standout cuts: “Tintinnabulation,” “Gardenia,” “When You Forget” and “Your Reverie.”

http://www.myspace.com/kelleystoltz