In this edition: We preview the debut LP from Matt Phillips and The Philharmonic, “Move”; consider tracks from Brianna Lee Pruett and The Darcys; and check out videos from Kim Deal and Tree.
Matt Phillips and The Philharmonic release “Move”
The folks here in Greenville are quite familiar with Matt Phillips & The Philharmonic. The local act consists of several East Carolina University grads, who came together quickly and have made a mark across North Carolina in just two years. Now based in Chapel Hill, Phillips and company still make frequent appearances in their old stomping grounds. Many recent performances served to test songs and roll out their debut LP, Move.
Move is an ambitious pop album that fuses elements of blues, jazz, folk and funk. Memphis soul drives the title track and “Naive“. The latin tinged jazz of “Jacqueline” accents the story of a spurned lover who just can’t help himself. The boys slow it down with the stellar “Bluegrass“, a folk/country ballad of sorts that explodes with harmonies and horns. The bar blues groove of “Coffee” is lighter fare that plays well to the masses and is instant fun live. While “Mediterranean Blues” is straight up, dirty southern blues.
Phillips and the Philharmonic do a great job of capturing their live sound on this recording. You feel as though you’re at one of those steamy bars between Chapel Hill and Greenville, soaking in a great set while enjoying the company at your table. Accessible and appealing, it’s one of those albums that you can blare at a party or enjoy quietly in the company of another. Adhering to fundamental pop tenets, Move is a strong debut.
Brianna Lee Pruett – “No Diamond Ring“
from Gypsy Bells
out 1 October on Canyon Records
What a sound! The California-based singer-songwriter sings plaintively over a melancholy chord progression and it’s magic. In 2012, Pruett released the EP, Keeping You In Mind, in 2012. Gypsy Bells is her first LP.
The Darcy’s – “Muzzle Blast“
out 17 September on Arts & Crafts
This is the second preview from Warring. Its stark opening swirls into a tornado of soaring harmonies fueled by the cacophonous pounding of keys and rhythm. On this track and “The River”, the Darcys appear to have taken the great leap forward. Put Warring on your release list.
Videos, videos, videos…
Kim Deal – “Are You Mine?”
single b/w “Wish I Was”
Tree – “Karma Police”
An interesting cover of Karma Police that includes a little freestyle rap. Tree is Oliver Tree Nickell. He worked with a diverse cast of musicians including Jonathan Quinn (the drummer of Snow Patrol) and a full string quartet. Check out the full roster here.