Southern-Tinged Psych Rock
Self-Released March 3, 2017
I caught the latter half of Bendigo Fletcher’s appearance on the latest episode of WRFL-Live! – they’re a relatively new five-piece from Louisville, Kentucky. I hadn’t heard of the group before, but enjoyed what they played that night on the radio. Their songs were spirited, loose, and unusually uninhibited. Somewhere, towards the end of their set, they mentioned they were playing a show over the weekend with Lexington’s Johnny Conqueroo, and that they’d be marking the occasion with the release of their first single – a song called “Sleeping Pad.”
The track is the first they’ve released as a band, serving to tide their fans over until the release of their debut EP (coming somewhere in the fairly near future, perhaps?) Ryan Anderson, singer for the group, paints a simple, comforting picture of lying down for a well-deserved rest. The bright verses are punctuated with verses full of momentum, which in turn give way to instrumental breaks on guitar and violin – all sections of the song have enough space to breathe and develop. Songs like this seem to come out quite a bit less often than those about dark, difficult subjects; though perhaps we could all use the occasional musical reminder of the importance of a good night’s sleep and proper self-care. The group, though new, have a great sound, cohesion, and positive energy – it should be interesting to see how their future plays out.
Ben Southworth – March 5, 2017 – High Street
Genre: PJ Harvey-esque Folky Rock
Among the Grey is the second full length album by Louisville’s Cheyenne Mize, and serves as a sturdy and confident declaration of musicality for the young musician. Though known most for her abilities on violin, the majority of the album finds itself channeling a much larger array of sound – several songs reach some pretty intensely thick textures with several layers of instruments. The recording process comes close to being visible, and the intentionality of recording each song – sometimes each instrument within those songs – in a different manner throughout several rooms of a Louisville church makes each song a unique statement from the rest. Mize’s voice is clear, distinct, and commanding as her arrangements rattle through beneath lyrics that ask questions and make statements that are equally likely to be addressed to society at large as they are to be to herself. The music feels insightful and exploratory in ways that nearly anyone can appreciate and relate to – the turn-of-phrase/two-sided-look between “Whole Heart” and “Heart Hole” is equal parts clever and meditative, and much of the rest of the album manages to ride this same line.
There’s an emerging upper-echelon of nationally known and recognized Kentucky musicians – including the likes of Jim James, Ben Sollee, Daniel Martin Moore, and Will Oldham. With collaborations and contributions to the works of the latter three, and a solid album in Among the Grey, it’s no coincidence that Cheyenne Mize is on the path to joining their ranks.
I Liked – Among the Grey!!, Whole Heart!!, Through the Window Pane!, Have You Seen!!!, Give it All!!, As it Comes!!, Wouldn’t Go Back!!!
Ben Southworth – June 29th, 2013