Alt Country Jams – The Murlocs, Laith, Nathan Hedges, B. Hamilton

The Murlocs continue to deliver the goods with their new single and companion video Undone and Unashamed.  This is the kind of gritty southern inspired alt country we need.  It connects with projects like Shovels and Rope or Langhorne Slim but with more appreciation and understanding of projects like The Flying Burrito Brothers or how that sound influenced 70s alterations by The Rolling Stones or Little Feet.  

The sixth full-length from The Murlocs, Rapscallion, is a coming-of-age novel in an album form, populated by an outrageous cast of misfit characters: teenage vagabonds and small-time criminals, junkyard dwellers and truck-stop transients. Over the course of 12 hypnotic and volatile rock-and-roll songs, the Melbourne-based five-piece dream up a wildly squalid odyssey partly inspired by frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s own adolescence as a nomadic skate kid. You may have heard of him as one of the eccentric members of new psych icons King Gizzard.  For us The Murlocs give him an opportunity to flesh out his alt country rock tendencies.  The compositions are considerably above average.  The Gizzard has already dominated the psych space, the Murlocs could do the same for revival rock. 

The Murlocs are featured on our Emerging Folk and Indie Country Playlist. 

Laith caught our attention with their new single 79.  The legacies of Dr John, Little Feet, and Gram Parsons are updated with a modern indie intellect.  The vocal breaks through with an attitude and sarcastic jest that stamps the vibe believable.  It’s an authentic underground appeal in contrast to the styles maladaptive contemporary evolution. 

This sound was rooted in an urban back room vibe before it was overturned by the punk rock machine and reimagined as old peoples music.  There’s a heavy dose of rock and roll infecting this Americana, recalling innovators like The Band or even The Rolling Stones.  It connects heavily with recent modern breakouts like the defunct Dr Dog. Get with it. 

Hear 79 now on our Emerging Folk and Indie Country Playlist

Nathan Hedges brings new energy to a classic vibe with his recent Whiskey and Firelight.  This Nashville Skyline is illuminated with a trademark lap steel to color the atmosphere sunset orange.  What erupts above embraces the raucous new Americana of Ryan Adams or Lukas Nelson.  Bright gritty tube toned guitars thrash with flashes of southern inspired fills, all propelled by the emotional courage of Hedges fiery delivery. 

Whiskey and Firelight is convincing, Hedges brings conviction and conjured hurt to this southern soul revival.  Somewhere between redemption and recovering the spirit, Whiskey & Firelight seems like the right song to cap off the wrong kind of binge, perhaps it’s the moment that brings you back.  It’s also an effective Americana blessed rocker, one that’ll bring any crowd to its feet. 

Nathan Hedges is featured on our Emerging Folk and Indie Country Playlist

Bright shoebox guitars jangle in the opening moments of Marion Out West.  The new single from B. Hamilton is cleverly produced to mirror the songs concept.  You’re grabbed from the first attitude rich lyrical moment.  “There’s nothing dumber than a grown man, dressed as a Cowboy, testing out Ferrari’s…”

He says what we’re all thinking, and he does it with a ruthless semi-sarcastic nature, one that triggers your mob mentality and visceral disdain for poser frauds.  The jam is straight fire.  A jive rich indie southern stomp, unassuming tagging the legacy of B Side Beck with the in studio improv alterations known to Kurt Vile.  The guitar part seems to always be evolving in tandem with B. Hamiltons invading thoughts, presenting like candid rants known to rushes of inspiration.  That affect is charming and effective, one that honors a tradition in vintage cool. 

Hear Marion Out West now on our Emerging Folk and Indie Country Playlist


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