Oh No Ono
I checked out Denmark's latest export, Oh No Ono, on a whim a couple weeks ago knowing almost nothing about band. It turned out to be time well spent however as the experimental collective's sophomore effort, Eggs, is one of the most enjoyably strange and genuinely fascinating albums I've heard so far this year. Over the course of ten tracks, Oh No Ono takes you on a psychedelic journey ranging from nimble pop tunes to hazy, meandering rockers that incorporate myriad musical elements and themes. The off-kilter, unsteady vocals and grandiose selection of strings, synths, and drums never truly establish cohesion on Eggs, but the unexpected twists and turns are all part of an experience you'll enjoy losing yourself in. Highlights from the album include the outlandish synth-rocker "Internet Warrior," the bouncy "Helplessly Young" and the watery "The Tea Party." The albums drops in the US on Jan 26th, but it's available digitally now.
Horse Stories is the main project of LA-based Australian singer/songwriter Toby Burke, whose latest album and first in four years, November, November, is out next week. His thoughtful Americana style has earned him numerous comparisons to Bob Dylan, who no doubt has been a big influence on Burke, though he certainly seems to be seeking to establish his own identity as well here. In just over a half hour, Burke offers more than enough examples of his considerable songwriting talent in a mostly mellow approach that doesn't need big choruses and loud guitars to make an impact. The gentle sway of "Standing in the Snow," the melancholy musings of "Hole in the Head" and the reverent finale, "The TV" all showcase the modest yet somehow enthralling melodies and insightful lyrics that make Horse Stories a name you should know. Get a taste of the album by downloading the opening track, "Hummingbird," below.
Hummingbird (We'll Be OK) (Zipped MP3)
My first thought while listening to Joey Ryan's new EP, Kenter Canyon, was that he sounded quite a bit like Ryan Adams, which - in my opinion - is great company to keep. He also features some notable names on his new songs, including Sara Bareilles and Dave Rawlings, which caught my eye and should definitely help to further his cause. Fortunately, even without all the name-checking, Kenter Canyon (available on the 19th) is a great introduction to a truly talented new artist if you, like me, haven't heard the name Joey Ryan before. From the opening finger-picked guitar riffs of "Broken Headlights" to the bluesy folk rock of "Permanent," his earnest, rough tenor and personal yet relatable lyrics make Ryan's appeal quite obvious, and I'd be surprised if his name isn't one we'll start hearing much more frequently.
You can hear the entirety of the new EP on his MySpace page and you can download "Permanent" through his website HERE.