The Blaze Velluto Collection – Aligned
Genre: Folk rock
There are seemingly a million rock film biographies that have been made or are in the works. While all of them feature certain familiar tropes, one that you can bank your last dollar on is that of the musician coming in off the street possessing a wealth of talent and a total naivety about the way that the world and music business work. The Blaze Velluto Collection sounds like the work of such a person.
There are a million people working on a single successful record these days. You need an army of songwriters, producers, engineers, advisors, managers, etc. It’s no wonder that by the time the music is ready to be heard by the general public, each side of it has been worked to fit a mold perfectly. The results are pristine-sounding records with no depth.
The Blaze Velluto Collection’s “Aligned” sounds like a country-rock song made by someone who just can’t sit still for a second. The guitar lines express this best. This is music made by someone who likely has a few dozen other songs just waiting to be played. It’s rough around the edges, sure, but that gives it each charm. It should all be enough to convince audiences to think of this owing more to the glory days of pop music than to the mundane era in which we find ourselves.
Sarah Johnsone – Down By The River
Genre: Southern Rock / Red Dirt, Psychedelic Rock, Indie Rock
Stories are, arguably, the foundation on which all societies are built. The really powerful stories are dangerous. They can bring people together, or they can cause strife, war, and suffering. We all tell stories as a means of survival, but not all of us are blessed with the talent to tell compelling ones. Sarah Johnsone is a modern indie-rock songwriter in search of that gift.
It is then perhaps also true that you can tell a world’s problems by the stories being told, or rather, by the few original ones. When it comes to pop music, the yarn stopped being spun a while ago. Take a listen to the Top 40 hits of recent years, and you’ll generally only hear braggadocio monologues and stories so banal that a child could work them out in seconds.
Sarah Johnsone’s “Down By The River” is an indie-rock song nurturing classic ambitions. It is a tune written for those willing to let their imagination run free for a while, for those looking for a story that they won’t exactly get to know the ending of. Musically, the pop hooks are balanced by crisp guitar work, recalling the blues-rock and folk greats.