Post by Tony LeCalvez
- It’s Too Late– Carole King
- Machinist– Japanese Breakfast
- One Big Holiday– My Morning Jacket
- The Boy In The Bubble– Paul Simon
- Dry the Rain– The Beta Band
- Ocean– John Butler
Starting this week is Carole King’s hit single “It’s Too Late” off her album Tapestry. Tapestry was a monumental success when it came out, establishing King as a leading voice for women singer-songwriters of her time, next to Joni Mitchel and Joan Baez. Tapestry is an excellent album, but this song captures the melancholic atmosphere of the album while having an upbeat music accompaniment that is prevalent across the project. The entire album is really worth checking out.
Japanese Breakfast is a great solo project by Michelle Zauner that makes me think about what kind of music Carol King would have made if she were born in the 90s. Michelle’s dark-spacey aestheticism sounds like the next evolution of the singer-songwriter genre, not to mention a killer saxophone solo at the end.
Transitioning solo artists to a rock band, My Morning Jacket is great at embodying their aesthetic into their sound. Their driving guitars and wailing vocals of frontman Jim James create a familiar atmosphere on all their projects that always sounds fresh and unique.
More reminiscent of Carole King, Paul Simon has that same ability to write deprecating and melancholic lyrics over fun, beat-over-beat music. His album “Graceland” is full of gems, but “The Boy In the Bubble” always feels very underappreciated to me. Just as underappreciated as The Beta Band, a good soft rock band with comedic vibes similar to The Barenaked Ladies, they have a fun attitude to the way they comport themselves musically.
The last track I have to recommend is a little long. “Ocean” is a 12 minute, one-take song, performed by John Butler of the John Butler Trio, on his 11 string guitar. With just a few pedals and his refined mastery of guitar playing, he is able to create layers of sound on top of each other without loops or accompaniment. The one-man band transports you on a sonic journey with this track, a must-listen for anyone that loves to hear or play acoustic guitar without loop pedals.