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    • Premiere: Clean Cut Kid - 'Twenty Years From Now' July 1, 2015
      Ambitious newcomers with a soaring sound...Most bands struggle to look beyond their next gig. There's a lack of purpose, a sense of shambling naivety amongst many new group. Clean Cut Kid, though, arrive with a clear sense of direction, a real feeling of momentum. New cut 'Twenty Years From Now' sets out their stall. Opening in noise-laden abs […]
    • 7 Of The Best: Blondie July 1, 2015
      Clash readers decide...Clash asked - and it's readers have spoken. The celestial Debbie Harry turns 70 today (July 1st) and in her honour we asked you lot to send in your favourite Blondie track. Punk cuts, new wave classics and disco gems were passed our way, alongside the occasional dalliance with reggae and hip-hop. The final countdown relies heavily […]
    • Premiere: Semi Precious - 'When We Talk' July 1, 2015
      South London talent continues to impress...Semi Precious introduced himself last year with a self-titled EP, a shimmering document which held six precious tracks. The South East London talent is ready to return, hooking up with NX Records / Squareglass for new single 'When We Talk'. Submerged in reverb-laden gloom, it's a beautiful but sparse […]
    • Premiere: Billionaire - 'Fine Minds' July 1, 2015
      Wonderfully sparse, noir-driven songwriting...Billionaire - real name John Sterry - is plugged in to the world around him. Politically and culturally aware, the artist feeds this information into his songwriting. New single 'Fine Minds' owes as much to Allen Ginsberg as it does to The xx, a noir-driven and deeply atmospheric piece of pop music. Out […]
    • Beck Plays Intimate London Show July 1, 2015
      ...and it's incredibleBeck started his career playing tiny venues, small dives that doubled as arts hubs. It’s what formed him; more than two decades on, there remains a sense of whimsical daring in his work, a sense that anything is possible. In town to perform at the Barbican’s Station To Station event – fellow cast members include five cowboys and Th […]
    • Playlist: New Wave Of Danish Electronics July 1, 2015
      Hand-picked by Kenton Slash Demon...Kenton Slash Demon's return could hardly be better timed. The production duo have released new EP 'Skydancer' at a time when the music of their Danish homeland seems to fizzle and crackle with a rare sense of creative electricity. In particular, Denmark's electronic scene is one of its most buoyant phas […]
    • Premiere: Fredwave - 'Change' July 1, 2015
      New London artist highlighting the need for social change...Fredwave is a hardened product of London. He sings, writes and produces tracks to escape from the reality of his youth and surroundings. Using this output he confronts the pressures of the city as it drenches him in feelings of constriction by living within a system which isn't made for someone […]
    • Cool To Be Conscious: Morgan Heritage July 1, 2015
      Reggae icons in conversation...Raised by rasta patriarch Denroy Morgan, the Morgan Heritage family has been in the game from birth. Formed in 1994 they played their first gig at Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica and got signed to a major label deal as soon as the stepped off the stage. Although they were not creatively satisfied with their MCA Records debut ‘Mirac […]
    • Next Wave #643: Hippo Campus July 1, 2015
      Infectious summer indie pop...“Our mentality is to not have a rigid mentality. Serve the song, and the rest will figure itself out.” Hippo Campus have wise words for a group of lads only just nudging out of their teens. Formed at high school in Minnesota, the band’s bubbly (but definitely not bubblegum) brand of bouncy indie reflects an un-cynical enthusiasm […]
    • Listen: Trust Fund - 'Dreams' July 1, 2015
      Featuring Alanna McArdle...Bristol's Trust Fund has been a quiet, pervasive presence in British music for some time now. Literate without becoming too cerebral, emotive without becoming self-indulgent, his approach has won no small number of fans. New single 'Dreams' is out now on Turnstile, and feature former Joanna Gruesome singer Alanna McA […]
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    • SOME INTERESTING FACTS YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT RUSH July 2, 2015
      Brian Hiatt of Rolling Stone reports: For years, Rush had an uneasy relationship with an oft-skeptical rock press. So fans got to know the band members’ diverse personalities largely from live shows, tour books, videos and drummer Neil Peart’s own prose. But as the band proved this month in their first-ever Rolling Stone cover story, […]
    • EDDIE TRUNK, ALONG WITH JAKE E. LEE AND WARREN DEMARTINI, WERE JUDGES AT THE ROCKBAR GUITAR PLAYER CONTEST WHICH TOOK PLACE ON JUNE 27TH July 1, 2015
      On June 27th, 2015 Rockbar opened its doors to some of the finest guitar players in the San Jose, California Bay area. Contestants got to show their talents on guitar and battle Satan Guitar Soul Collecting Fury for a grand prize of cool stuff and guitar glory celebrity rockers and guitar Gods were on hand […]
    • ORIGINAL BLACK SABBATH MEMBER BILL WARD HAS REGRETS OVER “IRON MAN’S” BASS DRUM SOUND June 30, 2015
      Estranged Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward says he never stops listening back to his recorded work – and wishes he could improve certain aspects. The most famous example, he says, is Black Sabbath’s Iron Man, from 1970 album Paranoid. Ward, who released his solo album Accountable Beasts in April, says he still frets over the […]
    • GEOFF TATE’S OPERATION: MINDCRIME TO RELEASE THEIR DEBUT ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER, SONG SAMPLES POSTED ONLINE June 30, 2015
      Operation: Mindcrime, Geoff Tate’s version of Queensryche, is proud to announce their upcoming debut album, The Key, on September 18th. To hear a sampling of four songs from the album, watch a trailer below: The first full song from the album will be released in the coming weeks. Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime features band members: […]
    • 6/29: BACK FROM CA & VEGAS, COVERDALE, CHRIS SQUIRE, LIVE TRUNKNATION TONIGHT June 29, 2015
      Back from Vegas and San Jose late last night. Great trip hanging with Frank Dimino, Gregg Giuffria, Paul Crook, Zach Throne, Danny Koker, Ken Ciancimino and all my buds in Vegas! Even hung with Ace Frehley one night. We didn’t know each other would be there and I had a great night with him, Frank […]
    • NICK SIMMONS WRITES “MY DAD, [KISS BASSIST] GENE SIMMONS, IS FULL OF SHIT AND SO ARE YOU” June 28, 2015
      Gene Simmons’ son, Nick Simmons, wrote an article about his father for Vice magazine. Excerpts from the feature appear below. Patton Oswalt has a routine about the first time he ever realized one of his parents was full of shit. “When you’re growing up, up to a certain point, no matter what an adult says […]
    • MOTOR SISTER RELEASE VIDEO FOR “BEG BORROW STEAL” June 25, 2015
      Motor Sister, the band featuring Jim Wilson (Mother Superior), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Joey Vera (Armored Saint), John Tempesta (The Cult) and Ian’s wife Pearl Aday, have released a video for Beg Borrow Steal. Watch it below. The group came about in 2013 as part of Ian’s 50th birthday celebrations. He wanted to jam some songs […]
    • 6/24: VEGAS & SAN JOSE THIS WEEK, SATRIANI, COVERDALE, MORE. June 24, 2015
      Psyched to be flying back to Vegas tonight for a couple days. I’ll be hosting the release party for Angel singer Frank Dimino’s new solo album at Vamp’d Thursday. It’s from 6-8P, all ages and free! Hope to see all my Vegas friends! Then Saturday night I’m back in San Jose CA to judge the […]
    • EDDIE TRUNK ON WHY HE GOT INTO RADIO: “I FELT HARD ROCK AND METAL BANDS WERE BEING MARGINALIZED” June 24, 2015
      Ruben Mosqueda of Oregon Music News spoke with our very own Eddie Trunk. Excerpts from the interview appear below. OMN: Who has been your biggest influence in getting you into rock radio? Eddie Trunk: First and foremost I got into radio because I felt that hard rock and metal bands were being marginalized. I didn’t […]
    • DEEP PURPLE TO RELEASE TWO LIVE ALBUMS ON SEPTEMBER 18TH June 24, 2015
      Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover writes: “One band, two crowds, two countries—a tale of two cities indeed. From Germany’s Wacken Open Air Festival, one of the biggest metal festivals in the world and a city unto itself, to Japan and the stately Nippon Budokan, the most revered venue in Tokyo. Each has its own distinct […]
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Best Albums of 2012: Brandi Carlile ‘Bear Creek’

