Music Music reviews

On my stereo this week: Anna Tivel, WILSN & Foo Fighters.

Welcome back. It’s been a while since my last instalment. It’s not to say I have been idle, far from it. I feel like I’ve been on top of what has been happening in music this year. It has already, and I think you will agree, been an incredible year in music with so many great new releases. Standouts include Lana Del Rey’s long winded titled new album, Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd, Paramore’s This Is Why and WILSN’s Those Days Are Over. The latter is by a local artists who is seemingly spearheading Melbourne’s soul revival. Anyway, while I hope to continue to put forward some more of my favourite tracks and albums in the coming months, here below are three songs worthy of your attention.

Anna Tivel – ‘American Novella’.

Portland, Oregon-based Anna Tivel is currently my favourite musician. She topped my best album list late last year with Outsiders, arguably her finest offering so far. It is an album that resonates with me still many months after its initial release which showcases her knack for good storytelling. In recent weeks I was pleasantly surprised to hear Tivel has shared a new single American Novella. It comes from the same recording sessions she recorded in the midwest with a great group of friends.

Of the track, she offers as an unreleased B-side Tivel says, “American Novella is the story of a neighbor on one side of a fence just getting started, trying to figure it all out, grow a family, and make sense of the long/short/uncertain chaos of time. Just across the fence, another neighbor navigates the last days of that beautiful struggle, looks at the whole thing laid out behind them, the messy web they built of family, growth, pain, and love.”

WILSN – ‘If You Wanna Love Me’.

I’m going to start with a quote from Melbourne-based Shannon Busch, who makes music under the moniker WILSN. (Yes, she’s the artist I briefly mentioned at the top of this new instalment.)

“Soul music never goes out of fashion because it’s pure. It’s all about a great melody, a great beat and harmony that moves you and makes you feel something. In today’s landscape of artists trying so hard to do something different, often for the sake of being different, it’s nice to just engage with the human voice in an unadulterated way.”

It’s fair to say this is a young woman who isn’t intimated by the expectations placed upon her. Reading a little bit more about her recently it also came to light that soul (and jazz) music runs through her veins thanks to her parents eclectic music listening habits. Moreover her deep appreciation and respect for soul music is also reflected in the artists who came before her, especially her love of Aretha Franklin. Listening to her debut album Those Days Are Over, production values that are both nostalgic and contemporary. There is no doubt that this is a soul album of the highest order. Interestingly even though she is often torn between her love of pop vocals and a big booming soul presence, she never wavers far from her real strengths always managing to balance the best of both worlds. She truly is all class and it’s no wonder why I’ve instantly taken a shining to her as a performer. Busch’s debut is infused with so much passion its difficult to pick a favourite from it. Standouts include her stunning duet Hurts So Bad with Josh Teskey (from the Teskey Brother), the title track which looks at navigating through one’s own uncertainty in life and last but not least the album’s opening track If You Wanna Love Me with its infectious beat retro-soul beat and powerhouse vocals. In short, if you like Amy Winehouse, you will love WILSN.

Foo Fighters – ‘Rescued’.

I don’t know how I feel about the Foo Fighters announcing their first new album But Here We Are since drummer Taylor Hawkins’s death. Is it too soon? A little over a year has passed since Hawkins, 50, died just before the band was set to play a show in Bogota, Colombia. Grohl’s band (Foo Fighters), Hawkin’s family and fans all over the world were completely devastated after his sudden death. While no cause of death was announced, reports hinted at a cardiac arrest caused by an overdose of a cocktail of drugs. When the Foo Fighters announced they would continue to play together following Hawkin’s death, I was pleased they played tribute shows for him. The healing power of music often gets us through the worst of times. And now with a new album scheduled for release next month, one has to wonder what sort of a band are they going to be? With no official announcement yet who will take Hawkin’s place (speculation is rife whether it’s Grohl himself behind the kit), the Foo Fighters give us a hint of what we can expect via the release of the lead single from their forthcoming album called Rescued. It is said Rescued, the first of ten new tracks will “run the emotional gamut from rage and sorrow to serenity and acceptance, and myriad points in between.” Personally, I look forward to the arrival of the new album. It sounds like it’s going to be a very cathartic listen.

Robert Horvat is a Melbourne based blogger. He believes that the world is round and that art is one of our most important treasures. He has seen far too many classic films and believes coffee runs through his veins. As a student of history, he favours ancient and medieval history. Music pretty much rules his life and inspires his moods. Favourite artists include The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Garbage and Lana Del Rey.

2 comments on “On my stereo this week: Anna Tivel, WILSN & Foo Fighters.

  1. All great picks. I also just posted about the new Foo Fighters single and upcoming album. I wasn’t aware of WILSN – great vocalist!

  2. That Anna Tivel song is really nice, perhaps not surprisingly.

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