Posted by falconi5 on July 12, 2012


album review from allmusic

Named in honor of the converted turn-of-the-century Washington barn where it was recorded, Brandi Carlile‘s fourth studio outing, the rough and tumble, sweet and soulful Bear Creek, is as fiery as it is bucolic. Carlile‘s wonderfully expressive voice is as tailor-made for country as it is for roots rock, and the 13 cuts on Bear Creek lean heavily on the former, striking a nice balance between the nuanced twang of Alison Krauss and the bluesy cockiness of Bonnie Raitt, especially on the spirited, boot-stomping opener “Hard Way Home,” the sweet and steady “Keep Your Heart Young,” and the gospel-kissed howler “Raise Hell.” The notion of diminishing youth (Carlile turned 30 during the making of the album) plays a pivotal role on Bear Creek, and contributes to some of its finest moments. Both “A Promise to Keep,” with its soft cadence, deft fingerpicking, and stoic refrain of “The hill I’m walking up is getting good and steep,” and the lush and languid closer “Just Kids” manage to bask in the sepia glow of nostalgia without disappearing into the past, which is an attribute that Carlile, with her old-school melodic sense and genuine flair for Roy Orbison/Patsy Cline melodrama, displayed with 2007’s blistering future American Idol standard “The Story.” Four albums in, Carlile has honed her distinctly retro brand of Northwest Americana down to science, and Bear Creek feels both easy and immediate, which is usually what happens when talented artists finally figure out who they are, and that heartache, failure, defiance, and confidence can all go to the dance together.

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